27 March 2008

Resignation guilt

Resignation guilt is a terrible thing. That's the term I'm using for the feeling you get when you leave a job, and you feel really bad because it's like you're leaving your colleagues in the lurch, and you think things won't go well without you there to do them.

It's been five months since I left my last job, and still I'm being compelled by resignation guilt to help them out and sort out problems. I really should have moved on my now. More importantly, they should have bloody moved on and learnt to cope without me, and they shouldn't be asking me for help. What if I'd gone to a different organisation entirely? Or been eaten alive by crazed lobsters in a freak diving accident? They would have to find a way to cope then.

I was lured yesterday into popping back to my old job "for a coffee", in my mind to talk about some of those things that you only know from experience and that I wouldn't have written down in the copious handover notes I left. In actual fact, not only did I not even get offered tea, coffee or even a frigging glass of water, I instead spent an hour and a half fixing the website that my woolly-brained replacement had broken and then training her to open a file in Excel. I actually had to use the words "Click File, Open. No, OPEN."

I suppose it's my own fault for agreeing to go, I should just tell them I'm too busy. The longer you use a crutch, the more your muscles waste away, so I'm probably not helping in the long run by doing things for them. But it's not nice to see your hard work being swept down the drain by ineptitude, and the reputation for efficiency that your office used to enjoy being transformed into a general sense of bumbling along from event to event and if no-one dies that's counted as a success. And it's also not nice to think of the people you used to work with being stressed as things fall apart around them. Only certain people of course, I don't care at all if some of them are discovered to be inefficient flappy numpties, in fact it's long overdue.

In part I probably also like the feeling of "look I'm so clever and you can't cope without me", which is not entirely unpleasant. If they were breezing along much more efficiently since I left, that would not be at all flattering.

So what do I do? Be strong and withdraw my support, and ignore the choking noises as the 'sink or swim' situation inevitably turns towards the former? Perhaps it's for the best... The population of stupid people could do with a little thinning out.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I handed in my resignation letter five minutes ago and i feel like such a Judas!!Thanks for the article,i know i am not totally crazy to feel this way