I've made a huge tiny mistake
November 12, 2011 8:14 PM Subscribe
Should I run away from the job I just got because a to-be-coworker's wife is sending up danger signs?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (36 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
On Monday, I'm starting a new job in the business side of software. I got this job because a few months ago I went to a party, met a guy (let's call him Brian) who recruited me pretty heavily, and ended up interviewing with the company he works for. They put up a really attractive offer, and since I was unhappy with my old job, I took it.
Meanwhile: at the same party, I met a great guy - Andy. Andy is the best friend of Brian's wife, Catherine (Brian and Andy are also very close.) Andy and I dated for a while, but it ultimately didn't work out. We broke up on pretty amicable terms.
Since Brian and I met, we've had lunch once a week and drinks every other week (with friends half the time and just the two of us otherwise.) He has been very, very encouraging about me pursuing this position with his company.
Today, I ran into Brian and Catherine at a local craft fair. He was reserved and skittish. She was just barely not hostile - she wouldn't make eye contact with me; her body language screamed that she wanted to leave; she would not address me directly. I felt like both of them wished I weren't around.
I'm worried that I'm about to start a job where a long-standing employee (Brian) has a wife (Catherine) who thinks I'm trying to steal her husband. If not that, I'm worried I'm starting a job where a co-worker's wife thinks I did something horrible to her best friend. (I'm not sure where that comes from; Andy and I have spoken since our break-up, and to me, it seems like we're on decent terms.) I can't think of a good reason for her behavior - when Andy and I were dating, she seemed very fond of me.
I've had issues in the past where male coworkers have latched on to me in less than wonderful ways. I am very young, cute, and relatively unencumbered. Given that, I am very concerned about how the partners of male colleagues perceive me. I've had a wife or two decide that I'm trying to seduce their husbands. (Truth be told, I'm insulted by this. I'm typically a decade younger than my coworkers, and I usually have a significant other; that they think I want their old, pudgy, taken spouse is simply sad.)
I've learned my lesson, and don't fraternize with coworkers anymore - when I was hanging out with Brian, it was as friends, not as colleagues. I don't intend to hang out with him anymore, and once I got the offer, I canceled our lunch dates. I mentioned to him that I like to observe certain boundaries with my coworkers, and he seemed to understand - I might be off here, of course.
So, at this point, I'm not sure what to do - should I take a job where a long-standing coworker either has a crush on me, has a wife who thinks he has a crush on me, or has a wife who thinks that her best friend was somehow injured by me? Is this just a disaster? Or, hopefully, am I just exaggerating all of this? At this point, I have a few options:
1. Continue with the new job, and everything is okay.
2. Continue with the new job, and not everything is okay.
3. Look for new jobs (people like me are in pretty high demand, and I am quite good at my job.)
4. Confront Catherine, or confront Brian.
5. Run away from all of this.