updates: the tonsils tyrant, the old job gossip, and more

Here are updates from four people whose letters were answered here in the past.

1. My boss is insisting I get my tonsils out

My situation has change dramatically. I visited my doctor again and told her about my manager’s demands. My doctor told me she’d support me in taking a few mental health days off work when I thought I needed them. My doctor also took notes as a bit of a record so if my manager’s behaviors continued there was a record of it.

My manager never brought up my health again. She acted like the whole thing never happened. There was still plenty of issues at work so I did take a few mental health days off to attend job interviews.

I have since found another full time job. My new employer has been wonderful. I’m not working in my speciality field but I go home at the end of the day feeling valued (and with a slightly larger pay). My new employer even allowed me to take an afternoon off in my first week for a dentist appointment.

I loved my old job but in the end some battles are just not worth fighting. Thanks to the advice I received from your page I was able to leave a bad situation with my head held high. When I left, my old manager even thanked me for all my hard work over the years. Sadly the thank-you was a few years too late.

2. Former coworkers keep gossiping to me about my old job

Thank you for answering my question. Your response and the comments from readers really helped me gain perspective on my situation.

I still think about my old workplace every day. It’s a scar that may take a very long time to heal. But I have distanced myself from the gossiping former colleagues. I told them that I wish them luck, but I’ve moved on and I’m really not interested in hearing about the old Teapots Inc. anymore. It’s no surprise, but I have not heard from those former coworkers since. I “hid” many of them on Facebook so I don’t see their posts anymore. I kept them as LinkedIn connections, since they’re part of my professional network and I am interested in keeping up with what Teapots is doing as a company, since it’s a big player in my industry.

I’m still friendly with two people who were able to get around the “no Teapots talk” rule. The truth is, we still talk about Teapots from time to time, but it’s not done in a mean-spirited, gossipy way, and our friendships are based on things other than work.

At my new job I am friendly with everyone but friends with no one. I have learned it’s better for me not to get too emotionally involved at work. Maybe that will change with time, but for now it’s how I want to operate.

3. My boss gives me deadlines and then gets annoyed when work isn’t finished early

Update for you, more than 2 years later :) Some of the items I reference here were in my comments, not in the original post (such as having multiple supervisors).

I managed to take a broader looks at all the tasks I was doing, write them all down with estimated timelines, and get my various supervisors to sit down with me (as a group!) so I could explain everything I do for the different projects so they all had a much clearer idea of what my work encompassed, and how I was attempting to prioritize. The specific supervisor in my letter was apologetic and tried very hard to be better at communicating. It was still tough while I continued to work off-site for 3 days a week, but that ended after a few months and once I was back in the office full-time, my work got much easier. Eventually, some of the projects ended or were moved to other people, so within a year or so of my letter, I was only working on two projects with two supervisors (including the one in the letter). In the 1+ year since that happened, I have taken over as project manager of those projects, and now work directly and exclusively under the director of our department, alongside my former supervisors as peers. For the specific supervisor my letter was about, as we worked more together on a peer level, she became my favorite person in my department. She was in a role she really struggled with and disliked (lots of management and overseeing others) so the stress got to her often. She took a job elsewhere a few months ago and I really miss her! Working under the director now has it’s own share of communication complications, but I am much happier in my role and now oversee four assistants of my own.

4. I’m jealous of my attractive employee and it’s impacting how I treat her (first update here and second update here)

I wanted to write in and thank you one more time for all the help, advice, and support.

I have been sober since March 19. I have completed outpatient rehab for both my addiction issues and my eating disorder.

I have a job now. I work in town not far from my parents. I work 4 days a week. The day starts and ends at the same time for everyone. Lunch is always at the same time. There are no deadlines or emergencies and nothing is life or death. There is no commission or competition and if anyone makes a mistake it can easily be fixed and doesn’t cause a mess. There is no way to work from home or bring work home and no work related tablets, laptops or cell phones for portable work. I don’t have a commute to worry about and if people are a few minutes late because of weather or things it is not an issue. The people I work with are nice and so is my boss. They know I am in recovery and have anxiety as I want to be open about things and no one has said anything negative and everyone has done nothing but welcome me and be nice. It is just what I need and I can see it working long term.

The weekday I don’t work, either Tuesday or Wednesday, I see my therapist during the day and attend one of the two support groups in the evening.

I am on a very low does anxiety medication but I mostly rely on the coping techniques I have learned in recovery and at therapy. Cooking (surprisingly) and journaling help me relax the most. I also have cut back on my internet use. I only go online once a day to check a few sites (like the news and AAM). I no longer have social media except for an email and Facebook page I use for family only and I don’t have a smart phone, I have a basic cell with no internet that I can use for emergency calls and quick texts only. Limiting my internet and social media use has really helped in my recovery.

I accept full responsibility for what I did. While things were unraveling with my team member I was awful to all of my friends and others also. I treated them in a horrible manner and I don’t blame them for ending the friendship. Mental illness or addiction was not an excuse or reason for me to have acted how I did. Even when I was at my worst I would have done the exact same thing to anyone who treated me like I did them.

I spend my evenings and weekends with my parents, other family and the people from our church. They have rallied around me. I include you and your readers in that.

