To not have included an ex-co-worker

(45 Posts)
allisgood1 Sun 25-May-14 21:36:20

Background: I own a small business and employ about 4 people who work under me. I started my business about 6 years ago, and about 5 years ago my first "employee" was an ex-co worker from my previous job. We (stupidly) became friends over the course of her time working together in my company. Things started getting rocky between us about a year ago on both a professional and personal level. In March, she handed in her notice BUT 1) via text message and 2) also said she was taking one of my clients "with her". She also approached another one of my clients about the possibility of taking them too. I got a lawyer, wrote her a letter (well the lawyer did but from me so it wasn't perceived to be too aggressive) as its in her contract that she can't do it. To keep things smooth, I also "gave" her the client she wanted to take with no penalty. She maintained though out this whole ordeal that she had done nothing wrong, despite what her contract stated. She couldn't understand why I got a lawyer, and as a result cut her notice period by 2 weeks, leaving me scrambling to get her replacement to start earlier and also left my clients in the lurch for 2 weeks. Still, it was all my fault because I was being "too difficult" to work with. I only saw her once after she handed in her notice and as we were with clients I maintained progressional dignity so clients couldn't pick up that anything was wrong.
We had all (myself, her, and 2 other employees) booked a trip to a huge conference overseas for a week. Upon this whole saga happening, I cancelled her out of our hotel room. Of course I WBU and "mean and horrible" to do this.
This week we have been at said conference. Ex-friend/employee had booked her own room within the same hotel. My 2 employees are staying with me. Apparently, she met with them last night for drinks and said she has been spending all her time in her room crying and has come to realize just how horrible a person I am to do this to someone. She maintains all she did was hand in her notice and does not deserve to be treated like this. One of the girls told me after as she felt uncomfortable with it. I have said nothing to ex-employee or anyone else as I am just trying to keep professional about it. AIBU or horrible to have excluded ex-friend/employee from this trip? I will say now I realize this is all a bigger mess because I did engage in a friendship with her and have learned my lesson, so don't need to be told that!

JustAQuickiePlease Sun 25-May-14 21:46:32

Just how is she being treated? Does she think she should have come to the conference even though she resigned?

Do your other colleagues know that she took a client with her?

CoffeeTea103 Sun 25-May-14 21:48:43

This was a work conference, she's not employed by you so why does she think she should be included. I don't think you should explain the situation to your other employees as that's not really keeping professional boundaries as well.

You've posted about this charmer before, haven't you?

Was this a business trip? Why on earth would you invite an ex colleague - regardless of the way you parted company uth her - on a business trip? I'm confused.

allisgood1 Sun 25-May-14 21:53:13

I have kept the others out of it. But they both know she took another client, they don't know the extent of everything else.

Its a conference with other 4,000 people, lots of networking opportunities. She is not included in going out with us, so if we go for a meal or out then she isn't included. But the girls aren't forced to do things with me either, I ask and they can say yes or no.

allisgood1 Sun 25-May-14 21:54:00

Pumpkin-yes, when all the saga was happening I did loads.

The trip was booked before we parted ways.

So have you paid for this woman to attend the conference? shock

MrsChickPea Sun 25-May-14 21:55:51

You are so NOT being unreasonable. She is way out of line. Why would/should you take an ex-employee on a trip (I'm assuming it cost you and even if it didn't - you don't want to be helping the competition). You are very right to keep it all professional. I would do your utmost to explain to your current girls, and leave the ex employee/ex friend well alone. You've been more than generous by 'giving' her a client. Leave it there. For your own sanity!

sonjadog Sun 25-May-14 22:03:10

Of course you don't take someone who doesn't work for you on a work trip. Ignore her.

allisgood1 Sun 25-May-14 22:16:36

Its bugging me that she is telling the other girls how unfair it is and how horrible I am and I know that theres f-all I can do. I can't bring them into it, it will make things worse and its unprofessional. Yet knowing they may be thinking the same is annoying me!

Shenanagins Sun 25-May-14 22:38:42

If its mentioned again could you just say it is not company policy to pay for ex-employees costs to attend conferences. This maintains the right balance of professionalism and getting your point across.

allisgood1 Sun 25-May-14 23:03:59

This just in. Apparently she's "explained to other (random?) people the situation and they all agree I am unreasonable and horrible". Sigh.

MexicanSpringtime Sun 25-May-14 23:20:50

Gosh, some people are very convincing, aren't they? But then again I often agree with people, while bearing in mind that I haven't heard the other side of the story, I suppose like right now, (BTW I don't mean that badly).

allisgood1 Sun 25-May-14 23:22:31

I know why other people are agreeing. Its because she's leaving out that she took a client and approached another because those were the two things she denies were wrong while maintaining she "just handed in her notice".

wafflyversatile Sun 25-May-14 23:34:27

I'm struggling to see that other people would think, 'So, you handed in your notice on 1/5/2014. your last day was 15/5/2014. your ex employer cancelled your place at a conference on 20/5/2014. OMG SHE'S MEAN!!!'

Is it perhaps that the conference lands in the standard notice period so they have the impression that she was still working for you at the time? Even then it would hardly be very mean to no longer invest in an employee who is leaving imminently.

Are you sure they are agreeing, or is it just being fed back by her that they are, or that they are nodding and smiling in her presence and keeping their true views to themselves?

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 25-May-14 23:34:52

Well, if it is mentioned, fill them in on that nugget of info.

I don't believe there would be anything unprofessional in examining to your team that she took one client with her and tried to take another client with her. And point out that her actions could have impacted their jobs.

In explaining to you team...

wafflyversatile Sun 25-May-14 23:40:42

Me neither. Sometimes it is necessary to address the rumour mill. You don't have to slag her off just lay out the facts.

Viviennemary Sun 25-May-14 23:41:55

I think your other two employees should be given the facts. You did the right thing by not including her. I also think others are agreeing with her because it's the easiest thing to do when she tells her tale of woe.

allisgood1 Mon 26-May-14 00:10:38

The other two are very aware of the fact she took a client because 1) I told them and 2) their contracts changed as a result of the lesson I learned. What they don't know is that I got a lawyer involved and the ins and outs and other specific details. Nor do they know how much my feelings were hurt that I lost a friend who I never thought would do this to me.

wafflyversatile Mon 26-May-14 00:16:23

Well one of them told you they left because they were uncomfortable wiht what she was saying so I wouldn't be so sure that you're coming out of this looking the bad one.

I guess it depends on what happened prior to her handing in her notice. Maybe things went wrong with your friendship because because, maybe you were at fault maybe she was.

Either way a slanging match now won't help.

OohQuack Mon 26-May-14 00:19:05

Is this the private tuition lady?

Scousadelic Mon 26-May-14 00:20:08

Agree a slanging match would not help but I think making your employees aware of the facts is good for your business as it makes it clear you are not a horrid employer. Don't let this woman have her cake and eat it but stay professional

sykadelic Mon 26-May-14 04:55:47

I really don't understand why she thinks she's entitled, as an ex-employee, to come on a work trip and how you're mean by cancelling her reservation on your team...

I think it might be a good idea to have a team meeting after the conference to explain the terms of their contracts in a "after what happened with X I thought we should talk about things a bit more" kind of way.

I know you would prefer not to go into it, a slinging match isn't a good thing and even though you'd just tell your side, it would turn into a she-said-he-said.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now