3 updates from letter-writers (the text tantrum, the reverse job fair, and returning to the old job)

Here are three updates from people who had their letters answered here recently.

1. My boss sent me a text tantrum because we weren’t concerned enough when she was sick (#2 at the link)

I have an update! Shortly after the unprofessional text message where one of my bosses failed to appreciate her baby goat texts and never got all the way to the ER, my coworker sat down with her husband (our other boss) and told him she was unhappy with the situation, his wife was incredibly unprofessional, and she would be looking for another job.

I wish I could have done the same but she was working in a two-salary household that was prepared and I’m a single mom without much back-up. She found another job within a few weeks and left. She actually ended up shortening her notice period due to continued unprofessional behavior from the wife.

The office has shrunk from a staff of 8 to 4 in a few short months and I’m happy to report I was also on the list of employees to leave.

After she started her new position, my old coworker talked to HR and recommended me. I started last week at her new company. We both have gone from no real benefits to double the vacation, health care, retirement, incentive pay and a ton of other perks; including sane management! The new team seems to be a great fit for both of us and we are definitely happy to be working together again.

2. I’m participating in a reverse job fair — where my job fair booth will advertise me (#5 at the link)

I wanted to thank you and your readers for all the great suggestions to help me with the reverse job fair. It was a great success! Potential employers loved my exhibit and I basically did a great “blueprint” of my wants and accomplishments. I went with two poster boards- one with name,skills and experience, the other that had copies of certifications and awards. I also brought my framed certificates of membership of local and national organizations. I also had my resume and business cards.

It was great because I brought extra supplies and was able to help others with office supplies and brought a bunch of bottled water which many participants needed. I made about 10 good contacts with companies I am interested in, as well as civic organizations and employment specialists. All company representatives I spoke to loved the concept and would love to attend another one. I also got to speak with the organizer who came up with the concept and brought it to fruition for about 15 minutes and it was very inspiring to see how pleased she was that it was a success.

Thank you again for posting my question. I have included some local news/media links!


3. Should I go back to my old job? (#5 at the link)

I met with my former boss, to both ask for his advice and to feel out what he might think about me returning. We talked about my return as a “what if” scenario and he was very clear that he would respect whatever decision I made, knowing that I would have to do what was best for me and my family, and also knowing that he wouldn’t be able to offer me a pay increase. He did, however, offer me more professional development if I wanted it. It was a great discussion. The next morning I sent him an email and told him that I’d really like to come back. A few days later, after working out the details, I resigned from my job and I started back with my previous employer on Tuesday!

I wanted to wait until I came back to give you an update so that I could let you know how the first couple of days went. I’m happy to say that there has been no awkwardness at all (which, to be honest, I was expecting). I got a lot of hugs and “so happy you’re back”s and people generally seem to be cool with it. There have been a couple of people who were curious about why I didn’t like where I went but for the most part it almost seems like I just went on a long vacation and now I’m back to work. I’m so, so happy with this decision and I know without a doubt that it’s the right one.

Thanks so much, again, for all of your advice – not just on my question, but every day. I think you’ve made me both a better manager and a better employee. And thanks as well to all of your readers for generally just being smart, kind, thoughtful people!

{ 33 comments… read them below }

  1. Naptime Enthusiast*

    I love when all of the OPs have happy updates! Especially #2 – it’s awesome that you were so prepared that you were able to help others as well! I’m glad that the overall response to the reverse career fair was positive and best of luck to you!

    1. Garrett*

      I love the idea of the reverse job fair and was so glad it worked out well. Thanks for the links – it really helped with my understanding of how they work. Very inspiring!

  2. Aphrodite*

    Congratulations! That professional development sounds like a huge plus so even though the money hasn’t changed, your situation has in this respect. And to hear it has worked out for everyone is wonderful. I love these kinds of stories!

  3. SJ*

    #3 – we had an employee who left in October and came back in maybe May or so. They’d had a hard time filling his position anyway so it worked out for the best! No awkwardness at all, although my boss did jokingly refer to him as “Mr. Boomerang” ;)

    1. Bend & Snap*

      We have people boomerang all the time. Usually go to somewhere else and make more money and then come back to our company at a higher salary. I live in the land of 1-3% raises.

    1. Garrett*

      I especially love that her coworker basically told off the boss. And I love that she got OP a job to leave that toxic place. I hope that the old place will change, but I don’t have much hope.

    2. Artemesia*

      Always nice to see the good guys win and extra nice when one of them can give the other a hand up and out. Places that run like this deserve to lose all their good employees.

  4. DrPeteLoomis*

    Oh man, #1 makes me so happy! Also, loved “failed to appreciate her baby goat texts and never got all the way to the ER.”

    1. Hlyssande*

      But baby goats…!!!

      My brother and sister in law have just acquired goats and I liiiiive for those pictures and videos.

    2. Augusta Sugarbean*

      Yeah, I’m not sure I could work for someone who couldn’t fully appreciate a baby goat video. Party pooper.

  5. HR Veep*

    Happy updates! Love it. Last one reminded me of that one time I tried to go back … old boss, with whom I had an excellent relationship, basically ended up telling me no. I was devastated at the time because new job had been a huge step up for me and I was struggling. 14 years later, at same “new job” and very happy, and old job, sadly, closed its doors a few years ago. Sometimes happy endings don’t seem happy at the time!

  6. SarahKay*

    Wow – congratulations to all three OPs! Great to hear that things worked out so well for you :)

  7. GH in SOCal*

    #1 is a great example of why it’s so important not to let a toxic workplace turn you dysfunctional yourself. Even under difficult circumstances, the OP managed to do her work and be a good colleague in a way that opened up a a better opportunity for her, when her co-worker was able to tell her new employer, “Hey, OP is the kind of great worker we should have over here.” She didn’t get sucked into becoming part of the mess the co-worker was racing away from.

  8. Samata*

    These are my favorite kind of updates! So happy for every OP.

    …and I also confess I choked on my drink at ‘failed to appreciate her baby goat texts and never got all the way to the ER.’

  9. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

    This makes me so happy for all the OPs! The first update made me smile, and by the end of the post, I was beaming. I am genuinely so thrilled for them!

  10. Pam*

    Hooray for baby goat texts! (Baby goat videographer is my next career choice!)

    #2- Glad to hear it went well. Sounds like the organizer should hire you to help others market themselves well.

  11. BMO*

    #2 – watched this video at work and teared up. This is really great. I hope OP’s next update is on the first week at her new job. I wish I had an update on Tom (in the video) too!

    1. I Like Pie*

      Some here! I was looking for the onion ninjas… who keeps letting them into my office! This is such a great idea and I wish it were done more. And I definitely would love to know what the jobs offered ratio was.

  12. Gee Gee*

    LW #1 I’d forgotten the details of the original letter. When I went back to re-read, I cackled at Alison’s repetitious use of “Your boss sucks and isn’t going to change” for every letter.

    Alison, have you considered using that sentence to develop your own version of Dave Chapelle’s “wrap it up” box?

  13. Cassandra*

    These updates are the best updates! I’m so happy for all three OPs, and wish them the best in future.

  14. Lady Ariel Ponyweather*

    Congratulations, all of you! So glad that everything is going well, each of you deserves success. (And all your updates made me smile so much.) Thank you for coming back and letting us know how you’re all doing.

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