my new coworker is the guy who naked-manned me on a Zoom date

This post was written by Alison Green and published on Ask a Manager.

A reader writes:

Life has given me a cruel and hilarious plot twist and I’m at a loss of what to do or how to address it. Back in 2020, peak pandemic times, I was doing what many singles did and went on virtual dates with people through apps. One particularly memorable Zoom date was a guy who just randomly started taking his clothes off. Didn’t ask, no indication of why, just … started disrobing. He legit was naked-manning me (How I Met Your Mother clip to explain). At no point was the conversation flirty or sexual in nature — in fact, it wasn’t going well at all.

We had made dinner in our respective kitchens on Zoom, and after eating I was drinking wine and he was making himself cocktails while we talked about our interests, family life, the typical early dating topics. Then suddenly, he just took off his shirt out of nowhere while I was talking about my family or friends. I stopped and said, “Uh, what’s going on here?” and he just shrugged and ignored the question, and said he was going to relocate. So I kept talking thinking it was weird, but whatever, people can be quirky or maybe his AC went out. He started walking back to his bedroom and next thing I know he literally dropped his basketball shorts on the camera and plopped down on his bed in his boxer briefs. I made a comment about it not being that kind of date and suggested clothing stay on, he didn’t acknowledge it and started talking about his family, so I pretty immediately after that noped out of there with a “it’s late, gotta go” for fear of my eyeballs being subjected to the full monty without any kind of warning, and never talked to him again.

That is, until the first day of my new job. Two minutes before joining my first team introduction call, I looked at the org chart and saw that not only is he in my organization, he’s on my immediate team. I swiftly played dumb during the team call, and just pretended to have no idea who he is. He seemed to take the same approach for now.

Sadly, I’ll have to work with him somewhat and he’s the most tenured on the team for questions and internal processes.

My question to you is, how on earth would you handle this going forward? Do I tell anyone? Do I address it with him?


I once had a date do this in-person. We were at his apartment for a drink after dinner and I was standing looking at his books and when I turned back around … yeah.


I very much hope he remembers you and is humiliated … but sadly, I suspect he’s oblivious. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s done this so much that he doesn’t even have a clear memory of doing it to you.

In a world where I controlled all things, he would be mortified and apologize to you and every other woman he’s attempted to push a non-consensual strip tease on and perhaps would voluntarily retire himself from society for his remaining years. In this world, though, most likely he’s either going to pretend it never happened or he’s going to hit on you again at some point. The former is preferable, so let’s hope for that.

As for what you should do … I wish you had better options, but treating him like you don’t recognize him at all is probably your best one. If you pick up on any weirdness or creepiness — if he’s doing anything that makes you uncomfortable or your experience at work less pleasant — at that point it’s reasonable to seek assistance from either your boss or HR, explaining the history. But as long as he’s treating you the way you’d expect from any other new colleague, both of you acting as if the Zoom debacle didn’t happen is likely your easiest path.

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