Just wanted to say thanks one more time Alison. Have a wonderful holiday and a happy new year.

{ 37 comments… read them below }

  1. (Different) Rebecca, PhD*

    *reads first one* …whut.
    *clicks through link to read the original* …WHUT.

    OP4, YAY for making such good strides at becoming healthy!!

    1. Jules the Third*

      +1 for OP4!

      It’s not easy – I’ve been dealing with post-partum OCD for a decade now. It gets better, and you are doing the things you need to do, in the best possible way to do them. Best of luck to you.

  2. Temperance*

    LW4, I’m so happy to hear that you are in a good place now. Merry Christmas! I hope things are even better for you in 2018.

    1. EddieSherbert*

      A couple days late, but +100, OP4!

      So very happy you are doing so well, and I send you well-wishes for a great 2018!

  3. Samata*

    LW #4 I love your updates and hope you continue on this positive path. I do hope we’ll hear from you on March 19 th to celebrate your 1 year anniversary with you!

    1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

      Agreed. I really like hearing OP#4’s periodic updates, and I hope they’ll feel ok with continuing to let us know how they’re doing. I’m so glad they’re in a more stable / supported place right now.

  4. mb13*

    OP 4 good job taking accountability for your past behavior and for setting limitations on yourself so you’ll never repeat your actions again.

  5. Casper Lives*

    I’m so happy for all the updates we’ve been getting, even the ones from years ago. It’s great to see how submitters fared long-term.

    #2: It’s nice you were able to distance yourself from their negativity that was keeping you in the bad workplace. You sound like you’re doing well at a better job.

    #4: I wish you luck on your recovery and better mental health. It can be a long journey, but from your updates, you’re taking responsibility for what you’ve done, and trying to do better.

  6. Viva*

    Great updates!

    OP4, thanks for updating us again, I’m so pleased for you that you’re doing well. Very best wishes to you.

  7. Not A Manager*

    @OP4 – Your update literally brought tears into my eyes. You’ve worked so hard, and been so honest with yourself. Congratulations on your ongoing recovery and best wishes going forward.

    1. Mamunia*

      My eyes were teary, too. OP
      #4, it is really impressive that you have come so far in such relatively little time. I realize you are just at the beginning of your journey but honestly, it takes such strength to accomplish what you have done so far and I really admire you for putting the work in. Nothing but good wishes for your continued journey!

  8. Specialk9*

    #3 – boom, you dealt with that like a boss! Bringing all your managers into one room was the exact right approach, and I’m so glad it worked.

  9. MilkMoon (UK)*

    LW4: I love your updates, and the peace of the life you’ve built this year. I hope you can (now or in the future!) give yourself credit for how courageous you are. Your self-awareness is rare and wonderful. Merry Christmas!

  10. MilkMoon (UK)*

    LW2: Re; your last paragraph, I’m like that now too. It feels a little sad, but like you I’ve been burned by a company I loved turning unbearable after management changes and such, then leaving to find all those colleagues I had on social media go cold on me, except one with whom it became apparently our relationship was built entirely upon venting frustration about that workplace (I admit to being the guilty party here, the venter, for months after I escaped). Removing them all from social media was such a relief.

    Fortunately my new colleagues just view me as lovably odd in general so they’ve accepted our work friendship as genuine without pressing!

  11. Massmatt*

    #1–Congratulations on separating yourself from Ms. “I get to decide what parts of your body get cut out when they present a minor inconvenience for me”.

    #4–I am struck by how you are seeing all the positives in your current situation, while still taking full responsibility for your previous actions. I wish you well in your recovery, and repeat what others have said–more updates are welcome! And don’t feel they all have to be better/higher/wholly positive, either. Recovery is a difficult road, at the start especially, you may hit snags on the way, but if you work on fundamentals there’s NO LIMIT! Congrats, and keep working at it!

  12. Kristine*

    I remember all of these original posts! Great updates.
    #4 – Cooking is VERY relaxing and healing. So glad for your continued progress!

  13. Gay Drunk Patriots Fan*

    #4, thanks for making break down crying at work today. Holy crap.

    Absolutely positively the greatest most amazing story (I mean, it’s not a “story”, it’s your life, I just don’t know what better word to come up with….I guess maybe “journey” would be a much better choice??) that I have ever followed on this blog. I have no words. Wow.

    I am SO HAPPY for you and to read this update. You are an AWESOME HUMAN BEING.

  14. Lo*

    LW #4 – I have followed your saga from your first letter, and I am so thankful you have found health and happiness – I got a bit misty eyed while reading this update. I hope that the holidays and the new year treat you well. Best of luck!

  15. Bow Ties Are Cool*

    LW 4: Congratulations on your sobriety, and your new lifestyle, and your sane and supportive job! It sounds like the situation at your old job really shone a light onto your internal life and the work you needed to do there.

  16. Close Bracket*

    I’m curious as to what the attractive employee could have had a strong case for. Appearance isn’t a protected class, even though treating somebody differently based on it is very poor behavior. Could this have fallen under gender discrimination?

    I really commend OP4 for realizing she was treating her employee poorly. Many people are treated poorly at work based on their appearance, and many of them have no recourse. If only all managers were self-aware enough to realize when their own biases are at work.

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