Author Topic: Should I consider this job? Awkward situation  (Read 1508 times)

seeking

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Should I consider this job? Awkward situation
« on: January 21, 2022, 09:55:44 PM »
I used to work for a certain company and had a good relationship with a particular manager. At a certain point, I left the company to do other things, but maintained good ties with the manager.

A few years later, we met up for lunch and things that day started to go ... beyond the professional realm. This would have been a bad idea due to our personal lives. Nothing much happened except some awkwardness. I think we both ended up being embarrassed and mortified. She got second thoughts and left.

I would have been happy to go back to the way things were. But she no longer answered my messages (one or two of them) on our preferred social platform and soon unfriended me. A few years passed and we didn't speak.

Now there's a job I'd like to have in the company, and going back would mean a pretty good position and salary. I think I have a good shot at it, but this awkwardness makes me think twice. She's still in the company, and well-connected and influential. We would work in different cities and probably not ever need to interact. (My role would be a few levels below hers anyway, and not in a direct chain of command.)

My sense was that during our interaction several years ago, something went wrong, I made her feel bad, and she wanted to forget about it and not have anyone find out.

I reached out to her on a different platform the other day, hoping to see if things were still awkward. She left me on "read," although we remain connected on the platform. As for her thoughts now, it's hard to say, but clearly she doesn't want to be in touch.

Before I continue, I will mention that she's someone whose bad side I wouldn't want to be on.

My concerns are that she might not want me back in the company due to awkwardness or bad feelings. While she doesn't have a direct influence on that, if she were to say something negative to the right people, I might not get the job. And if I got the job and she found my presence offensive or threatening, could I end up in a bad situation?

Ideally I could go back to the company and we'd simply never interact. But I feel uneasy. I don't want to leave the job I have and then end up in a compromised situation due to this old complication.

Is it worth a try? Or should I steer clear?
« Last Edit: January 21, 2022, 10:12:06 PM by seeking »

Retire-Canada

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Re: Should I consider this job? Awkward situation
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2022, 10:18:31 PM »
Is it worth a try? Or should I steer clear?

Steer clear. This isn't drama you need. There are lots of other companies and other jobs.

maizefolk

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Re: Should I consider this job? Awkward situation
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2022, 10:50:11 PM »
I agree with Retire-Canada.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Should I consider this job? Awkward situation
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2022, 10:53:51 PM »
Disagree. You're not even in the same city. If for some reason you have to interact, just pretend it never happened.

Model96

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Re: Should I consider this job? Awkward situation
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2022, 11:31:09 PM »
"As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly"

Dr Kidstache

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Re: Should I consider this job? Awkward situation
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2022, 08:45:22 AM »
My sense was that during our interaction several years ago, something went wrong, I made her feel bad, and she wanted to forget about it and not have anyone find out.

This is a major red flag that she may have perceived your behavior to be inappropriate or nonconsensual. Your experience of that interaction may not have been her experience. I don't know why you'd risk bringing it up again in a professional setting if you had other choices.

Askel

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Re: Should I consider this job? Awkward situation
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2022, 09:01:37 AM »
This sounds like a past romantic relationship, or an attempt at one. Please excuse me if I misread that. I work in a small town dominated by just a couple of employers.  Chances are, if you want to date a working professional, you'll probably "dip into the company ink" at some point. 

Everybody's used to it. Quite a few people have to work (both closely or occasionally) with exes from past relationships (both long or short term or even just attempted). 

I won't say there isn't the occasional drama, but in the workplace the vast, vast majority of interactions are all professional.   Usually it isn't necessary to dredge up the memories of a past relationship when starting a professional relationship with someone.  It's enough to just say "Hello, again- good to be working with you." and move on.   

This assumes both parties behaved at least somewhat appropriately towards each other in the past. Exceptionally creepy, mean, or other asshole-ish behavior will tend to bring in more drama and problems, so do an honest self assessment there.     


