Office Politics 101: Retiring the frequent visits

Q: This may sound rather heartless, but a retired employee comes around quite often and interrupts us — and his visits can be annoying.

Q: This may sound rather heartless, but a retired employee comes around quite often and interrupts us.  He is a great guy, but his visits can be annoying. What can we do to discourage him?

A: It’s an extremely sensitive matter because he believes you appreciate his visits while you would prefer he didn’t drop by — at least not so frequently.

He is apparently under the misunderstanding his visits are genuinely valued and that the conversations are not interruptions, but welcomed social times.

You don’t identify when he retired, but my guess is that it was within the last year or so. He is probably still going through work “withdrawal”.

Men in particular seem to identify with their work to the degree that retirement can sometimes cause depression.

He may even be lonely and is missing the fellowship of colleagues. This can be understandable, especially if he has a small circle of friends or is single.

If you think back to his retirement party — which I am presuming you attended — the MC may have invited him “to keep in touch,” which is a common phrase.

The problem is that he has taken it too literally.

Does he have a close friend in the office? Perhaps it is his or her invitations that are promoting him to come by and once there, he naturally turns his attention to others.

You say he is “a great guy,” which presumably means he is not self-absorbed and emotionally needy; this should make any communication regarding this issue somewhat less challenging.

One informal option would be to identify his friend and encourage him or her to share the concerns of the office. The message should be extremely gentle but it would be less upsetting coming from someone close.

A more systematic approach might involve the HR department which could organize regular — perhaps quarterly — social events specifically for retirees.

These events, implicitly, would replace the current casual drop-ins.

Any communication with him needs to stress that you miss working with him but that in order to give him the attention he deserves, the times for conviviality need to be scheduled and outside of work hours.

An additional benefit of a planned event is that other retirees will also be invited which may allow him to re-kindle friendships which could possibly diminish his need to drop by your office.

Your compassion for him is critical.

While he can’t be permitted to continue interrupting your work day, you don’t want to make him feel unwanted.

Consider a somewhat formal social which could allow him to continue his relationships with former colleagues and, at the same time, connect with other retirees.

Simon Gibson is a university professor, marketing executive, corporate writer and civic leader. He is a graduate of four public universities, including Simon Fraser University, where he earned his doctorate in education. He also also holds a degree in journalism (honours) from Carleton University. His email address can be found here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Port Hardy Fire Rescue gains eight new recruits

Port Hardy Fire Rescue is still accepting applications for more personnel to join the team.

Port Alice loses four volunteer fire fighters

The village has only nine active members left.

Mayweather vs. McGregor

Like most people, I ordered the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor boxing pay per view.

7 Mile Landfill Sundays not profitable

RDMW to reconsider September Sunday hours

Cottonwood tree causes North Island power outage

BC Hydro’s local crew responded to the outage immediately with a ground patrol to identify the outage

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

Tyson’s Thoughts: Seven Hills Memories

To this day, I still smash my driver like it’s a baseball bat to show that I can outdrive my brother.

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

INTERACTIVE MAP: Follow the 2017 Tour de Rock

Follow the Tour de Rock, as they pedal more than 1,000 kilometres fundraising to combat paediatric cancer

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Most Read