A Letter from Sarah

May Missive

For my Missive this month, I have decided to share with readers an email that was sent to me by someone I helped at the end of last year. Let’s call her Sarah. Work can be fulfilling, but it can also be the cause of great frustration. From time to time, we all experience our own challenges in the workplace. We do, of course, have a choice about how we choose to respond. I am sure you will recognise some of the themes as you read.


Dear Clive,

I hope you are doing well. I thought I would send you an email to update you on the situation as promised during our last mediation session in December.

I mentioned to you before the session that I am feeling sceptical about continuing to work in this environment with the same line manager after all that happened and keeps happening, but before taking any decision I would give it a second thought hoping that things could improve with the time. As you are aware, at the mediation session, some of the issues which have been happening lately were discussed. They sounded much worse than I described them. For me it was really shocking how people sometimes can twist the truth; was it for their own benefit, or to cover jealousy, or to cover incompetence, or to add to the fire, I don’t really know. I then thought how I am going to deal with this and is it worth fighting or losing more energy for.

I then gave the situation deep thought over Christmas because it was affecting my stress level a lot, and I am now writing to you to let you know that I’ve reached the decision to resign from my position as continuing to work in this toxic environment is very detrimental to my well-being. After I got back from my Christmas break, I explained the situation face to face to my manager and I submitted my resignation. I will be working my notice (3 months) hoping no further issues will erupt during this time so I can finish in peace. Certainly, many factors have contributed to my decision and it was still very difficult to take.

I’d like to thank you again for your professionalism as a mediator. I guess some situations are irreparable when they are due to a mix of characters, conflict and personalities twisting the truth. All this experience has taught me lot of things and we always learn from previous mistakes/situations. I will keep positive and looking to a better future. I am hoping that in my next job I will be able to see the signs earlier before any damage occurs.

As an experienced business psychologist, if you please have any advice/feedback to give me or a book recommendation which may help me deal better in the future with difficult situations that would be much appreciated.


Update: I heard from Sarah last week. She has secured a role at a bigger company. The role is at a more senior level with better benefits and is closer to home. She is content.

Helen Robinson