Zamboni

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Re: Should I consider this job? Awkward situation
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2022, 09:31:12 AM »
^I agree: honest assessment time. How awkward was awkward, really? It's a rhetorical question.

Also, my advice is that you stop any efforts to try to contact her again. If the company is big and you'd be working in another city at several ranks below her on the corporate ladder, why would she even ever find out that you exist at the same employer? If you aren't linked on social network, she may never even know. Certainly don't expect any connection to her to help you get an interview there. Remove her name from your resume.

Unlink from her online, apply for the job if you think it is the best job for you, and hopefully your paths will never cross.

cool7hand

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Re: Should I consider this job? Awkward situation
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2022, 09:35:26 AM »
I think you can tell a lot from how ambiguous your post is about both of your behavior. If you're uncomfortable telling us semi-anonymous strangers exactly what happened, maybe this is a bad idea?

JupiterGreen

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Re: Should I consider this job? Awkward situation
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2022, 01:10:47 PM »
My sense was that during our interaction several years ago, something went wrong, I made her feel bad, and she wanted to forget about it and not have anyone find out.

This is a major red flag that she may have perceived your behavior to be inappropriate or nonconsensual. Your experience of that interaction may not have been her experience. I don't know why you'd risk bringing it up again in a professional setting if you had other choices.

Same, my hackles went up. As a professional women, I have a long list of examples as do my peers. Anyway, there are many other jobs, don't pursue this one.

Kris

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Re: Should I consider this job? Awkward situation
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2022, 01:54:32 PM »
I think you can tell a lot from how ambiguous your post is about both of your behavior. If you're uncomfortable telling us semi-anonymous strangers exactly what happened, maybe this is a bad idea?

This. I somehow donít get the feeling that this was just an awkward consensual kiss or a drunken moment that both realized was a mistake the next day.

OP, did you (or did she perceive that you) do something akin to sexual assault? If so, back carefully away and close this door.

TheWryLady

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Re: Should I consider this job? Awkward situation
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2022, 02:08:40 PM »
I think it's fine to take the job UNLESS the awkwardness was because...
she or you were married back then, or
she or you later married your significant other from that time.

seeking

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Re: Should I consider this job? Awkward situation
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2022, 04:03:04 PM »
I think it's fine to take the job UNLESS the awkwardness was because...
she or you were married back then, or
she or you later married your significant other from that time.

Umm ...

Can you comment more on how you'd factor that in?

Dee18

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Re: Should I consider this job? Awkward situation
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2022, 05:26:05 PM »
Whether or not you would be in the same city and whether or not you would interact professionally, if she perceived the past events as you acting inappropriately she might mention it to others.  As a female who joined a largely male profession years ago I was "warned" more than once by other women about men to avoid in workplaces. 

Dr Kidstache

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Re: Should I consider this job? Awkward situation
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2022, 07:39:55 PM »
I think it's fine to take the job UNLESS the awkwardness was because...
she or you were married back then, or
she or you later married your significant other from that time.

That's an awful short list of what could potentially be not okay. Are unwanted advances, for instance, OK if people are unmarried but not OK it they're married? Dafuq? There are so many red flags in the OPs description that being married really isn't the worst case. Only the OP and the woman involved know what actually transpired but the woman suddenly leaving the scene and blocking all contact with the OP suggests consent issues or other inappropriate behavior. Awkward is "oops, I accidentally congratulated her on being pregnant when she gained weight - how embarrassing!" The veiled and vague description provided suggests something more than simply awkward. I think most professional woman can instantly come up with potential situations that would fit the OPs vague description and be 100% not OK regardless of anyone's marital status.

charis

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Re: Should I consider this job? Awkward situation
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2022, 07:49:01 PM »
I think it's fine to take the job UNLESS the awkwardness was because...
she or you were married back then, or
she or you later married your significant other from that time.

