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I Just Quit My WhatsApp Group With My Ex Workmates

(47 Posts)
BengalCatOwner Sat 07-Nov-20 23:09:11

I retired just over three years ago and tonight on my 61st birthday I exited my WhatsApp work group that we had for the last eight years. I feel elated and free. When I retired I went back over all the old chats and made a note of everyone’s birthdays and added them all to my calendar. On every birthday I sent a message to each of my ex work colleagues wishing them all a happy birthday. After my message, everyone else would follow up with their own birthday messages. Today, it was my birthday and I did not get one single message from any of my ex work colleagues. AIBU to exit the group with no message or warning or explanation? I kind of feel that they may be wondering why on earth, after all these years, that I just left the group with no reason, but to be honest, I feel elated that I do not have to engage with these so called friends any more.

NotSpaghetti Sat 07-Nov-20 23:16:54

Work colleagues are often not true friends. They may be on a 1-1 basis but really I think generally they are people who are simply friendly at work

Well done you for moving on at last.

Oopsminty Sat 07-Nov-20 23:18:21

You were obviously the one they relied on to know when people had a birthday! There's always one in a group who is organised and knows these things. I'm shocking when it comes to remembering birthdays etc etc.

If you weren't enjoying being in the group it's perfectly reasonable to leave.

No need for explanation

Mouseybrown60 Sat 07-Nov-20 23:27:16

Happy birthday Bengal
I usually put birthday messages on Facebook but get very few in return. It doesn’t really bother me.
I would like to stop sending Christmas cards this year & give the Money to charity.
Just because someone gets a lots of birthday cards doesn’t mean that they are popular or well liked.
Enjoy the fact that you no longer have to track your ex colleagues birthday dates.

mokryna Sat 07-Nov-20 23:32:30

Belated Birthday wishes to you Bengal

Bixiboo Sat 07-Nov-20 23:43:13

Happy birthday Bengal. Don’t think you are being unreasonable at all. Sometimes after we retire we realise that the only thing we have in common with old colleagues is work, nothing else. I retired 4 years ago and only keep in touch with 4 people I used to work with, but worked with them for over 25 years. They are friends I socialise with on a regular basis rather than a WhatsApp group. Also once retired I made new friends by joining various groups, voluntary work etc. As you say, you feel elated so it’s onwards and upwards now.

GrandmaKT Sat 07-Nov-20 23:45:44

Just time to wish you Happy Birthday Bengal cupcake

JackyB Sun 08-Nov-20 09:06:37

I think I am still in the group we had, but nearly everyone else in it has left the company since anyway. I only ever write to each one individually. You are not being unreasonable - as Bixiboo and Notspaghetti have said, they probably weren't real friends anyway.

FannyCornforth Sun 08-Nov-20 09:15:01

Bengal- forgive me if I'm wrong - but all these pps saying 'well, they weren't real friends anyway' are missing thy point.
You know that, and you are hacked off and angry because you were lovely and thoughtful colleague, and they are a deadloss!
I'd be angry and upset too.
I've been in this position, and it's horrible.
I hope that you had a good birthday yesterday. flowers

Puzzler61 Sun 08-Nov-20 09:32:14

Firstly Happy Birthday ? ? ? for yesterday.
I retired 2 years ago Bengal and have found the opposite.
I was the one who organised meetings, Xmas parties, nights out at other times of the year, but the close knit group of ladies (6 of us) have said they want to take over and for me to enjoy it.
They took me for afternoon tea on my birthday a year ago and a walk in a beauty spot for this year’s birthday. One brought Prosecco and plastic glasses, one brought a big bunch of flowers.
They are friends as well as ex-colleagues, and I’m sorry yours weren’t. You can make a small group of true friends now and devote more energy to them. ?

Mildmanneredgran Sun 08-Nov-20 09:51:33

Puzzler, that's a bit of an unkind post when Bengal has posted her experience. Bengal, many happy returns, and congratulations on your liberation! You are most definitely NBU.

FannyCornforth Sun 08-Nov-20 09:58:30

Oh dear, Puzzler, that was a bit tactless, at best.

