Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“A Co-Worker’s Girlfriend Is Telling People I’m the Office Slut”

I’m on vacation through May 13th, and in my absence reader and prolific commenter, ReginaRey, has offered to guest write a couple of columns. Here’s one of them:

I used to have a good friend who is a male co-worker. I was somewhat friendly with his live-in girlfriend, who also worked with us briefly, but she left our office before I could really get to know her. This male friend and I are no longer friends because his girlfriend felt that our friendship wasn’t good for their relationship. I’ve known this man for years, and while I would say that we were good buddies, he and I have never initiated any friendship past the office. We’ve never had each other’s phone numbers, gone out in social settings (with the exception of work functions where his girlfriend also would attend) or ever made flirtatious advances toward one another. While I felt that his girlfriend was being slightly irrational, I understood the guy was in a tough spot and when he told me we couldn’t chat at the office anymore I said ‘fine,’ and since then, we haven’t done more than politely nod when we cross paths at work.

The problem his girlfriend has with me, however, has not gone away. She is and I share some mutual friends, who have let me know that she has been badmouthing me to everyone she knows at our office, telling them she’s sure her boyfriend and I have slept together and that I’m always trying to sleep with him again. A few months ago when they announced their engagement, I thought this would abate her dislike of me, but it has only increased it. Several times, she has shown up at my office — on days her fiancé isn’t even scheduled to work — and asks where she can find me. Luckily, I’ve always been off at lunch or meetings when she does this, but it kinda freaks me out. She has also begun to tell friends from work that I’ve been sleeping with other male co-workers, which isn’t true (I have a boyfriend). I haven’t spoken one word to her in over a year and nor to her boyfriend in a few months, yet I feel like this issue is stronger than ever. I’m beginning to feel isolated at work from the rumors, and everyone talking about their upcoming wedding non-stop is making me feel even more withdrawn. I don’t want to cause an issue, but I also feel like not talking to her about it makes it easier for her to gossip. What should I do? — Employee with the Scarlet A


This is quickly spiraling out of control, miss modern-day Hester Prynne. And silence does not become you. There are a few ways you can handle this, some better than others. The most risky option is to confront the girlfriend. There is a very slight chance that having a calm conversation with her could sort this out. Maybe part of the reason she’s acting psycho is because she interprets your silence as passive affirmation of guilt. Hearing once and for all from you that no, you have never had romantic interest in her fiancé, could possibly calm her down.

But I’m going to bet that talking to her won’t work. You haven’t spoken to her in a year, and she’s still convinced that you’re a scheming jezebel. In my experience, there is no reasoning with crazy. At the very least, confronting her could prove futile and frustrating. At the worst, you open yourself to some nasty, and dangerous, drama. She’s already proven that she’s willing to go to full-on bunny boiler over nothing. Engaging her could be the spark that ignites the big ‘ole bin of TNT, and the fallout would be yours to bear – more rumors, more alienation, and potentially the involvement of your boss or management.

What I think is safer and easier to control: confronting the boyfriend. As this girl’s fiancé, it’s his responsibility to put an end to this. Find a time to talk to him in person, outside the office. He needs to know that the rumors and unannounced visits needed to end yesterday. He should also understand that this situation could jeopardize his career, too. If he isn’t already, he should be concerned that his fiancé showing up at his place of work to harass a fellow employee isn’t going to reflect well on him.

Somehow, though, I don’t think confronting him will be enough. Clearly his fiancé doesn’t trust him. Who knows why? She’s obviously got something screwy and unstable going on, and she’s dead-set on believing what she wants. It’s likely that he’s reassured her over and over again that he isn’t cheating on her with you, and nothing he says is going to change her mind.

That’s why; ultimately, I think you need to go to a higher authority. It’s completely
within your right to go to your boss or someone in Human Resources to discuss this. What you’re experiencing is, in my opinion, a form of third-party harassment. The rumors and creepy visits are creating a hostile environment for you, which is something that, if I’m not mistaken, defines workplace harassment. Be open and honest, and explain exactly what’s going on. Don’t hold anything back for the sake of this “friend,” and don’t feel guilty if he has to suffer negative consequences – he hasn’t exactly been standing up to speak the truth. You aren’t a besmirched Puritan! You have the ability to stand up, speak the truth, and defend your honor. It’s about time you did it.

123 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Addie Pray May 4, 2011, 7:48 am

    I would definitely first talk to the male coworker before going to management, or else you could make things really awkward. Maybe warn him that if it doesn’t stop you’ll ask HR to help.

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  • avatar

    sweetleaf May 4, 2011, 7:58 am

    Very good Regina!

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  • caitie_didnt

    caitie_didn't May 4, 2011, 7:58 am

    Great advice ReginaRey!!

    LW: your former “buddy” is a cowardly ass hat who doesn’t care enough about you or your friendship to stand up for you and defend your honour. Seems like him and crazypants deserve each other (or at least would make one entertaining trainwreck).

    My dad is a human resources and labour law professor, so I have a bit of background on this, and from what I know ReginaRey’s advice is bang on. LW: confront your “buddy”. Tell him calmly and explicitly what is happening and that it needs to stop immediately. Then be sure to tell him that if there are *any* further rumours or surprise work visits after this conversation your next stop will be HR.

    Like Regina, I don’t think this will be enough to stop someone so unstable, so what you need to do is start documenting any incidences that occur between now and your eventual trip to HR. Just write (or type up) a brief description of it, and the date. If you can remember any past incidents, write those down too and try and include a date if you can remember. This forms a paper trail of sorts, not to mention “evidence” so your HR manager has an idea of the full scope of the problem. I can’t stress enough how important documentation like this is in workplace harassment cases.

    Good Luck, LW!

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom May 4, 2011, 9:26 am

      Documentation is definitely the way to go.

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    • avatar

      Teresa May 4, 2011, 12:04 pm

      ” ass hat “- one of my favorite words – =) Great idea with the documentation, like my boss says, “If it isn’t on paper, it never happened.”

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    • avatar

      Hana May 4, 2011, 2:09 pm

      Also, if you have an IT department become friends with them. Most companies will have the IT department keep track of office emails, web sites visited and texts if your using a company phone. So if you are in an office setting and she has been e-mailing to harass you they will have the records. Talk to the people who work around you/ she has to speak to when she comes into the office. They will be your witnesses for HR.

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  • avatar

    Beckaleigh May 4, 2011, 7:59 am

    So excited to see ReginaRey as a guest columnist! Great advice!

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    • avatar

      Amber May 4, 2011, 11:38 am

      I agree!

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    • avatar

      kali May 4, 2011, 7:29 pm

      Love the advice; great job, ReginaRey. Most of all though, I am totally digging this line: “She’s already proven that she’s willing to go to full-on bunny boiler over nothing.”

      I am going to steal that one for sure! Thanks!!

