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Ask Sue
A Weekly Q&A Column About Professionalism, Etiquette and Problems in the Workplace
by Sue Morem

Announcing Your Departure

Dear Sue: I work for a great company. I manage a group of about 20 people, who are more like family than coworkers. Several weeks ago, I was approached by another company and offered a job opportunity I couldnít refuse. The most difficult thing for me now will be saying goodbye to the great group of people I work with.

My boss and I are going to announce my departure next week at a luncheon. I know it will be emotional. Do you have any advice on how I can say goodbye?

Ė Leaving

Sue Says: Saying good bye is never easy, and it sounds as though you may not be the only one who will have a difficult time controlling your emotions. If you are concerned about becoming emotional, you donít have to be. An emotional farewell is not a bad thing. The emotions you have are a positive reflection of the relationships you have developed with the people you've managed. I realize it wonít be the same once you are gone, but unless you are moving far away, you will be able to stay in touch with anyone, if you chose to do so.

My advice: Let your feelings show. Tell this great group of people what you have told me. Let them know they've become more like family than coworkers, and saying good bye is the most difficult aspect of moving on. If you think it will be too difficult to say, prepare something in writing. You may decide to read it or have someone else read it for you.

Good luck with your new opportunity. I have a feeling that once you are in your new position awhile, youíll meet some wonderful people, who someday, will feel like family too.

Dear Sue: I work with a woman who hates everything about me. My boss knows it too as she doesnít try to hide her feelings. This has been going on for three years. I like my job, and need to keep it for financial reasons. How can I deal with her in a way that shows her she can not hurt me? Ė Disliked

Sue Says: I am not sure how youíve responded to her in the past, but since it hasnít helped, itís time for you to respond differently. The first thing Iíll suggest may be the most difficult for you to do: Donít let her get to you. I am not sure what transpired between you, or why she hates you, but when you respond to her, you give her what she likely wants; a reaction.

Donít talk about her to other people, and when you are around her, remain as calm and neutral as possible. Although I often suggest trying to work things out, it may be futile in your situation. However, if you think it would help to talk to her, it may be worth a try. Let her know youíre not looking to be friends or change her opinion of you, but in finding ways to make it easier for the two of you to work together.

Whether you talk with her or not, donít let her get the best of you. Be yourself, focus on the positive aspects of your job, and try to ignore her. When you must talk with her, be brief, courteous and professional. I realize it may be difficult, but you will be the better person if you do.


Sue Morem is a professional speaker, trainer and syndicated columnist. She is author of the newly released 101 Tips for Graduates and How to Gain the Professional Edge, Second Edition. You can contact her by email at or visit her web site at

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