Out of Office

I’m shoved into a booth at Panera, one with no outlet nearby, drinking sub-par coffee and hoping I don’t get booted from the less than awesome wifi (for example, none of the pictures from Charlotte’s b-day party downloaded on Molly’s post, and I’m pissed about it.)


Ah, well. That’s what I’m here to tell you about.

So . . .

Not long after I put my notice in, I had an experience with one of my least liked co-workers during a project meeting where she chastised me for sending out an e-mail about a meeting I have historically facilitated and she was going to be facilitating in the future. I reacted with some critique about why she was upset, as I was still in my position and still responsible for the meeting. It devolved into a less than professional conflict, and I ended up leaving the meeting early. I sent an apology out to my other colleagues that day, and met with the specific co-worker to try and get a path moving forward, which we did. Honestly, I kind of just don’t like this woman and if I were staying in my job, I’d work harder to have a more friendly relationship but I’m NOT staying, so maintaining professionalism for my last few weeks was all I cared about.

The day after I wrote my last post, I got an e-mail from the ED at my current organization, letting me know I didn’t need to come to that Wednesday’s staff meeting. Ok, kind of weird but fine by me. I mentioned that it felt a little awkward, and she apologized and just said she was trying to figure out how to make the transition good for everyone. I went into the office during that time and just worked on things. I could overhear a little of what was happening, and it sounded like it was kind of drama.

My office mate and best work friend came in after the staff meeting visibly upset and said I should be glad I wasn’t there for the meeting, that weird stuff is happening. The following day, at my regular check in, the ED told me things were ‘up’ and she couldn’t tell me some things/wasn’t sure entirely what things were about, but did mention that ‘some people’ didn’t feel comfortable when Jerky coworker and I were in the same room. Thus, the request that I not attend staff meeting. I reassured my boss that Jerky Coworker and I had resolved our conflict and felt comfortable with our plan moving forward, and let her know I felt fine about maintaining a professional relationship for the end of my time. I reminded her that half the staff would be out last week at a conference in D.C. and half would be out this week at a training, and JC and I had no meetings scheduled for the remainder of my time at work.

I felt like this was the end of it. I was wrong.

A week ago yesterday, I got an e-mail from the ED asking me to work off site for my last two weeks. She still expected me to meet with folks as scheduled and would have my celebration lunch this thursday, but felt like it would be a ‘smoother transition’ if I wasn’t in the office.

My feelings were SO FUCKING HURT. In those first few minutes, I considered telling her she could figure out writing the end of the year report by herself because I was DONE. But, the fact is, I like my boss and have always had really good experiences at work, up until the last 6 months or so. It’s also just not in my character to cut and run. I was just so very hurt.

We ended up talking the following day about it, and she told me that she really felt like this would make it less awkward for me (I wasn’t feeling awkward and had let her know the week before what I needed for a good transition) but also let me know that she had heard from others that there was a ‘general awkwardness about’ my transition and anxiety about JC and I sharing space (even though, as pointed out before, we wouldn’t be. but whatever) and so she thought this was best. I countered that perhaps if people didn’t feel comfortable with me that having a celebratory lunch didn’t really make sense, and she pushed back. I finally conceded to the plan, with the caveat that whatever announcement she made to the staff make it clear that I had not chosen to work outside the office, but it had been asked of me.

The upside to this is that I have been working when I want to, and not at all 8 hour days. I don’t feel guilty about this at all, even though I normally would. I had a report and a few additional bits and pieces to get done, and so I’ve been taking my time getting those things done, and taking the rest of the time to go swimming with A + L, or just hang out with my kid. But, I still feel hurt and uncomfortable.

I went in this morning to meet with the colleague who is taking most of my job, to show her how to enter the necessary data for the end of the year and have a transition call with the federal project officer, and IT WAS FUCKING TERRIBLE.

The person I was supervising (who you may remember from this experience ) and who I have figured might be behind the weirdness (which, also, according to my boss goes far beyond me, it just includes me) totally gave me major side eye glares, and everyone else just seemed hella uncomfortable. I wanted to announce when I left, “I’m leaving the building now, so y’all can have your ‘safe space’ back!”

And yet, I’m supposed to feel awesome on Thursday when everyone ‘celebrates’ me? These people who are so scared of my sharing space with someone they can’t work? It’s funny how those same people will be able to show up for a paid-for-by-the-org lunch with no issue, eh?

This has been the hardest part of the move, so far. Everything else seems to be moving along well. The truck is set to arrive on Friday between 10-2, we are on our way to cancelling and changing things, the house sale process is moving along – although may be delayed because the appraisal companys are all so behind due to the market – and while I am beginning to have some serious sads about leaving the place I’ve lived all my life and dealing with a lot of ‘lasts’, I am feeling confident and excited.

