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TheBlueCat

Work Related Moral Conundrum

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I'm in the middle of changing jobs. I finished at the last place a few days ago and now I'm taking a week off before starting a new gig. The job I left was a major misstep - I guess we all make bad work decisions from time to time - and I was very badly treated by the senior management of the company in question on a number of occasions (which is why I left of course). Having said that, there were plenty of decent people working there that I like and respect.

The conundrum is this: I'm getting work related questions emailed to me from some the people I like. If they were coming directly from any of the senior management I'd just ignore them or respond telling them that my consultancy rate was 10K per day or part thereof, take it or leave it. But with them coming from people who I know are trying to survive working in a highly toxic environment I feel conflicted. I don't want to be a jerk to them, but I absolutely don't want to help this company in any way.

Any suggestions as to an appropriate response to this stuff?

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When I've had these my response was to leave them a week or so and then answer the ones that didn't take much effort in a batch. Any that required me to do actual work or give a lengthy answer I just ignored.

I was happy that I was neither being obstructive nor working unpaid.

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Point them in the right direction rather than answer the questions/do any work for them. Be careful that the blame for any cockups due to the answers you give may come back to bite you. Ignore the people you don't like.

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Proactively email someone senior and explain you're getting contact and questions, asking if they would like to buy a block of your time to answer them. Best if questions can be grouped into one email. Nice and cear cur and final.

The probable response will be to ignore you and tell the staff to stop emailing you.

At least if your ex-colleagues are having trouble with things this will make the senior staff aware that they had an offer of help which they turned down.

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You've left, it really isn't your problem. If these people you respect were asking you to help them out personally then by all means help them, but if they're asking you to help them with their work then I'd just point them in the right direction to do it themselves.

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I'm in the middle of changing jobs. I finished at the last place a few days ago and now I'm taking a week off before starting a new gig. The job I left was a major misstep - I guess we all make bad work decisions from time to time - and I was very badly treated by the senior management of the company in question on a number of occasions (which is why I left of course). Having said that, there were plenty of decent people working there that I like and respect.

The conundrum is this: I'm getting work related questions emailed to me from some the people I like. If they were coming directly from any of the senior management I'd just ignore them or respond telling them that my consultancy rate was 10K per day or part thereof, take it or leave it. But with them coming from people who I know are trying to survive working in a highly toxic environment I feel conflicted. I don't want to be a jerk to them, but I absolutely don't want to help this company in any way.

Any suggestions as to an appropriate response to this stuff?

In the last place I left (actually - the place that made me redundant!) I was in the middle of a contract that only I knew the details of. They had to take me on as a contractor (at standard rates +30%, but don't tell them that) for a month to finish it off.

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Once you have left, you have left. :wacko: Not your problem.

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Guest eight

Yes, I was once made redundant by a company that then rang me up asking for the password to a spreadsheet file I maintained. Technically I was still employed by them, but I still claimed to have forgotten it (even though I can still remember it now - it was "wasteoftime", which puts my feelings towards the place into perspective).

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Any suggestions as to an appropriate response to this stuff?

Auto-respnd - fake it if you have to

I am away from my desk and I will return on Monday 25th April 2017.

or

Your email has been placed in a queue. Please press #1 to get angry that your email was not answered quickly.

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If the questions were from people I got on well with or risked needing help/crossing in the future I would help them if it wasn't more than a few minutes of my time. I wouldn't be a jerk with people I like/respect.

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If the questions were from people I got on well with or risked needing help/crossing in the future I would help them if it wasn't more than a few minutes of my time. I wouldn't be a jerk with people I like/respect.

I would agree with that, but Mr SHERWICK put it most succinctly. I sure wouldn't like to pee off nice colleagues, but they should have asked things before you emptied your desk. :blink:

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Point them in the right direction rather than answer the questions/do any work for them. Be careful that the blame for any cockups due to the answers you give may come back to bite you. Ignore the people you don't like.

Agreed - I've helped people out in the past (unpaid) in such a situation, and I wish I hadn't bothered.

Suggest who the best person in the company is for them to ask for help. If you help now, you'll still be receiving emails asking for help months from now.

Some companies are dangerously toxic. Leave it all behind you and move on!

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I like Mark's idea, but agree that you'd probably get no response.

Alternatively if the emails were from people I liked and could be answered fairly easily I'd reply with something like "The answer is blah blah, but I don't work for x now so you'll need to find another source of help in future. Hope that's useful, great working with you and good luck dealing with all the crap!" Stops them bothering you (or at least gives you permission to ignore their next email) and leaves things on a positive note.

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Agreed - I've helped people out in the past (unpaid) in such a situation, and I wish I hadn't bothered.

Suggest who the best person in the company is for them to ask for help. If you help now, you'll still be receiving emails asking for help months from now.

Some companies are dangerously toxic. Leave it all behind you and move on!

^^^

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I've left 2 long-term jobs, and provided contact details to some of the people I worked with, but was never contacted. Either I was really good at knowledge-transfer, or I wasn't as business-critical as I thought I was.

I would try to help out the non-toxic people if it doesn't consume much of my time. I might find myself working with them in future, or want a personal reference from them.

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I would agree with that, but Mr SHERWICK put it most succinctly. I sure wouldn't like to pee off nice colleagues, but they should have asked things before you emptied your desk. :blink:

To be fair, they didn't get much chance. My resignation went something like:

me: I'm leaving.

boss: Why?

me: (I paraphrase) because you're the most incompetent manager I've ever had and the people who are supposedly my peers are nasty bastards of the highest order. Oh, and you lied to me in the most egregious fashion as to what the job involved. And I've talked to a lawyer and I'm seriously thinking of suing you for constructive dismissal and loss of earning through inducement (I'm not, but I wanted out as fast as possible).

boss: Right, well when do you want to leave?

me: How about right now?

boss: Yes, maybe that would be best.

me: Good, here's my office access card.

And off I went.... felt pretty good in fact!

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Proactively email someone senior and explain you're getting contact and questions, asking if they would like to buy a block of your time to answer them. Best if questions can be grouped into one email. Nice and cear cur and final.

The probable response will be to ignore you and tell the staff to stop emailing you.

At least if your ex-colleagues are having trouble with things this will make the senior staff aware that they had an offer of help which they turned down.

Sensible and balanced as always, see my previous response for why that probably wouldn't be a good idea in this situation!

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Agreed - I've helped people out in the past (unpaid) in such a situation, and I wish I hadn't bothered.

Suggest who the best person in the company is for them to ask for help. If you help now, you'll still be receiving emails asking for help months from now.

Some companies are dangerously toxic. Leave it all behind you and move on!

I think I'm going to go with this one.

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I've left a couple of jobs. Wortked my month notice and left,never to return.

Most companies exit process is run by HR sdo is useless.

All the HR were on holiday when I left one job. I just left my access key on the desk with a note and left.

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I've left a couple of jobs. Wortked my month notice and left,never to return.

Most companies exit process is run by HR sdo is useless.

All the HR were on holiday when I left one job. I just left my access key on the desk with a note and left.

This firm doesn't have an HR department to speak of, just someone to do the payroll. If they'd insisted that I work my notice then of course I would have. This is the first time I've ever left a job where I felt so angry that I wanted out immediately and I have to say that the pleasure of giving them both barrels to achieve that was immense.

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Yes, I was once made redundant by a company that then rang me up asking for the password to a spreadsheet file I maintained. Technically I was still employed by them, but I still claimed to have forgotten it (even though I can still remember it now - it was "wasteoftime", which puts my feelings towards the place into perspective).

Class - been quite funny if you had told them it. What was the spreadsheet for might I ask with such a password?

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