After three years together and two sharing a home, a man realised that he and his partner wanted different things out of their relationship.
But instead of talking the problems through and separating as amicably as possible, while she was out of the house visiting her family, he left the country without telling her and never spoke to her again.
And a decade on, his actions had never seemed to catch up with him whatsoever. Until she came back into his life in the most unexpected of ways: by becoming his boss.
Yep – after blaming her for getting “emotional” for his actions and being “obsessed” with the relationship, karma has finally bitten him in the butt as she’s been hired as his new director.
Anonymously asking for advice on the website Ask a Manager, the man explained how his then-girlfriend, Sylvia, had wanted to settle down when he “was not ready to commit so young.”
“We clearly had different expectations from the relationship,” he wrote. “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.”
But fast forward ten years, and he’s now in what he’s described as a bit of a “conundrum.”
“I now work as a math teacher in an international school,” he explained.
“I have been in other relationships since, so Sylvia is a sort of forgotten history. Sadly, till (sic) now.
“This week, I learnt that our fantastic school director suddenly resigned due to a serious family situation and had to move back to her home country over the summer. The school had to replace her. We are getting a new director.
“I read the bio of the new boss and Googled her and was shocked to discover it is Sylvia.
“We have not been in touch and do not have any mutual friends anymore. I am not a big fan of social media and had no idea what she had been up to since the unpleasant situation a long time ago.”
He told the Ask a Manager‘s agony aunt and advice-giver Alison Green that he’s “not in a position to find another job at present” for various reasons – and to make matter worse, describes the expat community where he lives as “very small and tightly knit so teachers also socialise a lot.”
So it’s unlikely he’ll be able to cover his tracks, which is why he’s asking this:
“Do you have any suggestions for me how to handle it and what should I do?
“I gathered from the comments that readers usually have a go on people like me for ‘bad behaviour’ but I am really looking for constructive comments how to deal with the situation.”
Unsurprisingly, Green and the Ask a Manager community haven’t exactly been sympathetic.
“Ghosting after a short amount of time dating shouldn’t generally be devastating,” Green responded. “Rude and frustrating, but not devastating.
“But you were together for three years, and you lived together! And then you disappeared with no word?
“That’s some serious emotional destruction that you inflicted there. I’m not surprised that she contacted your family and friends; she was probably worried about whether you were alive or not.”
Green has suggested that he contact her, acknowledge his mistake and apologise before they meet face-to-face, but states: “I don’t know that you can salvage this!”
And other users have been what you could describe as less gentle in commenting on the guy’s behaviour.
“I don’t know how he could possibly have handled it worse,” one said. “Perhaps faking his own death?
“Did he even leave a letter explaining he was leaving? Treating people this callously doesn’t just reflect poorly on your personal life, it speaks to a fundamental character flaw. One that is evidently still present.”
“If I were her, even if I could take the emotions out of it, as your boss I’d have serious questions about your judgement and interpersonal relationships with staff and students based on what I know of you,” wrote another commenter.
“That’s best case scenario.”
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