Faithful employee doesn’t receive a tribute
DEAR AMY >> What is the etiquette for speeches or tributes at an office retirement party?
My boss is retiring as a family law attorney. I have worked for him as a legal secretary/paralegal for 32 years, and will now need to find a new job as I’m single and in my 60s.
His wife invited me to a “closing the office” party for our law office, which consists of my boss, his partner, our office manager and me. A few other people were invited, and the total group was 18 people. I brought nice gifts for both my boss and his partner.
At the party my boss’s wife gave a speech. My boss’s partner gave a speech. In turn, my boss gave a tribute to his partner.
Our office manager (who is very outgoing) got up and thanked my boss for hiring her. Then my boss went on to talk about her and her family who have all in some way been employed for shortterm stints in our office.
Then the office manager’s husband got up to thank the office for employing his wife, etc. My boss then thanked an attorney we had as opposing counsel on several cases, who has been his friend for years.
My boss never said a word about me! I (mistakenly?) thought he would thank me for my years of service to him, and then I, in turn, would thank him.
Amy, I have been a devoted, loyal employee for all these years, foregoing vacations because I was concerned there was no one to cover my job when/if I was gone.
I’m not sure this is relevant, but everyone at the party was drinking. I don’t drink and am a little reserved.
Lastly, I was told I would be receiving a severance, but so far, I have received nothing.
I am left feeling sad and stunned. — Overlooked
DEAR OVERLOOKED >>
My take on this is that once the office manager’s husband got up to give a speech, the whole party took a turn and became a free-for-all of half-drunken “I love you, man” speechifying.
Yes, given how small this office is and how long you have worked for your boss, he absolutely should have paid a public tribute to you — especially since he took the time to single out everyone else (including the Uber driver who took him to the airport last week).
You were definitely overlooked.
Focus on getting the severance you were promised and a great reference for a new job. You deserve it.