How to deal with interpersonal work drama while leaving a job?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (37 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Sorry kind of long, but requires a back story...
I work at a well regarded but small (under 100 people) ad agency. Been working there for more than 1.5 years, well liked, put in nights and weekends for projects, etc. At my review I received nothing but praise and a decent raise for it as well. However, because of politics and the fact that I was probably peaking at my skill level, I decided that unless the politics got better, I would find another job.
At this same time, a good friend of mine asked if I could help out one of her friends find a job (she has the same skillset as I do) because she was moving to my area. Because I trust this friend a lot, I went out of my way to fix/critique her resume, give her advice, and referred her to the agency I work for (to her thrill and awe that I work there). I basically prime her for the job and feed her the exact things to learn and say to get a job there. My mutual friend said that she was telling her that she wanted to treat me out to dinner because my advice helped her so much, even if she didn't end up working at the agency I was at.
It was all going good until I told her that I was thinking of quitting -- and that I would be comfortable to tell her why and still help her out in general. I guess I was trying to be nice and give her the heads up. All the coaching by e-mail I had given her made her hot stuff to recruiters and other companies and she got offers elsewhere. After that e-mail telling her of my desire to quit, she stopped sending any correspondence back.
It was my mutual friend that had to keep me in the loop of her going in for an interview (i was out of town when she came in), getting an offer, and even accepting the offer. The agency didn't keep me in the loop either -- politics, one of the reasons I was leaving anyway. So she accepted the offer... still crickets from her. I tell my mutual friend what's up with her not communicating with me, and she tells me that it is odd of her to not say anything to me at all. So I'm kind of pissed at this point because I would have been perfectly happy with even a thank you e-mail for me helping her / getting the job there.
Honestly speaking she would have not gotten the job if it weren't for my priming, nor would she have gotten an interview nor would have known about them hiring in the first place without my referral. Then I get burned both ways because I receive no referral bonus or even a thank you acknowledgment from the company (it's been difficult hiring anyone competent for this particular position and we've been in need). But I get over this because it happens. Sometimes you are nice, people take advantage of it. That was just under a month ago.
Fast forward to a week ago, to which I finally give my two week notice to the CEO because I found a better opportunity because the politics only got worse. Unfortunately I had to send my resignation through e-mail because he was out of town and had canceled my appointments to meet with him the week before. He takes over a day to respond, and then responds negatively, saying that he was planning to terminate me anyway, because of poor performance and that they had hired my replacement already. Yet, he noted that to not "ruin" my relationship with them, I should work at least two weeks, if not more. I didn't respond to the letter because it was so negative.
I truly know I was not to be fired because they had ordered personalized work equipment for me a week before I gave notice, was on an important long term project, and I was extremely well liked by all the members in my team. I guess he was just butthurt and gave a "you're not breaking up with me, i'm breaking up with you" response. Also typically they fire people immediately if they no longer have a use for them, and if employees give a two week notice, they have asked them to leave that day instead.
Weekend before the girl starts, HR asks if I can move my desk to the opposite side of the building for my last week of working there so that new girl can sit at my desk. I tell them no. Keep in mind that I have tons of posters, plants, toys in my office which I share with other coworkers, and that I sit close to the project managers of projects I've been on, and moving would be very inconvenient.
Fast forward to now, and the girl I referred, starts at the agency during my last week. HR brings her out to meet people in offices individually, and she finally meets me and goes "oh, i've actually met you before!" (yes, i had met her before at mutual friends birthday party) It made me angry because she didn't even realize that she's met me before yet I've been helping her all that time. I guess she's what the CEO is calling "my replacement," as he sent me an email later that day that I have to now train her. I'm still working on an important project and I reply via email if training her is a higher priority, and he said he didn't know and says he will circle back with me after he talks to the resource manager.
At this point, I don't know who to be more infuriated with more, the agency that is trying to dick me over, the girl that took advantage of my knowledge/connections, or the mutual friend that asked me to help her. I am taking the high road and just trying to grin and bear it, but I just don't know how to act around her while holding in my annoyance for a week. I don't want to basically lay out all my feelings to the mutual friend until I leave (in a week) to make things less uncomfortable.
I constantly feel bitter yet I keep telling myself that I should let go, and trying to make myself feel happy that I'm moving to an awesome company and let go of all that politics/drama, but I find it difficult until my last day. I'm also not going to the Holiday party which I've looked forward to most of the year because I felt the politics around my leaving and the CEO being there would be too awkward, so I feel disappointed about that as well. Why do I feel cheated and taken advantage of, even though I'm making a better career move in the end.
TL;DR - referred an acquaintance to a position at the agency i work at and she took the offer w/o telling me nor thanking me. i give notice agency and ceo is butthurt and wants to angle the acquaintance as my "replacement." how do i deal with this so i'm not as butthurt as the same ceo that i quit over?