Before I left, I had to train my replacement. He had a similar personality as my boss but also didn’t want to do any work at all. He complained about responsibilities, buckling at the simplest tasks, and didn’t want to “learn the ropes” even though that was the very purpose for us working together. My boss never intervened, despite my telling him what was going on; he actually defended my replacement. It was an incredibly frustrating experience and l was happy to wash my hands of that job nearly a year ago.
I recently received an email from my replacement, asking me for a sit-down to talk about “logistics” for another round of the project we worked on during our training session. I responded by asking if he meant bringing me in to consult on it, to which he replied no, that it was a one-time meeting. I explained that my schedule is packed because of my new consulting job (I work part-time and stay home with my daughter a few days a week) and that I wouldn’t be able to meet in person, but that I could answer specific questions via email.
The next email I received was from my old boss asking me to come in to meet with the replacement, and that he would appreciate me doing it. I’m so angry about this on so many levels. I tried last year to engage and teach this person who wouldn’t have it. I left everything in perfect order to easily replicate the project. I truly couldn’t have done a more complete job.
I don’t know how to respond. I want to say no and explain how unprofessional my replacement was and how it’s equally unprofessional to ask an old employee to donate time because someone won’t do the necessary work of figuring out the ins and outs of the project.
Old feelings of regret are coming up from the times I should have stood up to my old boss. He has one of those towering personalities that makes it hard to stand up to, plus he is a lawyer and very well known around town. Though I wouldn’t be working with my old non-profit, some current consulting work brings me close to them. He has smeared others in the past for not doing what he wants, and he’s the type of person who would definitely remember it later on. What do I do? — I Quit
Stick to your guns. Wait a day or two — you’re busy, after all! — and then email your boss back and tell him that, as you explained to your replacement, you have a full plate of paid consultancy work and any time you devote to that work is time that you have to pay for childcare. Thus, you simply are not in a position to work pro bono. Reiterate again that you would be happy to answer specific questions over email, but if they still want you to come in and meet in person, you will give them your consulting fee and let them know what your availability is. THE END. Do not let this asshole bully you. If former colleagues left the company before you did and for similar reasons — because your former boss sucks — then word is out in your industry, and his potentially imitating a smear campaign against you won’t get very far. He likely has a reputation, and it probably isn’t that of a trust-worthy, likable person. Continue being a professional with clear boundaries and that will be your reputation in your industry. As for your replacement — well, he’s not your problem, and neither is the mess you’ve basically been asked to come clean up. Too bad, so sad for them.
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