Wedding Woes

OMG! AN UPDATE!

From the guy who ghosted Sylvia. 

(the buzzfeed article is amusing: https://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelwmiller/ask-a-manager-guy-who-ghosted-ex-became-his-boss?utm_term=.elD20ezpNE#.viWkG4E5Mb)

update: I ghosted my ex, and she’s about to be my new boss

by ALISON GREEN on SEPTEMBER 26, 2017

Remember the letter-writer who had ghosted his long-term girlfriend 10 years earlier and just learned she was about to become his new boss? Given the outrage of much of the internet over the letter, I didn’t expect to receive an update, and I’m grateful that he sent one in. Here it is.

I admit I wrote my original email in a state of panic. I was on my holidays when I found out and a friend of mine gave me your email. I did not realize my message would be fully replicated on your blog. I am sure you get tons of requests and I thought I would be lucky to get a reply within one of those short scenarios at max. By the time the blog was posted and I was returning to Philippines, my initial panic started to dissipate as I found out more about Sylvia’s situation. Just in time to discover the story going viral, both online and offline. I can say that in no way I expected that writing to a very popular but a niche professional blog would result in such Internet s*t storm. I am sorry for not engaging with your readers, but given the toxicity of many commentators, I did not seem much sense in doing it. I am still very much freaked out about the whole experience but since I promised to give you my update, here it is.

Those who blamed me for ruining Sylvia’s life for good were wrong. She has done very well for herself. She is married, with kids and her husband is originally from here. They relocated because of his business opportunity, not because she would be stalking me or would orchestrate this in some elaborate vendetta. It is a crazy coincidence but as some readers pointed out, our professional world can be very small.

I immediately reached out to Sylvia, along the lines of your kind advice and also offered to discuss the way forward in person. Here, I appreciate many useful comments from your readers on what to write. She did not get back to me. I was not sure she was still using her old email address and with a return to school day fast approaching, I re-sent the email to her new work email. I also dropped a short message to the HR, without providing full details. Next morning (Sunday!) I got a call from the chair of our board of overseers, asking me to meet him as soon as possible.

I met with him, together with Sylvia, the same day. As you can imagine, this meeting was incredibly embarrassing for me, personally and professionally. Fortunately, unlike some of your readers hope, they did not think the past failed relationship was a sackable offence. At the end, there is not that much interaction between the director and employees on daily basis. The chair was more worried about possible gossip and related implications for the organisation. Ours is an expensive enterprise, this is a conservative place and nobody wants any scandal. At the same time, they considered it was necessary – as they framed it – to put some measures in place to avoid possible problems in the future. I was also told in no uncertain terms that although the schedule for the year was already set, it was far more difficult to replace the director than an employee (me). I do not want to go into too much details but I found the proposed measures rather excessive. It would make my position unattainable, even in a short run. Therefore I resigned on the spot. My resignation was later accepted.

In a summary, as many of those self-righteous people on the Internet hoped, I came out of this with no job, no severance and no prospect for another job in this city. Obviously, I have to leave as I need to make a living. I will be shortly moving back home for several months to work as a substitute teacher, with an agency. I will see what next later. So I had my comeuppance. I am most certainly not asking for pity. I only wish there were not other individuals bearing the blunt of my immaturity in the past. (My partner cannot join me due to visa issue and family situation.)

I wrote back and asked if he’d share how Sylvia seemed, as well as what measures they’d proposed. He said:

I do not know how it was for Sylvia. I have not seen her since. She seemed fine. She was not gleeful, very matter of fact, saying it was possible to work together and etc. The chair did most of the talking. I found out later that her husband comes from a prominent family here, everyone knows them. Nepotism is prevalent in this culture and family status really matters. The chair knows them. I just do not understand why she had to get him involved. We could have tried to sort this out between us first, no need to go to the top immediately.

The measures included things like we are never to talk to each other without a third person present, all meetings documented, no discussion about her and the management with my colleagues, not even in watercooler chat, limit our interactions beyond the school, meaning no socialising for me. I do not understand how this could work. It would be very much out of character for me and my colleagues and friends would get suspicious. Although not presented at such, it felt very punitive.

As you said in your initial response, it was unlikely it would somehow work out. It is very difficult to come to terms with it. The Internet craze just added an extra bizzare layer to it. 

Re: OMG! AN UPDATE!

  • levioosalevioosa Southern California
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    Wow, this guy is a grade A dick. Somehow it's all still her fault? Uh huh. And the whole nepotism thing. I can't. You got the job, didn't you? And then you opened your fat mouth and emailed HR. I have no sympathy for you at all. 


    image
    charlotte989875mrsconn23
  • The whole Internet is outraged and he still doesn't "get" it.

