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And the Creepy Boss of the Week Award goes to … this dude posting on Reddit

He’s just trying to help

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By David Futrelle

I don’t even know how to begin to summarize this very long and very creepy post from the Relationship Advice subreddit from a male boss who seems just a teensy weensy bit too “concerned” about a female employee’s relationship with her boyfriend.

So you’re going to just have to read it for yourself. But here’s a fun game you can play as you make your way through it: See how many paragraphs you can get through before your skin starts to crawl!

Me [32M] with my coworker/friend [24/F] of one year, how do I let her know she is in an abusive relationship with her bf[24m] (self.relationship_advice) submitted 1 day ago by menumessages So a little background to start off with: I work for a nonprofit where I'm the supervisor of 10 people that work under me. Last fall a young woman, lets call her Jennifer started to work with us through an outside fellowship. Now she's the kind of person that just commands attention as soon as she walks into the room. She is very pretty but just has one of those personalities that everyone likes you know? I had to train her when she first started but was very surprised by how quickly she picked everything up. We do a lot of legal work and it's not easy for people without previous experience to learn so quickly. So this should give you a good idea of the kind of person she is. I immediately took a liking to her because of her work but also how easy she was to talk to. During our training, I would say we became pretty close. So much so that I would text her outside of work about non work related stuff. Also she sends me snapchats a lot, random stuff like shows shes watch like friends do. We even go to happy hour alone sometimes and I think I am the closest to her at work. One time she even had lunch with my mom and I when my mom was visiting town. So she is someone I consider a very good friend and want the best for her. Now here's the problem. About two months into her working with us, I found out she has a boyfriend. TO CLARIFY I DO NOT HAVE ANY ROMANTIC INTERESTS AND DO NOT CARE THAT SHE HAS A BOYFRIEND. I really don't care that she has a boyfriend but felt a little manipulated that she never mentioned him before. I am supervisor, been training her for a few months, we have been talking about a lot of stuff so it just comes off as hiding something. People who work in small offices will know what I'm talking about. It was a little hard for me to trust her after that but I kept it to myself. She was still a great employee and her having a boyfriend did not change anything because apparently she has been with this guy for 5 years now. He doesn't live in the same city and they barely see each other from what I understand. So months go by and everything is going really well. So much so that I was even thinking about recommending her for a promotion. We became even closer during this time. About two weeks ago our parent group is hosted a fundraising gala. I asked Jennifer if she wold like to go with me and she said yes. I always have a great time with her so I was really looking forward to it. The night of the gala I called to see when I should pick her up and she said her boyfriend was in town and he would drop her off so she will just meet me there. This is the first red flag I noticed. Is this guy really that insecure that he can't even let her date take her to this gala? Five years and this insecure? That's a problem. But I just agree and say okay I will meet her there. I get to the gala and start to mingle. She eventually gets there but I don't approach her. Honestly, still pretty bothered by what happened earlier so I wanted her to come to me and apologize. She came up to me and we talked but she never apologized for what she did but I ignored it. Soon we were talking just like before and honestly really enjoying each other's company. Here's when I noticed the second red flag. Jennifer and I were talking to another couple when she excused herself because she had to take a call from her boyfriend. I thought it was pretty rude and she has never done something like this before. A little later she comes back and says that her boyfriend is picking her up and she will leave early. THIRD RED FLAG. She was very much looking forward to this night and suddenly she wants to leave early? You know when you can just tell someone isn't happy in their situation? Yeah I definitely felt it right away. A little while later he gets there and I shit you not, this idiot walked into the gala wearing shorts and a t shirt. I almost wanted to laugh but I didn't want to embarrass him. Jennifer introduces me to him and I make pleasantries but I do make a joke about how must feel a little out of place. He says something like "nah, not really sticking around so not a big deal." Okay? I don't really get what that has to do with anything. My point was that he was at a black tie event dressed like he is going to the gym, I don't care if you're for five minutes or five hours, that's weird. So you can already see he is getting an attitude with me for no reason. I follow up with, "well there are some really important people here" and his response was something like, "I've met senators wearing flip flops, I think I'll be okay." Holy shit, I'm getting angry writing this. But you see what I'm talking about right? He completely rubbed me the wrong way. So anyways, as she is leaving, I tell her to let me know if she gets home okay. It gets around midnight and she hasn't sent me a single message. So I sent her a text and no reply. I sent her another around 1am saying I am worried and just to let me know if she is okay. No reply. I have a hard time sleeping that night because I am genuinely concerned. It's just the kind of person I am. I need to know my friends are okay or it bothers me. I wake up the next morning after getting really bad sleep and she still hasn't responded. This makes me upset because I can see she has uploaded pictures on facebook but yet won't respond to my text. The only explanation is that her boyfriend is the reason. She always responds to me and at most a few hours later. So Sunday night I finally send another message really detailing how upset I was with how she was treating me. Also how I think how much control I feel her boyfriend was exerting over her was really making me lose respect for her. I always thought she is this strong independent woman and suddenly this guy is controlling who she can or can't talk to. Of course I get no reply. Monday, inevitably we see each other at work and she confronts me the first thing in the morning. Before I even get a chance to speak, she says I made her uncomfortable and she wants to just finish her last two months of fellowship without any contact that is not necessary for work. This was about two weeks ago. I was really upset at first but honestly I've done a lot of reading. When you are in an abusive relationship, you stop seeing the world the way it is and only the way the abuser wants you to see. It makes me really sad that I am losing a good friend because her boyfriend has insecurity issues. So a few concerns here. She started dating him 5 years ago meaning she was only 19 and therefore this is pretty much the only adult "relationship" she knows. Also the guy is a lobbyist! She wants to work in public service, help immigrants and refugees but yet dates a lobbyist? Does she really not see the contradiction here? I think over the past five years he has done a good job gaslighting her and it's to the point where it's affecting her relationship with other people and it breaks my heart to see this happen to a good friend. My question is this: what is the best approach to let her know of these concerns I have? How can you make someone who refuses to see reality to actually see what is happening? I have spoken to my mother and we both agree it would be best that she is also there when I approach Jennifer. However, do you think it should just be me alone or it would be better having a motherly figure also there to talk about something this serious? And if we have this conversation and she still refuses to break up with her abusive boyfriend, what are the final steps that I should take? To be frank, I'm not sure I can remain friends with her if she continues to date him. I'm simply not the kind of person who will stick by someone who is willingly ruining their own life. I can't stop thinking about this and haven't gotten any work done today. I really look forward to your suggestions and thank you for all your help. For any of you that are currently in an abusive relationship, get out before it's too late. tl;dr: My pretty good friend is in an abusive relationship but won't notice it. How do I get her to notice for her own good but also the future of our friendship?

