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not sure how to feel


Grumbler in Training
Nov 21, 2004
I've been in the framing industry since 1979...I had a co-worker quit to find a better job. We had it pretty good with our boss but after 2 years of being gone & having seen the "other" side she wants to return. She was a queen bee when she left & now I'm making more than she was. I guess I'm asking if I should be worried about being pushed away?
Sheila - welcome to the Grumble! And I don't feel you have anything to worry about with the return of your former co-worker. After all, you have been active in the framing world for two more years than the "queen bee" and a lot has come down the pike since then. Does she know about AttachEZ, Restore Artcare - there have been a LOT of innovations in the field.

YOU are the QUEEN BEE now!!! She is merely a worker bee (unless she has secretly been reading the Grumble for the last two years!).
From an employer's standpoint, there are probably very rare circumstances when I would rehire an employee who had previously quit.

I have done this with a framer who had to deal with his wife's extended illness. I don't think I'd do it for someone who went looking for greener pastures.

'Course, that wasn't the question, was it?

The only thing you can do is make yourself as valuable as possible and hope your employer exercises sound judgement.
Do what you do best, work as good as you can, maybe try to raise the bar for yourself just a little. then if things do go sour, you will have tried your best and you deserve to go somewhere that is better. if your boss is good, they will tell the returnung employee that "you left, she is in charge now, learn to like it" in nicer words of course.
just remember that if she left to find the greener pasture, that if an opportunity comes about again, she will be gone. i think your boss will also be thinking this. and remember you can only do what you do. if the former employee has issues with you try to sit down and talk with him/her one on one.

best of luck
thx all for the great advice...and Eric, the "other" side was not in the art/framing industry. She had high expectations of being a manager making big bucks & not having to work very much. She is definitely not up to speed with the new things that we've introduced. My boss & I have talked extensively about this & is worried that I may say screw it & leave. I am capable of running the gallery frame shop on my own which she isn't.
Sounds like your boss already "knows the devil" and her penchent for "not wanting to work hard".
And he was sounding you out because you may feel that she was being hired back "to her original level".

Sounds like she gets to start over. And, yeah, first shot at better, and she'll be gone.
I will keep you informed on what happens...my gut feeling is not a good one..Sheila
Tough position without doubt, I have myself "rehired" a former employee who had left and travelled extensively and then worked in other industries before I got her back. There was an employee in a similar position as you and I certainly did have to give it a lot of thought before proceeding with the rehiring.

In my instance the two employees are now managing different departments within the business and work together extremely well, the one who returned still bows to the longer-term person on matters of experience despite having a more extensive knowledge of the industry. This factor really helps it work, after a while everything began to settle into place and become normal for the both of them again anyhow. Good social interaction has also been important.

I would strongly urge that if, at any time, for any reason you feel "out of place" with the arrangement that you set time aside to discuss the issues (even if you cannot explain them) with your employer so as not to isolate yourself unnecessarily.
Communication is the key, both with the fellow co-worker and the boss. As long as the lines of communication are open, everything else works itself out.