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  • avatar

    Elizabeth May 4, 2011, 8:07 am

    I agree with everything except “Find a time to talk to him in person, outside the office.” She needs to talk to him in the office. The problems are happening in the office. It is ruining her work life. This fiancee is showing up at the office. It is where they know each other, and as LW mentioned they have never socialized outside of work functions. By confronting him outside the office, she would be feeding the fiancee’s delusions that there is a relationship outside the office. It also may carry less weight when LW brings her grievance to HR because she’s be acknowledging interacting with him outside of the office setting.

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    • avatar

      LTC039 May 4, 2011, 9:04 am

      Yes. I was thinking that too. If the co-workers fiance already believes there’s something going on, imagine how she would feel about them talking outside the office. Not a good idea.
      I think she should first try to confront the fiance…Regina was right in her first paragraph, maybe she is getting more crazy because of the LW’s silence. If that doesn’t work & things progress/ get worse, my next step would be HR.
      But def. leave the co-worker out. That would make things worse!

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      • avatar

        LTC039 May 4, 2011, 1:09 pm

        I think it’s funny how I pretty much agreed with Elizabeth & am getting thumbs down like crazy… lol

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      • avatar

        Morgan May 4, 2011, 2:12 pm

        i think its because you said she should confront the fiance and leave the coworker out of it…most people would I think leave cray cray out of it and confront the co worker. It’s fundamentally a work issue, leave the crazy non employee out of it.

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      • avatar

        LTC039 May 4, 2011, 2:18 pm

        I see what you’re saying. I just felt that talking to the co-worker would spark an even bigger issue with the fiance & other co-workers. Unless she confronts him in the office, not outside, not at lunch, etc…

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    • avatar

      ReginaRey May 4, 2011, 9:19 am

      Just want to clarify why I suggested confronting him outside the office…mostly because I envisioned the confrontation getting heated or out of control IN the office, and how that could get out of hand. I figured that sitting down with him during a lunch break might be easier and less awkward than confronting him in the office. But I DO agree that meeting with him outside the office could potentially feed the fiance’s delusions…it’s a toss up for me!

      By the way, thanks for all of the commenters support and kind words! I was anxious to see how you all responded! 🙂

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray May 4, 2011, 9:53 am

        Good job, ReginaRey. I forgot to mention that before. You’re good with words.

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      • avatar

        CollegeCat May 4, 2011, 10:18 am

        I think maybe she could email him and ask to meet outside of the office (but during work hours) detailing explicitly what she wants to talk about. She should also bring one co-worker or possibly a supervisor she is comfortable with to witness (not participate in) the meeting. I think if co-workers see them walk into the break room for a quiet chat by themselves it may just add to the rumor mill. If he refuses to meet or does not listen to reason during the convo I would move on to HR immediately with a detailed sequence of events including the day he ended contact with you and every incident with the SO from then on. Also include the names of the co-workers that reported her visits to the office. If they are called in to HR to corroborate your story they may realize something bigger is going on and see that you are the victim. At the least they will stop gossiping ASAP once they realize HR is on to the situation.

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      • avatar

        KBobK May 4, 2011, 12:06 pm

        I absolutely agree on having someone else willing to sit in the same room as a witness, but not participate. I actually think HR should be involved in a different way. I think the LW should ask an HR representative to be the non-participating witness or ask if an HR rep could mediate a meeting between them. That way HR isn’t fully involved yet, but they will have their own non-biased documentation. Warn your boss or supervisor that you’re doing it though so they aren’t blindsided if asked about it by HR.

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    • avatar

      Elizabeth May 4, 2011, 10:03 am

      Also – by “threatening” to go to HR, they could get there before you and file a complaint against you. You are better off involving HR from the beginning. No matter what you choose, please be very careful for your personal safety, some people are downright nuts.

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      • avatar

        Jessica May 4, 2011, 10:58 am

        I agree! It’s in LW1’s best interest to speak with her boss or HR before she confronts the boyfriend.

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      • avatar

        Amber May 4, 2011, 11:41 am

        I agree, if it hadn’t progressed to her visiting the office I would feel different. But, when people start actually coming to your place of work to confront you it’s time to be more serious. You have to protect yourself and having HR involved while it might piss the friend off (i guess you’re not really friends now though…and probably won’t ever be with his fiance in the picture) I would say you have to take that risk.

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    • avatar

      mf May 4, 2011, 10:54 am

      Yeah, that’s a good point. I’d approach during office hours. If you don’t want to talk about this issue in his cube or in front of co-workers, maybe ask him to step outside or take a walk with you to the break room.

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    • avatar

      Elle May 4, 2011, 10:45 am

      Haven’t read all the comments yet – how about talk to the guy WITH someone from HR present?

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    • avatar

      SpyGlassez May 4, 2011, 3:54 pm

      Talk to him in the office, definitely, and take someone else who has been a witness to these incidents who can vouch for your sincerity.

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  • fast eddie

    fast eddie May 4, 2011, 8:09 am

    Three words: Temporary Restraining Order. This girl clearly has a problem and trying to blame you for it. It could actually be physically hazardous to your health. ReginaRey’s advise is very right, tell your boss what’s going on. That covers your professional stature and possibly your job security. She’s stalking you and it’s not going to stop until you put your foot down HARD. Don’t talk to her boyfriend about it without a witness and unlikely do any good. If she keeps coming around looking for you consider a TRO. That’s easy to get and cheap insurance for your safety.

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    • Kate B.

      Kate B May 4, 2011, 10:28 am

      Yes, this is why documentation is so important. I had a friend a long time ago who was a police officer and he told me if I ever felt something strange was going on, or I was fearful about someone, to start documenting everything. I work in a law office and have written restraining orders. The more details you have, the better. But, I think before you do this, talk to the co-worker and then HR if necessary. The restraining order should be the last resort. Talking to others first is a gesture of good faith and portrays you as the voice of reason.

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    • avatar

      callmehobo May 4, 2011, 10:31 am

      Yes! She is coming to your place of work, specifically when her boyfriend is not there, in an attempt to intimidate you! Thank goodness you weren’t there when she did, because who knows what her craziness is capable of…

      I would talk to your boss and HR immediately. The sooner you tell them the sooner this nonsense can stop and you can feel secure. I would also follow fast eddie’s advice for TRO.

      Good luck, LW!

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    • avatar

      mf May 4, 2011, 10:56 am

      I like the idea of having a witness when she talks to the guy.

      It sounds extreme to get a TRO, but like you said, this girl has to put her foot down if the other woman is ever going to leave her alone.