Yipes.

In the movie Election, the main characters periodically break frame for brief “confessionals” in which they explain what they think is going on; it doesn’t take long to figure out that, well, they have no idea what’s really going on, and their little monologues are at once self-serving and completely un-self-aware.

Boss man has outdone all of them here.

H/T — @leyawn

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Katz
3 years ago

I once played Guillotine when I had this really nasty obsidian cut, so there’s a set out there with authentic blood on it.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
3 years ago

If we’re going back to games, Switch early thoughts:

If you’ve looked at the right controller, with the stick in the middle directly under the buttons necessitating that you hold your thumb like a cartoon claw, and thought “That looks completely unusable,” it is. The console itself is excellent, but Jesus fuck they need to release a redesigned right controller ASAP.

Diego Duarte
Diego Duarte
3 years ago

@SFHC

My nephew was ripping on my Wii U over the position of the right analog stick. Honestly I was more put off by how tiny the back buttons on the Switch are. I had the hardest time playing Breath of the Wild on his Switch because I couldn’t differentiate between the L buttons by touch.

Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
3 years ago

re: The Switch – Can you use a Wiimote in any way? I would assume not, but wouldn’t that be nice…

One of the best parts about the Wii was that you could plug in the gamecube controllers, ngl. That is still my favourite controller Nintendo has ever put out.

@Skye: Our house rules for Texas Zombies is basically ‘pull a situation card, see how many of your cards you need to use, then everyone votes to see if you survived or not.’ Like I said, there’s some sort of team thing, but that means you can only play like six people. Without it, you can have ohhhh… I think I’ve played it with about fifteen? It’s pretty fast, and everyone gets to talk about the story.

Sometimes we like to ask questions, to see just how that basketball is going to help you get off the landmine (I’ll get on it and ride the explosion off!) and then vote.

It is a Japanese game, so there are a few interestingly phrased cards, which is fun too.