Kate1949 Sun 08-Nov-20 10:02:45

One of the few benefits of the lockdown is that I no longer have to meet up with ex colleagues/friends. I know I didn't HAVE to but I got into a routine of meeting for lunch with one or the other. I went because they asked and because I'm a wimp and a people pleaser. No more. Like you Bengal I feel a sense of elation. Good for you. Happy birthday for yesterday.

Puzzler61 Sun 08-Nov-20 10:27:40

Apologies to Bengal no malice intended.
Just putting another point of view that not all work colleagues are thoughtless and Bengal should not feel she acted rashly if she found hers to be so.
She said she felt elated and free so she isn’t upset.

Teetime Sun 08-Nov-20 10:30:38

Bengal Happy Birthday. Well done for moving on from this relationship - some things like this just drain us and aren't worth the air time or your time. Have a lovely day. flowers

lemongrove Sun 08-Nov-20 11:32:17


You were obviously the one they relied on to know when people had a birthday! There's always one in a group who is organised and knows these things. I'm shocking when it comes to remembering birthdays etc etc.

If you weren't enjoying being in the group it's perfectly reasonable to leave.

No need for explanation

Very true!

Davidhs Sun 08-Nov-20 11:46:16

Just withdraw politely say you enjoyed their company etc etc
Move on to the next chapter in life look forwards not back.

Calendargirl Sun 08-Nov-20 11:48:25

It’s 8 years since I retired, and you do realise, as time goes by,that work colleagues are just that, colleagues.
I have nothing in common with them now, it seems so long ago, (thank goodness).

Cabbie21 Sun 08-Nov-20 11:57:25

I used to be part of a group of retired former colleagues but I am rarely contacted by any of them now. I was not always included in the information about the next meet up which was hurtful. After I moved away, I only wanted to drive back in decent weather and now with the pandemic, I think that part of my life is over.
I can understand why you want to leave the WhatsApp group, OP, and don’t see why you should hesitate.

FarNorth Sun 08-Nov-20 11:57:31

If you feel elated, you've done the right thing.

Presumably there was nothing else about the group that you liked, besides remembering birthdays?

You chose to do the birthday thing, thus reminding everyone else when it was someone's birthday.
They clearly don't have a note of all the birthdays, so why would they know yours?

All the best with your future. wine flowers

Blossoming Sun 08-Nov-20 12:32:12

Happy Birthday Bengal. I retired at the end of 2019, my colleagues have been lovely and supportive over the years but I am expecting contact to gradually cease.

BengalCatOwner Sun 08-Nov-20 13:08:36

Thank you to all who replied and sent me birthday messages. I really appreciate it. I was really upset. I actually employed a couple of the ladies and worked with them for many years, though most have now left the company, we still met up for special birthdays and occasions, one being my 60th last year when we all went out to celebrate. Still, I’m happy to be moving on now. I realise that once work is out of the equation there is not much left in common and relationships fizzle out... Time to find some new friends to chat with ??

boodymum67 Sun 08-Nov-20 13:34:41

Happy birthday xx

honeyrose Sun 08-Nov-20 15:50:53

Happy birthday for yesterday, Bengal. Yes - time to move on. Also, why should you have to remember everyone’s birthday - it seems that the others were relying on you all the time. Not on! I have been a bit of a people pleaser all my life, but now feel that I may have been taken for granted by some. I have made some great friends through my first job (some of them from 40 years ago), but colleagues from my last job (I retired 2 years ago) were lovely, but I didn’t particularly want to stay in touch with them and I think the feeling was mutual. If you’re feeling a sense of “freedom” from
the WhatsApp group, then you’ve the right thing exiting it. If anyone should ask you why you left, just say that it was good whilst it lasted, but your life has now moved on.

PollyDolly Sun 08-Nov-20 16:01:59

It hurts doesn't it, when you remember their birthdays and they forget yours? I used to work with a younger woman who, at the time was approaching her 40th birthday. She was making such a big thing of it and as we regularly worked together so I bought her a bottle of champagne and a beautiful card. I didn't even get a "thank you" or a card for my birthday a few weeks later!
My neighbour is now pretty much the same, constantly banging on about his birthday etc but he conveniently forgets ours but is very happy to accept all manner of help with shopping, odd jobs and gardening etc! The thorn in my side was the day I heard him talking to a visitor who commented on his garden; neighbour said " oh yes, next door does it for me but he's not a proper gardener"! I was furious and stopped my OH doing his garden anymore.