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To feel upset by the way my ex-boss is being? Is there any way I can make peace?

(24 Posts)
MeantToStopAtTwo Sun 26-Jun-11 13:22:20

I left my job on Friday and am now on gardening leave before starting a higher position at a rival company. My leaving my do was that evening.

I left for a number of reasons. A major one was that progression within in the company is based on politics rather than performance. I had got as far as I believed I would personally ever get there, never having been a particular favourite of the BIG boss.

I have always got on well with my immediate boss however. I greatly respect her and I had thought she respected me. She seems to have taken the news of my departure very badly however and has been extremely frosty towards me ever since.

She was the first person I told. I sent her what I thought was a very sincere heartfelt email, essentially saying that I felt this was too good an opportunity for me to turn down but that I had greatly enjoyed working with her, was grateful for all that she had taught me, hoped we'd stay in touch occasionally, etc.

She never replied. At my final one-to-one, she was very off. She told me I was making a big mistake and tried to persuade me instead to take a sideways positions overseeing what she made out to be a new and exciting project. I was well aware that it was no such thing and really just an attempt at rehashing a previous project which wasn't received very well. There is in fact a position available at equivalent level to the one I have just accepted elsewhere. No mention was made of this.

Others have told me that they thought her speech at my leaving do was 'lukewarm.' The most upsetting thing for me though actually was our final goodbye. Over the years I have watched her fondly part with many others yet she barely had a word to say to me.

AIBU to feel just a little upset by this? Is it worth one more email in an attempt to make peace?

FabbyChic Sun 26-Jun-11 13:25:56

Sounds like she is really sad to see you leave but does not know how to deal with it.

eurochick Sun 26-Jun-11 13:27:31

Could she be jealous about your new position?

cookcleanerchaufferetc Sun 26-Jun-11 13:28:50

Did you not talk to her? It seems like you told her of your departure be email ... perhaps a little cold? However, if you hoping to see her socially once you left then I would suggest talking to her face to face or on the telephone to arrange a drink or lunch. If she turns you down then move on. Goodluck with the new job.

MissVerinder Sun 26-Jun-11 13:32:00

She needs one of those dogs in a box like the Wall's advert.

I'm in a similar position at the moment, and my (ex) boss is raging sad

ZonkedOut Sun 26-Jun-11 13:33:40

Maybe she doesn't like that you're going to a rival, maybe taking it as a personal affront?

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Sun 26-Jun-11 13:43:06

I will perhaps come across as cold here, but I'd say forget about it. Ex-boss surely means she's nothing in your life any more? She is simply the person who used to be your boss at your old job. <shrug>

She's got no power or control and can't affect your life, so she's no threat to you, can't affect your employment or your life. You've moved on. You saw a career opportunity. If she isn't professional and gets emotional and acts like it's some sort of betrayal, that's not your problem. That's her inability to separate work from personal.

I realise it sounds hard, cold, unfeeling. But it's work. When the lines become blurred and bosses act like mates and start bringing emotions and personal things into the workplace, it's a receipe for disaster, imo.

I've come a cropper from both sides. In my first job I made the mistake of thinking my colleagues were my mates and it bit me in the bum.

When I was an employer, I tried to be everyone's mate and it bit me in the bum.

I learned the hard way that you keep it professional and you don't feel.

Binfullofmaggotsonthe45 Sun 26-Jun-11 13:44:12

Not sure how big the opportunities in your career area are, but do you think possibly, thay she may have applied and interviewed for the job herself, and lost it to you?

If there is a glass ceiling for you, then she might be stuck under it too, and looking discretely for an exit.

Congrats on your new job hope it goes well!

foreverondiet Sun 26-Jun-11 13:47:12

I agree that she sounds jealous. She saw herself as being superior to you, and this is now threatened. I think you just have to accept it as one of these things.

MeantToStopAtTwo Sun 26-Jun-11 14:03:04

Thanks everyone for your replies.

No, this is definitely not an issue of jealously. This woman is very, very senior and I'm fairly certain she is being groomed to lead the company when the current director retires in a few years. She is extremely highly-regarded and has many, many opportunities available to her.

Re: me telling her by email. She is often out of the country and I don't have a great deal of face-to-face contact with her. She was at the time in the Far East and is about to return there.

I did honestly think that she was a bigger person and am disappointed.

Journey Sun 26-Jun-11 14:04:11

I ageee with Themagnificentbathykolpian.

