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AIBU to feel so terrible over this sudden lack of response?

(239 Posts)
EmeraldPeepers Sat 01-Nov-14 05:28:30

I'll try to keep the background as short as possible.

The first few months at my current job were not easy. My direct supervisor was awful, the training was rubbish and I basically used to dread going to work. The good work that I was doing was being overlooked and I was being blamed for things I hadn't had anything to do with. Safe to say it was one of the most horrible phases of my life.

And then something amazing happened. One of my superiors from the head office (most of my tasks in the job involved working for him remotely) told me he loved my work. He went out of his way to call my direct supervisors and tell them how well I was doing- note that this was his call, I didn't ask him to do it. Given his position within the company, people suddenly sat up to take notice of my work and the bullying started to gradually stop. I sometimes feel that I may not have been able to stay in this job had he not stepped in and clarified the quality of the work that I was doing. Needless to say, I am incredibly grateful to him.

Our work relationship has been amazing. He's notoriously hard to please, but it's been such a good experience working with him. He's been happy to share his knowledge, he's encouraged my work and we also reached a comfortable stage were would chat about things outside of work.

Unfortunately, I was moved to a new product and I no longer get to work with him much. He did mention to me once that he is not very happy with the person who is handling his work instead of me now. Given my relative experience in the earlier product, i still step in from time to time to help out. Initially, he was responsive and even happy on the occasions where I would step back in. However, there have been two recent occasions where much to my confusion, he has ignored my communication when I stepped back in. confused The new person forgot to let him know something important and I noticed it in the system. So I just sent a message to say- hi, here is what has happened. Noticed it and thought to let you know.

I have sent similar messages in the past and he has responded and has been appreciative and thanked me for still keeping a check. But on these past two occasions he completely ignored me sad No response. Absolutely nothing.

I had also sent him a message to ask a work related question he might have had the answer to. He completely ignored that as well. I found this strange and out of character because he has always been so happy to share his knowledge in the past.

Am I overreacting?? I feel terrible that he has ignored me because even though I am not on that product anymore, I still value this professional relationship a great deal. Besides I might at some point come back to the earlier product, so keeping my contacts and relationships alive is also very important for me.

I am struggling to see what I might have done unknowingly perhaps to upset him or annoy him to the point where he would behave so out of character and ignore me confused

I know it sounds odd to take this so seriously, but his support gave me a sense of security within a work environment that can be quite hostile at times. I am not in a position to switch jobs at the moment, so losing that support is making me feel rather lost.

t3rr3gl35 Sat 01-Nov-14 07:35:55

Didn't want to read and run. From a managerial view, I would say that it sounds as though he fought your corner and encouraged you as it was helpful to him at that time. If I was in his situation and a colleague who had been moved on and appeared unhappy about that move was persisting in making contact, I would also be withdrawing with a view to encouraging that colleague to wholly embrace their new role. I would find a way to explain this though, rather than simply making no contact.

bellarations Sat 01-Nov-14 07:40:05

Move on, he is probably very busy and besides you said yourself you have moved to a new product, your previous job role is not your concern anymore. He was a friendly colleague because of circumstances, he was not a friend, it's not personal. If you persue it further you risk appearing rather needy for praise or even weird.

CleanLinesSharpEdges Sat 01-Nov-14 07:48:50

To me it reads a bit like you're keeping a check on the new person and pointing out their errors, and as a manager I might appreciate someone doing this once or twice but after that, no.

Go direct to the person who has made the mistake and let them fix it and learn from it, don't keep running to this guy to tell on them. Let the new person get on with their job and you get in with yours.

minibmw2010 Sat 01-Nov-14 07:54:49

Should you have pointed out the errors to him directly or to your replacement first and given them a chance to rectify it? He is probably trying not to encourage you to keep emailing him about that persons mistakes.

Annietheacrobat Sat 01-Nov-14 07:54:57

He simply might be busy. He may have realised that you were becoming overly reliant on him and so is trying to reintroduce distance . He might no longer need you now that you are working with a different team.