But this, this is miserable and demoralizing and so.fucked.up.



15 thoughts on “Out of Office

  1. This is terrible. I strongly suggest you ask your boss to cancel the lunch. The last thing you want to do is walk away feeling more negative and I’m not sure how to make that not happen. I think you can tell her to tell the group that you’re time needs to be spent finishing some other project or something like that but it sounds like it is going to be a big dose of middle school you can’t leave.

    We had a really weird friend thing happen when we left Michigan where we were betrayed pretty badly by a good friend. It’s so hard when that weird stuff happens as you are leaving yet also is a good send off and reminder of why it is time. Ultimately I think people feel threatened when folks move on – like they’re not good enough or should be doing more – even though this transition has nothing to do with them. Add in preexisting weirdness and it is a disaster. Keep you chin up and your eyes focused on what is ahead.


  2. This is just so freaking bizarre. I’m so sorry all of this is happening right now. Thank goodness you’re on your way out. I totally say you blow off this luncheon. Why on earth would you want to celebrate with people who don’t want you around? Spend that time celebrating with L & A instead! Seriously though, you’ve been very devoted to this organization and you deserve better than this drama. I’m so sorry this is how they’re leaving things with you.

  3. What in the world?? I just don’t get people. I’m so sorry, what a crap way to send you on your way to new adventures (although, timing sounds good…) I second (third?) the step out on the lunch. Is be tempted to say something like ‘well, I wasn’t uncomfortable, but y’all have done a great job to change that in the last two weeks, so thanks but no thanks!’ But when it comes down to it, do what you need to do to take care of you.

  4. I’m so sorry. That is very fucked up and kind of weird. I mean, it’s normal to have a little weirdness when someone is in the process of leaving, but it’s like they’ve all decided since you’re leaving, you get to be the scapegoat for all the drama. 😦
    I would second (third?) asking to cancel the lunch because it’s gonna be hella awkward and the people instigating the drama don’t deserve cake/free food.
    I hope the rest of your move goes smoothly and you can take advantage of working out of the office to the absolute utmost. Staying professional through all of this will definitely help you feel better about it in the long run. After all, the only person you can control is yourself. ❤

  5. What? This is bizarre. People need to get over…themselves? your leaving? their issues? I just don’t even know. Agree that cancelling lunch seems like a good idea. Maybe they’re all jealous of your new job. Or not having to work with them any more 😉 I am totally befuddled by this. Sorry to hear you’re taking it hard. Glad you’re making the most of it, though, and feeling guilt free!

  6. Uuuhhhhmmmm this is very bizarre. If there were people feeling uncomfortable about your interactions with JC and brought it up to the boss, couldn’t her response have been that they should try to stick it out for just a couple more weeks? I’m seriously baffled by this whole situation and feel so hurt for you. I’m not sure how anyone could expect a celebratory lunch to go well, but I’m also really hurt for you that they aren’t making any effort to make the end of your tenure there be positive. Sigh. You should get your celebration after working hard at an organization for a long time! I hope that something happens to make it feel more right.

  7. I have had a similar work experience in which I was asked not to speak in front of someone who complained they didn’t like my voice, and my office was moved. Office drama is so painful to go through. I hope that your celebration isn’t an awkward event..I’d have insisted they cancel it after this. It’s going to be hard to leave behind something you’ve dedicated yourself to but hopefully it’ll be a relief to get out.

  8. I’m sorry that the last few weeks of your job have been clouded with this weirdness and unprofessionalism. You’ve dedicated a lot of yourself and your talents to your org for many years and your passion has always come through on this blog. I dealt with some weirdness from my bosses and lost a good work friend when I left my nonprofit job last year. From hearing others’ similar experiences I suppose it’s not uncommon, but it doesn’t make it hurt less. I hope the last few days go better and that your farewell lunch is nothing but positive energy.

  9. What an unpleasant ending to a job you obviously really care about. I’m sorry that happened. It sounds like your boss decided to kind of throw you under the bus since you weren’t staying, and the other people involved were.

  10. Sounds like you are totally on track here and that it’s the other folks you work with who are handling things poorly. I’m sorry about that! I sounds like it sucks! I don’t think it would be in any way inappropriate for you to tell the ED you weren’t interested in having a luncheon and to please cancel it. I think your instincts were right the first time and it was unreasonable for her to question it. Not guilt trips about food/gifts etc – it’s not worth the mental cartwheels to get through it!

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