That's an awful short list of what could potentially be not okay. Are unwanted advances, for instance, OK if people are unmarried but not OK it they're married? Dafuq? There are so many red flags in the OPs description that being married really isn't the worst case. Only the OP and the woman involved know what actually transpired but the woman suddenly leaving the scene and blocking all contact with the OP suggests consent issues or other inappropriate behavior. Awkward is "oops, I accidentally congratulated her on being pregnant when she gained weight - how embarrassing!" The veiled and vague description provided suggests something more than simply awkward. I think most professional woman can instantly come up with potential situations that would fit the OPs vague description and be 100% not OK regardless of anyone's marital status.

The OP clearly said that it was not okay because of their personal lives and reiterates above that it was related to one or both of them being married or in a significant relationship.  How is being married or otherwise involved not reasonable grounds for "having second thoughts," leaving the scene, and blocking contact with the person they cheated/almost cheated with?  Am I too old if I find that to be a good reason?
« Last Edit: January 22, 2022, 07:50:34 PM by charis »

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Should I consider this job? Awkward situation
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2022, 07:52:25 PM »
I think it's fine to take the job UNLESS the awkwardness was because...
she or you were married back then, or
she or you later married your significant other from that time.

That's an awful short list of what could potentially be not okay. Are unwanted advances, for instance, OK if people are unmarried but not OK it they're married? Dafuq? There are so many red flags in the OPs description that being married really isn't the worst case. Only the OP and the woman involved know what actually transpired but the woman suddenly leaving the scene and blocking all contact with the OP suggests consent issues or other inappropriate behavior. Awkward is "oops, I accidentally congratulated her on being pregnant when she gained weight - how embarrassing!" The veiled and vague description provided suggests something more than simply awkward. I think most professional woman can instantly come up with potential situations that would fit the OPs vague description and be 100% not OK regardless of anyone's marital status.

The OP clearly said that it was not okay because of their personal lives and reiterates above that it was related to one or both of them being married or in a significant relationship.  How is being married or otherwise involved not reasonable grounds for "having second thoughts," leaving the scene, and blocking contact with the person they cheated/almost cheated with?  Am I too old if I find that to be a good reason?

Agree with @charis . If it were a consent issue, we'd be having a police discussion, not a "blocking on social media" discussion. IMO, the OP spelled it out in a way that indicates this is an issue with one or both of them being in a relationship, and then having regrets.

Anon-E-Mouze

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Re: Should I consider this job? Awkward situation
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2022, 01:47:04 PM »
Agree with @charis . If it were a consent issue, we'd be having a police discussion, not a "blocking on social media" discussion. IMO, the OP spelled it out in a way that indicates this is an issue with one or both of them being in a relationship, and then having regrets.

That is a naive perspective. Many women (frankly, probably the majority of women) have had an experience involving non-consensual sexual overtures or activity. Some men have had similar experiences. Even in the most clear-cut cases of sexual assault, many victims are unwilling to go to the police because they don't want to be re-assaulted through the legal process. If the experience involves someone they know, the likelihood of it becoming a police matter is even lower.

I'll personalize it for you. I was the victim of such an action perpetrated by a man about 10 years my senior when I was a young lawyer.  I didn't yell "no", I didn't run away, and I even spoke to him at work afterward. Once I got a year or so away from the experience, I never wanted to have anything to do with him.

And to be clear, it was assault, he was absolutely in the wrong, he should have known better at the time and never done what he did, and I had (and have) no responsibility to engage with him ever again.

charis

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Re: Should I consider this job? Awkward situation
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2022, 01:56:10 PM »
Agree with @charis . If it were a consent issue, we'd be having a police discussion, not a "blocking on social media" discussion. IMO, the OP spelled it out in a way that indicates this is an issue with one or both of them being in a relationship, and then having regrets.

That is a naive perspective. Many women (frankly, probably the majority of women) have had an experience involving non-consensual sexual overtures or activity. Some men have had similar experiences. Even in the most clear-cut cases of sexual assault, many victims are unwilling to go to the police because they don't want to be re-assaulted through the legal process. If the experience involves someone they know, the likelihood of it becoming a police matter is even lower.