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    • avatar

      Hana May 4, 2011, 2:20 pm

      I could be wrong since I don’t know where she lives, but in my state her case would not warrant a TRO just yet. There has to be action and legit fear/threat of harm, and as far as the letter said this girl has not threatened to harm her. She shows up at the office unannounced to speak to the worker, but where I live that would have to be numerous times wit a real threat, not just an argument. To clarify, I am not saying the fiance won’t attack her or that the LW should just up give up, but just the legals of getting a TRO would be difficult in this case if she lives where I do. I wish those things were easier to come by, as she could use one right now!
      If they have mutual friends I wonder if those people are helping the rumors spread or trying to stop the fiance. Also, I agree with going to HR, but I am not sure how that would work. If the fiance no longer works for the company would they be able to do anything beyond banning her form the office? I’m not arguing here, I just don’t know so if anyone does LMK!

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      • avatar

        Spark May 5, 2011, 6:28 pm

        I was thinking this too. You can’t just get a TRO because you don’t like someone.

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  • avatar

    silver_dragon_girl May 4, 2011, 9:10 am

    I would actually talk to your former buddy AND HR on the same day. Why? Because I fear that the guy will go home and talk to his fiancee, or text her, or email her, or something. Then she’ll go bananas and come find you, accusing you of “trying to ruin her fiance’s life out of spite.” The sooner you get this situation all official and on the record, the better, IMO.

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  • avatar

    demoiselle May 4, 2011, 9:12 am

    I support the advice above. However, I suggest confronting the boyfriend *in the office* and make sure that you have a co-worker witness with you who understands the situation. I think you also need to make some kind of report to HR or your supervisor, to acknowledge and challenge these rumors and have it on record. I’ve not worked in a big office setting, but I think if I did, I’d want some sort of official documentation, even if it were just in my file, that the office rumors are malicious and not–in the eyes of HR/your boss–based in fact. Rumors have a way of following us around–they can go on beyond the tenure of the people who are currently working with you who–some of them, at least–know the truth. Once those people leave, you’ll be left just with nasty rumors that may be reflexively believed…

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    • Jess

      Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com May 4, 2011, 9:38 am

      Yes, I’d also say to keep the conversation in the office. In an out of the way location if possible.

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    • avatar

      silver_dragon_girl May 4, 2011, 10:11 am

      Agreed, and good advice. If, and I certainly hope it won’t, this escalates to the point of any kind of legal action, the LW will be WAY better off if she can swear that she never had a relationship with the guy outside of work. Stay in the office, get a witness, get it on the books, and CYA.

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  • MaterialsGirl

    Elizabeth May 4, 2011, 9:26 am

    Great job, ReginaRey!

    Crazy GF’s like this give all women such a bad name.

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  • avatar

    Meg May 4, 2011, 9:27 am

    I think if it were me, I would talk to my boss or HR first just to give them a heads up, and then email the male coworker in question, BCCing whomever I talked to in HR to the email- which would basically spell out the behavior I had been subjected to by the crazy girlfriend and saying that it needs to stop pronto. In the email I would also mention that if he can’t resolve the issue, that I am prepared to take legal steps to keep her from harming my work life.

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  • avatar

    joy May 4, 2011, 9:32 am

    Too bad you didn’t seek advice earlier because now things are spiraling out of control. The fact that she is spreading rumors about you and her boyfriend/fiance is not doing anything about it is a big problem. I can’t imagine he doesn’t know these things are being said about you and originating from his girlfriend/fiancee’s mouth. Even if you and he don’t talk anymore, you still work at the same place and he should have more respect for you as a coworker to stop this. You do need to talk to him and let him know exactly what has been going on if he doesn’t already know. Let him know that you will not stand for his fiancee coming to your workplace to find you. It seems to me she has trust issues with this guy, and maybe he’s not around on his days off, so she suspects he might be with you and tries to find you. Regardless, get HR involve. Document everything! Conversations, rumors, etc. Oh, I might agree more with the other people who say to talk to him at work. Perhaps your company is large enough to have a mediator or someone in the capacity who can sit in as a neutral 3rd party? I suspect as others have said this woman is unstable and maybe nothing will stop her, except for this guy.

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  • avatar

    TheOtherMe May 4, 2011, 9:33 am

    Good Job Regina ! ( I like this, it’s like a DW Reader Reveal ! ) hint, hint…

    I think that the boyfriend might be doing something shady for her to have so much distrust about him ( and you ) It’s probably just convenient for him to have his fiancé suspect you because it’s deflecting the attention away from the real issue/shady behavior.

    It happened to me. Many years ago at work someone was extremely jealous of me thinking there was something going on with her husband. ( We all worked at the same company ) For so long, I had no idea why she was so convinced of that & it took years until the truth came out. Her husband had been an affair with someone else who was a supplier but I guess he found it convenient for her to suspect me because it took the suspicion away from the real mistress.

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    • avatar

      ArtsyGirl May 4, 2011, 9:42 am

      wow! what a dick move to throw a completely innocent co-worker under the bus. I hope you were completely vindicated when it all came out.

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      • avatar

        TheOtherMe May 4, 2011, 10:00 am

        Well, it did feel good to not have rumors going on anymore but I was still sad that her suspicions were true ( just not about me ) & she had to go through all that.

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    • avatar

      Maracuya May 4, 2011, 10:15 am

      I was thinking that too since she’s coming to work on days he’s not schedule to be in and asking for you. She could be looking for him and trying to catch him?

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster May 4, 2011, 11:46 am

      I, too, was suspicious about the boyfriend’s reaction to all this while reading the letter. He’s either a big pansy and gets bossed around by his crazy girlfriend, or he’s getting something out of her belief that the LW is after his jock.

      I could just be paranoid, of course, because my boyfriend experienced something similar to TheOtherMe’s situation, just not in the workplace. Years ago, he was out at a bar when his ex’s then-boyfriend tried to fight him, accusing him trying to get her back. It was pretty common knowledge she was cheating on this guy with someone from her job. Deflective strategy, much?

      If I was the LW, I wouldn’t go to the boyfriend, I would go straight to HR with as much documentation as I could gather. Don’t engage. The drama is feeding this couple, and at the LW’s expense. Yikes.

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom May 4, 2011, 4:42 pm

      I was thinking the same thing. She’s suspicious as if she’s caught him at something and he’s deflected it by making it appear to be the LW so that the fiance doesn’t catch him with the real other woman.

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  • Jess

    Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com May 4, 2011, 9:37 am

    Here is a really random bit of “add-on” advice. To combat the negative PR about you in the office (without confronting it head on), if I were you I’d probably start to mention my boyfriend more often. In fact, I’d go as far as to put photos of the 2 of us in my office and bring him to work events if possible. These are just some subtle ways to contradict the slut label that she’s throwing around and may give the peanut gallery some pause to wonder if her stories have any truth…

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  • avatar

    ArtsyGirl May 4, 2011, 9:37 am

    God I hope the fiancee is beautiful because that is a lot of crazy to put up with for ugly

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    • avatar

      ArtsyGirl May 4, 2011, 9:40 am

      P.S. Completely agree with the advice – obviously she is not going to stop and making sure your boss is aware of the situation is key. I am just confused on why this happened since it doesn’t sound like you were all that close. I wonder if your co-worker talked you up to his girlfriend and she then jumped off the crazy bridge.