Whatever the reason for his lack of response I agree that you need to move on. It's not healthy to have so much of your self worth tied up to this person.

VerityWaves Sat 01-Nov-14 08:01:47

I al do think it is due to you pounding out someone else's mistakes. That's not really fair.
I think he's trying to create some distance and I think you need to move on. You don't need his approbation anymore.

londonrach Sat 01-Nov-14 08:09:31

Sound like he supported you when you needed him but now he is stepping back. He might also just be busy.

minibmw2010 Sat 01-Nov-14 08:13:27

You do seem very worried about this one persons opinion - I'm guessing he's realised this and is backing away and wanting to keep it all professional.

DownByTheRiverside Sat 01-Nov-14 08:17:18

You feel so terrible over a working relationship that has cooled?
You sound needy, perhaps he thought of it as temporary support when you needed it and now he's onto the next thing. Have you personalised this too much?
You seem to have invested and relied upon him a lot, and now it's time to move on and develop new working relationships.

OpalQuartz Sat 01-Nov-14 08:20:29

I agree with what Cleanlines said at 7.48

wowfudge Sat 01-Nov-14 08:23:08

As a pp has stated, better to help the person doing the job if you have spotted something than tell their boss. I think I remember your earlier posts about the job, under different names. Glad things have improved for you.

purplemunkey Sat 01-Nov-14 08:29:31

You started off your post saying how much you didn't like your job as your good work wasn't being noticed and you were being blamed for things that weren't your fault. Luckily things got better for you.

It sounds like you are now doing the very same thing to this new person by pointing out mistakes directly to their boss without necessarily knowing the full story as you are no longer on this product.

I'd leave well alone and concentrate on my own work.

ftmsoon Sat 01-Nov-14 08:29:31

I would agree with minibmw
Maybe a joke was made about the amount of contact you two had when it's no longer necessary and he has stepped back before the whispers or rumours start.

Anewmeanewname Sat 01-Nov-14 08:31:55

I've experienced something similar in a previous job, so can empathise to a point - but I also agree with Cleanlines. You really should contact your successor with any potential issues rather than telling their superior - assuming you genuinely want to be helpful, that is. Otherwise, it may seem that you are trying to make yourself appear competent at someone else's expense.

EmeraldPeepers Sat 01-Nov-14 10:22:29

Thanks all for the honest replies!

To clarify- the superior from the head office is not our direct manager. He is even in a different department but in terms of overall superiority he has much more clout than our direct supervisor.

Overall, my intention was not to get my replacement into trouble (just the opposite in fact) and my intention was not to be a needy clinger. I genuinely enjoyed our work relationship, I respect this person and I still feel a sense of responsibility if his work not being done.

I know that I might have come off looking like I was trying to point out the new person's mistakes but that wasn't my intention. Given how awful our direct boss is, it would have been worse for my replacement if I had told her she's made a mistake (she sits right next to our supervisor) and then asked her to fix it. A quiet message to let him know what was up seemed better and of course I pointed it out to her later when our boss was out of earshot. So I really wasn't trying to get her into trouble!

I have been honest with my successor multiple times about what she has forgotten to do etc.- However, she just doesn't seem interested in the job. She agrees with me, says thank you and then forgets to do it next time as well.

Before anyone suggests it, I don't want to complain to our supervisor about her because I'm just not that person.

I have also communicated with him about this sort of work thing earlier and he has been encouraging confused

I know you say this is only a professional relationship and I agree that it is. But from my point of view we had become quite friendly as well and it does seem odd to end it like this?

^ If I was in his situation and a colleague who had been moved on and appeared unhappy about that move was persisting in making contact, I would also be withdrawing with a view to encouraging that colleague to wholly embrace their new role. I would find a way to explain this though, rather than simply making no contact.^

Yes! If that is his intention I completely get where he is coming from. But I do wish he would explain it rather than simply ignoring me which will end such a great work relationship on such an awful note. It will also continue to make me think I did something to offend him and I will never know what (this drives me crazy)

wowfudge- I haven't posted about my job before, so perhaps you have me confused with another poster?

