Author Topic: Coworker crush is leaving, potentially awkward - how to mark occasion? Update p2  (Read 6375 times)

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Samgirl2

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So convention dictates that when a coworker leaves your company the occasion is marked in some way.  At least a card/flowers maybe even a thank you speech/drinks etc.

But what happens when that coworker works only with you and your line manager and doesn't really interact with any other depts so a gathering or lunch party etc is out of the question. At most, anything celebratory would be you, him and your line manager, however they don't get on particularly well.  He also knows you have a crush on him but turned you down some time ago, although you two have remained friendly at work.

I feel like I should mark the occasion because of etiquette but if it's just me and him I don't want him to think I'm still crushing/ a complete saddo by doing anything too much.

That whole crush/him turning me down incident is here if you want http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=97064.msg2514753#msg2514753

We share a 2 person office and I am sad that he's leaving, but at the same time I think it's good that he is because I need a break from seeing him.  but I don't want any sort of goodbye to be to cold or look like I'm trying too hard/still interested.

He's not a cards and flowers guy. If it were anyone else I would suggest lunch or a drink after work but he might feel uncomfortable given the history, but if I ignore the fact it's his last day and simply wish him good luck and bye at 5pm is that a bit rude/mean?

But maybe he doesn't actually want anything, maybe he would be happier just saying bye and leaving!  He was brought in to work on a particular project and his contract had now ended. He might be back on some short term projects in the future but it's unknown at the moment. Despite him turning me down we still get on well and are friendly, but at work only. There's no outside contact any more etc. He doesn't interact much with other colleagues because there's been no cause and he's only in a couple of days a week, plus he doesn't get on very well with our line manager. So perhaps there's no need for me to be stressing about it. Maybe he's not expecting anything and will simply say bye and be fine with that.

Ack, am stumped! What would you guys do?

edited to be a bit clearer
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 01:11:14 PM by Samgirl2 »

lellah

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Re: What to do for leaving coworker?
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2012, 12:26:27 PM »
I'd say "It was great working with you.  Good luck in your future endeavors."  And that's all.  I don't think there's any reason to go nuts marking the occasion.  I've left plenty of jobs with just that and never felt ill-used.

mlkind1789

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Re: What to do for leaving coworker?
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2012, 01:36:20 PM »
If you would really like to mark it with something, I would say maybe bring in cookies or cupcakes.

bopper

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Re: What to do for leaving coworker?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2012, 08:34:16 AM »
For us, the bare minimum was cake in the afternoon for people in the group.
Normally you would get a going away lunch.

You could ask your boss "Should we do anything for PersonGoingAway?  I could arrange for a cake if you would like."

Twik

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Re: Coworker crush is leaving, potentially awkward - how to mark occasion?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2012, 01:07:57 PM »
What Bopper said.

This really should be the boss's call, but it doesn't hurt if you remind him/her of it, in case s/he forgot.

Otherwise, I might be tempted to bring in donuts. They're not fancy enough to imply a romantic overture, but they're a nice treat.
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jmarvellous

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Re: Coworker crush is leaving, potentially awkward - how to mark occasion?
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2012, 01:13:54 PM »
I think just saying "Best of luck! Bye!" is plenty!

Hmmmmm

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Re: Coworker crush is leaving, potentially awkward - how to mark occasion?
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2012, 01:22:07 PM »
OP, when you say custom dictates, do you mean in your company or do you believe all companies mark the occasion somehow?  I'd remind the boss to do what ever is custom with your company.  But in many companies, people leave with a thanks and a handshake. 

If there isn't a standard for your company, I'd bring in donuts or something that morning and a "enjoyed working with you" at the end of the day.

Samgirl2

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Re: Coworker crush is leaving, potentially awkward - how to mark occasion?
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2012, 01:31:31 PM »
OP, when you say custom dictates, do you mean in your company or do you believe all companies mark the occasion somehow?  I'd remind the boss to do what ever is custom with your company.  But in many companies, people leave with a thanks and a handshake. 

If there isn't a standard for your company, I'd bring in donuts or something that morning and a "enjoyed working with you" at the end of the day.

I really like the whole 'donuts and nice working with you' thing. That would be a good bet, thanks! 

I agree it's up to my boss but she's not the best at remembering stuff like that....

When I say custom dictates I mean here and other companies I've worked in.   I've left 4 companies personally:

- Internship -  a card signed by everyone, a word from the boss while people ate cupcakes
- 6 month temp position - a card signed by everyone and someone organised pastries
- Job of 3 years - presentation and gifts from boss and drinks with team after work
- Job of one year overseas - cake and small gifts from team followed by drinks after work

In my current company anyone longstanding gets a presentation and everyone goes (obviously not applicable in this case) while those who've been here shorter usually have either a lunch or drinks after work and their team invite anyone who wants to come along.


Arrynne

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Re: Coworker crush is leaving, potentially awkward - how to mark occasion?
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2012, 02:27:11 PM »
He might not be a cards and flowers guy, but a card or a short note wishing him well on his new endeavors is definitely the way to go.   I like other people's suggestions of donuts too. 

Samgirl2

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Re: Coworker crush is leaving, potentially awkward - how to mark occasion?
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2012, 06:34:27 AM »
Thanks everyone. I think I'll go the donuts and 'great working with you' route.

My boss is taking this guy out for coffee during the day to discuss the possibility of him doing some freelance work in future and handing over /tying up loose ends etc and I'm not invited to that. Doing anything else seems to much.


bopper

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Re: Coworker crush is leaving, potentially awkward - how to mark occasion?
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2012, 11:45:45 AM »
Sounds perfect.  Enough so you are acknowledging him leaving but not too much it is awkward.

Kiwichick

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Re: Coworker crush is leaving, potentially awkward - how to mark occasion?
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2012, 09:23:05 AM »
I'm a freelance contractor in the UK it would be really unusual for me to get anything other than good wishes over a drink or lunch (where everyone pays their own way) when I stop working somewhere.  I don't know about the US definitely but I'd suspect it's the same there, donuts and verbal good wishes sound perfect.

Samgirl2

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Re: Coworker crush is leaving, potentially awkward - how to mark occasion?
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2012, 12:25:27 PM »
Well, my boss has just come in to say she has made cupcakes for tomorrow for coworker's last day, as well as her taking him for coffee to discuss handover etc.

This is very surprising as they don't get on that well, but good for me, I don't need to do anything at all and I get free cake - hurrah!  :)

TootsNYC

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Re: Coworker crush is leaving, potentially awkward - how to mark occasion?
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2012, 12:29:55 PM »
I'm not surprised at all--your boss's audience is pretty wide, and it's important for her to show that she appreciates her workers.

And if she was going to consider offering him freelance work, she must have a good *professional* opinion of him, regardless of whether they're friendly, or get on very well.

bah12

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Re: Coworker crush is leaving, potentially awkward - how to mark occasion?
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2012, 12:45:49 PM »
Well, my boss has just come in to say she has made cupcakes for tomorrow for coworker's last day, as well as her taking him for coffee to discuss handover etc.

This is very surprising as they don't get on that well, but good for me, I don't need to do anything at all and I get free cake - hurrah!  :)

This isn't surprising at all.  Your boss should show him the same respect as she would other coworkers, regardless of how well they do or don't get along.  At the same time, she must not dislike him too much considering that she's considering asking him to do freelance work.  At the very least, her professional opinion of him is not bad.