When Ex Co-Workers Pretend You Don’t Exist

I ran into an ex co-worker the other day and she pretended I didn’t exist. I know, you are going to say she probably didn’t see me or didn’t recognize me…or something, right? The thing is I know she saw me because I was yelling her name and waving like a maniac. Plus, she looked right at me when she heard her name and then quickly looked away (and completely turned her back to me). I mean, she knew her own name was being shouted, that part was obvious. Still, she chose to pretend she didn’t know me. How rude! I wanted to stomp my foot and yell, “Look at me because I DO exist! I am standing right in front of you.” I didn’t though. Instead I went off with Tiny-Small to look at Piñata’s.

The worst part is she was sort of my boss and so we worked next to each other (five days a week) for years and years. There is no way she didn’t recognize me. She had to have known who I was. I used to buy her lunch on a regular basis for petes sake. I listened to her complain about her family, her bills, her hair…. I know, now you are wondering what kind of person buys their boss lunch, right? Well, I am that kind of person, apparently. So take a long hard look at this face of mine.

This is the kind of face that screams, “Let me buy you lunch over and over again so in a few years you can pretend I do not exist!” Obviously, mine is a face that begs to have the word “Sucker” tattooed across it’s forehead. Yep. I’m too nice. I’ve been told that all of my life. I’m too nice to adults, to kids, to bugs and on occasion, even to my boss.

Somehow, even the homeless people in town know I am too nice. One guy asked me, in the grocery store parking lot, if he could come live with me for a few weeks. I had to say no because I was pretty sure Jim would get really angry with me if he came home and found a guy, his wife, his three friends and their giant dog camped out on our living room floor. The thing is, I did consider it for a moment. I mean, this guy needed help, right? I also felt sorry for the dog. Life gets pretty complicated when you are nice.

Anyway, I was feeling pretty sad about the whole ex co-worker ignoring me thing until my mom laughed in my face and told me I was better off. She remembers how miserable I was when I had that job and how stressed out I was every single moment I worked with my amnesic boss. She reminded me that I was probably lucky to be ignored and that I should embrace this moment as a positive one. Some people like to spread their anger, misery and general disgust with life around. I don’t have to be a part of that anymore. I no longer have to work with Ms. Grumpy pants and if she chooses to snub me, so what? It’s not like I am losing anything here. Yes, it is humiliating to be waving and yelling in the middle of the grocery store, but I embarrass myself like that on a regular basis these days anyway. No skin off my nose. Plus, I’ve heard it’s a great way to meet new friends…there are always people who think you might be waving to them. Love you guys…you know who you are!

When Ex-Coworkers pretend You Don't Exist

Nope, I am a much happier person now. I only take people I adore out to lunch. I don’t have to fake smile if I don’t want to. I don’t have to be associated with a massive black hole of depression that wanted to suck my soul dry of every ounce of joy in my being ( that may be a slight exaggeration, but only slight). Nope, I am free of all of that now and couldn’t be more ecstatic. The fact of the matter is I am now enjoying my life much more than I was just a few years ago. Surround yourself with people who make you happy. Especially (ESPECIALLY) at work. Does your job make you miserable? Get a new one. I’m telling you, I regret wasting so many years of my life working in a job that made me truly despair. It didn’t have to be like that, but when you have people working so hard to rob you of your good feelings it’s going to happen. Run! Run screaming if you have to. It’s the only way to save your life sometimes.

So, it’s true, happiness really is the best revenge! I take my revenge with a vat of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and a toddler-sized bundle of joy and happiness, how about you? What are you doing to make sure those ex co-worker (who pretend you don’t exist) types are no longer sapping you of your precious energy and happiness? Don’t wait until you are crying yourself to sleep at night. Be happy now.



Also, are you on Pinterest? I’m super desperate for new pins to steal. Come follow me so I can follow you. It’s lonely over there!


38 thoughts on “When Ex Co-Workers Pretend You Don’t Exist”

    1. It’s certainly possible. She is miserable. I hope she can give that up some day. I am just glad I don’t have to take responsibility for her unhappiness. What a relief!

  1. That evil bitch! She ignored you because she is miserable and you are not. She couldn’t look you in your sweet face and hear about your beautiful life when hers is nothing more than a pile of steaming poo. I think you are fantastic and would be honored to hear you shout my name!

