Today’s Ask A Manager Is the Best Ask A Manager Ever

I know half of you may have already seen this on Twitter, but if you haven’t, it’s time to take a look at today’s Ask A Manager column: “I ghosted my ex, and she’s about to be my new boss.”

A reader writes:

I was hoping you would be able to help me with a conundrum I got myself into.

I have been an expat since graduating and have been moving a lot. More than a decade ago, when I was still young, I was in a relationship with a woman, Sylvia, in a country where we both lived. Sylvia wanted to settle down but I was not ready to commit so young. We clearly had different expectations from the relationship. I did not know what to do and, well, I ghosted her. Over the Christmas break, while she was visiting her family, I simply moved out and left the country. I took advantage of the fact that I accepted a job in other country and did not tell her about it. I simply wanted to avoid being untangled in a break-up drama. Sylvia was rather emotional and became obsessed with the relationship, tracking me down, even causing various scenes with my parents and friends.

Just to recap, because this writer is super-wordy:

  1. Ten years ago he was in a relationship with Sylvia. (Ask A Manager’s Alison Green gets him to clarify that this was a three-year relationship.)
  2. He moved out of their shared home and left the country while Sylvia was visiting her family. He did not prepare Sylvia for this and appears to have not even left a note.
  3. He “simply wanted to avoid being untangled in a break-up drama,” which seems to be a Freudian slip.
  4. He claims his ex-girlfriend was “rather emotional” about this.

Anyway, the letter goes on and on, but the point is that this guy is now working at an international school and Sylvia just got hired to be his boss.


Alison Green begins her response with “Oof,” and I’ll let you read the whole thing on your own.

I appreciate that the Ask A Manager commenters immediately notice that in addition to ghosting on Sylvia, this guy probably left her with a bunch of extra expenses, like his half of the rent and utilities. (Are any Ask A Manager commenters also Billfolders? Because it seems like we share a lot of values.)

Anyway, everyone is talking about this guy today, and I hope that Sylvia reads this letter before he tries to approach her with whatever “hey, I work here too” conversation that he’s trying to script in advance.

This story is part of The Billfold’s Money and Relationships series.

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