Question:

As the lead for our department, I have to make hard calls in terms of who gets leave and who doesn’t when two employees ask for the same day off. I give input into my co-workers’ performance reviews. Sometimes this translates into who gets laid off and who gets a bonus.

I’m single and have always followed a rule — never telegraph an interest in any of my co-workers.

A year ago, a tall, nice-looking, single man took a job here. We became office “best friends.” I knew I was taking a risk, but his face lit up when I came into his work area. Since I was between guy friends, the positive vibe I got from him felt great.

He was friendly with everyone else too, and so was I. Still, things progressed, and our time together became important to me. I had the sense that if he wasn’t working here, he’d have asked me out.

Then, he got crosswise with our boss and gave notice. After that, he asked me if he could have a day off during his last two weeks to do something special. I had to say no, as his resignation left us short-staffed. Also, he was a procrastinator, and behind in all his projects. Giving him a day off would have put two other employees into an undeserved tailspin.

He then left without notice and without speaking to me. Should I have handled this differently?

Answer:

Departing employees react in many ways. Some mentally check out and make thoughtless errors. Others leave their workload buttoned up so their successor can hit the ground running. Still others burn bridges. Often, these “burners” create problems so they can say, “Ha! I was so right when I quit.”

Your departing co-worker may have had tunnel vision when he made his request, thinking only of his needs and not your organization or his soon-to-be former co-workers’ interests. As your office “best friend,” he may have expected special treatment from you.

You did the right thing by evaluating the entire situation and making the best judgment call you could. You’re second-guessing yourself because he left you “holding the bag” in both a work sense and emotionally. You can get over your hurt more quickly if you realize what his actions reveal about him. He left you and others with no notice. You potentially dodged a bullet.

(c) 2022 Lynne Curry

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2 thoughts on “Fizzled Romance Leaves an Afterburn

  1. The case here was handled very professionally by the poster. It was good not to get involved with the new, handsome guy; and it was professionally not to break the rules and give him time off when the organization would be short-staffed without him, He was not so wise to leave with a chip on his shoulder, and maybe he will soon realize that wasn’t the best way to act as he went out the door. She should count herself lucky, too, that she saw this aspect of him before getting involved–there’s probably more beneath the surface that might also not be so great.

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