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New BF who is also "the boss" and an accidental FB slur

(165 Posts)
HellyBelly38 Fri 09-May-14 19:00:23

This question is for a friend of mine, she asked me to post a question for her as she knows I use MN to answer my own dilemmas.

She is 37, works for a company with offices all over the place and she was employed by a very old friend of hers who owns the whole company.

Hence she was friends with the big boss (let's call him Mr D) , as well as many of the smaller bosses long before she was an employee of the company and is also friends with them on FB.

She started work there about a year ago, and then a few months ago starting also (quite casually but also quite promisingly) dating Mr D, who she had always been great friends with.

She is quite a lippy girl who often makes sarcastic jokes and she made a quip on the FB page of one of her bosses, let's call him Mr Tubby (tee hee). She has been friends with Mr Tubby for a long time and the joke (admittedly a bit off regarding his weight) wasn't intended to offend as pretty much everyone on the thread was commenting on his weight in a similar way and it's a bit of a running joke.

For whatever reason, Mr Tubby, who is both a very old friend of hers, as well as a boss of the company she works at (several rungs above her though) got offended and un-friended her on Facebook and sent her a pretty horrible email (I saw it).

She responded very nicely with an email to apologise, to say she had not meant to offend and to say she hoped they could resume their friendship.

Mr Tubby responded with an absolutely vile email which said something on the lines of "I am no friend of yours, I am a friend of Mr D" etc.

My friend is due to go and stay with Mr Tubby on a vacation trip with Mr D as his girlfriend and she now (obviously) does not want to go.

She let Mr D know what had happened and he advised her to ring Mr Tubby and apologise again to smooth it over.

I personally thought Mr Tubby's emails to her were absolutely scathing and completely out of proportion with her jokey FB comment. I am also supervised Mr D is not defending her and seems to blame her entirely.

Can I get the advice from the MNers for her?

Is it best to wallow her pride and suck it up?
Should she still go on the trip to stay in the house of this man who has been so rude to her?
Should Mr D be standing up for her a bit more?


squizita Fri 09-May-14 19:05:33

Commenting on someone's weight, joining with a gang of mates and all laughing.
If a teenager did that it would be cyber bullying.

Yes he was rude back. He was probably fuming and mortified!

Sorry but it sounds like casual bitchiness and then when the fat, less popular person turns out to have their own opinion the mean girls complain.
Teenage behaviour.

TheWickerWoman Fri 09-May-14 19:06:49

Im with Mr Tubby on this one...

Morgause Fri 09-May-14 19:09:03

I'm with Mr Tubby as well. She sounds like an unpleasant person. I expect he'd like to uninvited her.

HellyBelly38 Fri 09-May-14 19:11:09

I'd like to step in an defend her. She's not a horrible person at all. She's very gentle and the kindest person I know and has known Mr Tubby for a lot of years who frequently makes jokes about his own weight. The contents of what he sent her I had to get her to read back to me 3 - 4 times for it to sink in that anyone could be that nasty.

HellyBelly38 Fri 09-May-14 19:11:57

Sorry, I am not asking you all not to have opinions. Just pointing out that she was not bullying him and she's not a nasty person. I've not seen her be nasty to a single person in 23 years.

squizita Fri 09-May-14 19:13:03

Oh, and not only should her DP not stick up for her, I am surprised he's not fallen out over it.

I can only imagine what would happen if someone posted on MN "My DH called my mate, who I holiday with, a fatty on Facebook and made her cry. Now he wants me to tell HER off for getting annoyed..."
Reverse the genders here, if you think she is the victim.

squizita Fri 09-May-14 19:13:55

She HAS joined in with cyber bullying. Maybe the 1st nasty thing she's ever done. But she did it. Fact.

NatashaBee Fri 09-May-14 19:14:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sadwidow28 Fri 09-May-14 19:14:41

I'll give you my first thoughts ...... FB is NOT for colleague relationships! It is a necessary space for some of us to stay in contact with family and friends.

Only your friend can decide whether she wants to 'suck it up'. I wouldn't personally because of the scathing emails.

I would want Mr D to be more supportive and tell Mr Tubby that it isn't the way to speak to his girlfriend/partner. But maybe Mr D thinks that his partner shouldn't be speaking so disrespectfully to Mr Tubby.

Having said that, perhaps your friend doesn't realise how rude/unthinking she was to Mr Tubby - we don't have the detail about she said. I would never hurt anyone intentionally, but have hurt people unintentionally and have always apologised (even if I don't understand totally why my words - but not anyone else's similar words - caused the hurt).

I would NOT go to the weekend that is planned without clearing the air.

Adults discuss and sort things out calmly and rationally. Children play 'he said, she said I am not friends any more...."

HellyBelly38 Fri 09-May-14 19:15:07

I don't think that's quite true though. My male friends frequently go on Facebook and make comments on photos about each other's beer guts, man boobs and make jokes on those lines. Women don't do the same.

