update: coworker won’t stop badmouthing my soon-to-be new boss

Remember the letter-writer who was getting ready to leave for a new job and one of her current coworkers wouldn’t stop badmouthing her soon-to-be-new boss? (#5 at the link) Here’s the update.

I’ve just finished my first week at the new job. So it’s still very early to tell, but here’s what I’ve learned.

* The person who was previously in the team I’m now in (let’s call him Larry Ex-Employee) who was badmouthing the boss (let’s call him John New-Boss) and job (so, just to keep track, Larry Ex-Employee is the romantic partner of the person I managed at my former job… let’s call her Cindy Ex-Teammate) very clearly did not get along with the boss. I’ve had this confirmed by people who I now work with, who were there at the time. But they don’t put the blame fully on John New-Boss. In fact they also mention that Larry Ex-Employee was hard to deal with too. In fact, when Larry left, he expressed concern to his teammates that maybe he shouldn’t be leaving, maybe it was too soon, etc. According to my new teammates, when they told Larry that they had found someone new (me), he reacted with what they believed was jealousy and perhaps insecurity.

* John New-Boss, who Larry badmouthed, is a unique person, but either he’s not as bad as Larry said, or he’s learned their lesson. In our first week, John and I have had several conversations about personality types, and management styles, and while John admits that he can be blunt or insensitive at times, he expressed the realisation to me that he is aware of it, and welcomes me to let him know if this is the case in any given moment.

* For my own part, I started to read up on resources to help deal with difficult people in the workplace. I realised that most of my anxiety around this situation was based on memories of conflicts that had happened in the past, and my own lack of confidence in dealing with conflicts. So it prompted me to put time and work into that.

* One last piece of the puzzle: why did Cindy Ex-Teammate, who I managed in my previous job, take such relish in repeating the warnings of Larry was giving them? Well, apparently Larry had told his old workmates (my new workmates) that when Cindy had found out I was leaving and would no longer be her manager, she got somewhat emotional and a little resentful that I was leaving. Which may explain why she started to undermine my expectations of the new job.

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