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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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kupo
kupo
4 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
4 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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