Friday, November 30, 2012

Ethical Dilemma

I'm in the midst of an ethical dilemma. A colleague/vendor had lied to me. I am 100% certain of this -- no way it didn't happen. He then left the company without telling me and I found out a few weeks later. This is someone I had thought I had an established relationship with.

Fast forward a year or so and now, he has turned up like a bad penny. He has launched his own company and sent me this perky email about "let's get caught up." I dont want to get caught up with him. I ignored the email. To me, that's on par with answering it. There's his answer, "No, let's NOT get caught up."

Today he sent another email -- "can I call you right now and we can chat for a few minutes?" and I ignored that one too.

The thing is: I don't want drama, I don't want a discussion. I don't want a rehash. I don't want a he said/she said. I just want him to leave me alone.

So is it right/fair/ethical to just ignore this guy? Or do I owe him some kind of explanation such as "As it turns out, you told me a huge lie, then left without even telling me you were leaving." I really don't want to have this discussion.

I have to add that this is not a new theme for me. Somewhat dissimilar to this story which is 90% work relationship/10% personal relationship, I have done this twice before. Both times it was a female friend. One was a compulsive liar and would make up these dramas in her life for sympathy. I'd be left limp from her tragedies -- how can anyone have this much bad luck? I'd think. Then I met a mutual friend and we compared notes and my eyes were opened.  I just stopped responding to her -- didn't answer emails; didn't return phone calls. I know she was puzzled and confused.

Same with the second woman. With her, I just felt played -- again with the drama. She would drop these big bombs on me -- similar to the first one -- she may have a brain tumor (really), she is getting her papers in order just in case; her pap smear was iffy blah blah blah and every time I would rise to the bait like a hungry trout going after the lure and I'd get hooked. I finally figured it out -- when she didn't die -- that this was all just playing me.

Like the first one, I just stopped responding. She finally got the message, but what's funny is fast forward about eight years later, this past spring, she sent me a note -- she had been cleaning out her desk and found some letters I'd written her (nice ones) and thought I'd like to read them. I did, and then shredded them and I didn't acknowledge she had sent this to me.

The theme here is being lied to -- so do we owe people an explanation or are we free to just pull away?


Anonymous said...

Sometimes I really feel like I need to get everything off of my chest and let them have it. Like you, I just ignore them and act as if they don't exist. You should really do as your heart tells you. There is no right or wrong in most cases. Who knows what the other person is really thinking. That is my opinion for what it's worth....Stephanie

Anonymous said...

On second thought, is it possible he has an offer you can't refuse?

Melissa said...

That's a tough one my friend... But I wonder what goos could possibly come from a discussion... Except more disappointment. Is it better to let it lie. I think that gets easier to do as we get older :). Less drama! Reminds me of one Kavanaugh's rules... Don't spend time with people who deplete your energy. (Or something like that... Have to look it up tomorrow!).

Barbara said...

I think Melissa is right - just not responding is the best stance, the less drama the better. However, if it doesn't die down, and he keeps annoying you with requests to see him over an extended period of time, or if you know you will definitely run into him at future events - then you may be forced to have a discussion with him. I think in that case just say clearly & simply that you do not wish to continue the relationship. The goal is to say something simple and final. I don't think you are required to tell him why, he knows what he did, and if he doesn't, it shouldn't be you who tells him. If you call him a liar or otherwise accuse, get into descriptions of what happened in the past and your feelings-- this will just encourage him to be further engaged, to start apologizing, defending himself, asking forgiveness and for friendship anyway - all of which would just bug you more.

Pat said...

Thanks for all the input.Mary and I just talked about it as well on the phone and I think, for now, I'm just going to ignore it/him.