Ten years ago, fresh out of college, I worked for the most horrible human being I’ve ever met. “Carlotta” verbally and emotionally abused me and other employees. She’s incredibly good at her job but vicious as a boss. I’m still not certain whether the toll of the two years I worked for her are worth what it did for my career. I lost so much weight I stopped menstruating, and I only quit when my hair started falling out. Carlotta is wealthy and vindictive. I’ve never spoken about her to anyone other than my therapist and my husband for fear she’d wreak havoc on my career or sue me. Now a family friend’s daughter is graduating and entering the same field as me. She emailed me last week, ecstatic because she’s got an interview with Carlotta. We’ll be seeing each other at several Christmas gatherings, and she wants to take me out for coffee to discuss my experience there. I’m ashamed to admit that my sense of self-preservation has caused me to remain mum. I don’t know what to do or say to her other than the truth: Run, run far away from this woman! If the daughter repeats what I’ve said, there could be repercussions for my career. If I say nothing and she gets the job, I’ve set her up for a torturous experience. What should I do?
—Bad Boss Ghost