It’s Pretty Clear Who The “Bad Guy” Is

, , , , , , | Related | May 12, 2020

For the record, I still don’t know if I’m the good or the bad guy in this story. While I’m proud of myself for finally speaking my mind, I recognize that my actions were incredibly unprofessional.

Some background is required. Several years ago, I was part of a group of friends who met at [Person #1]’s house to play board games once a week. After several months with this group, I was let in on the Big Secret: [Person #1] was cheating on his wife with [Person #2]. I was let in on this secret in order for [Person #1] and [Person #2] to be able to act like a couple in front of the group of friends away from [Person #1]’s wife and discuss their relationship without having to hide the affair around the group.

The expectation was that I would keep the Big Secret. I was incredibly uncomfortable with this arrangement; I hadn’t asked for the information and did not want it. I think affairs are horrible and I felt terrible for [Person #1]’s wife. Things went sour shortly afterward, and I ended up leaving the group feeling extremely bitter. I should point out, however, that I never gave up the Big Secret.

Fast forward to this year. I work for an internationally-known gaming convention at the front desk, and this year I am taking time cards as the convention comes to a close. With this convention, employees go by pseudonyms instead of our real names. Someone I vaguely recognize hands me their time card. He looks at me and as I start to realize who it is, he says, “Do you remember me?” Just as I figure out who he is, he says, “You used to come over to my house to play board games.”

Yes, it is [Person #1]. I reply with, “And you’re cheating on your wife.” It just flies out of my mouth before I realize what I’m saying. He grows cold, says, “Yes, I am,” and walks off.

I’ve already handed the time card to my immediate supervisor, so I ask her to rifle through the cards. She pulls one out and reads his real name, and I start cursing. I start imagining all the different kinds of trouble I’m going to get in for being so rude to a coworker. I explain everything to my supervisor, and she advises me to walk around the expo hall for the next hour to calm down. I do as she recommends, and when I come back, I talk to the manager of all of the convention employees.

I explain to the manager my shared history with [Person #1], and before I can finish telling her what happened an hour earlier, she starts laughing! She says she finds the whole thing hilarious and that she would have done the exact same thing I did. [Person #1]’s behavior is disgusting and I have nothing to worry about. What a relief!

I go back to work with a huge weight off my shoulders. Because I went right to the top, I’m safe if [Person #1] complains to his immediate supervisor. And hey, I finally got to speak my mind!

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