I'll personalize it for you. I was the victim of such an action perpetrated by a man about 10 years my senior when I was a young lawyer.  I didn't yell "no", I didn't run away, and I even spoke to him at work afterward. Once I got a year or so away from the experience, I never wanted to have anything to do with him.

And to be clear, it was assault, he was absolutely in the wrong, he should have known better at the time and never done what he did, and I had (and have) no responsibility to engage with him ever again.

No one is saying that assaults don't occur commonly, that wasn't even suggested. The OP is clearly trying to imply that they were cheating or about to without stating it explicitly for privacy reasons. Is it possible that an assault occurred? Sure, but I'm confused about why you are assuming that based on the woman ending contact.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Should I consider this job? Awkward situation
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2022, 02:55:58 PM »
Agree with @charis . If it were a consent issue, we'd be having a police discussion, not a "blocking on social media" discussion. IMO, the OP spelled it out in a way that indicates this is an issue with one or both of them being in a relationship, and then having regrets.

That is a naive perspective. Many women (frankly, probably the majority of women) have had an experience involving non-consensual sexual overtures or activity. Some men have had similar experiences. Even in the most clear-cut cases of sexual assault, many victims are unwilling to go to the police because they don't want to be re-assaulted through the legal process. If the experience involves someone they know, the likelihood of it becoming a police matter is even lower.

I'll personalize it for you. I was the victim of such an action perpetrated by a man about 10 years my senior when I was a young lawyer.  I didn't yell "no", I didn't run away, and I even spoke to him at work afterward. Once I got a year or so away from the experience, I never wanted to have anything to do with him.

And to be clear, it was assault, he was absolutely in the wrong, he should have known better at the time and never done what he did, and I had (and have) no responsibility to engage with him ever again.

No one is saying that assaults don't occur commonly, that wasn't even suggested. The OP is clearly trying to imply that they were cheating or about to without stating it explicitly for privacy reasons. Is it possible that an assault occurred? Sure, but I'm confused about why you are assuming that based on the woman ending contact.

I'm very sorry that happened to you, @Anon-E-Mouze , but I too am a woman, and am unfortunately very aware of the realities here. Again, agree with @charis . Of course sexual assaults occur, which is terrible. That was just not my read of the situation based on what was described.

JupiterGreen

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Re: Should I consider this job? Awkward situation
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2022, 03:35:33 PM »
Quote
My sense was that during our interaction several years ago, something went wrong, I made her feel bad, and she wanted to forget about it and not have anyone find out
This was the questionable part. It doesn't have to be assault, it doesn't even have to be physical, it can be verbal, a text, etc. Yes it does sound like there was a marriage involved, but how do you square the above quote from the OP.

Those of us (hands up, me too) have had everything from co-worker/bosses hands physically on us, to being subjected to pornography on work computers, to verbal suggestions/innuendos/downright sexual comments and misogyny galore. This is is not an aberration it is what the majority of women in the work force experience at one point or another. The truth is none of us really knows what happened. Regardless the OP clearly knows this women is uncomfortable with him, she blocked him on socials, yet he is still considering a job at the company where she works. He didn't indicate he is in some tiny specialty where there are only two companies in the world that do whatever it is he does.  At best he clearly does not have any perspective on what women deal with in the workforce, at worst, I'd rather not say but I guess we will never really know.

charis

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Re: Should I consider this job? Awkward situation
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2022, 04:21:16 PM »
Quote
My sense was that during our interaction several years ago, something went wrong, I made her feel bad, and she wanted to forget about it and not have anyone find out
This was the questionable part. It doesn't have to be assault, it doesn't even have to be physical, it can be verbal, a text, etc. Yes it does sound like there was a marriage involved, but how do you square the above quote from the OP.

