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Am I a horrible person/employee?

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Old 01-07-2012, 05:58 PM   #1
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Default Am I a horrible person/employee?

To make the long story short, I've been with my current company for 5.5 years now. The first 5 years was on a specific team with a specific manager. My manager was always great to me and even allowed me to work part time for a year due to my parent falling deathly ill. She's always had my back so to speak.

Six months ago, I accepted an internal job transfer to Washington state because I needed to find billable work in my company. I am a government contractor, so our work/projects is all about billable work. I left on good terms with my old boss.

For the past 6 months on my new team, I've been working on a client site. I was told that I would be performing a specific technical task. Nothing happened and so I contacted my old boss and asked if she was willing to take me back on her team. She said yes. I was to come back to her team at then end of February. This conversation with her occured in mid-November.

Fast forward the tape. I went on vacation for the last 2 weeks in December. When I came back to the client site, I was finally put on the technical task that I was supposed to be put on 6 months ago. So NOW I'm finally able to do the work I was hired to do.

I called up my old boss and told her the situation. She asked me what I wanted to do. I told her I wanted to stay on my current team with my current client now that I am finally doing the technical work I was hired to do (and also because I love living in WA instead of back on the east coast...though I didn't tell her that part). I told her that IF me not coming back to her/her team by the end of Februrary (as originally discussed back in November) would be a hardship, then I will return to her team. She told me that she will have to ask the technical leader and get back to me at the start of next week. She did tell me that she is pretty sure that they will be okay with me staying with my current team.

My old boss is very professional, so I can't tell if I pissed her off by changing my mind. I was neither lying to her nor fudging the truth. The reason why I reached out to her in the first place is because I wasn't getting the work that I was told I would be getting. I was afraid that I would lose my technical skill sets since I wasn't performing any technical work for several months since being on the new team/client. Now I am getting the work I was hired to do.

I feel bad because my old boss has always been great towards me and I feel like the dog that bit her owner's hand so to speak. I plan to send her a 'thank you' card next week just to show that I really do appreciate her. I feel like I burned a bridge. Perhaps not the bridge...but definitely some creditability. I hate letting people down. I didn't do this on purpose. She knows me well enough to know that....but I'm sure that I've also made her look bad in front of her managers. I almost feel like I cheated on her! I am usually a woman of my word and that is why this situation bothers me. Yes, I created this situation and I take full responsiblity for the outcome (i.e. losing her respect).

Did I do wrong? Should I have kept my word and gone back to my old team?
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:18 PM   #2
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I work a technical position - six months without the right position looks bad on my resume. You were in a jam, it's great she was there for you. She might well understand that you have to lookout for your next paycheck, and lots of these contracts get delaye.

I think the thank you card is a great idea and will leave things on the right note
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:09 PM   #3
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I think a hand written note would be better than a card. It is more personal.
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:28 PM   #4
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You are actually a good person with a conscience! Someone else just might not even give this a second thought. I think sending a note and expressing how sorry you are and how much her support has meant to you (but that you have been trying to make ends meet and be productive) will go a long way. How she chooses to remember this incidence is up to her and you have no control over it. We all get into sticky situations in some points in our lives but you were honest and straight forward which speaks to your high moral compass.
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:19 PM   #5
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A note would absolutely be the right thing to do. I had a situation with a boss who went out of his way and really fought with his superiors for something for me, and I wrote a note and sent him a gift (looking back, maybe a gift wasn't appropriate, but oh well). 8 years later, he is a VP and continues to have my back.

Good people are good people. She knows that you aren't a wishy washy person, and I don't think this will hurt you in the long run.
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:47 AM   #6
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You are not a bad person and you did the right thing. You were honest with her and you seem to know her enough to believe she was honest as well. I have no doubt she fully understands your decision and is supportive.
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:38 AM   #7
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You had to do what you had to do, for yourself. You are not a bad person for this and I am sure she understands and would have done the same.

I had a similar situation. After 3 years at my last position and having a great relationship with my boss, I had to leave to pursue a better opportunity. I felt that she felt I turned my back on her when she never did me. There is more to the story, but since my departure and reaching out to her occasionally to see how she is, she never responds. Perhaps she is keeping it strictly professional, but I can't say it doesn't bother me.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:50 AM   #8
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Sometimes if not always you need a plan B because we always need to secure ourselves. Things we'rent going the way you thought they would so you being worried about yourself decided to make a choice where you may have to go back. Now things are working out in your favour! I'm sure she understands and by her being professional she get's it.

You've done nothing wrong you didn't do it in a sneaky way and you aren't purposely out there to screw anyone over you were just looking for a way to secure yourself and in the end things worked out in the end for you!

If she's extemely professional like you say she is then she understands. I don't think you have anything to worry about!
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