three more updates from letter-writers

Here are three updates from letter-writers who had their questions answered here this year.

1. My coworker insists that I’m mad at her

In the end, I took Alison’s advice to avoid engaging in any sort of third party coworker mediation. I agreed that it would just stir up the drama and involve additional people in a situation that really never should have gone on the way that it did for as long as it persisted.

I did not end up sitting down with the coworker to talk to her about the situation for a final time. I was reluctant to because of the constant waterworks, and also because she decided to take the drama up a notch by going to our mutual manager. She asked to be moved and was relocated to a different part of the office. This made things awkward, to say the least, as everyone was understandably curious about why she had moved. My manager never said anything to me about it, and I avoided talking about it or her to anyone else.

I ended up moving lunch tables and spending a semester working on schoolwork at lunch to avoid any further conflict. Disengaging from the situation completely didn’t resolve the issue, as the coworker decided that she could no longer work in the same office. She continued drumming up some drama with others, mostly for attention I assume, but I refused to engage in anything. She found another job after some months and moved, refusing to tell the office where she was moving to or where her new job. It’s been pretty quiet since then.

2. Working with my new manager after a demotion (#5 at the link)

After a full school year working in the new arrangement, it turns out that the “stepping on toes” concern I had never really materialized – I was able to keep to advising when asked, and keeping to my specific duties when I wasn’t.

However, in the time since, other issues have arisen due to the restructuring. My previous manager, who stayed in her promoted position and had been my manager for years, is now two steps above me instead of one. This has caused some awkwardness, including but not limited to a week-long period during the summer when no work was available for me to do (leading to unpaid time off) and my new manager trying to assign me – twice – to a site that had accused me of fraud a few years back. I eventually was able to get assigned to sites that weren’t that bad, but still aren’t great, and after both of my new sites cut half a day of my services a month into the school year, I’m not guaranteed a full four days of work each week (I stay home with my daughter on Fridays, which is a blessing and is one of the few reasons I’m not actively searching for new work).

It’s rough, but not for the reasons I anticipated, and I’m trying to stay positive in my new situation through the remainder of the school year.

3. I’m scared to resign because my boss will explode (#2 at the link)

I took everyone’s advice and bit the bullet! I steeled myself an braced for the worst. While she wasn’t the horrible storm she could have been, it wasn’t an easy and clean cut. I quit in July but wasn’t finally out of her control until the end of September. Every now and then, she still asks for help. I now of course say no but chose to look at it as a compliment and testament to my work ethic. I have the control now and can shed whatever light I want looking back and promising myself to never fall into a trap like that again.

Now I am blessed to say that I work in a professional office with a kickass boss. I am treated with respect and am lifted up versus being broken down. I learned to never let fear be a reason to not make a positive change in my life.

Thank you to you, Alison, and to everyone that posted messages of support! You all are awesome!

{ 8 comments… read them below }

  1. could be anyone*

    #1 Glad this is now resolved. This is probably the best outcome as now your coworker can do a reset and maybe things will better for her at her new job. (I think she has issues that need therapy)

  2. Shell*


    I went back and read OP’s update before this update (it was posted at the end of the original post) and wow, the memories. I also once had a person in my life who would go for histrionics rather than rational conversation (she friend-dumped me over a two hour rant period–11 pm to 1 am–on a work night after asking to come over to my house and refused to tell me what it was about; I thought she had had a fight with her boyfriend or something. If I had known it was to dump me I would’ve demanded it to be during daylight hours at least). The running across the room to avoid someone, the waterworks…so much of that sounded familiar. Last I heard she blew up at the VP of her new job and almost got fired.

    OP, I’m not as kind as many of the people on this blog, though perhaps I’m biased by my own experience. Good riddance, and maybe she’ll finally straighten up, or end up blowing up at the wrong person and get some actual consequences for her actions.

  3. MissDisplaced*

    Goodness #1 That sounded just plain WEIRD. This person sounds like that have some serious issues of some sort that they unfortunately tried to suck you into. You did the right thing by disengaging and staying out of their way.

  4. Mallory Janis Ian*

    “I learned to never let fear be a reason to not make a positive change in my life.”

    I’m so glad to see this update from OP #3 and to learn that the new job turned out so well. I was really rooting for good things to happen for you, OP 3, especially after such a bad experience with your former boss.

  5. LBK*

    #1 – It’s nice to hear an update where the problem person quits instead of the OP! Sounds like it wasn’t an ideal resolution but at least she’s gone now.

    1. Editor*

      Yes — gone is gone, and the secretive way she handled her departure says a lot about the employee who left.

  6. ...&Vinegar*

    “I learned to never let fear be a reason to not make a positive change in my life.”

    Hurray for you!

  7. Alicia*

    I just recently went through the same thing. Congratulations! I’m so happy to be on the other side, and I’m sure you are too.

    When I gave notice, my boss flew off the rails – told me I was conniving and unprofessional, that I was totally selfish, that I would be a professional failure, and ever that he would call the people who had given me references for the job and chew *them* out. I ended up going with “I am happy to help as much as possible to make this a smooth transition, but if my last two weeks are just going to be you making personal attacks against me, then today will be my last day”. I was gone in the next hour, and I couldn’t be happier to never have to deal with him again.

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