Workplace Affair Dumpster Fire


 I've created a bit of a pickle for myself.

So I've worked at this absolute mess of a social service organization on and off for about five years. Last summer, my (married) boss starts telling me about how she's been flirting with her (married) boss. It escalates and they begin fucking in September. She sends me all sorts of screenshots and crazy stuff but she's pretty careful to keep his name out of it. I tried to ask her some pointed questions about what the fuck she's doing along the way, but she gets really petty and punishes you work-wise if you question her actions so I mostly just let her tell me stuff without reacting.

I would have taken this secret to my grave, but I hear other people in my department whispering about something suspicious so we go outside and it spills: she's told all of us this garbage. Everyone's had very different reactions, but everyone thinks it's pretty fucked up.

I get promoted to a new position, to be her equal, this year. A few months ago, another coworker from my old department gets promoted, too. With our new perspectives, it becomes pretty clear that this guy is a real menace. He's always been kind of a bad boss, changes his mind every three seconds, and won't wait long enough to see if anything actually works before getting mad. But more importantly, we started realizing he targets people for pretty personal reasons and goes through the appropriate HR channels to get them fired. He started doing this to one of my team members recently and he's been doing it to my friend who got the promotion. He also treats her team way differently than everyone else. She says it's because they meet their goals, but my team just blew the entire state out of the water this year and no one even gave us a nod, much less a fancy-free lunch.

So one and a half weeks ago, someone makes an anonymous complaint about the relationship. I know this because my old boss told me. It sets off an absolute shit-storm. Someone else tells me they've heard him talk about retaliation and he suspects me and my coworker. Everyone, including her team, is scared for their jobs. Those of us who know what's going on tried to talk about what to do together, but we're all in very different financial positions and risk levels. For example, one of my coworkers is scared of being labeled an angry black woman. So we all figure we just have to handle it however we see best.

So I get the call from HR and it's pretty clear they're not taking it seriously. But I'm terrible at lying and I still tell them what I know. I tried to stay vague, so none of the details could be traced back to me, but that doesn't really give them much to work with. The whole thing is moving VERY slowly. They've only called two of us so far, out of a possible five. My coworkers who have a wider network in the office haven't been hearing much.

What are my rights and responsibilities? Should I give them more info even if my coworkers aren't brave enough to speak up? Should I send my one or two somewhat incriminating screenshots? Somehow I'm still scared of damaging the personal relationship with my former boss, even though it's been fucked up for a long time.


JobAdvisor:

That manager’s behavior is completely unprofessional. She is creating a “hostile work environment” by sharing these details about her personal life with you. I’m sorry you’re going through this. This is absolutely nuts.

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