Updates: “Employee with the Scarlet A” Responds

It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Employee with the Scarlet A,” whose co-worker’s girlfriend (a former co-worker) was spreading rumors about her and being an all-around biyatch. Find out whether she confronted the co-worker or his girlfriend and how things are going now.

I just want to start by thanking you all so much for making me feel so supported. It was hard to get a perspective on this because I felt like everyone at my job and all my friends from that job (which were most of my friends in general) truly felt as though I had done all the things this woman was telling them I had done. As it turns out, I recently found a job at another company that is much more professional.

It’s funny, because one of the other major reasons I disliked that job was because of our poorly handled HR department. There had been a time a while back where a male employee would make a habit of “accidentally” falling over onto women, including me, so he could have a chance to grope them repeatedly. Instead of firing him, our HR department let slip to our whole office which women had complained about him, and because he was a popular guy otherwise, the girls were given a unfriendly reaction by the other staff. Since then the office tended to have a “snitches get stitches” code of ethics, which was a big reason I did not feel confidant going to HR for this issue.

Right before I left though, that former guy friend came up to me and asked if I was leaving because of what people were saying about me and him. I told him that I wasn’t entirely leaving because of this situation, but I did feel really uncomfortable working there because of the rumors. I told him that I didn’t know why his fiancée disliked me and asked him if he was honest with her about our friendship and that we had been completely platonic. He started to look a little embarrassed and said something about how his fiancée’s friend, another ex co-worker, (sidenote: we all need to start getting new friends away from this job, ha) was really the one egging her on and was the one spreading the rumors. Who knows who did what; I’m just glad to be away from such a negative environment. Now I can ignore whatever new rumor she insists on telling our friends much more easily. Who knows, maybe they’ll bring me some cake from the wedding :).

Congrats on the news job! Here’s hoping there’s far less drama awaiting you there…

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at wendy@dearwendy.com with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.


  1. caitie_didn't says:

    Wow, LW- your former company sounds like an incredibly crappy and unprofessional work environment!! Glad to hear you’ve been able to get away from it and I hope the new place works out better for you :D.

  2. ReginaRey says:

    I’m so glad we got to hear back from the LW of one of the letters I answered! 🙂 I’m glad that you were able to find a better job, but disappointed in how unprofessional your HR department was. And yes, it looks like cultivating friendships outside of the office would probably be a good idea for everyone involved in this drama!

  3. Kudos to you for being so strong and mature about the whole situation!

  4. I’m so glad that this LW let us know how things turned out. I’m glad you have a great new job in a professional environment! Best of luck to you.

  5. BoomChakaLaka says:

    Awesome that you found a new job!

  6. Fidget_eep says:

    As a side note, that HR department should be turned into who ever regulates them. Letting it “slip” who made complaints seems kinda illegal to me, and puts the entire company at risk to be sued by someone in the near future. There are federal regulations that HR departments are made to follow and I am pretty sure they are not allowed to blab about complaints, especially ones about the same person.

    1. caitie_didn't says:

      I’m pretty sure you’re right about that…..but unfortunately for an employee still with the company, it probably falls into the category of “battles not worth fighting because it could end up costing me my job”. Just hope that this HR department *really* drops the ball one day and gets theirs.

    2. spaceboy761 says:

      It’s much easier to get an employment lawyer involved when you’re employed elsewhere. Just sayin’ 😉

  7. Wow that story about HR at your former workplace makes my blood boil! They’re going to deserve every bit of it when they get sued.

  8. ele4phant says:

    Yikes! What a snakepit! Maybe that woman egging on the girlfriend was after your job, or had some other professional grudge. Congrats on the new job, there’s nothing worse than working in a toxic environment.

  9. The evil side of me still wishes that lunatic fiance girl had gotten hers, with a restraining order or something. But, I’m sure she will eventually, acting like that…

  10. o_O Good lord LW – no wonder you wrote to Wendy! Kudos to ReginaRey for her original response. I remember a whole bunch of the comments for LW suggested going to HR and maybe even obtaining a TSO. I am so sorry LW that the HR department of your former employer couldn’t even do their job properly that you had to resort to other resources for help. Hooray for getting out of that toxic job environment and already obtaining a new job to look forward to!

    I would consider evaluating the friendships you’ve developed from your old job – you sound much more mature than those individuals who witnessed your dilemma. Who knows if any among them were drama revellers that helped egg the rumors or spread them further? You don’t need that kind of crap, at work or at play. Best of luck LW!

    1. Agree with the second paragraph. Sounds like the people you thought were friends at your old job were not really your friends if they were believing all the gossip. Not the type of people you need in your inner circle.

  11. I work for a place with an HR that has a backwards code of ethics as well, Not to the point where I feel physically unsafe, but if there’s a personality issue or something that you might typically take to HR, there’s basically no point in doing so. The person in charge has her favorites and she doesn’t like paperwork. Also, the anonymous “integrity hotline” we have to report this exact kind of thing gets re-routed through each office’s local HR. Sighhhhh….

  12. Sadly in my experience, HR is there to protect the company, not the employees. I’m glad the LW has found a better job and I hope she’s very happy there.

  13. That’s how it is in my job…HR is untrustworthy… I totally feel your pain & I’m glad you’re out of there! Good luck to you!

  14. i’m always excited to see smilies in letters.

    I’m glad to hear everything worked out 😀

  15. Ah I hate companies that do nothing for their empoyees!! I recently also left a very toxic job enviornment, and I can tell you LW, my life is just happier. like nothing in particular, just happier in general. my boyfriend and I even have been having more sex, how weird is that? lol. i have no more stress, no more nights of crying… its just all better. I hope that you get that with your new company.

    Maybe HR shouldnt be allowed to personally know anybody who they…, um, “regulate”… im sure of a good word for that. if they didnt know anyone then when problems happened they could actually deal with it properly… oh and it helps if their not your bosses sister, like mine was. yep. lots got done.

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