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How to deal with interpersonal work drama while leaving a job?
December 7, 2011 9:48 AM   Subscribe

How to deal with interpersonal work drama while leaving a job?

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?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (37 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
You're leaving. Try to leave this behind you – seriously, after the holidays and a few weeks in the new job, you'll look back at this post and wonder why you gave so much of a damn about it.
posted by zadcat at 9:53 AM on December 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


Wow. Toxic. This is where you walk out now, and don't look back. Fuck those people. I don't see a real reason to worry about "ruining" a relationship with a firm like that.
posted by jayder at 9:55 AM on December 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


The only thing you can do is move on and be glad to be in a new situation. Nobody here - the CEO or your friend-of-a-friend or HR or anyone else - is going to take it upon themselves to behave like you want them to. You're just causing yourself emotional strife by holding onto this.
posted by something something at 9:58 AM on December 7, 2011


Be super cheerful and helpful, as you realize that you are leaving this toxic mess behind you. Don't burn bridges; the world is much smaller than you think.

Who knows what's up with the n00b? Maybe she thinks she can be better at the politics, maybe she's clueless. Either way, when you feel angry, turn it into a smirk; she and the CEO really deserve each other.

Yes, you are allowing yourself to be way too affected by this. It's possible that you could be happier at your new job by letting some of the crap slide on by.
posted by theora55 at 10:02 AM on December 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


Bullshit job is bullshit on the way out, news at 11. You're getting out for a better gig and it sounds like all of these people deserve each other--bad behaviors all around. I'd just coast out; you're just going to tire yourself out if you swim against the tide of negativity--and you'll want to be fresh for the new position.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 10:03 AM on December 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


This is horrible but just try to keep in mind you only have a week and then you're free. Focus on two things:

1. Your replacement is actually in a really bad position right now, she just doesn't know it. Everything that's shitty about your current job is now her problem, not yours. She is to be pitied.

2. Count down the days and hours until you're free. As soon as you get into work think : I only have 4 days, 7 hours and 59 minutes left of this crap. And smile to yourself as you think about the bright future you have after this one bad week.

You were treated really badly by this woman but try to look at it as a life lesson. There are some selfish and narcissistic people out there. It would be much worse if you had to stay and work with her.
posted by hazyjane at 10:04 AM on December 7, 2011 [12 favorites]


Yeah, feel the way you have to feel, but really - you're Free! You can be pleasant to everybody and take the high road, because you've got great stuff ahead of you, and they'll all have to stew in that pit indefinitely.

I'd focus on the gratitude, though it'd be hard not to feel a little vengeful glee in there, too. But, mostly! Grateful and happy to be moving on. So continue with your gracious ways, and at the very least don't blame your hapless friend - keep them and leave all of the annoying current agency folks behind you, where they belong.
posted by ldthomps at 10:08 AM on December 7, 2011


You are a Terminator robot of polite assertiveness.

You are a Terminator robot of polite assertiveness.

If they ask you to move desks, and you can't do that without disrupting your ability to work, you say "I'm afraid that moving desks would disrupt my ability to finish up my tasks here."

If they ask you to go and visit the CEO while hopping on one foot and give him a blackcurrant lollipop, go and visit the CEO while hopping on one foot and give him a blackcurrant lollipop. Just humor the rude fuckers.

When the new girl rocks up expecting you to train her, you train her according to your priorities as elucidated by management, and you smile, and you silently look at all the places where you could hit the new girl and kill her, or, better still, maim her for life.

When any of these people later get ejected because of politics, and decide the time is right to start getting friendly with you again, you ignore them.

If any of the people who were rude to you are on any of your social networks, remove them either now or (if that feels too risky) on your last day.
posted by tel3path at 10:09 AM on December 7, 2011 [8 favorites]


Weird situation, but chalk it up to experience. CEOs can be thin-skinned, and grown adults can tell silly fibs (yeah, well, I didn't like YOU anyway) if it helps their ego.