It's work not a friendship.

Binfullofmaggotsonthe45 Sun 26-Jun-11 14:16:48

Well, you said thanks, you sent a nice email. So i would leave it. If your paths ever cross again then you left with courtesy and dignity, so there is no reason not to re-employ you is there? grin

BalloonSlayer Sun 26-Jun-11 14:25:49

Well if she is being groomed to be head of the company, then presumably her loyalty to the old company is unshakeable. She would never think of leaving as she will get promoted by staying. She probably feels that you are a "traitor" by going to a rival. But hey - that's business.

Did she help your career at all? Might she have been hoping she could count on you when she gets her promotion?

Agree with the others - there is nothing you can do.

You are rivals now.

flamegirl77 Sun 26-Jun-11 16:00:38

I agree you should try not to take it personally and focus on the exciting times ahead. It's her loss. Good luck!

MeantToStopAtTwo Sun 26-Jun-11 17:41:49

Thank you. You all talk a lot of sense. Yes, I think her loyalty to the company really is unshakeable now that she has come so far herself. And yes, I have left with courtesy and dignity so I have no reason to feel bad.

Although, in all honesty, she hasn't really helped me in my career that much. Certainly she has not gone out of her way to help me achieve the promotion I have now gained elsewhere.

RevoltingPeasant Sun 26-Jun-11 17:57:56

MeantTo that is a tough position. I was lucky in leaving my last job in that everyone could see that where I was going was a better position and they were very supportive. TBH, your old manager sounds deeply unprofessional to me. With my previous contract, it was fixed-term 5-year contract, so long enough, but obviously going to run out at some point - I told my boss 2 years in that I was applying for other things and he said, 'Of course, it'd be a shame if you went, but do you want me to read your CV for you?'

A good boss should be a mentor and by acting the way she has, she's closing the door on your ever returning to the company. If she thinks you're that good, she should be keeping you sweet, rival or no.

If I were you, I'd leave it now and when you're 4-6 mos into the new job, email her and ask if she'd like to catch up over a coffee. Then it is clear you are willing to remain on good terms - and if she's not - Magnificent is right.

MeantToStopAtTwo Sun 26-Jun-11 22:39:14

Thanks RP for understanding my position so well.

>> A good boss should be a mentor and by acting the way she has, she's closing the door on your ever returning to the company. If she thinks you're that good, she should be keeping you sweet, rival or no. <<

This is so true and makes me conclude that she can't really think that highly of me. She is certainly not stupid and must surely know a thing or two about retention. Perhaps HR just isn't her thing.

Tchootnika Sun 26-Jun-11 22:46:53

YANBU to feel upset, but not a good idea to keep on trying to 'make peace'.
All you've done is progress to a better job.
There may be any number of reasons why your boss is behaving like this. If she's miserable because you're leaving,then tough! - It's quite flakey and weak of her to express it in this way.
Why on earth should you have to behave as if you're apologising for being good at your job and moving on with life?

OrdinaryJo Sun 26-Jun-11 22:54:07

It sounds to me like her identity is wholly bound up with the firm, so that your leaving means (to her) that you're rejecting her and everything she stands for. I don't think you can fix this - as others have suggested maybe suggest a catch-up a few months on once the dust has settled. Otherwise it's a case of moving on with grace, which you seem to be doing just fine.

Good luck with your new job!

MeantToStopAtTwo Wed 29-Jun-11 12:47:20

Thanks all. I need to send her some papers today. I've decided to include a brief final thank you card outlining specific things I am grateful to her for, then leave it at that.

OrdinaryJo Wed 29-Jun-11 14:36:48

Classy - I like it smile

Good luck again in the new job.

GetOrf Wed 29-Jun-11 14:49:37

I agree with the magnificent - I would just forget it, and her, completely.

You have left to go to a rival firm. Your boss is not your friend. You don't have to be Alexis Colby about it, but just shrug your shoulders and move on. I think a card is completely unecessary.

"A good boss should be a mentor and by acting the way she has, she's closing the door on your ever returning to the company. If she thinks you're that good, she should be keeping you sweet, rival or no" I disagree with that entireley - quite often your boss is the enemy and you have to keep your wits about you. Or I have just worked for a load of machiavellian bastards and it has rubbed off grin

GetOrf Wed 29-Jun-11 14:50:48


Tchootnika Wed 29-Jun-11 16:03:19

Good idea, OP. smile

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