FunkyBoldRibena Fri 09-May-14 19:16:34

You aren't asking us for opinions but want to know if he should have stood up for her?

No is the answer. It is never ok to publicly berate someone and when they are the boss...even more reason not to.

It's not my opinion, just my...erm....whatever.

Pleasejustgo Fri 09-May-14 19:16:41

Publicly mocking someone on Faceache says a lot about your friend and the fact she went for his weight was incredibly low. Who does that?

Your friend sounds like she is going to cause a huge fallout for the company she works at as these things rarely end well.

Messy. She may need to start looking for a new job.

TheWickerWoman Fri 09-May-14 19:17:03

Sounds like the nasty email he sent is because he's hurt.

I think she just needs to suck it up for now, avoid the trip and wait for it to blow over.

CoffeeTea103 Fri 09-May-14 19:19:47

Your friend deserves the email responses she received. How horrible to be engaging in pathetic behaviour like this. He is also a senior in the company. Why should her partner stick up for her? He needs to be professional and this would be bringing his personal relationship with your friend to work. Your friend needs to grow up.

Itsfab Fri 09-May-14 19:22:17

" Mr Tubby (tee hee)."

How old are you? What an immature thing to say. Your "friend" was out of order too an deserves to feel embarrassed and shamed.

sadwidow28 Fri 09-May-14 19:22:44

Your friend hurt someone's feelings with a low level, childish remark. She joined in with a pack of bullies in cyber space.

Your friend's partner (Mr D) has asked her to apologise and sort it out.

Encourage your friend to make that phone call with humility.

We can help you with some words if that would assist your friend.

HellyBelly38 Fri 09-May-14 19:22:49

If you all feel that she said she would make the call.

I did disagree with you all though.

She did apologise, very nicely, and he sent her another vile email. Seemed to me that the rudeness of his emails was several times worse than an off the cuff remark in the midst of a jokey conversation.

WhoNickedMyName Fri 09-May-14 19:23:34

"She's quite a lippy girl who often makes sarcastic jokes".

I think what you mean is she's a nasty piece of work and she doesn't like it when someone finally stands up to her.

"Mr Tubby heehee"

You don't sound much better.

HellyBelly38 Fri 09-May-14 19:24:17

Yes, I am sure she'd like hep with what to say. She's concerned about being in the wrong -but believe me the emails he sent were personal attacks and I think were very out of proportion to her offence.

If someone had sent that to me, regardless of my slight, my partner would have hit the roof.

Finola1step Fri 09-May-14 19:25:55

You described her as being quite "lippy". So she may be gentle and lovely but you yourself know that she can get a bit carried away verbally (if your lippy is the same as mine IYSWIM).

So this time she got carried away on FB. Posted comments that she shouldn't have. I think she should apologise again to smooth things over as best she can. She is in the wrong. The email and comments to her were a bit below the belt. She should chalk this one up to experience. Fact is now that your friend is in a relationship with the big boss, people will comment and attitudes towards her may shift. .

hoppingmad Fri 09-May-14 19:26:20

What was said in the emails and what was the comment your friend made?

Even on here you are describing him as mr tubby - unnecessary

WhoNickedMyName Fri 09-May-14 19:27:46

My advice, by the way, is that your friend should apologise unreservedly to the man she publicly humiliated on Facebook.

ookiepatookie Fri 09-May-14 19:27:47


Was it "men only" who were running comments on his weight?

As in, maybe she inadvertently joined in on the "lads banter" and assumed she was closer to Mr Tubby than she actually is?

I mean context is everything, if one my female friends my own age said "you ho" it would be funny, maybe a reference to our joint feminist history, and based on the shared knowledge we're both "anti slut shaming". If a younger man I didn't know too well said the same thing, I'd find it odd.

Some dialogue which is Ok to say as an "in group" isn't Ok for an outsider to pick up on?

Overall, it sounds like a bit of a potentially toxic situation just because of the dynamic of it: she's dating someone in the same company who is senior, and also his friend is someone senior to her? Sounds a bit like she's running the risk of being socially punished for being seen as Mr D's lover/favourite.

I don't mean there's anything wrong with it, but my advice would be to detach herself from the whole work/social thing a bit?

Including Mr Tubby: lie low, don't go on the holiday, see Mr D outside work privately. These mixing of boundaries never end well. If she wants to contact Mr Tubby, I'd send a GENUINELY remorseful e-mail and leave it at that? Not "can we all be friends again?" just "I do not expect a response, but apologise for my behaviour, and I will be toning it down in general in future". There's something a bit unpleasant about an apology which reads like she just wants to be social favourite again?

Being "sarcastic" and commenting on senior colleagues status sounds like a recipe for disaster anyway, so I'd recommend toning it down!

Perfectlypurple Fri 09-May-14 19:30:06

I agree - the mr tubby tee hee from you says it all really.

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