Steph
Steph
3 years ago

I got as far as him being upset she didn’t mention she had a boyfriend and felt “manipulated” before my creep alert went off massively…

mrex
mrex
3 years ago

@POM

“Areas of grinding poverty have some of the richest and most vibrant social structures you could want.”

Let’s not act like there’s a single experience of poverty in the US?

Just because the upper and middle-class are isolated does not mean that poverty is not designed to be isolating. Just because many poor people have overcome barriers and developed rich social structures does not mean that poverty is not designed to be isolating. I’m not going to touch on the “sad boner” part of Surplus’s argument since it’s crap, but his other points about poverty hold true.

I’m sure you’re probably going to tell me to fuck off and that you know all this, but whether you do or not, it’s lost in all the arguing.

Tl;dr- Poverty is designed to be isolating.

Catalpa
Catalpa
3 years ago

Hoo. Super late to the party, but I think the problem that Diego has identified (that people in poverty often have limited means of socialization), whether accurate or not (I’d lean towards it being accurate- having extremely limited spare time, funds, and transportation options tends to pose a barrier to meeting new people) is not solved by the solution he proposes (that of people wearing signifiers of being open to romantic approaches). Okay, yes, you might see people that are available on the street or on the bus or out shopping, and then you can… do what, exactly? You don’t have a place to go to socialize with them further any more than you did before everyone started wearing signifiers. You don’t have the means to develop a relationship with them any more than you did before everyone started wearing signifiers. The only thing that the signifiers would help with is being able to see and maybe talk to people open to sexual advances. Which is basically just online dating, except that it’s opt out, instead of opt in.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
3 years ago

I’m sure you’re probably going to tell me to fuck off and that you know all this, but whether you do or not, it’s lost in all the arguing.

I’m not going to tell you to fuck off because I know all of this. I’m going to tell you to fuck off because you’re a goddamned troll.

mrex
mrex
3 years ago

“I’m going to tell you to fuck off because you’re a goddamned troll.

I see we’re going straight to personal insults. I’m not picking on you, parts* of your arguments were shit, and those parts have real world consequences for poor people. The sad boner criticisms were 100% on point.

kupo
kupo
3 years ago

@mrex
Calling out your behavior is not a personal insult.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
3 years ago

I see we’re going straight to personal insults.

I’m not going to waste my time engaging in good faith with arguments I know to be made in bad faith, because my previous experience with you is that you’re a troll. Also: not a personal insult, which is just more trolling on your part.

I’m not picking on you

No, you’re trolling me, and your particular brand of trolling is sad and boring. I’ve got some IRL shit going on in my life and I have no patience to deal with boring-ass trolls. So fuck off, troll.

mrex
mrex
3 years ago

“Also: not a personal insult, which is just more trolling on your part.”

Sorry but you can’t say it’s a call out when the purpose is to divert away from a valid criticism. I’m not looking to upset you*, I’m looking for you to change. Your description made it clear that you were only referring to a segment of the poor, since not all of the poor live in tight quarters filled with reliable people. The stories we tell about poor people trickle out to policy, so it’s important to acknowlege the stories of *all* the poor. Right?

But, I’m starting to repeat myself, and tthat’s the last thing anyone needs. I owe you some gratitude for holding my feet to the fire in the past, since it actually helped. I do hope whatever shit is going down in your life works out soon.

*Since that would be the definition of trolling.

PeeVee the (Perpetually Ignored, Invisible but Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Perpetually Ignored, Invisible but Noice) Sarcastic
3 years ago

I’m not looking to upset you*, I’m looking for you to change.

Why?

There was not one thing in PoM’s post that you quoted that PoM *needs* to change. Because “Areas of grinding poverty have some of the richest and most vibrant social structures you could want.” is not an untrue statement, mrex.

Even if you do not agree with it, or even if you, yourself haven’t personally experienced that aspect of it.

PeeVee the (Perpetually Ignored, Invisible but Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Perpetually Ignored, Invisible but Noice) Sarcastic
3 years ago

“Areas of grinding poverty have some of the richest and most vibrant social structures you could want.”

There was nothing controversial about this statement, whatsoever. None.

Robert Walker-Smith
Robert Walker-Smith
3 years ago

Necroing the thread.

I found a series of comments on Reddit from someone claiming to be the boyfriend/fiance of the unfortunate ‘Jennifer’. According to him, HR did get involved and she was given a position elsewhere in the organization that eliminated all direct contact with Norman Bates. No word yet on any negative consequences for Norman.

