the complaining coworkers, the awful boss, and more — Ask a Manager

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Here are three updates from past letter-writers.

1. An update to a Friday good news letter (#4 at the link)

I went into my new position in part as a way of finding out if I wanted to go into management long-term. I learned very quickly that no, I do not, or at least not in these circumstances. I strongly dislike making decisions (and telling people what to do) in situations where I’m not completely confident in the right course of action, and I need more training materials and time than was available at the time. To complicate matters, there were some strong personalities at my new location, with some equally strong personality conflicts. Between the situation at that workplace, the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, and my best friend finally succumbing to a terminal illness just as I began the position, it was too much.

I thought I was doing all right for the first six weeks, but then I had a week off, and I lost all my momentum and couldn’t get it back. I could feel the impact on my mental and physical health, so I gave my notice. It was possible that if I hung on a bit longer, I would have found my groove, but I thought it was much more likely that I’d burn out completely before that happened.

So I’m finishing out a few months in this location, and then happily going back to my original position. My staff is sorry to see me go, so I was doing better than it felt to me at the time. But I’ve learned some things about management and about myself, and I think I’ve made things at least a little easier for the next person, so I don’t regret the decision.

2. My current and former coworkers keep complaining about my employer (#3 at the link)

To make a long story very short, the coworker I had at the time of my letter left – she finally decided that it was more worth it for her mental health to leave than try to stick out a year for her resume, which I fully understand and supported. I stayed friendly with everyone that has left, but have mostly avoided talking about work with all my former coworkers. Your advice for fully pivoting off was perfect.

Good news on my side – I got into grad school and I’m excited nonetheless for my future and so ready to escape the boredom of furlough.

3. Can I fix how my boss treats people?

In June 2019, I wrote to you about how my boss treats people like garbage and sent an update last December about ramping up my job search after a really embarrassing meeting. I’m happy to share that I’ve finally accepted a new position! It’s been a really long road and I was feeling very discouraged, but I kept going and it definitely paid off. My new position comes with a 20% pay increase and tons of great opportunities.

I also discovered one silver lining of having a jerk boss: I’m not second guessing my decision to leave at all. True to form, when I informed him of my resignation he said something along the lines of, “Okay, well, I guess that’s it then.” He hasn’t spoken to me since.



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