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    • avatar

      demoiselle May 4, 2011, 9:43 am

      Not that I condone her behavior (which is atrocious), but he might be doing something to earn the distrust, as TheOtherMe pointed out above.

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      • avatar

        ArtsyGirl May 4, 2011, 9:45 am

        Yeah but her reaction is completely off the wall. If you think your man is being unfaithful at least try to track down the correct woman. Also I am a big fan of going after the cheating scum bag first rather than the possible other woman.

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        demoiselle May 4, 2011, 9:48 am

        Absolutely.

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      • avatar

        Hana May 4, 2011, 2:27 pm

        Her reaction is crazy! Definitely… but the bf is letting her act this way. He could have cheated in the past or is currently and he gave her reason to suspect this coworker or the fiance could just be a maniac. The fiance could also be cheating herself and is doing this to throw everyone off. Too many things… but the coworker should be trying to stop this and he should know his fiance went to the office to find the LW. How would he not be told that by someone? His reaction is very strange.

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    • avatar

      silver_dragon_girl May 4, 2011, 10:13 am

      I’m sure she’s above the Mendoza Diagonal.

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      • avatar

        ArtsyGirl May 4, 2011, 10:54 am

        I do love a good Barney reference!

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  • avatar

    spot May 4, 2011, 9:41 am

    Regina Rey is da bomb!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • avatar

    Wendy May 4, 2011, 9:43 am

    This nut is trying to get the letter writer to leave her job. She figures that she will embarrass this woman enough that she won’t be able to hold her head up at work and will leave for a new job or get fired. The letter writer is already halfway out of there, since she feels a coolness now from her co-workers. Get to HR immediately. There is no time to waste. Take your power back from this crazy insecure bride-to-be.

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    • avatar

      fallonthecity May 4, 2011, 6:08 pm

      Agreed!! The LW has to protect her job, and there is no time to be considerate of her old work friend’s relationship. Report this situation to HR -now-!

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  • avatar

    AnitaBath May 4, 2011, 9:45 am

    Great advice! I agree to try talking to the boyfriend first. I might actually use HR as a threat when talking to him. Like, “Hey, coworker. I know we haven’t spoken in a while, and that’s fine, but I do not appreciate your girlfriend spreading all of these rumors. *shush him when he inevitably says ‘But she hasn’t said anything about you!’* It’s creating an uncomfortable and hostile work environment, and it needs to stop. I know she may not believe you when you tell her nothing has gone on between us (wow, you guys are getting engaged and she doesn’t believe anything you say?), but you need to MAKE her believe you. Even if she doesn’t want to believe you, fine, but she needs to stop harassing me, because I WILL go to HR and file a complaint if the gossip and drama does not stop.”

    Maybe leave out a few of the passive-aggressive comments that I added O:) I couldn’t resist.

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom May 4, 2011, 4:47 pm

      (wow, you guys are getting engaged and she doesn’t believe anything you say?)

      That’s what I was thinking. How can these two get married like this. If she doesn’t trust him she should end it and if he’s innocent and being accused he should end it. This marriage is destroyed before it even begins.

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  • avatar

    emjay May 4, 2011, 9:45 am

    I didn’t read the comments on this one, so I’m apoligizing first if I am repeating anything.
    LW, forget going to the boyfriend, it is not going to do anything. What you can control, and is in your control, is to go to human resources and explain the situation. This crazy girlfriend will no longer be allowed on the company property and will be escorted off by security. Also, HR will probably hold a meeting on employee etiquitte, and harrassment etc, etc. And most likey, they will want to talk to the “friend” you claim this man is. You have other co-workwers who know she is coming there looking for you, so you do have witnesses who can confirm your story. Even start keeping a journal of all the incidents like: date, time, what happened, was said etc.
    After taking to HR, and she continues this behavior, turn to a lawyer with all your documentation, and sue her lousy ass for defamation of character, emotional distress and hardship (b/c she making it difficult to properly perform your functions at work b/c of her behavior). If that doesn’t get the point across for her not to have any contact with/about you, then get a restraining order. This girl seems bat-shit crazy, and this could potentially turn dangerous if she keeps obsessing over this made crap in her head.

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    • avatar

      TheGirl May 4, 2011, 9:53 am

      I totally agree. At the very least, this guy hasn’t done anything to help the situation (let alone defend you), which says to me that he is NOT your friend in anyway, is actually CONTRIBUTING to the hostile work environment, albeit in a passive way, and therefore isn’t deserving of a heads up before you go to HR. Anything you say to him is just going to go straight back to his crazy fiance. Personally, I think its time for you to document everything and get HR involved.

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  • avatar

    cdobbs May 4, 2011, 9:54 am

    ugh…i’m remembering when i was in school doing my PhD and i worked in a lab with this guy who happened to be married. after work we went out for drinks with several other people and this guy and his wife were there…the wife started giving me the 3rd degree, asking if i was married, did i have a boyfriend, etc. i didn’t think much of it…but then i heard through the grapevine that she was convinced i wanted to sleep with here husband! i thought if i introduced her to my boyfriend at the time it would stop…but of course it didn’t! i never gave any indication to the guy that i had the slightest interest in him either, apart from seeing him at work and discussing work related issues we really had nothing to do with each other…i have since left that job…thank god i don’t have to deal with that psycho anymore! i would tell the letter writer that if this chick keeps it up to contact the police and get some kind of restraining order…she sounds a little too stalkery for my taste!

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  • avatar

    Amber May 4, 2011, 10:03 am

    Please please please go directly to management. Speak calmly and clearly, and limit mentioning things outside of work and focus the discussion on the actions that occur at the office and how if affects your work. I would write notes before speaking with HR, and I would send a follow up email explaining what was discussed, including HR’s responses so that you have a record of the conversation.
    I don’t think you should confront the fiance. She is nuts. Not only does she comes to your work when her boyfriend is not there, she also asks for you. What is this, third grade? The time for calling someone out to the school yard is over. It is inappropriate. And HR will understand that they cannot have individuals on property (regardless of who they are engaged to), that cause that kind of disruption on their time and their dollar. Further, employees should not sit at their desks in fear that they can be approached, trapped, possibly berated and possibly physically assaulted, at work.
    If HR does not speak to the boyfriend to control his office guest, and it happens again, speak with HR again and file another report with the police. You’ll have grounds to sue your employer, however, I doubt it will go that far.
    Outside of work, I would mention to a good friend (or the one with the biggest mouth) how awful this experience has been for you. Regina is right, silence is often interpreted as an interpretation.
    Lastly, it may seem extreme, and I have a vindictive streak, I would file a report with the police directly after meeting with HR. I suspect many would advise only to go that route if the situation does not resolve itself. That said, I would go immediately, so that you have another record of these incidents. What most people don’t realize is that a police report isn’t just to bring action against another. You can file a report as documentation, just in case things do escalate with this crazy nut job.