And friends can be ungrateful to the point of extreme rudeness.

But this will be in the past shortly. And these pillocks will get to enjoy one another's company and not yours.

If you get asked to do stupid things, do them. But I'd look the person in the eye and say "I'm accepting this childish reaction to my resignation only because I have so few days left to work here."
posted by MuffinMan at 10:12 AM on December 7, 2011


Also--when I've been in similar situations, I have found it easier to get by if I think about it not as "taking the high road, 'cause darn tootin' I'm better than these jerks!" but rather as "look at all the fucks I don't give." It's a much less bitter pill to swallow than being the better person--fuck that! Being the better person is what got you into this situation! Just stop giving a shit about these people and their obvious personality and moral deficiencies.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 10:14 AM on December 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Honestly, reading your account it seems to me like you're the one creating 'drama'.

Yes, the woman should have thanked you, and your boss sounds like a bit of a dick. But I don't see any evidence that the agency has 'dicked you over'; the woman you helped wasn't 'taking advantage' of you as far as I can see, and your reason for not moving your desk seems really petty - presumably you're going to have to pack up all your toys soon enough.

It is pretty normal to have a lot of intense feelings associated with changing jobs but it seems to be overwhelming you. Unless you are contractually obligated otherwise I would seriously consider not working out the remainder of your two weeks.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 10:16 AM on December 7, 2011 [15 favorites]


Hmmm... I wonder if it's possible that you got sudden radio silence from this girl because she discovered that, indeed, they were trying to replace you, and she was the candidate? Lesson learned is that sometimes it doesn't pay to help people out too much. But who cares, you're on your way out!

Anyway, it's awesome that you refused to move your desk. Go you. Also, just go to the holiday party anyway and focus on spending time with the coworkers you like. You don't want to make it seem like you're slinking off. You can always leave early.
posted by yarly at 10:17 AM on December 7, 2011 [8 favorites]


They have *zero* responsibility to you and would terminate you on the spot without hesitation for your feelings or how you feel about them. The reverse should also be true.

If you don't need the money -- I would tell them immediately that your end date just got moved up to today. Their work is their problem.

I would be pissed at the new girl and just not count her as a potential new friend.
I would not let the company treat me that way and leave them at the alter.
I would take the remaining week and sit on a sunny patio drinking adult beverages.
posted by LeanGreen at 10:37 AM on December 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


People recommend it for dealing with family members, and it always left a bad taste in my mouth for that context, but for yours? I'll recommend becoming familiar with "I'm sorry, that won't be possible."

On preview, basically the LeanGreen method.
posted by rhizome at 10:43 AM on December 7, 2011


Let me offer my take on what happened:

You stopped hearing from the girl because she realized she was being hired for your job (like yarly said above).

The reasons you cite for knowing you weren't being fired don't necessarily hold up to me:
- The personalized work order could have been approved by someone who didn't know you were being let go, for example, or it could have been approved because they didn't have your replacement hired yet and it would have tipped you off to cancel it, or they could simply assume that your replacement will be able to use it.
- You're on a long-term project - if it's long-term enough, they'll have plenty of time to train your replacement with no significant impact on the project.
- Everybody likes you - there are several potential explanations here, including that everybody but the CEO likes you and he's the one who makes the decisions, or some people like you but not the ones who mattered.

From your description above I have to say you sound a bit ... dramatic or prone to taking things personally. Also, refusing to move is one thing, refusing to move because you don't want to pack your toys? A bit dickish.

So to answer your questions about how to handle/feel about the various players and outcome:
- your mutual friend has no blame in this
- the girl who got your job was placed in an awkward position the minute she realized she was up for your job - when you told her you were looking to quit, she probably felt it was OK for her to pursue it. That doesn't mean you have to like her, of course, or have anything further to do with her
- the agency probably knew whose job they were filling and of course couldn't communicate anything to you
- your boss sounds like a bit of an ass, but you're free of him soon enough.