    I don't see how any of those measures were "punitive".  Enough that he would chuck his job immediately, in a foreign country, with no other prospects.

    I think they were a bit much and more than I would have expected, but they also seemed doable and not that big of a deal.

    I applaud Sylvia for her professionalism, but I bet she was gleeful on the inside.  Don't ever let anybody tell you that Karma doesn't exist ;).

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    STARMOON44OliveOilsMomOurWildKingdommrsconn23
  • Wow.  I didn't realize it was possible to like him less.  Ugh I hate the victim attitude- his life will turn around when he realizes his actions have consequences, and that it isn't everyone else that has the problem.

    Thank you for the update!  
    charlotte989875mrsconn23InLoveInQueens
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    member
    mrsconn23 said:
    From the guy who ghosted Sylvia. 

    (the buzzfeed article is amusing: https://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelwmiller/ask-a-manager-guy-who-ghosted-ex-became-his-boss?utm_term=.elD20ezpNE#.viWkG4E5Mb)

    update: I ghosted my ex, and she’s about to be my new boss

    by ALISON GREEN on SEPTEMBER 26, 2017

    Remember the letter-writer who had ghosted his long-term girlfriend 10 years earlier and just learned she was about to become his new boss? Given the outrage of much of the internet over the letter, I didn’t expect to receive an update, and I’m grateful that he sent one in. Here it is.

    I admit I wrote my original email in a state of panic. I was on my holidays when I found out and a friend of mine gave me your email. I did not realize my message would be fully replicated on your blog. I am sure you get tons of requests and I thought I would be lucky to get a reply within one of those short scenarios at max. By the time the blog was posted and I was returning to Philippines, my initial panic started to dissipate as I found out more about Sylvia’s situation. Just in time to discover the story going viral, both online and offline. I can say that in no way I expected that writing to a very popular but a niche professional blog would result in such Internet s*t storm. I am sorry for not engaging with your readers, but given the toxicity of many commentators, I did not seem much sense in doing it. I am still very much freaked out about the whole experience but since I promised to give you my update, here it is.

    Those who blamed me for ruining Sylvia’s life for good were wrong. She has done very well for herself. She is married, with kids and her husband is originally from here. They relocated because of his business opportunity, not because she would be stalking me or would orchestrate this in some elaborate vendetta. It is a crazy coincidence but as some readers pointed out, our professional world can be very small.


    Good for Sylvia. This douche did her a favor.

    I immediately reached out to Sylvia, along the lines of your kind advice and also offered to discuss the way forward in person. Here, I appreciate many useful comments from your readers on what to write. She did not get back to me. I was not sure she was still using her old email address and with a return to school day fast approaching, I re-sent the email to her new work email. I also dropped a short message to the HR, without providing full details. Next morning (Sunday!) I got a call from the chair of our board of overseers, asking me to meet him as soon as possible.


    First mistake: Sending the e-mail twice. Second mistake: Sending it to her work e-mail. Third mistake: Involving HR.

    I met with him, together with Sylvia, the same day. As you can imagine, this meeting was incredibly embarrassing for me, personally and professionally. Fortunately, unlike some of your readers hope, they did not think the past failed relationship was a sackable offence. At the end, there is not that much interaction between the director and employees on daily basis. The chair was more worried about possible gossip and related implications for the organisation. Ours is an expensive enterprise, this is a conservative place and nobody wants any scandal. At the same time, they considered it was necessary – as they framed it – to put some measures in place to avoid possible problems in the future. I was also told in no uncertain terms that although the schedule for the year was already set, it was far more difficult to replace the director than an employee (me). I do not want to go into too much details but I found the proposed measures rather excessive. It would make my position unattainable, even in a short run. Therefore I resigned on the spot. My resignation was later accepted.

    In a summary, as many of those self-righteous people on the Internet hoped, I came out of this with no job, no severance and no prospect for another job in this city. Obviously, I have to leave as I need to make a living. I will be shortly moving back home for several months to work as a substitute teacher, with an agency. I will see what next later. So I had my comeuppance. I am most certainly not asking for pity. I only wish there were not other individuals bearing the blunt of my immaturity in the past. (My partner cannot join me due to visa issue and family situation.)


    He brought this on himself. I don’t feel the least bit sorry for him. I substitute taught for three years, and it was hell on earth at times. Maybe he’ll learn that you don’t quit a job without another one lined up, except in extreme circumstances. 

