what to say to your resigning boss, when you hate him

A reader writes:

What do you say to someone you work for or with who is leaving? Someone who you kind of hate.

My boss is leaving. His lack of skills as a manager have been a very irritating thing to me, so much so that I think I could write a book .

He has been quietly telling a few employees today, and he’ll probably do that for another day before sending an email to everyone to tell them why he’s leaving (health reasons) and all that jazz. I’m pretty sure I’m on his “inform before the mass email goes out” list. And I really don’t know what to say to him.

Say, “Thanks for letting me know, and best of luck.”

If he were leaving for a new job, you’d also say, “Congratulations on the new job.”

You can also ask logistical questions, such as the plan or timeline for filling his position and how things will be handled in the interim.

You’ll notice there’s nothing here about telling him he’s made your life miserable or he sucks as a manager or you’re glad that he’s going. You do not say those things, although you can think them.

But he’s leaving — this is good news. Be gracious.

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