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  • avatar

    MissDre May 4, 2011, 10:15 am

    Unfortunately, my mother has been going through this for the past 3 years. She has been a nurse for 22 years on the same unit in the same hospital, but three years ago my mom met and married the ex-boyfriend of a co-worker (no she was never the other woman, she didn’t meet him until a year after he and the co-worker broke up).

    So for three years there has been horrible gossip about my mom on the unit, her car has been keyed, they tore up her wedding announcement and threw it in the garbage, she is going through so much abuse that she goes and eats lunch in her car in the parking lot. She has gone to her managers, she has gone through mediations, she’s been to HR, but nothing has helped. She is now filing a human rights claim through her union president, and is on indefinite stress leave because the emotional stress has taken such a terrible toll on her physical health.

    I feel so bad to see her going through so much hurt 🙁 unfortunately there has been no positive resolution yet!

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    • avatar

      LTC039 May 4, 2011, 10:23 am

      I disliked it because of what your mom is going through. So sorry to hear that 🙁 I hope everything works out in the end. I guess you really don’t leave high school when you graduate!

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        sarolabelle May 4, 2011, 10:49 am

        yeah, sometimes the dislike button has different meaning!

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      LolaBeans May 4, 2011, 10:25 am

      Holy shit.. that is horrible… i feel for her!

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        MissDre May 4, 2011, 10:41 am

        I just feel bad because she is so close to retirement, she will have been a nurse for 35 years. She should be able to celebrate her retirement with all of her co-workers, but instead she is in physical distress and is praying everyday that she’ll get some sort of settlement so that she never has to go back there 🙁

        She’s been doing a lot of research on workplace bullying, and it seems the victim very rarely gets much justice. They usually end up leaving their jobs because there is no consequences for the bully. It’s really unfair to those people being abused.

        My heart really goes out to the LW and I hope and pray she finds some sort of resolution. Since she doesn’t actually work with the person bullying her, I think the restraining order against this woman might be a good idea.

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        emjay May 4, 2011, 11:02 am

        I’m sorry to hear about your mom. Thats awful what they are doing to her. But in the LW case, the person is coming to her place of employment, and is not a current employee of the company. The company must take full responsiblitity to protect its employees. And anything less should result in a huge lawsuit against the company and the person doing the harrassment. I work in a small recycling company, and my like 2nd week here, someone tried selling drugs to me (they where here to pick up a load of recyclables) and my boss flipped a shit when I told him, and he went as far as to tell the guy if he ever comes to our facility again, he will be leaving in a bale of garbage. It doesn’t matter what size company she works for, her employer is responsible for her safety and well being in the work place.

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      mf May 4, 2011, 11:03 am

      I’m glad your mom is filing a human rights claim! I hope the individuals who have harassed her and the company which hasn’t taken action will both be held accountable.

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  • avatar

    LTC039 May 4, 2011, 10:22 am

    I don’t fully agree with the whole “he’s doing something shady & that’s why she has no trust…” I think women are just jealous of each other naturally. It’s in our DNA. I had two friends in high school that started dating each other (both were very good friends of mine) & all of a sudden the girl stopped talking to me & then forced her bf to stop talking to me. I left it at that because honestly, I had NO intentions other than friendly ones with the guy & was neverrrr attracted to him.
    When the fiance was working with her bf & the LW, she probably noticed how friendly they were with each other & once she stopped working there (& wasn’t able to supervise what was going on) she went crazy.
    Obviously there’s a difference in how the situation is handled. I think this girl is just crazy & has severe trust issues (not necessarily bc her bf has done anything). Maybe she had a past relationship that was really bad & her baggage carried over into this one? It’s happened to me…
    I see many people are telling you to go straight to HR. I say, try to talk to her first…you never know. Document everything! & then if it’s still bad, go to HR. Don’t go to the co-worker, men can’t really handle that stuff… (no offense)

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster May 4, 2011, 11:21 am

      It’s NOT in our DNA… Of course if you’re some sort of genius molecular biologist and have discovered some hard evidence in your research about the “jealousy gene” that women have that causes us to go nuts I stand corrected. Jeez.

      Oh. And the gene about men not being able to handle um women’s jealousy issues. I bet you’ve got some scientific evidence on that too.

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      • avatar

        LTC039 May 4, 2011, 11:38 am

        Wow…Clearly I am not a genius molecualr biologist, however, as a woman myself, having friended many women, I do know that it’s common for women to naturally feel jealous/ threatened by women they don’t know. & if you read correctly I did state that it depends on HOW they handle. I ALSO stated that she may have gone through a relationship that was bad & is carrying over the baggage.
        & YES. Men have a VERY difficult time handling issues with women, because they are not confrontational, also noted by experience & even conversations with men themselves. Ask anyone!
        No need to get all up in arms for MY opinion. Relax…

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        Morgan May 4, 2011, 2:17 pm

        You need better women in your life. And better men.

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        LTC039 May 4, 2011, 2:20 pm

        That was very judgemental & presumptuous of you. I guess my point is made…

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        Morgan May 4, 2011, 2:31 pm

        No, I’m serious. There is a lot of girl on girl crime out there, as it were, but if your experience with your fellow women has led you to draw that conclusion, those are not the kind of people to keep in your life. There are women who stick up for each other and have each other’s backs, even as total strangers.

        The better men comment was maybe a cheap shot, but I wish people would stop holding men to a lower standard than women. They can be big boys and deal with the emotions too. They may not want to, but they can.

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        LTC039 May 4, 2011, 2:44 pm

        It’s not really that. I was trying to say that men don’t tend to care when it comes to issues with women. If the LW’s co-worker really did care, he would’ve told his gf “look, she’s my friend & there’s nothing to worry about, but I’m not going to stop talking to her.” But he didn’t do that. It’s pretty widely known that men aren’t confrontational with women, that was my point.
        Yes, I have been surrounded by shitty women, but haven’t we all at one point? However I do have a strong group of friends that do look out for me & I them, but outside our group is a diff. story. Not to say that we’re not friendly, but you have to admit the first thing you do when you see a girl you don’t know is “check her out.” & I was trying to point out there’s a diff. in the way a women carries herself that determines whether she’s lets the jealousy control her or she realizes she has nothing to worry about with her S/O. That’s why I pointed out maybe she had a bad relationship she’s still subtely acting on. I know if I meet a new girl & she starts talking to my bf I first think “hmmm, who is this girl?” but then I bring myself back down & realize that my bf & I have an awesome relationship & I have nothing to worry about.
        Really I was just offering an example to see if the LW could get a better perspective on the situation. It just turned into something else & now I’ve gone off topic, which should really be focused on how the LW should get herself out of this mess.
        That is all. But I do appreciate your response.

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      Thyme May 4, 2011, 12:45 pm

      I’m a woman and I am not AT ALL the jealous type. And I don’t think that makes me particularly unique.