There are a few things that you could potentially take away from this: don't train a potential competitor so well that you're basically handing over your job on a plate, and ask yourself whether you did anything to contribute to the politics at your job so that you can change that in your new one if you want to. And don't forget - all of this is (almost) behind you so you don't need to worry about this for much longer. Good luck at your new job!
posted by widdershins at 10:45 AM on December 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't know who to be more infuriated with more, ... or the mutual friend that asked me to help her.

I don't think your friend deserves your anger. She has no control over her friend and absolutely nothing to do with your current company. The worst she may be guilty of is asking a favor for a friend that she knew might behave badly.
posted by soelo at 10:47 AM on December 7, 2011 [6 favorites]


sevenyearlurk -- not to come to his/her defense, but... This company didn't pay her the referral bonus, responded her to 'adios' email in hostility and shamed her into staying the two weeks (or more). That is a whole mess of drama that she didn't create. People quit their jobs all the time without drama. Quitting is a part of the whole employment process and doesn't require belittling.
posted by LeanGreen at 10:49 AM on December 7, 2011 [8 favorites]


The OP is only creating "drama" if she acts inappropriately on her feelings, which, so far, she hasn't done. In fact, she came here for a reality check to stop herself from acting inappropriately on her feelings.

Telling someone "we were going to replace you anyway" when they resign definitely is an example of acting inappropriately on one's feelings. This is an intentionally hurtful thing to say and the OP is not at fault for feeling hurt by it.

It isn't possible to know if they were planning to replace the OP or not; investments in equipment and so on really don't tell you much. However, if the OP's performance was that poor, she should reasonably have heard about it some time ago, whereas instead she was led to believe she was doing great and getting along fine with everyone. If the first time she heard about her supposed poor performance was on her way out the door, then either it's not true or management is actively bad. If not both.

I agree that the new girl may feel awkward if she is, or has been led to believe she is, replacing a benefactor unawares. That doesn't quite excuse her pretending not to know the OP, nor for her failure to choke out a minimal thanks. I think a person can be expected to manage that no matter how awkward they feel. A five-year-old knows how to say please and thank you, there's no reason to expect less of an adult in a professional situation.

As for it being supposedly petty to decline to move her stuff along with supposed team equipment to the other side of the building - if the new girl is to be sitting at that desk, then the equipment, toys etc, would only have to be moved back a week later, or else the OP would be deprived of them while working out her notice, defeating the object of working out her notice. This is either poorly-thought out, or deliberate outcasting, and either way it's reasonable for the OP not to cooperate with it.

It's normal to feel bad when treated with deliberate hostility, especially by adults who should know better, especially in a professional situation. OP, you are only "dramatic" if you act up over this.
posted by tel3path at 11:03 AM on December 7, 2011 [6 favorites]


Oh and ps. the mutual friend didn't do anything wrong here that I can see.
posted by tel3path at 11:05 AM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


not to come to his/her defense, but...

Agreed, but 90% of the text above is small-minded special snowflake stuff. You gave your notice at a job where the interpersonal stuff sucks and the boss responded in an immature manner. Let it go. Happens all the time. People take quitting personally (though they shouldn't). It's stuff like

"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"

that feels like the OP is creating much of the chaos down. So they said something about dinner (maybe, it's through a 3rd party) and didn't follow through. Maybe they're a jerk. Maybe they felt totally uncomfortable about how things worked out and didn't know how to handle it.

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

Whu? Maybe they never put a face to the name on the emails. Stuff like that, you just have to let it go.
posted by yerfatma at 11:15 AM on December 7, 2011


Wow. Um, sucky but maybe you are taking things a little too far. I would suggest that you put more energy into your life away from work. It sounds like you made less of an impression on new girl than you thought. Put yourself in her shoes for a moment. She was tackling a move meaning new job, new home, new everything. This is very stressful for most people. I doubt that someone she barely knows, who helped her get her foot in the door, would be high on her list of priorities. As far as your boss goes, he's pretty busy too. You aren't his only employee. You are not his top priority either.
Basically, what I'm saying is, you may be creating the drama. Focus more on your home life so that work doesn't take up such a huge space in your life.
posted by myselfasme at 11:19 AM on December 7, 2011


Hm, I wonder if the woman you helped tipped your company off that you were leaving, some time during the interview process? Guilt would also explain radio silence--there was no need for her to be weird about being your replacement once you gave your resignation. (Either way, it's crappy that she didn't mention your help.) Maybe the CEO was pissed because he didn't believe it until it was confirmed by your resignation.

