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To consider freezing my ex-employer out of a lucrative business opportunity?

(20 Posts)
MrsMustardSeed Mon 13-Jun-11 14:21:06

A bit of background: last year I was working in the job from hell. My boss and several of my colleagues were complete bullies and made my life miserable, I’m talking rude, personal attacks, talking over me at meetings, leaving me out of projects, changing my job description by the back door, reprimanding me over my ‘attitude problem’ if I dared to complain about my treatment, refusing requests for leave I was entitled to, inappropriately threatening to extend my probation period/ implying I would be sacked... the list goes on. As a result, I became depressed, my weight plummeted to about 7 stone and my hair started falling out.

Not a sob story, but just want people to see why I am having the feelings I am currently. I occasionally have nightmares where I am back in my old job. sad

Even since I left, they have threatened to sue me over a fuck up with some overpaid expenses, which was their fault (and I have tried to pay back btw!) and bombarded me with emails relating to projects – things that are covered in handover notes, but they can’t be bothered to read them when they could harass me instead. I have had to ask my IT admin to block/bounce their emails, because I started to feel physically sick when I saw one of their names pop up in my inbox.

OK, I sound like a complete pathetic victim up to this point, I’m sorry. I should say I have a great job now where everyone is lovely and things are brilliant. smile

The thing is this. I work in a fairly niche industry (I have kind of changed careers now though and my role is completely different) and there has been a new innovation which will have major impact on everyone in the industry. In my new job, the creators of this innovation are one of my clients. Pending it’s launch, I am setting up lots of events/ meetings which involve getting industry bigwigs together; they give pre-launch input to the company, in return they get to be involved from an early stage, which will be lucrative for them/ gives them a head start on competitors.

So sorry for the massive preamble, but, would I be unreasonable to exclude my ex-boss and colleagues from having anything to do with it. Partly because I don’t want to be within a ten mile radius of them and partly for revenge purposes (I don’t want to put business their way).

Um, I’ve read it back and I’m probably a terrible, petty person. blush

Xiaoxiong Mon 13-Jun-11 14:25:22

Are they so prominent in the industry that their absence will be noticed? If so, I would think that if they fail to show up at said events/meetings, people will just assume they weren't able to come. It sounds like whatever pre-launch input they might give to a company just starting up will not be massively useful.

You could always discuss it with your clients if their exclusion would be really that obvious - say something like, "Company X is well known in the industry but I have had personal dealings with them before and I don't think they'd be a good match for you to work with at this early stage." Then at least you're open and upfront with the people that really matter (the clients paying your fees).

HumanBehaviour Mon 13-Jun-11 14:27:01

YANBU, I would do the same.

ikoto Mon 13-Jun-11 14:28:00

Is it your decision though. Is your new boss going to wonder why they aren't there or check who was invited to the pre-launch?

ajandjjmum Mon 13-Jun-11 14:28:49

Like Tyelperion's suggestion of being open whilst telling them you don't think their involvement would be productive, because of your inside knowledge of how they work.

QuietTiger Mon 13-Jun-11 14:28:50

I would say that if it's not going to affect your client, then no, you are not being unreasonable. BUT, if it will affect you client to not have these people involved, then YABU because your personal issues will affect someone else, IYSWIM.

But then, I'm not really someone to talk to about revenge, because I have been known to sew prawns into the base of curtains when I left a shared house because of the flatmate from hell and plant watercress on his carpet... grin

ShoutyHamster Mon 13-Jun-11 14:42:22

As Tyelperion said.

This is business. If their absence is going to reflect badly on you or your new employers, or put you or your new employers at a clear disadvantage (because their involvement would be useful) - then invite them.

But if not - then hell, no! They were stupid enough to be petty, bullying, aggressive shits for employers, well more fool them - it's obvious that any former employee who's had that treatment won't want to work in tandem with them in future. They should have thought of that, especially if you are a small industry. Cover your back with what Tyelperion suggests if necessary, but don't for a second feel bad - this isn't even revenge, it's common sense, and good business sense in your new job. They sound like a bunch of arses, you are very sensibly putting your insider knowledge to good use here and avoiding them like the plague!

knittedbreast Mon 13-Jun-11 14:48:08

i wouldnt help them make money or connections if they had treated me badly. thats what business is about, relationships and contacts. If they treated you badly they shouldnt benefit from anything you can bring to the table after being so horrible to you. its a lesson they will learn for sure

TidyDancer Mon 13-Jun-11 14:52:40

I dream about doing this to a senior I've had.

YANBU, as long as there will be no comeback.

MrsMustardSeed Mon 13-Jun-11 14:56:48

Thanks all.

If the client suggests them or my current boss (far less likely, as he does not get involved in the small details of what I'm doing) I will have to invite them. How I will face them at any event I don't know confused

Other than that, there are enough potential people I could use that I could just leave them out and hope the client doesn't ask. I think I would take great satisfaction in them knowing they weren't invited because the contract had gone to me blush grin

QuietTiger - prawns?! I thought it was an urban myth that people did that, but you actually did it hahaha!! grin

Xiaoxiong Mon 13-Jun-11 16:29:51

If they are at an event that you organised that has the potential to make them money, and you are between them and all that money, you should make it clear to them that they will have to smarm up to you bigtime to get invited again.

The best thing in life is seeing someone who has been an asshole to you kiss your ass because you now have power over them and their profits grin

twoistwiceasfun Mon 13-Jun-11 17:20:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GiddyPickle Mon 13-Jun-11 17:26:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MissMap Mon 13-Jun-11 19:03:10

It could come back to bite you. Be professional, thats what you get paid for.

cookcleanerchaufferetc Mon 13-Jun-11 19:06:41

Maybe their invite got lost in the post /chewed by the dog! YANBU

FakePlasticTrees Mon 13-Jun-11 19:16:42

Well, if your client won't notice their absence, then I'd just leave them off the list. Or, draw up an A and B list - but them on the B list with a note that your previous experience in a professional capicity with this company was not great, and you don't feel they will add anything to the debate, if you can add other companies to the B list who for other reasons wouldn't be best to have their, such as while being linked to the industry not being 'core' then you would look like you have thought carefully about the invite list and it's not an oversight on your behalf.

twoistwiceasfun Mon 13-Jun-11 19:18:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OddBoots Mon 13-Jun-11 19:19:13

Sounds like they run their business in a less than competent way, including them could be damaging for others involved and on that basis I would leave them out.

FakePlasticTrees Mon 13-Jun-11 19:26:02

Oh dear lord - "if you can add other companies to the B list who for other reasons wouldn't be best to have there..."

deste Mon 13-Jun-11 20:15:43

Send them an invite but not till the afternoon of the presentation.

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