Gransnet forums


I Just Quit My WhatsApp Group With My Ex Workmates

(48 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.

Sara70 Sun 08-Nov-20 17:06:23

I became a Mum at a very early age which could have been a disaster in my life, but due to the support I received from my wonderful parents I was able to commence work and create a career. Therefore, throughout that career life, I was until this year involved with the Events Industry engaged in the organisation and setting up of large events not only in Britain but also throughout Europe.

This year due to the Covid crisis the American company that had employed so many of us for many years had no option but to make all it's employees redundant and withdrawal from Britain completely for the foreseeable future. A group of about forty of us have therefore remained in touch through a WhatsApp group and that has been a source of tremendous support for all through the difficult times so many of us have faced.

Therefore, my advise to the OP would be to remain in her group, for once those links are broken they can never be picked up again as people move on and their lives change or even come to an end.

geekesse Sun 08-Nov-20 17:15:24

Why such a fuss over a birthday? I’m assuming the OP is a mature adult. A birthday is just another day. It’s kind of nice when people who are close to us want to reflect on the fact that they are glad we were born, but the passing of another day in the life of an adult isn’t a big deal, and sulking because some friends don’t remember it seems to me to be a fuss over nothing.

If the OP doesn’t want to remain part of the Whatsapp group, that’s fine - there’s no compulsion to remain in contact with ex-colleagues so long after retirement. But if it’s a case of breaking ties with people the OP cares about in a huff over not receiving birthday greetings, that’s just silly.

It seems like a mis-match between the rest of the group who don’t think marking birthdays is a big deal, and the OP who sees it as crucial to a friendship. The OP has interpreted this as a personal slight. Perhaps she might consider that they might think her attitude to birthdays is a bit OTT?

BlueBelle Sun 08-Nov-20 17:20:05

Happy belated birthday Bengal I can totally relate to this I meet up with a group of school friends I didn’t mind taking over the role of organiser at all as I quickly realised we wouldn’t meet if I didn’t do ring rounds and messages I too had everyone’s birthday in my head and sent cards to them all a couple gave back, ...not too big a problem ...anyway at lockdown in March knowing a few were alone and feeling depressed I started a chat group and tried to keep everyone’s spirits up with little jokes, bits of news, ideas etc etc, always asking how everyone was doing, as time went by I realised that there was very little coming back, so I decided to wait and see who would get some chat going or who would ask if I was ok (that was about July) ........and I m still waiting
Very dispiriting isn’t it

Harris27 Sun 08-Nov-20 17:26:27

I’ve worked for the same place for many years and I thought I was well liked. Always did my best and when I was in hospital a new person came with flowers and a card nothing from the others. I went back to work with a new attitude these were only work friends and I’m doing ok now. Happy birthday for yesterday though hope you make new real friends. ???

Sparkling Sun 08-Nov-20 19:11:10

Bengal, You did the right thing. You didn’t feel appreciated. In every group there is an organiser and that was you, but no one there for you when you needed it. It’s disheartening I know.

BengalCatOwner Sun 08-Nov-20 21:38:20

Geekesse - OUCH!

BengalCatOwner Sun 08-Nov-20 21:44:12

There are other underlying things that I have not mentioned, and will not go into now. Today I feel pretty bad, but still think I did the right thing. All the people in the group have my mobile phone number and nobody has contacted me today since they were notified yesterday that I left the group. That says it all really. I am very disappointed and so humbled that most of you understand my situation. Thanks again for all your comments...

SpringyChicken Sun 08-Nov-20 22:35:36

Bengal, I'm afraid it's 'out of sight, out of mind' when a person leaves work. Unless you meet up regularly, the friendships eventually fizzle out.
I always regarded the people I worked with as colleagues who were friendly rather than friends.

honeyrose Sun 08-Nov-20 22:49:05

It sounds as if you’re a bit “down”, Bengal, and when we think (rightly or wrongly) that other people aren’t bothered, it can make us feel worse. I think that Springychicken is probably right in that relationships with work colleagues (unless you form very close personal friendships) can fizzle out once you leave work. Sending best wishes to you. ?

readsalot Mon 09-Nov-20 10:10:05

Happy belated birthday from me too. I would be feeling hurt, in your place. It's not nice to realise you value a friendship but the other person doesn't feel the same way. Out of sight, out of mind applies here I think. You obviously have many happy memories of working with these people, but it's time to move on. Best wishes.