      I also think it’s pretty unfair to say than men in general cannot “handle that stuff.” Sounds like the man in this case can’t, but that’s about him, not all men.

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      • avatar

        TheGirl May 4, 2011, 12:53 pm

        My husband is the jealous one. I trust him completely, but he’s always worried that I’m going to find something better. Its not about male/female, its about self-confidence and trust. He has the trust, but lacks in self-confidence.

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        LTC039 May 4, 2011, 12:53 pm

        Look, I stand by what I say. You’re nitpicking at something that generally is true in MY EXPERIENCE & OPINION, sorry.
        If you guys are maybe a little too sensitive to understand where I’m coming from. There’s really nothing I can do about that.

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      • avatar

        WatersEdge May 4, 2011, 1:47 pm

        maybe they’re just jealous of your insight

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        LTC039 May 4, 2011, 1:52 pm

        it’s a likely possibilty…

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster May 4, 2011, 2:05 pm

        LOL. That’s definitely it! 😉

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        Hana May 4, 2011, 2:42 pm

        I agree with you LTC039. I have met many a crazy women in my day. I don’t think it is just a woman thing tho. I think some people, male or female, are just born with a desire to live a drama filled life and create drama wherever they go. I think women tend to show this more because they tend to be more social then men, but men have it as well. I think people in general are born with a small amount of jealousy and possesivenes, however a lot of people overcome this. It is silly for everyone to think men and women will react he same way. A lot of times men do not know how to handle women’s behavior and vice versa. That is why sites and books like this exist! We have different ways of communicating. I also feel the problem with these sites is that commenters answer based on what they imagine they would do, but not having been in a situation they don’t know. Those who have been in similar situations as the LW tend to give different responses than those who have not. I know I am guilty of this too!

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        LTC039 May 4, 2011, 2:49 pm

        Thank you! I’m glad you were able to see what I was getting at, & not focus literally on the words of my comment. I do understand that not every human being on this Earth is the same but there is a reason the book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” came out.
        You’re right. I was in a situation similar (not as bad as the LWs’) so I gave my 2 cents.

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        silver_dragon_girl May 4, 2011, 3:01 pm

        OT rant: I hate it when people on the internet get all judge-y and “well, if it ever happened to ME I would [do something classy and tasteful, showing my superior self-actualization and self-esteem].”

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      • avatar

        LennyBee May 4, 2011, 4:01 pm

        We can’t help it – it’s the hot-cold empathy gap. When you’re not in an emotional high state, it’s impossible to imagine how it feels and what your reactions would be if you were in that emotional high state. It makes it almost impossible to predict what you would really do in the heat of the moment or even how you would really feel. There have been some really interesting studies done about it with regards to bullying and risky decision-making.

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        Hana May 4, 2011, 4:31 pm

        Totally agree lol. but i guess those answers come with the advice site thing lol. DW commenters are definitely not the worse I have seen, but not he best either. Were all guilty of it tho.

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  • avatar

    LolaBeans May 4, 2011, 10:26 am

    whether you talk to the boyfriend or his fiance. have a witness with you.
    when/if you go to HR make sure your complaint is documented on paper and that you get a copy.

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  • avatar

    SGMcG May 4, 2011, 10:29 am

    LW, if you’re not well versed with your office’s security policies, see if you can get a hold of them. The amount of dropping by the office this girl is doing, especially as a former employee, is disturbing. I would also get a hold of the Sexual Harrassment policies, if they’re accessible – because spreading rumors about who you sleep with in your office to the point that it’s creating this hostile environment definitely qualifies!

    You should also start documenting everything that occurred so far. See if you can corraborate your timeline with visitation logs/phone records. If you need to, get a notarized statement of events for yourself as well as from witnesses. If anyone at the office starts asking you questions regarding the rumors, document the fact that they asked into a log as well as immediately rebuke them.

    Once you’re armed with the information, contact the boyfriend and HR simultaneously regarding this girl’s behavior. Get her persona non grata status at work. I would also inform them about a potential temporary restraining order. If HR sees the amount of crazy she’s exercised through your documentation, they may also help you get the TRO.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary May 4, 2011, 10:46 am

      I agree. This girl is telling people at work that she’s a slut, but those people are the one in the office spreading the rumors to everyone else. That IS sexual harassment.

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  • avatar

    CollegeCat May 4, 2011, 10:34 am

    On top of everything else what about telling a few of her co-workers “I’m filing a complaint with HR against so-and-so would you please remind me when his SO came in asking for me? She has been spreading rumors and harassing me for the past few months and my bf and I are very concerned it could escalate to something dangerous. Hopefully this will put an end to this before I have to file a restraining order.” ???

    The rumor mill will have this around the office by the time she leaves the meeting with HR and her co-workers may begin to see that this situation is not of her doing.

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    • avatar

      emjay May 4, 2011, 11:07 am

      I thumbed down b/c the complaint should be in confidence, absolutely under no circumstance, unless asked by HR themselves, should her fellow employees know what she is doing. Because then the reprecussions could escalate with the crazy one before HR even knows whats going on.

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      • avatar

        honeybeenicki May 4, 2011, 11:18 am

        Often if these situations get pushed further, there is a hush clause in any settlements you receive also and while you can’t get in trouble based on a settlement for things you said/did before the clause was in place, it is really hard to prove when it was said/revealed.

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    Blondie May 4, 2011, 10:36 am

    Go to HR. Full Stop. Don’t talk to him first, it makes it look like a personal matter and can be made into a he said/she said. If she is showing up at work expecting to have a show down, you need to have the companies backing in order to get her out. This is about wanting to keep your integrity high at work, and it sounds like she wants to destroy you. Why? Who knows. Jealousy, previous indiscretions (real or imagined…), Bridezilla, hell maybe she just hates all other women. Some girls do. What you need is a clean plan of how to cope with her, and the forethought to lay the plans before she comes back. It is a hostile work environment she is creating and you are not doing youself any favors by being quiet and ignoring it.

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    kerrycontrary May 4, 2011, 10:45 am

    I would ask HR to host a meeting between you and the coworker. That way you could let him know what’s going one while someone else is present for the meeting and recording everything you say. I don’t think talking to him first will cause anything but more drama or more rumors. While he probably knows about the rumors going around about you, he may not be aware that his gf shows up on days he isn’t there. If she continues to harass you, I would let HR handle it and file a restraining order. This girl is clearly unstable.

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    • avatar

      sarolabelle May 4, 2011, 10:53 am

      this is perfect! But a lot of times HR is not in the same city as the office. So I would choose to go in with my boss. Not his boss, but my own and then my boss could 1. Be a witness to the convo. 2. Have some sort of moral support (bosses really aren’t all that bad). Then if things do not change you have the boss to go to and ask for what the next step is and then the boss can accompany you to HR if needed.