As for the bitterness, I've been there. I recently left a toxic work situation for greener pastures. The bitterness does eventually go away, but don't be surprised if it bubbles up every now and then even several months later. The best you can do is embrace the positive changes you're making for your own life, and be happy you're out of there. Commit yourself to avoiding future drama as best you can. And don't take this out on your friend--I'm sure they had no idea how this would all end up.

I also suggest you got to the holiday party anyway, or find another fun way to say goodbye to the people you enjoyed working with. You may regret it if you leave on a completely sour note.
posted by swingbraid at 11:31 AM on December 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Actually, this didn't need any back story at all.

You helped an acquaintance with a similar skill set get a job at your firm. You are quitting. Since you're leaving she is taking your assignments; ergo, she is your replacement. They may not have hired her with that intent, but she's there and you're leaving.

- Your friend did nothing wrong.
- The new hire didn't take advantage of you. She didn't coerce you do to something. You offered to assist her since she's a friend of a friend. (Why you sent an email dissing your employer to her is beyond me.)
- You're leaving the job in a week, start packing up your stuff. This is a non-issue of "red stapler" proportion.
- The CEO was a jerk, but you knew that.

Helping someone network into a new job is a good thing. Pack up your boxes and go off to your new job.
posted by 26.2 at 11:31 AM on December 7, 2011 [6 favorites]


Hm, I wonder if the woman you helped tipped your company off that you were leaving, some time during the interview process? Guilt would also explain radio silence--there was no need for her to be weird about being your replacement once you gave your resignation. (Either way, it's crappy that she didn't mention your help.) Maybe the CEO was pissed because he didn't believe it until it was confirmed by your resignation.

This was my assumption, too.
posted by winna at 11:43 AM on December 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Actually, this didn't need any back story at all.

Agreed. There's no drama here other than what you've allowed.

You're moving on; who cares what happens now?
posted by coolguymichael at 12:06 PM on December 7, 2011


I doubt that someone she barely knows, who helped her get her foot in the door, would be high on her list of priorities.

If I was moving to the other side of the country without a job or a place to live, and someone I barely know put me into their old job at a great company, that person would actually be pretty near the top of my list. Also, this part:
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.
Not really the kind of story to end with a "So long, sucker!" to my mind.
posted by rhizome at 12:14 PM on December 7, 2011 [8 favorites]


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.

Yeah. That bridge has been burnt down to the ground already and not by you. Leave the job now. Today. Just walk the fuck out and you can leave an email to the CEO saying that you did not appreciate his tone in his recent communication to you. CC HR and email them an address as to where to send you last check.

Take two weeks off and go someplace nice. Have fun. Start your new job and new life at your agreed upon date.

Fuck being polite. No one was polite to you. You do NOT have to be the better person somehow and respect their "authority" over you. Screw that. Leave, have a great mini-vacation and you know what - training your replacement is not your worry or concern.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 12:17 PM on December 7, 2011 [8 favorites]


Fuck those people. I don't see a real reason to worry about "ruining" a relationship with a firm like that.

Except that firms are made of people, and people often switch firms. Ten years from now, you may wish to move on again and find that your desired landing spot is peopled by former colleagues, who would remember your petty attitude. Do not storm out in a hissy fit. Suck it up, finish the job, and enjoy your new opportunities.

p.s. I too believe that (1) the mutual friend is faultless and (2) you may be churning up more drama than you're willing to acknowledge.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 12:35 PM on December 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


True adventure of a younger me:

I once worked for a company where stuff got stupid and people started fleeing in droves. I found a new job and resigned from the stupid company. My grand-boss, the VP, made a counteroffer which I rejected out of hand, because the problem wasn't money, the problem was stupid.