    I wrote back and asked if he’d share how Sylvia seemed, as well as what measures they’d proposed. He said:

    I do not know how it was for Sylvia. I have not seen her since. She seemed fine. She was not gleeful, very matter of fact, saying it was possible to work together and etc. The chair did most of the talking. I found out later that her husband comes from a prominent family here, everyone knows them. Nepotism is prevalent in this culture and family status really matters. The chair knows them. I just do not understand why she had to get him involved. We could have tried to sort this out between us first, no need to go to the top immediately.

    Idiot. He got the chair involved when he e-mailed HR. Also, “nepotism is prevalent in this culture?” Racist and sexist much?

    The measures included things like we are never to talk to each other without a third person present, all meetings documented, no discussion about her and the management with my colleagues, not even in watercooler chat, limit our interactions beyond the school, meaning no socialising for me. I do not understand how this could work. It would be very much out of character for me and my colleagues and friends would get suspicious. Although not presented at such, it felt very punitive.

    It’s called being a professional and an adult. Hardly punitive.

    As you said in your initial response, it was unlikely it would somehow work out. It is very difficult to come to terms with it. The Internet craze just added an extra bizzare layer to it. 


    Maybe he’ll also learn to be very careful what you post online.


    charlotte989875short+sassymrsconn23OliveOilsMom
  • He seems to assume that she got her husband involved and that's bad?  First, if I was dealing with this situation, you'd bet I'd tell H.  Why on earth wouldn't I?  Secondly, why assume that Sylvia's husband did get involved?  Maybe his name was enough, not any actions he might have taken.  
    He's still a dick, and his GF is probably better off with him out of the country  and away from her, because he'd rather salvage his pride than suck it up so he can be with her.
    imageimage
    charlotte989875mrsconn23OurWildKingdom
  • baconsmom said:
    UNTENABLE. The situation would have been UNTENABLE, not "unattainable". 

    I hope he doesn't teach English. Words mean things. 


    Nice catch!  Hilarious.  Though I'd think there is a good chance he does teach English.  It seems like that is typically what those out-of-country jobs are.

    Either I forgot or didn't catch it when I read his first letter, but I didn't realize it had been 10 years since his debacle with Sylvia.  As atrocious as his behavior was, that is a long time.

    I think he set himself up for failure by making TOO big a deal, with both Sylvia and HR, of their previous relationship.  I'm sure Sylvia hadn't thought of him in years.  But then, he does seem like the kind of guy who'd assume she's been pining for him this whole time.

    I either wouldn't have contacted her ahead of time at all or written something pretty casual, short and sweet, along the lines of "hey! what have you been up to?"/"I was so young and cowardly/guilt/apology"/Nice closing

    When she didn't respond to his first e-mail, he should have just let it go.  Maybe she saw it, maybe she didn't.  Not that important.  But if she purposely ignored it or didn't think it was worth responding to, now his behavior is looking odd and like it is a big deal to him.

    I also don't think he had a duty to alert HR to the previous relationship, because it had been so far in the past.  He said the letter was short, but I strongly suspect he had verbage in there that alarmed them.

    And he accused Sylvia of being the drama-llama in his first letter.  Hah!

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  • "The measures included things like we are never to talk to each other without a third person present, all meetings documented, no discussion about her and the management with my colleagues, not even in watercooler chat, limit our interactions beyond the school, meaning no socialising for me. I do not understand how this could work. It would be very much out of character for me and my colleagues and friends would get suspicious. "

    Take it down to the conditions placed upon him along with an essentially demotion that caused him to resign on the spot, all the viral stuff not withstanding, I'd have resigned if those conditions were given to me too (what management's likely goal was by calling that meeting the moment they did) because they extended well past what's reasonable to the point any conversations at work would be limited to "How's the weather?" as he couldn't even say with those conditions "Hey - Management is sure doing a fantastic job!" at the water cooler because it'd technically violate the terms and his present position would have become unattainable for him.  

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  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska
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    MesmrEwe said:

    "The measures included things like we are never to talk to each other without a third person present, all meetings documented, no discussion about her and the management with my colleagues, not even in watercooler chat, limit our interactions beyond the school, meaning no socialising for me. I do not understand how this could work. It would be very much out of character for me and my colleagues and friends would get suspicious. "

    Take it down to the conditions placed upon him along with an essentially demotion that caused him to resign on the spot, all the viral stuff not withstanding, I'd have resigned if those conditions were given to me too (what management's likely goal was by calling that meeting the moment they did) because they extended well past what's reasonable to the point any conversations at work would be limited to "How's the weather?" as he couldn't even say with those conditions "Hey - Management is sure doing a fantastic job!" at the water cooler because it'd technically violate the terms and his present position would have become unattainable for him.  