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  • avatar

    mf May 4, 2011, 10:53 am

    I totally agree with ReginaRey. Clearly silence has worked for you, so it’s time to speak up! Tell the guy to a put an end to it, and the report the situation to HR/your boss. If crazy girl doesn’t cut it out, report the harassment again to HR/your boss and ask them to take action.

    Also, I want to echo what caitie_didn’t said: this guy may have been your “buddy,” but he’s a coward and an asshat for letting you be harassed by his fiancee. Don’t worry about sparing his feelings. He might be a “nice guy,” but by not trying to stop your harassment, he’s complicit in his fiancee’s actions.

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  • avatar

    BlueBella May 4, 2011, 11:25 am

    What everyone else said. Go to HR!

    But I just wanted to say that you are absolutely NOT in the wrong here and to not “worry about causing an issue”. As everyone else said, she is absolutely bonkers. Good luck!

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  • avatar

    Giancarla May 4, 2011, 11:39 am

    I can’t wait for an update from this LW! Reading about her predicament made me mad!

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      emjay May 4, 2011, 12:05 pm

      It makes me mad too! We go to work to make a living (and if your like me living in Long Island NY, you already have to worry about where your next meal is coming from, and if you should pay the bills or put food in your house) NOT to have to hear some bull shit stories about us and the rumor mill flying high! I deal with enough agrrevation at work, the last thing I want to do is have to deal with some one else’s insecure, mental issues. So I totally feel for this LW. With all the other issues we people deal with on a daily basis who the hell wants to worry if their job is in jepordy b/c some pycho bitch can’t keep her man on lock down? And then be the innocent person getting blamed on top of it? I think I would just go bat shit crazy on this girl!
      Point of Post:
      We have too much stress already. And sometimes when the straw breaks the Camels back, we lose our minds and not in a mature, well mannered good way!

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  • avatar

    Kat May 4, 2011, 12:56 pm

    I actually work in HR, and the first thing you should do is alert HR or management! Why? Because this woman is coming into your office and making it super uncomfortable! If it was just rumors, then yeah talk to the co-worker first. But since she’s actually coming onto property to ‘call you out’ or whatever, you need to get some higher ups involved. This woman clearly has problems, but whatever is going on in her personal relationship shouldn’t be affecting your work environment. It’s your employer’s obligation to make sure your work environment is safe from these kinds of whackos – trust me, they’ll be much happier to know before something bad happens.

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    • caitie_didnt

      caitie_didn't May 4, 2011, 1:31 pm

      Exactly! This is both workplace & sexual harassment and the HR manager needs to be informed of the full scope of the problem. If it doesn’t stop once she goes to HR, I wouldn’t be surprised if her boss/HR manager wants to get the police involved.

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  • katie

    Katie May 4, 2011, 1:32 pm

    I honestly think that human resources is the way to go simple because this girl used to work with them – she is a former employee, not just a random fiancee of a coworker. i think that this fact alone would help out more in the human resources department. I get asking the male coworker first to help the situation, but if this guy actually wants to MARRY crazy like this, i doubt that will do anything at all.

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  • avatar

    HmC May 4, 2011, 1:51 pm

    Wow. This reminds me of an incident that happened to me- I went on one (really fun!) date with a co-worker from a part time job when I was in college. He told me that he and his ex had just broken up. He got a few phone calls that he let go to voice-mail while on the date, but I didn’t think much of it. I’m sure you can see where this is going.

    Surprise surprise, they had not really broken up. While I was out the next evening at a friend’s apartment, the guy and his girlfriend came to my dorm room, I guess someone let them in the building, because they harassed my roommates about where to find me! Keep in mind, my dorm was a good hour away from where these people lived. I guess she just got pissed and wanted to have it out with me, and he led her right to me! Even though he had told me he was single! What a fucking hot mess of a relationship. I never wanted to speak to him again, though he did try and call many months later to apologize (which, funnily enough, my very stable boyfriend at the time predicted this sleaze bucket would do). I just told him I was perfectly happy with the way things turned out and never saw him again. I hear they got married, then divorced. Whatever. My point- some people are just too insane to waste energy on.

    Granted, I am kind of on the extreme other end of the spectrum as far as jealousy- I don’t really get jealous at all, or even take things personally, even when sometimes I should I guess. But holy crap, the relationship in this letter makes my skin crawl. What the fuck is wrong with this guy, that he would marry this girl? They deserve each other.

    LW, I don’t personally think confronting the girl or the guy would be productive, and it would likely be extremely unpleasant for you. They’re both bonkers. Maybe have one crack at a short and direct conversation with the guy, mostly so you can tell HR that you tried to resolve the problem directly. Then, I say, take it to HR. And I totally support everything that has been said about documentation. Get phone records, write down when she shows up and who she talked to, etc. The more documentation you have, the better off you will be.

    LW, no one deserves to be harassed like this anywhere, let alone at their place of employment where they should be focusing on their career. Stay strong here. Good luck!

    p.s. ReginaRey, is that your picture above? You are adorable! And great advice. 🙂

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    • avatar

      ReginaRey May 4, 2011, 2:00 pm

      Yep, that’s me! Thanks! 🙂

      On a side note, I realized this morning that my picture is sitting right under “Office Slut” and had a good laugh about that.

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        TheGirl May 4, 2011, 2:32 pm

        I totally looked at the picture this morning and thought… wow, Wendy must be struggling for pictures, because that girl doesn’t look like an office slut… I was a little slow this morning, apparently. Great job, ReginaRey!

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        MissDre May 4, 2011, 3:42 pm

        Yeah my first instinct was that it was a pic of the LW and then I read guest post… I was a little slow too!

        yes ReginaRey you are a very pretty girl!

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        MissDre May 4, 2011, 3:56 pm

        Is it just me or did the picture move? LoL

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey May 4, 2011, 3:59 pm

        Nope, it definitely moved haha. I suppose Wendy is working her magic over in Europe 🙂 Though truly, the original placement didn’t bother me at all!

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy May 4, 2011, 4:01 pm

        I moved it to the other side! Sorry, ReginaRey, for originally putting it just under “Office Slut.” That wasn’t my intention! It’s 9 PM in London and I’m just checking in on things here before relaxing a bit before bed. It was another long day of sight-seeing and this ol’ pregnant lady gets tired early!

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey May 4, 2011, 4:06 pm

        No worries, Wendy! I’m jealous of all your sight-seeing…I hope the rest of your vacation is a blast!

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  • avatar

    WatersEdge May 4, 2011, 2:04 pm

    I also think that LW should go straight to HR, with documentation. Tell them what’s been going on and take it from there. If they want you to mediate with the boyfriend, then they can help you arrange that and be present for it. If you don’t have HR in your company, tell your boss instead. Make sure that this woman is no longer allowed at the workplace. Don’t worry for one moment about making waves for this boyfriend. He proposed marriage to the crazy woman who harasses his coworkers, so he deserves every ounce of crazy that he gets in return, up to and including losing his job. He signed on for this life the minute they got engaged.