The situation got a bit acrimonious because I think the VP was under a lot of pressure from his bosses to stem the company's staffing outmigration. I know the CEO took it personally when people quit. So the VP came at me hard. I think a lot of things he said were inappropriate and I took them personally.

Four years later, the ex-VP is running a recruiting firm and he's called me a couple times to tell me about new opportunities. We're certainly not buddies but we do have a mutual interest. I'm glad that relationship wasn't poisoned beyond the point where we would recognize our mutual interest.

So, OP, I advise you to take the long view. Sure, you didn't get your due this time around, but maybe in the long run you will. Be classy and turn the other cheek. Don't dwell on the negatives. Even if your CEO is an asshole (and from this story he sounds like he is) remember that he (probably) has money and authority and is thus may be a useful asshole down the road.
posted by Sauce Trough at 12:36 PM on December 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


I agree with those saying you are creating half the drama yourself - specifically, the bits related to the new girl and your mutual friend. The CEO email? What a fucking brat. Ignore it, you're already leaving, he's not your problem. But aside from that email, what is the agency actually doing to try and dick you over? Are they withholding any money? Denying you unemployment? Actively harassing you about the desk thing (that sounds awkward, but worth asking from their p.o.v)? Horror of horrors, asking you to train a replacement? I just don't see any dicking over here.

But this sounds petty, childish, foolish, etc on your part: "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."
so....it's her fault that your mutual friend didn't clarify who you were when saying 'I have a friend who might help you'? It's her fault that you emailed her or whatever for a few months and didn't say 'oh I'm X from Y's party'? It's her fault WHY? And you might want to re-evalute your self assessment of being 'over' her stopping contact when you told her you were quitting the job you helped her get, because this whole question is paragraphs of not being over it.

You're even getting angry at your mutual friend now. That seems so irrational that it should be a signal to you that you're at the stage of I HATE EVERYONE and should reeeeally not take yourself seriously right now.
posted by jacalata at 1:22 PM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


"so....it's her fault that your mutual friend didn't clarify who you were when saying 'I have a friend who might help you'? It's her fault that you emailed her or whatever for a few months and didn't say 'oh I'm X from Y's party'? It's her fault WHY?"

An essential part of networking is finding out the basics of who you are dealing with - like, their name - especially if they have gone to much greater lengths than most contacts would to help you get a job at their company. This isn't "emailing her or whatever for a few months", this is specifically extending herself to help someone into a new position. Perhaps it was a question of not matching a face to a name, but the new girl could have repaired that later when she discovered the name of the person who would be training her. Instead the new girl did not thank the OP, gave the impression she did not know her, and did not take the very simple steps she could have very easily taken to correct these mistakes if, in fact, they were mistakes. Perhaps the new girl will still pull some manners out of the hat, but until she does, this seems like amazingly bad networking on her part.

These feelings of anger are a response to some definite rudeness. One could perhaps argue that the feelings are disproportionate, but they are what they are and so far the OP has not acted on them. Instead, her question is how to deal with these feelings so they don't loom so large for her. Also, although these insults are not a direct threat to the OP's livelihood at present, in other circumstances all this could have damaged her ability to earn a living, that is, to survive, so the response is likely to be somewhat primal even though rationally the consequences are not serious.

What helps me to calm down is: acknowledging to myself that something insulting has happened, keeping a tight lid on my feelings, and maintaining strict politeness and compliance in my outward behaviour until I can escape the situation. Beating myself up for having the feelings usually escalates them, but YMMV.
posted by tel3path at 1:47 PM on December 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


You get to have your feelings. Sounds like a pretty weird situation.