Curlygirl Mon 09-Nov-20 12:00:32

Aren’t people strange! Notice your full Gransnet name is Bengal CatOwner. I am not Bengal but Siamese and Oriental Cat owner (4 in total). Thank goodness we can rely on our feline friends for everlasting loyalty.

Jaxjacky Mon 09-Nov-20 12:17:21

Bengal I learnt that work friends can be very fickle. I left four years ago and now have one very good friend out of the ‘group’, it’s a part of my life that I enjoyed at that time. I hope you had a lovely birthday nonetheless!

FindingNemo15 Mon 09-Nov-20 12:38:15

Since leaving school I have been a friend and support to one of my old classmates. Last year I found out that she met up with four others from our class, but I was not invited.

I felt really hurt and let down. We have not spoken since, so to me it was obvious that I was doing all the contacting. Maybe she saw me as a nuisance who knows?

The strange thing is she could not stand the other four, but she still went and dropped me!

FarNorth Mon 09-Nov-20 13:18:39

Nemo it seems odd that you would go along for years without realising that you were the one doing all the contacting.
If true, how could you not notice that?

jeanie99 Fri 20-Nov-20 05:00:10

I've been retired since 2006 meeting up with people you worked with slowly drops off as the years go on.
I still have the occasional chat mostly at Christmas time and have a catch up. I receive the odd e-mail, it's life we move on all of us. I'm terrible at remembering birthdays and feel guilty at receiving cards from a couple of friends but don't send to them. I've just received a birthday card yesterday from a friend of many years. We are very close go on holiday together she doesn't seem to mind.

Kestrel Sat 21-Nov-20 12:03:35

Sorry to hear this Bengal. It sounds to me like they saw the contact as 'work related' and not real friendship so they followed your lead as the boss re birthday wishes to colleagues etc. It's hard to know sometimes what is real friendship when it comes to work/church etc relationships. You sound like a very caring person so they're the ones who lost out.

NotTooOld Sat 21-Nov-20 22:44:22

You did the right thing, Bengal. When I retired after 25 years at the same workplace I expected to keep in touch with a few colleagues but it did not last long. One even sent me a letter saying she wouldn't be contacting me again as we didn't have much in common. She was right in a way but it hurt. That is a few years ago and we have moved to a different area now and I have made a new set of friends, just as you will do.

Elrel Sat 21-Nov-20 23:59:14

Nemo, after a very long gap I contacted old school friends. One was especially pleased and we met several times and discussed who else we were in touch with. I was hurt when she cancelled an arranged visit from me because someone else from school whom I’d not seen since we left was coming to see her. This was someone I’d always got on all right with even though we weren’t close friends. I found her keeping us apart a bit odd.

crazyH Sun 22-Nov-20 00:05:28

Happy Birthday Bengal ??flowers

TrendyNannie6 Thu 26-Nov-20 15:21:33

I’ve always thought that most of the people you work with are just that, friends at work or work colleagues, not actually true friends outside of work, so once you leave retire etc you are coming away from the work environment, so not so much in common, I retired five years ago and have left them all behind albeit two whom are friends, both of those have also left the workplace, I think we move on in life there are many twists and turns, I still have friends from years before working, but I’ve also gained other people along the way, I think it’s how life is, I’m glad you feel free, also happy belated birthday

nanna8 Sun 29-Nov-20 10:42:07

I have left all my work friends behind,too- moved on to pastures new. The thing is, once away from work you don't have so much in common if they are still working. I very occasionally meet up with a couple of them individually and we have a good lunch together but that is all I want. I often wonder about shutting off my facebook account but there are a few old rellies on it that I only communicate with that way.

Bluesie Thu 03-Dec-20 15:19:07

In my last job, we all put two pound a month into a fund and had a birthday gift each year. Except me, when the organiser forgot two years in a row, I stopped my monthly payment. It did hurt, everyone else had family to fuss over them, I had no one, but I felt better when I stopped paying. When we all went our separate ways when redundancy loomed, I met my ex colleagues a few times, but we all have moved on now, and have no further contact