update: I was hired to run a department — but the old boss is still there, 10 months later

Remember the letter last month from the person who was hired to run a department, but 10 months after she started, the old director who she was supposed to replace still hadn’t moved on? Here’s the update:

First off, thanks everyone for the advice. Due to vacations and conferences, my boss and I didn’t end up being in the office at the same time for about two weeks after my letter was published in AAM. I wanted this to be an in-person conversation, so I had a bit of time to plan how I wanted to approach the conversation.

Once we finally had a chance to meet, I brought up that I wanted to put some separation between our two roles and clearly define what each of our responsibilities were so we wouldn’t be on top of each other. I was just about to get into the question of what his plans for staying with the company were, when he interrupted and said that he had actually just accepted a new position with our parent company. He left the company shortly after that, and I was promoted into the director position! In an odd twist, we still work together, because his division sort of oversees mine in an indirect way. But, he’s loving his new role, and I’m loving mine, and we’re both happy working together–just much less closely than before!

As to why it took him so long to leave, your readers guessed correctly that it was harder to find a position than he was expecting, and he was being really picky in his job hunt. He loved his old position (he often referred to our company as his “baby”), so I think he found it harder to leave it than he anticipated.

{ 22 comments… read them below }

  1. Adam*

    A double happy ending. Quick! Record it and send it to the lab for study/replication!

    Congrats on the update. Hope your position continues to go great.

  2. UKJo*

    Oh it’s lovely to read a happy ending that doesn’t involve “I quit” or “problem person got fired” -instead everyone got what they wanted :D Congrats all round! x

  3. anon o*

    Is is just me or do a surprising number of happy ending updates read, “the situation resolved itself over time” or “one easy quick conversation resolved it.” I’m not sure how I feel about that!

    1. Adonday Veeah*

      This is the equation of life:

      Identify problem (improbably leap of faith) = problem resolves itself one way or another.

    2. Kyrielle*

      What the others said, but also, I think people are more likely to send in updates that they think will be interesting – either pleasant, or in a “wow, what a meltdown” sort of way. Plus, either it resolves quickly or over time – the latter may partially involve actions/reactions because of Alison’s advice also. There’s not a whole lot of other options to a happy ending.

      (Although to be fair, I once wrote in with one she didn’t post but did reply to, and my happy ending from her reply was that I adjusted my thinking. The situation is still the same, but my interaction with it is way better!)

  4. College Career Counselor*

    “This one weird tip” for resolving office conflict turns out to be “talk to people .” Okay, not always, but quite a lot!

  5. Artemesia*

    so happy it is a ‘happy ending’ — I have seen similar situations that didn’t turn out so happily.

  6. AnonyMouse*

    I was curious how this one would go, so I’m glad you decided to update us and even more glad that it’s a happy one!

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