While most of us would love an office romance like Jim and Pam’s, the unfortunate truth is that while working with your significant other may be a dream, working with your ex can be a nightmare. We chatted with the founder of popular workplace blog Ask a Manager and uncovered the top office horror stories that made us squirm in our ergonomically sound office chair. Now, we’re back for part two to find the most outrageous office stories folks have submitted to Ask a Manger about working with an ex-lover. Let the cringe-fest begin!
1. I ghosted my ex and she’s about to be my new boss. You know what they say about karma, right? This viral story starts with a dude ghosting his girlfriend of three years. After sneakily moving out of the country and taking a position as a math teacher in an international school, he thought he was in the clear to start over both professionally and personally. Of course, he had no idea that his ex-girlfriend would be hired in the same school months later to take a new role as the school director (AKA his new boss). Things got beyond awkward during school hours, and this conundrum eventually led to the ghoster quitting his job and looking for a new gig.
2. My ex-boyfriend is posting near-nudes on Facebook and I work in HR at the same company. This anonymous user works for a big technology company and dated a coworker for a few months before deciding to call it quits. Unfortunately, as if seeing her ex-boyfriend around the office wasn’t bad enough, he started to become somewhat of an HR nightmare with all of his late-night online tirades. Her ex posted almost naked pictures online, posted drunk updates in various social networking platforms detailing his sexual exploits and his level of sexual frustrations… heck, he even posted on public forums that he was going to apply for a job with a few competitors. As an HR employee who only friended her ex on Facebook because they used to go out, she wrote to Ask a Manager see if and when she should report him to her colleagues. In an update, she explained that he eventually got booted for leaking confidential product information. To make matters worse, he posted his firing letter to his blog and some of the companies where he was interviewing saw the blog post and rescinded their offers. Oops!
3. My stalker ex-boyfriend is applying for a job at my company. After five months of dating, this lady decided that her relationship just wasn’t going to work. But despite being very clear about it being over, her ex-boyfriend continued to try to win her back by calling and texting repeatedly to the extent that she had to spell it out for him in bold capital letters: “DO NOT CONTACT ME, do not call, do not text, do not email,” she wrote her ex in frustration. Unfortunately, he didn’t seem to get the memo. Recently, she was informed by her workplace that this ex-lover has grand plans to move back to their hometown and interview for a job at her office. In an update to the original story, she told Ask a Manager that she had a chat with HR prior to her interview and they decided to pass on hiring him. Whew, that was close!
4. I dated my ex-girlfriend as her superior and now she’s asking for a job reference. Dating your employees is a pretty obvious taboo, but this line manager decided that his love couldn’t be stopped by something as silly as convention. Unfortunately, the relationship ended very badly and he became clinically depressed shortly after the breakup. At the same time, his ex-girlfriend’s job was made redundant and she was laid off from their shared workspace. Despite all the awkwardness and animosity, she decided that she should still come to her ex-boss (AKA her ex-lover) for a job reference. Hmm… something tells us he’s going to have a hard time staying objective when he gets a call from her potential employer.
5. I had a one-night fling with my new boss’s husband. With her company going through a sizable merger, this anonymous user is about to get a new boss. Well, sort of… she actually has a very long and complicated history with this “new” supervisor. You see, she used to work with her new boss’s husband, and late one night they decided to have a one-time fling. Unfortunately, this eventually left her pregnant and led to the couple’s divorce. Yeah, we’re pretty sure after-work drinks are going to be a no-no.
6. A new employee asked me (the manager) our policy on dating supervisors. I’m sure new hires ask a lot of dumb questions, but this one takes the cake. As a manager at a branch location of a family-owned retail garden center, this woman was showing around a new hire on his first day when he decided to ask her about the company’s policy on employees dating their supervisors, making it super obvious that he wanted to ask her out. Luckily, he didn’t even make it past his first lunch break.
7. My co-worker is pregnant with my boss’s baby. “I’ve run into a strange situation that honestly borders on a soap opera storyline,” wrote one anonymous user to Ask a Manager. As a personal assistant to the head honcho, she’s witnessed a blossoming romance between her boss and her coworker — both of whom are married with children. Last week, her boss sent her to look for something in his office; instead of finding the files, she found a positive pregnancy test and a note from her coworker that basically said that she was pregnant and it was his.
8. My employee is having an affair with a married co-worker. As a director at a mid-sized company, it’s this person’s job to manage 10 other managers. One of the managers under her control is romantically involved with an employee. While this doesn’t technically break any of the company’s rules, the director knows that the employee has a wife and she’s convinced that he’s deliberately hiding it from the manager. And you thought your office dynamic was complicated!
9. My abusive ex works at the company where I am interviewing. After a long stint of unemployment, this woman was beyond happy to find a company who was willing to meet her salary requirements and offer her some refresher training. The only problem is that her abusive ex-boyfriend is currently employed by the same company. “After some of the things he put me through, I don’t know if I can… be in the same room as him,” she wrote. Founder of Ask a Manager Alison Green responded to her query by saying that it’s probably best to keep looking for another offer in this particular instance. Keeping yourself safe is always priority number one.
10. I am supposed to interview my ex for a job. This anonymous user is assisting in the interview process for a new hire who will eventually become her direct supervisor. Someone she dated a few years ago is applying for the position, and he has a good chance of getting the gig. Despite the relationship ending amicably, she’s still uncomfortable with the fact that the ex-boyfriend could become her new boss, let alone the fact that she has to actually interview him for the job. Next question, did you steal my favorite gray hoodie or did it actually get lost during that boys’ weekend? Yikes!
Do you have any crazy stories about dating a co-worker? Tweet us by mentioning @BritandCo.
(Photo via Getty)