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my retired predecessor wants to keep coming in — Ask a Manager


It’s a special “where are you now?” season at Ask a Manager and I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past.

Remember the letter-writer whose predecessor kept coming in even after retiring? Here’s the update.

Initially after I expressed concern, my plight was noted, yet the mollycoddling continued with a delicate balance and a certain sensitivity shown to my predecessor. She even kept her business email.

However, shortly after I wrote to you, the new vice president for finance was hired. He was very curious as to why this person (my predecessor) whom he had never met and didn’t work for the college anymore was emailing him with suggestions and coaching him on “how things have always been done.” Not kidding, this actually happened.

That’s when the advice I received from Ask a Manager was voiced (again) and someone really took notice. With the new vice president, I was able to sit down and explain to him how unsettling it was not to be able to take full ownership of my new position. I also expressed concerns over the antiquated processes and how I believed I could bring the office up to date and to a “new level.” Keep in mind, my predecessor was only about eight years older than me when she retired after 32 years in the same position. But it was like walking back in time. It truly was not productive, and somewhat suffocating.

Taking our conversation to the Administrative Council, they all agreed it was time to cut the apron strings, so to speak. It was kindly noted to my predecessor that although her years of service were appreciated, it was time to let go and allow a new chapter to begin. I did feel a sense of guilt, but knew this had to be done.

I am lucky, both the president and vice president appreciate the much needed updates and efficiencies I bring to the office. There are still a few individuals who are not open to my “modern ways” per se, but slowly, after getting to know me, they are a little more open-minded.

Thank you, Alison, for taking the time to read my letter, contemplate my concerns, and write back with solid professional advice. Much appreciated.



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