I'm going to assume that friend of friend (FOF) is a bit young. She's being a twit, but she probably doesn't realize just how big of a twit she's being. Whoever interviewed her might have talked some smack about you and manipulated her into thinking you are not her friend, or that an association with you is detrimental to her career there. This shit can happen. Not to excuse her, but it might salve your hurt a bit.
posted by bunderful at 2:42 PM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


The OP presumably referred The acquaintance because she knew her company was hiring. In her place, anyone would be wondering if she'd unwittingly been recruiting and training her own replacement from the very beginning.

With that in mind, the OP thought she was a powerful, successful and popular person making new allies and helping her friend and company to succeed amidst gales of gratitude.

Instead the protégée stonewalled her, the company told her she was bad at her job that they had to hire someone (the acquaintance) to replace her, and they enforced her obligation to the company as if they expected her to be delinquent despite her record of working nights and weekends. Then they order her to train the person they were forced to replace her with because she's such a poor performer, and they order to do it as far away from her teammates and necessary resources as possible. The implication of ostracism, in case anyone didn't pick up on it, is unmistakeable.

The mindfuck here is that nothing was as it seemed. She thought she was doing well and it turned out she was not doing well. She thought she was well liked and was told, and treated as though, she was hated. She thought that the new girl was on her side and it turned out she wasn't, indeed was possibly helping to undermine her.

And she also has no way of knowing how true this is, and for how long it's been true. The OP is simply not living in the world she was living in only a few weeks ago.

Under the circumstances it's not surprising she's distraught. It's great that so many people are able to accept this as a completely standard business situation with no emotion warranted nor any etiquette breached, but some people can be disturbed if they feel like the rug has been pulled out from under them so they no longer know what's real.
posted by tel3path at 3:33 PM on December 7, 2011 [8 favorites]


AND

just one more, I promise

The probable reason you're mad at the mutual friend, OP, is maybe because

a) you wonder if she knew more than you did about this at any point - not saying you should start suspecting her, but my guess is that part of you is wondering this (my guess is not, because she would probably have said something)
b) you are going to have to see/talk to her sooner or later and what are you going to say that doesn't sound bitchy
c) she's someone you could reasonably vent to about this that knows the whole story, except, oops, she doesn't and you can't

so, I bet that's where your tension is coming from.

It's not her fault - don't blow it.
posted by tel3path at 4:14 PM on December 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I get why you're angry, but I seriously think you should take some deep breaths and try to let this go. Keep reminding yourself that you're moving onward and upward, and that your "replacement" will probably sink with them.

As far as your friend goes, is this other girl a good friend of hers? If you must say something, I'd just go with "I was really disappointed that I bent over backwards to help your friend and she didn't even thank me." But I would probably refrain from making a big deal out of it, because it will potentially compromise your friendship with her.

The thing is, the whole "omigod so grateful" thing was coming from your friend, not from the chick you were helping (as I interpreted it) and to be honest, you telling her that you were about to quit may have made her uncomfortable. Certainly not defending her going radio-silent and not showing any gratitude, and the behavior from your boss was probably not unexpected, but... don't feed the bears, ya know?
posted by sm1tten at 6:54 PM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Let it go. Seems like you got exactly what you wanted: a better job at a better company on your terms, and you don't need them any more. No need to burn bridges while you're at it.

Although if you REALLY want to you could sort of go to the holiday party and in the most cheerful, friendly way mention a lot how you knew the new person would be perfect for that job that opened up a few weeks ago? And you're so glad you were able to make the connections to bring her here, and you know she'll have a wonderful experience? And you're so grateful to the CEO for the opportunity and incredibly excited about all the great new work you'll be able to do at your new job, because the new company has such impressive clients and the sky's the limit there? And you just can't wait to tell them all how well it goes at the new company where it's going to be awesome?
posted by citron at 7:27 PM on December 7, 2011


What better punishment for this woman's lack of thanks could you inflict than forcing her to endure a job you don't want?
posted by anildash at 7:40 PM on December 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


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