I work in a small plant. "Small" is relative, I know. In this case it's defined as fewer than 120 employees.
Like a small town, little that's done by an employee goes unnoticed. Especially those things that involve at least one other employee.
Martha (not her real name) and John (not his, either) were both married, but not to each other. John began seeing Martha after work, and over time Martha decided to leave her husband and take up with John on a more permanent basis. Her divorce recently became final. John, who enjoyed having AND eating the proverbial cake, told Martha he too would divorce but never did.
Last weekend John and Martha had a less-than-amicable parting of the ways. Yesterday at work, little time elapsed before things came to a head.
First Martha was in my office telling me of being threatened over the weekend and subsequently calling the police. Nothing came of the threats, but she now felt vulnerable at the plant and wanted assurances that "we" would keep John away from her.
I asked John's supervisor to bring John to my office next to hear his version of events, and to guage his emotional state. But no; it seemed John had come to work on time, but had then alleged illness and gone home for the day.
This morning though, I had my time with John. He assured me that he was neither angry nor belligerent, and would be happy to have no contact with Martha at the plant for the next few weeks. I suggested to him the it would be a good idea to do just that. I was careful not to take sides, nor to assume that it wasn't really Martha who was playing the aggressor, trying to get John in trouble. You never know!
For now we seem to have a truce. At least, at the plant. What happens off the plant site is out of my control, and none of my business.
Martha wanted me to ask John for her house key, because, she said, "I know he won't give it to me." I did not accept that assignment, but rather advised her to change locks as soon as possible since there was no way of telling how many copies he might have made. I do not intend to be an intermediary nor an arbiter.
No, these employees are not (chronologically) high-school age; they are both in their 40s.
That fact did not stop me from wanting very badly to tell them both to "Grow up!"