Not long ago, one man wrote into the popular workplace advice blog Ask a Manager, run by Alison Green, in need of some serious advice: more than a decade ago, after a three-year relationship, he disappeared on his girlfriend and moved to another country. In the most epic plot twist in the history of plot twists, he recently found out that he would be reporting to her at work. Now, the guy who ghosted his girlfriend who became his boss is back with an update; and to the utter shock and dismay of no one, it didn't end particularly well.
Let's back up for a moment, because WTF happened here? Here's what went down, in a nutshell: this gentleman was dating Sylvia for three years. One year, she went home for Christmas to see family. While she was away, her boyfriend — who had gotten a job opportunity in another country — used the excuse to pack his things and move... without saying a single word to her. He did it to avoid the break-up drama, but joke's on him — because fast forward 10 years, and she suddenly became his supervisor at the international school where he was supposed to start as a math teacher.
Understandably, poor Sylvia was incredibly distraught after this breakup, undoubtedly in the dark as to why her partner of three years decided to randomly disappear.
Who can blame her? I'd be a wreck if my boyfriend ghosted me. I'd pull my hair out trying to figure out what went wrong, and there'd also be no one around to fix the WiFi whenever it went down.
And understandably, this man knew he was in quite the predicament after learning she was going to be his new boss.
Everyone grabbed their popcorn and sat around waiting to see what would happen; and now, he's back with an update, once again posted on the blog. Unsurprisingly, he didn't expect his post to go viral as it did, but the internet had some serious thoughts about his actions. The magnitude of the hateful comments certainly caught him off guard: "I am still very much freaked out about the whole experience..." he wrote in his update. (I'm sure Sylvia was freaked out when you ghosted her, but that's none of my business...)
Fortunately, good ol' Sylvia moved on and moved up: married with kids and obviously kicking butt at work. He also said he had taken the advice Green had initially given him — to notify Sylvia ahead of time, apologize, and offer to talk. While Sylvia didn't respond personally, a meeting was immediately scheduled between the two of them and the chair of the board of overseers, which already sounds terrifying.
He wasn't fired (although it was made clear that if someone was going to lose their job, it would be him), but they did put in place several measures to ensure there would never be any work drama.
Sylvia handled the meeting like a total boss (literally) and said it would be possible for them to work together. Ultimately, though, he found the precautionary measures to be too excessive to do his job properly (and without suspicion from coworkers), so he resigned on the spot. Now, he has to move to another city to find another job.
Ghosting someone — especially someone you were in a long-term relationship with and lived with — isn't cool; but some of us are still torn: we're talking about something that happened 10 years ago. We all did stupid stuff 10 years ago. Take me, for instance — I thought I looked good in bangs.
At the same time, this is also kind of a case of life serving up a delicious plate of karma; and in that sense, I ain't mad.
Kudos to Sylvia for putting her life back together. As for the man, he's probably learned a lot in the 10 years since that awful choice he made — particularly after the horrendous backlash he's received upon sharing the story with the entire internet. If you want to see the update in its entirety, you can read it here.