Those of us (hands up, me too) have had everything from co-worker/bosses hands physically on us, to being subjected to pornography on work computers, to verbal suggestions/innuendos/downright sexual comments and misogyny galore. This is is not an aberration it is what the majority of women in the work force experience at one point or another. The truth is none of us really knows what happened. Regardless the OP clearly knows this women is uncomfortable with him, she blocked him on socials, yet he is still considering a job at the company where she works. He didn't indicate he is in some tiny specialty where there are only two companies in the world that do whatever it is he does.  At best he clearly does not have any perspective on what women deal with in the workforce, at worst, I'd rather not say but I guess we will never really know.

Reading the situation differently does not imply that I think sexual assault or harassment is an "aberration." As a woman who has experienced these things, I'm offended that this is being suggested as a basis for my read on the OP.  I'd like to think we can disagree without being accusatory or offensive.

JupiterGreen

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Re: Should I consider this job? Awkward situation
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2022, 06:00:54 PM »
Quote
My sense was that during our interaction several years ago, something went wrong, I made her feel bad, and she wanted to forget about it and not have anyone find out
This was the questionable part. It doesn't have to be assault, it doesn't even have to be physical, it can be verbal, a text, etc. Yes it does sound like there was a marriage involved, but how do you square the above quote from the OP.

Those of us (hands up, me too) have had everything from co-worker/bosses hands physically on us, to being subjected to pornography on work computers, to verbal suggestions/innuendos/downright sexual comments and misogyny galore. This is is not an aberration it is what the majority of women in the work force experience at one point or another. The truth is none of us really knows what happened. Regardless the OP clearly knows this women is uncomfortable with him, she blocked him on socials, yet he is still considering a job at the company where she works. He didn't indicate he is in some tiny specialty where there are only two companies in the world that do whatever it is he does.  At best he clearly does not have any perspective on what women deal with in the workforce, at worst, I'd rather not say but I guess we will never really know.

Reading the situation differently does not imply that I think sexual assault or harassment is an "aberration." As a woman who has experienced these things, I'm offended that this is being suggested as a basis for my read on the OP.  I'd like to think we can disagree without being accusatory or offensive.

My sincere apologies, that was not my intention to suggest anything about you. I was not responding to you personally, rather I was adding to the overall conversation in this thread in which many have chimed in. I want to say in no uncertain terms, I support @Anon-E-Mouze who bravely offered their own experience as a way to enlighten anyone reading this thread. They did not have to do that but sometimes that's what it takes and I stand by their side on this issue. All of our experiences are real and we need to speak up when these issues arise even if it is just online. I certainly don't speak for everyone who has experienced assault/harassment, but as for me I don't want excuses, sympathy or apologies, I want it to stop.     

charis

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Re: Should I consider this job? Awkward situation
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2022, 06:23:01 PM »
I agree that it's brave for people to share their experiences when it comes up. I just disagree that we have enough information to conclude that the OP committed some non-consensual act.

Dr Kidstache

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Re: Should I consider this job? Awkward situation
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2022, 07:05:33 PM »
I agree that it's brave for people to share their experiences when it comes up. I just disagree that we have enough information to conclude that the OP committed some non-consensual act.

I don't think anyone has concluded that the OP did something inappropriate, just that it's possible because of the OPs own vague description that suggests that he did something that made the woman feel bad & the OPs description of her reaction which is consistent with a possible response of a professional women to inappropriate behavior. The OP hasn't clarified except for:
Quote

Umm ... Can you comment more on how you'd factor that in?
which frankly reads as a little twee and tone-deaf given the general consternation about what actually happened.

There's obviously not enough information provided to know for sure what transpired and there's no reason for us commentators to argue amongst ourselves about something we cannot know. If the OP did something inappropriate and doesn't realize it, they probably aren't going to be enlightened by strangers on a forum and change their ways. If they didn't do anything inappropriate, they are welcome to clarify the situation or just disappear and ignore us. It's just an anonymous forum after all. But hopefully this discussion will encourage the OP to at least reconsider trying to contact the woman and taking a job at her company because this woman clearly doesn't want anything to do with the OP.

@Anon-E-Mouze Very brave of you to share your experience. I'm so sorry that that happened to you.