    I mean he was the one who brought in HR, so yeah, there are probably going to be conditions. And as for them calling the meeting, what else is HR going to do when an employee voluntarily discloses they had a relationship that ended badly with a supervisor. They're there to protect the organization not employees. 


    Yes, and to add to charlotte's point further:

    Those conditions weren't too much for anyone to abide by.  The conditions had nothing to do about "how's the weather" the conditions had to do with "Sylvia is such a bad director.  Can you believe that she made the kids go outside in that weather?"  I'm sure that courtesy hellos between Sylvia and douche would have been allowed.  Those conditions also did not prevent douche from having contact with fellow employees outside of work - he was just not supposed to talk about the director.  Which if conversation naturally went there, he could have just stayed silent, or left to go to the bathroom or go home.  If asked directly about the director, he could have deflected without telling anyone about their past "I don't really feel comfortable answering that.  Then bean dip"

    All of those conditions also were for the benefit of douche, so that HE could not be fired without cause.  It could have easily turned into Sylvia calling douche into her office, tell him he is doing a good job and then turning around and telling board that douche is having inappropriate conversations with her or even the kids.  Having that third party sit in on any meeting, protects them both!

    Yes. At first, I thought the conditions were too much, but then I re read. It says "limit" interactions, not eliminate them entirely. And I read that as he could still go to events, just avoid talking to and being with her. Additionally, I have never been at a job where I have discussed management or my bosses with other employees beyond what was necessary for work. Sure I vent about the to my husband! But not other employees. 

    charlotte989875mrsconn23OurWildKingdom
  • MesmrEwe said:

    "The measures included things like we are never to talk to each other without a third person present, all meetings documented, no discussion about her and the management with my colleagues, not even in watercooler chat, limit our interactions beyond the school, meaning no socialising for me. I do not understand how this could work. It would be very much out of character for me and my colleagues and friends would get suspicious. "

    Take it down to the conditions placed upon him along with an essentially demotion that caused him to resign on the spot, all the viral stuff not withstanding, I'd have resigned if those conditions were given to me too (what management's likely goal was by calling that meeting the moment they did) because they extended well past what's reasonable to the point any conversations at work would be limited to "How's the weather?" as he couldn't even say with those conditions "Hey - Management is sure doing a fantastic job!" at the water cooler because it'd technically violate the terms and his present position would have become unattainable for him.  

    I mean he was the one who brought in HR, so yeah, there are probably going to be conditions. And as for them calling the meeting, what else is HR going to do when an employee voluntarily discloses they had a relationship that ended badly with a supervisor. They're there to protect the organization not employees. 


    Yes, and to add to charlotte's point further:

    Those conditions weren't too much for anyone to abide by.  The conditions had nothing to do about "how's the weather" the conditions had to do with "Sylvia is such a bad director.  Can you believe that she made the kids go outside in that weather?"  I'm sure that courtesy hellos between Sylvia and douche would have been allowed.  Those conditions also did not prevent douche from having contact with fellow employees outside of work - he was just not supposed to talk about the director.  Which if conversation naturally went there, he could have just stayed silent, or left to go to the bathroom or go home.  If asked directly about the director, he could have deflected without telling anyone about their past "I don't really feel comfortable answering that.  Then bean dip"

    All of those conditions also were for the benefit of douche, so that HE could not be fired without cause.  It could have easily turned into Sylvia calling douche into her office, tell him he is doing a good job and then turning around and telling board that douche is having inappropriate conversations with her or even the kids.  Having that third party sit in on any meeting, protects them both!

    Yes. At first, I thought the conditions were too much, but then I re read. It says "limit" interactions, not eliminate them entirely. And I read that as he could still go to events, just avoid talking to and being with her. Additionally, I have never been at a job where I have discussed management or my bosses with other employees beyond what was necessary for work. Sure I vent about the to my husband! But not other employees. 
    I have been at my company for almost 17 years and I can count on ONE hand how many people I've vented or gossiped to about management (like DEEP venting, not just "UGH, this policy change sucks!" when everyone else is in agreement with the suckage).  

    I've seen many a 'loose lips, sink ships' around here.  If you have dirt on someone, you have to know who you're sharing it with.  Gossips get fired. 

    I have a friend whom I shared information (both directions) all.the.fucking.time before she left and she'd STILL be all, "DON'T TELL ANYONE!" I'm like, "Um, I WAH...I'll tell the walls."
    charlotte989875OurWildKingdom
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