    If for some reason your job does not comply with your requests, move up the ladder with your concerns and get a restraining order against this woman. You can have a lawyer draft a cease and desist letter threatening a lawsuit as well. Last resort options would be to actually sue her and/or change jobs, but I hope it doesn’t come to that.

    And I agree with those above who suggested amping up the boyfriend talk to help quell the rumors.

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    • avatar

      spaceboy761 May 4, 2011, 2:43 pm

      Agreeing with everybody here, you should start documenting everything and go to straight to HR and your boss. In the meantime, contact an employment lawyer since there’s no guarantee that your company will handle this the way they should. Essentially, if a non-employee is coming to your office and raising hell, it’s a serious security issue and should be legally treated as such. Having a lawyer on retainer is a good backup plan.

      Don’t even bother with your spineless dipshit of an ex-friend. If he cared about this at all, he would have done something about it a long time ago.

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        spaceboy761 May 4, 2011, 2:47 pm

        I’m going to re-emphasize the ‘spineless dipshit’ portion of my response. If this guy’s fiancee was treating a complete stranger like this, he should step in and tell her to knock it off, let alone somebody that he considers a friend.

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        HmC May 4, 2011, 3:20 pm

        The “spineless dipshit” was my favorite part! Seriously, what kind of guy dates, let alone proposes to, such a raving psychotic? I bet he even gets an ego boost from the possessiveness.

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  • bittergaymark

    bitter gay mark May 4, 2011, 3:36 pm

    Wendy nailed this one. As did many of the other posters. The coworker is a REAL idiot for marrying this utterly crazy psychopath. Seriously. He’s going to have just one big whale of a time going through life with her. Idiot.

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    • avatar

      HmC May 4, 2011, 3:39 pm

      That wasn’t Wendy, that was ReginaRey! 🙂

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    • avatar

      ReginaRey May 4, 2011, 3:50 pm

      Though I’m quite complimented that you mistook me for Wendy…I think that means I pass the test!

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      • bittergaymark

        bitter gay mark May 4, 2011, 3:54 pm

        Whoops. Sorry. I don’t know how I failed to notice the different pic! The perils of multi-tasking…

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        WatersEdge May 4, 2011, 3:56 pm

        hehe- that probably means he thought your pic was the office slut! as did I when I first saw it, although I thought “that girls looks very nice, not like a slut at all”… <— having a slow day

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      • bittergaymark

        bitter gay mark May 5, 2011, 12:10 am

        Close, but no cigar. What I actually thought was even more silly and beyond absurb… “Hmmm, what interesting CLIP ART for this piece. Frankly, I don’t get it. She doesn’t look NEARLY slutty enough… ” Yep, I was a wee bit distracted today…

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  • avatar

    TaxMan May 4, 2011, 4:19 pm

    I would agree with a few other posters here who are suggesting a restraining order. These kinds of conflicts have a way of going from party popper sized issues to something the size of a nuclear blast very quickly. I definitely wouldn’t confront her in person. That has the makings of police being called to a domestic disturbance written all over it. It already sounds like you have narrowly avoided some nasty and possibly violent situations at work already. Nothing good would have come from her confronting you at work. Avoid that at all costs. She sounds unstable, and potentially violent. If I were in your position I would check into what would be required for that restraining order, and get to work getting one. Then tell the guy involved to let her know if she shows up again she will get a chauffeured ride with some new shiny bracelets to wear.

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    AKchic May 4, 2011, 11:13 pm

    I’ve been the rumored “Office Slut”. Married, never once cheated or had an inappropriate word with anyone, yet I was labeled a slut. Why? Jealous co-worker. I was 18 and as an anniversary gift for a co-worker, I offered to baby-sit her kids while she and her husband went out. Her husband drove me home (they lived on base) because she had too much to drink. The only things he said to me were “thank you” and “good-bye”. He said more to my husband when we got to the house than me. Apparently, the sex at home that night was better than normal, and she interpreted that as him being attracted to me and me having done something to earn that. So, she told people I had done something to her husband.
    It didn’t end there. Because my husband and I were 13 years apart in age (yes, this was my abusive 1st husband), she felt the need to find me a “new man”. During my maternity leave, she gave my phone number out to a few officers (we both worked on base), saying I was recently divorced (I was a “popular” person at AAFES and constantly asked out, even with a wedding ring on). My husband had a fit. I don’t need to get into the fights we had over that one. My explanation of “it wasn’t me” certainly wasn’t believed. My “reputation” did not go away. I had it until I finally left the company a year later (for different reasons).

    I ended up with that reputation again when I worked elsewhere and a guy on one of the work crews decided to tell the rest of the shop that he was sleeping with me, when he wasn’t.

    The best thing to do is this: When you have mutual friends tell you about the rumors, tell them that if you hear one more time about it, you will be reporting the issue to HR. Period. It is sexual harassment, slander, and defamation of character. Write a memo to your co-worker. Explain to him that the next time his fiance comes asking for you without scheduling an appointment, you will be contacting HIS supervisor to complain. Explain that you are not appreciative of hearing the rumors from mutual friends and co-workers that there is a sexual relationship between the two of them and that you had hoped she would have stopped her childish behavior when he proposed and she accepted. If she seriously thought there was something happening between the two of you, then she would not have accepted. Since she accepted, she knows that there was nothing between you two and because there was nothing between you two, she is blatantly and viciously spreading lies about the BOTH of you, which can do damage to your career and his. If you hear one more rumor, you will go to HR to have it stopped immediately. You do not expect an apology, but you do expect her to set the facts straight, that she was mistaken, there was no improper relationship.
    Follow through. Make sure to save a copy of the memo and give it to the HR manager. Apprise him of the situation and explain that you want nothing done, but that you want him/her to be aware just in case you need to file a formal complaint. You may even want to let your own boss know too. Your boss might drop an unofficial word to your co-worker’s boss as well. Once the management knows, trust me, it will cover your ass in case something happens. Legally, once management knows, they are required to protect you, even if you didn’t file a formal complaint. If the fiance comes back and tries to pick a fight or starts spreading more rumors, because you spoke to your boss and gave a copy of that memo to HR, the harassment is ALREADY on file. The problem is known and she can be barred from the premises, regardless of her relationship with the company. If she works for the company, she can be terminated, and if she is a contractor, her contract can be terminated. She would have no legal ground to stand on. Protect yourself and your professional reputation. Your co-worker made his bed and chose to let this petulant brat lead him around – let him take his lumps for her behavior along with her own punishments.

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    cporoski May 5, 2011, 9:30 am

    go to HR. go to HR go to HR. Don’t walk, run. This is your professional reputation you are talking about. Do not speak to him because he knows what is going on and has done nothing. This is very serious personally and professionally and it is time to get HR involved. That is what they are there for.

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