So. . . good news.

Norémon
Norémon
3 years ago

He also posted some increasingly scary rants on vent subreddits. The latest 9 days ago that seems like some consequences.are happening.

Simon
Simon
3 years ago

Just as a follow-up on this, a redditor claiming to be the evil, abusive “Chad” boyfriend showed up in the thread in r/niceguys discussing this post to set the (supposed) record straight.

Apparently, the “black tie gala” was a casual fundraiser and the people there were dressed accordingly. The confrontation also didn’t play out the way he claimed it did either. It consisted of nothing more than creepy boss giving the boyfriend the stinkeye, muttering something and backing down when asked to repeat himself.

He said that “Jennifer” quietly transferred to another part of the organization to finish out her fellowship and “Menumessages” did face disciplinary action for his completely inappropriate behavior.

He should consider himself lucky he didn’t get demoted or fired. Something like that would have followed him for the rest of his life. Hopefully, this served as a wake-up call about how close he came to destroying his career.

Though given some of his responses, I don’t think he does. You reap what you sow and I have a feeling his actions are going to come back to bite him in the ass at some point, hard!

Citizen Rat
Citizen Rat
3 years ago

Glad to hear “Jennifer” was able to exit that situation and that Creepy Boss Guy is facing disciplinary action. We definitely need more happy endings like this one.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

@ Simon

He’s deleted his original post, but here it is…

Dear friend,

Where do I even start. This Friday will be mark a month since you left. Three weeks ago marks a year since we met. I wonder if you even think about any of that, lol. Honestly, you probably do but I know he wouldn’t ever let you show it.

Do you know that I haven’t even had the strength to go on social media or reddit for awhile now? It reminds me too much of the memes we shared on snapchat. But I’m tired of holding back my happiness because you choose to be dense.

I remember like yesterday when you first walked in, nervous, unsure, but beautiful nonetheless. I immediately introduced myself (this is something I never do as I have to maintain a role of authority but something about you was different, well I thought so anyways). I could see that just speaking to me changed your demeanor. I had an effect on you. You never really worked in an office before and didn’t realize how cold it would be. I offered you my blazer and you were so thankful. It put a smile on face but it was also when I first noticed that we would become good friends. Man, how things changed, huh?

To be honest, I probably never should have become such a good friend to you. There lies my biggest mistake. People always tell me I’m too trusting and friendly and until now, I really didn’t want to believe it lol. But I took you under my wing. With my help you picked things up so quickly, faster than anyone I saw in a decade of this business. You had a future in this, you were promising. See how I said had? lol

I still get a smile when I think about that meeting we had to present to Roger. You were so nervous, visibly shaking. Do you remember who gave you the encouraging words so you could go out there? Do you remember how delighted he was and all the compliments he gave you? You were ecstatic. You were made for this and I was the one to show you that you could do it. On our way back from the presentation I took you the Halal food truck. I still can’t believe you never tried it! Haha, but you loved it. You would snapchat me every time you went.

But you threw it all away because you were weak. It really isn’t your fault I know but I can’t help but be angry that you were so weak. You let him gaslight you, abuse you, control you. He decided who your friends were, he decides who you text, he decides how long you stay out. But at the end of the day, you accepted it. You let him and for that I don’t think I can ever forgive you. I tried so hard to get through to you but instead you turned on me. You almost ruined everything I worked for but alas you came to your senses and at least dropped the ridiculous accusations. I guess I can at least respect that.

It’s just really sad. There was a position open that you would have been perfect for. I told you it was going to open up very early on when we met. I was preparing you for it. IF you didn’t leave, you would be starting Monday. But no, another more qualified person will. Someone who actually wants to help people and not just themselves.

What truly hurt is when you didn’t show up to my match. I told you about how hard I have been working and you pretended to be so supportive. You promised you wouldn’t miss it, but where were you? I know you had nothing to do that night, I saw you status about how you started binging True Blood (something I introduced you to btw), so what was your excuse? Gross. Your behavior is just gross.

We could have built an empire. But I will now build it on my own. I was always going to, I just thought I would help a friend along in the journey. But it will be truly interesting when you’re broke, lonely, and depressed in a few years because of this terrible mistake. When you come back to me looking for help and I will no longer be the guy who bends over backwards for you. I hope you remember that

YOU made this decision.