EmeraldPeepers Sat 01-Nov-14 10:24:37

Just realised I used the word 'clout'? Not sure anyone does that anymore grin

He is much more important than our manager??? Higher up in the hierarchy??

You get the picture.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 01-Nov-14 10:39:46

Agree with CleanLines too. I also think that you need to take a hint, it's been delivered to you several times and you're missing your 'cue' to stop. Stop contacting him, it's for the replacement and he to work out their working arrangement without your intervention. Let them get on with it. At the moment, you're hovering and it almost seems as if you're waiting to jump in because you keep referring to this great working relationship you have with him.

It doesn't sound at all if he's keen to be an ongoing mentor to you and I think you should accept that and back off. Sorry, it's disappointing for you, I can see that but find someone else to hitch you wagon to (as they say).

CleanLinesSharpEdges Sat 01-Nov-14 10:49:27

You've contradicted yourself. You couldn't have a quiet word with your replacement because her boss sits next to her, but then you did, but only after you'd gone to this chap you're infatuated with.

You need to drop it now, you're in danger of coming across as persecuting, supervising or checking up on your replacement, which is not your job and this chap you keep contacting may not want any part in it. Whatever his reasons for no contact, take the hint.

Leave the poor woman alone to get on with her job and concentrate on you own.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 01-Nov-14 10:54:40

Unfortunately, I was moved to a new product... have you never wondered why that was, OP? Why this man didn't say, "Please leave Emerald here, she's great and we need somebody for the role...".

You are hugely invested and I think you're over-earnest description of working with this man is covering up some one-sided feelings.

Before you make a complete fool of yourself (that will be difficult to come back from), take stock and focus on your own job - and getting out altogether if that opportunity presents itself. Do not contact this man again now, that easy friendship you thought you had has been soured.

EmeraldPeepers Sat 01-Nov-14 10:57:38

Yes, I did have a quiet word with her- when the manager left. But the thing she had forgotten to tell him was time sensitive so it needed to be communicated straight away. Had I told her when the boss was sitting right next to her, it would have been very unpleasant. So I let him know then and told her later when she wouldn't be questioned or shouted at over the blip.

Secondly- why has he been encouraging on previous occasions where I have contacted him about exactly the same thing? The last occasion was just a few days back. Why is it suddenly inappropriate to him now?

Also to clarify- there has been rather normal contact in between the three incidents where he ignored my messages entirely. It would have made more sense if the incidents were consecutive. The fact that he ignores and then acts normal and then ignores again is what I find very confusing.

EmeraldPeepers Sat 01-Nov-14 11:01:07

Why this man didn't say, "Please leave Emerald here, she's great and we need somebody for the role...".

I cannot reveal too many details about this for fear of being identified, they had no choice but move me for the time being. And he had expressed his displeasure so the reasons were laid out to him as well and essentially for the moment this is the only option.

Like I said I might come back to my old work at some point (which is why I want to keep old contacts alive)

CinnabarRed Sat 01-Nov-14 11:02:55

Yes, I did have a quiet word with her- when the manager left. But the thing she had forgotten to tell him was time sensitive so it needed to be communicated straight away.

You could have emailed her, or left a note on her desk. Neither would have been obvious to someone else.

I agree with everyone else, and you're not listening. This man does not want an ongoing working relationship with you. He just doesn't. I'm sorry.

DownByTheRiverside Sat 01-Nov-14 11:03:05

'The last occasion was just a few days back. Why is it suddenly inappropriate to him now?'

Is he thinking 'When is she going to stop this? Is she ever going to stop? What should I do?
I know, if I ignore the problem, it will go away.

EmeraldPeepers Sat 01-Nov-14 11:03:34

that easy friendship you thought you had has been soured.

I know sad I just don't understand why? I know I am thinking about this more than I need to, but I don't get what I have done that is so offensive for it to deserve the completely silent treatment.

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