Not staying in touch

“Stay in touch”

How many times have you seen that written on a leaving card. Or written at the end of commiseration emails after the latest mass sacking.

Why does the obligation fall to the person leaving to “be in touch”. I always thought that was a bit odd.

Either way, it’s then completely normal for days, then weeks, then months to pass with absolutely no contact from ex-colleagues.

“Stay in touch” (because I never will).

Until the day you run into one of your former colleagues on the train or a favourite coffee shop. Usually, a warm greeting accompanied by a guilty expression, and the words “we should catch up”.

Team nights out, bunking off over long lunches and laughing at some stupid mishap all seem to be forgotten so quickly. Perhaps it’s a very primitive response to leaving the tribe.

“Thank you for all your effort and the good times, likely we won’t speak again and I certainly won’t prioritise staying in touch, but all the best for the future”.

There. It’s honest and accurate, and won’t tarnish the days and weeks to come.

Frank Ray Consulting. Software requirements for agile development teams, particularly distributed, remote and offshore development teams working in financial services.

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