Here are three updates from previous letter writers.

1. I made an anonymous complaint about a colleague and she blames someone else for it (# 2 at the link, first update here)

First, a not-so-nice update. Do you remember in my original letter I mentioned that Jane was part of a group of three women? I gave updates on Jane and her friend Anne, but nothing remarkable happened to the third member of their clique until they both left. She regularly argued with new leaders and struggled with the more formal, professional environment they promoted. I was told that she was fired about six months ago after being overheard in the printer room telling a colleague that her boyfriend and friends were “skipping” a manager who was reprimanding her. Whether she actually arranged it or made an idle threat we’ll never know, but even if she wasn’t serious, I am disgusted that she thought that a group of men attacking a woman was sensible. I know the incident was reported to the police, but I don’t know if legal action has been taken.

However, the reason I was told this instead of seeing it firsthand is because I don’t work there anymore! The last time I wrote to you, I was actively looking for a job. Ultimately, I decided to get out of the financial services industry altogether. With interview tips from your website, I’ve secured an offer for a part-time position that would give me experience in the industry I want to get into and I’ve used my free time to study some relevant qualifications. It was the best I’ve ever done. I was very careful not to bring any poisonous properties with me; I focused on professional acting and worked hard to improve my skills. Outside of work, I also started actively engaging in therapy to better manage my anxiety, and that has improved my mental health tremendously. Unfortunately, I was recently fired from my position due to the pandemic, but I am rejoining the job market with formal qualifications and the offer of glowing references from my boss, grand boss AND great-grand boss. When I spend time working on myself in a healthier work environment, I am much more focused and confident in my skills. I have some promising leads, had a decent interview yesterday, and have another next week – I’m sure something good is about to come. 🙂

The last update I have is about Sarah, the colleague who was originally held responsible for my complaint. She was promoted to a role that brought her pretty close to me in the city center. When I saw her update on LinkedIn, I decided to get in touch and offer to have lunch, and when she approached me about it, I confessed my complaint and apologized for taking the blame on her. She was so surprised that she burst out laughing – apparently another old colleague confessed to having complained and apologizing similarly! Sarah was so understanding and more than happy to forgive both of us that we let her take the heat. Her new role is a significant step up and she loves her until now. I think she will do great things and I am very happy that she is successful.

2. My colleague is returning after a sensitive leave of absence (# 3 in the link)

Overall, the transition back to work went well. Her manager didn’t let her attend meetings right away, so she had the chance to re-acclimatize without being pushed back into many changes at the same time. When she started making calls again, she was fine too. The first few months passed without any hiccups. The past few years have seen both good and bad interactions, but nothing that you wouldn’t expect in a work environment.

I don’t know if she’s getting professional help, but there are definitely fewer edges and fewer eggshells when we make changes to the processes. She took a few small sheets of paper to deal with health issues, but nothing like the original suicide attempt. They were very supportive of our company, which is good to see. My team is still working with her, but she has largely moved away from interacting with our toughest outside customer and I hope that helps. Overall, the relationship is a pretty normal business relationship at this point, which was exactly what I was hoping for.

3. Should I tell my boss if I have easily treatable cancer? (# 5 in the link)

I finally have my biopsy results and I’m clear! In the end, I didn’t say anything to my boss. Two of my work friends knew about it, but only for a few days beforehand. I knew they weren’t going to overreact and we talk about all kinds of things so I felt comfortable mentioning it.

I’m glad I didn’t have to talk to my boss about anything serious, and I’m especially grateful for your advice and all the kind words from the commentators. Thank you all!

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