YOU chose him over your future.

YOU chose him over your career.

YOU chose him over your friends that really cared for you.

It’s sad, pathetic really. I feel bad but also amused and angry.

Today has been just hard because I found out the person we interviewed will start Monday. It just brought back a lot of memories and I just had to vent.

But you probably don’t care. You were acting just to boost your own ego, not because you ever cared about the people we helped. You are a sad and broken person. You are pathetic and it disgusts me how you acted at the end.

But you will just be a smudge in my memories.

Good luck kid, you’re going to need it.

Sincerely,

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Simon,

A lot of times when women report sexual harassment, they’re the ones who end up being punished for it, not the harasser. She may not be believed and nothing will happen to him. Or maybe he’ll be fired but the other men in the field will take his side and no one will want to work with her. Just look at the comments section of any article in a non-feminist space about sexual harassment and see how sympathetic people are to the victim. Spoiler alert: not very.

So don’t put it one her that he’ll probably do this again. Put it on rape culture. It’s the reason reporting sexual harassment, rape or partner violence is usually as traumatic as the crime itself.

Simon
Simon
2 years ago

I hadn’t thought of it that way WWTH:CM.

Judging by the meltdown that he had in another sub, I got the impression that he did face disciplinary action for behavior. It’s unfortunate that “Jennifer” ended up having to back off.

From the rant he wrote in r/trueoffmychest, I did get the impression that he was going to try to make things difficult for her. Hell, reading that “unsent letter” it sounds like he still might.

And it’s incredibly shitty that it should happen to her because of one asshole who couldn’t handle rejection. I guess my disappointment comes from the fact that I really wanted to see this creep get fired or at least have a permanent black mark on his record or get put on notice that if he so much as gave any women working under him the stinkeye, his ass would be out the door and they wouldn’t provide him with a reference.

He is going to do this again and he’s going to keep doing it. It’s funny that he kept talking about gaslighting when a lot of what he’s doing is gaslighting.

One day, he’s going to find a woman who he can manipulate in to having a relationship with him. It’s also funny that he keeps talking about “red flags” when everything he’s done would throw up more red flags then Soviet-era Russia.

Skeptic
Skeptic
2 years ago

What is “abusive” about her boyfriend? That he dares to dress in a way, or have a job, her boss disapproves of?

Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
2 years ago

@Simon: If he did face disciplinary action, as it seemed he did from his reactions in another thread… He’s still employed at the same company, and according to this letter, has the power to recommend employees for positions.

So if disciplinary action happened, that means that someone said something, and he had to deal with something, BUT it didn’t cost him anything real. A black mark is only a problem if people care, and judging by the information in this letter, no one did.

He will definitely find someone he can manipulate into a relationship with him, because he is preying on young, vulnerable people who have little life experience.

There is pretty much no way to stop this from happening, besides companies actually black listing him.

I was speaking with a friend over the weekend, and she pointed out what the position of a lead, or mentor, is. It isn’t for you to shine in your own work, but to help everyone on your team shine. So everything that he was doing, that he thought gave him an automatic pass to have sex with her?

HIS.

JOB.

*flips all the tables*

Simon
Simon
2 years ago

The Harvey Weinstein scandal as well as all the other Hollywood types who are being exposed as predators gives me hope.

If all these women are standing up to these powerful men, surely one woman can stand up to a pissant middle-aged manager on an adolescent power trip. I sincerely hope that “Jennifer” will renew her complaint against Menumessages.

kupo
kupo
2 years ago

If all these women are standing up to these powerful men, surely one woman can stand up to a pissant middle-aged manager on an adolescent power trip. I sincerely hope that “Jennifer” will renew her complaint against Menumessages.

Except when your job is on the line and management/HR views YOU as the problem because you are the one making a big deal out of it, you can’t really stand up to the men who abuse their power.

Sincerely, a woman who has stirred up trouble by reporting harassment to HR.

Lea
Lea
2 years ago

Seconding Kupo. The man harassing you doesn’t have to be more powerful than you personally to abuse you. He has the power of the good old boys and rape culture behind him and he knows it. He has the support of nearly every man and many women when you come forward and you do not.

When I came forward even the other victims of my harasser were mad at me because I might get them fired or punished in other ways. When you speak up, you are alone and he never is.

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