    1. I am shouting your name right now! I was hurt by her actions, but as you have described, instead of feeling angry about it I mostly feel pity for her. How sad to be so unhappy.

      1. I was looking through the internet & I found your sweet article. Your ex co-worker was definatley an unhappy person, just unhappy with their life. This past week I bumped into 2 ex co-workers & they both pretended they didn’t know me, one just turned her back. I then realised one didn’t live in a nice neighbourhood & she looked miserable, I on the otherhand was pretty happy with my life, so its their loss, let them have a bad day & not to let them ruin your beautiful happy spirit! xo

  2. “Life gets pretty complicated when you are nice.” I can totally relate to that statement. I am way to nice and it invites people to take advantage and causes me stress. I am always trying to find the right balance.

    I agree with your mom. It sounds like you are better off not having that interaction with Negative Nancy.

    1. I’ve had that problem most of my life. Then in my “not nice” moments people jump to criticize me probably because it’s so out of character. I have learned to say no, but always pay a price for doing it.

    1. I feel like I have an army of bloggers ready to fight to the death for me…awesome! She’s not that bad. I think she just suffers from low self-esteem maybe or an over all state of crankiness. It’s hard to tell.

  3. Her lose entirely! I always love when you are waving like a lunatic at someone and then realize it isn’t who you thought and the person looks excited that someone is being friendly…. I have been guilty of that a few times lol

    1. Haha…me too! Or the person is waving at you, but you think maybe they are waving to someone behind you. Then you turn around and noone is there because they are, in fact, waving to you! Hilarious!

  4. So you WEREN’T waving at me??

    You are too nice! And your hair looks really cute in that pic!

    I used to be nice (and I still am to people who seem receptive of it). Yet I’ve learned to out-bitch the bitch. Plus, I’m taller which just makes me that much more imposing. It’s funny how many shrews seem to cave in the presence of bigger attitudes. For me, it’s an act, but I must say…I do enjoy the role now and then!

  5. I think being happy is a great revenge. I also think that being nice and friendly is better. I’d rather be able to look at myself in the mirror than worry about making a fool of myself.

    1. I thought about that after my ex co-worker gave me the snub. I could have easily ignored her too, but I didn’t. I tried to be nice and friendly. I felt pretty good about that part.

  6. I followed you at Pinterest….here’s me https://pinterest.com/PlayPossum/
    I CANNOT believe some people! I had that happen when I was working at the YMCA (while I was in nursing school)…was totally snubbed by a former coworker. I wanted to smack that….um anyway. I did get the best revenge because I took a good look at her and thought DAMN she is NOT aging well!. Imagine leather drying..yup. Guess all that “working from home” aka tanning didn’t pay off. She’s still single. and looks like hell!

    1. That’s excatly how my cousin gets through her high school reunions. She doesn’t have the fancy house, the fancy cars, the fancy husband. She doesn’t have have kids either, but she looks younger, less wrinkled and thinner than all of her former classmates so she rocks that part!

  7. Hi Lily,
    This was such a well-timed post for me! I work in customer service, and there are some people who seem to just relish being miserable, and sharing it with you. Perhaps inflicting it on you is a better way to put it. You are SO much better off without such a person in your life.
    And I really like the comment before mine from Alex@LateEnough – be someone you ould enjoy being friends with. and let the rest just walk on by…
    be happy!
    And now I am going to go visit you on Pinterest – I don’t want you to be feeling lonely! 🙂
    Thanks for a great read!

    1. Yes, Alex is very wise! I agree with both of you.

      Customer service jobs are the most difficult. I have seen some customers be terribly rude. So much grumpiness!

      Thank you for visiting me on Pinterest too!

  8. I’m reading this after I posted a blog about my boss being an ogre! How funny! I may just have to take your advice!

  9. I am sorry some meanie made you feel small. I am glad that your mom made you realize she stinks like week old diapers. I think the you are awesome. Obviously so do all the important people!

  10. Awww, I would be so upset! Oh well, her loss because you are a wonderful person!!! Love the last part of this post especially. So true. Working a job you don’t like is just not worth it… also, I am now craving chocolate cookie dough ice cream.. Haha!

  11. Ha ha. Try having your CURRENT co-workers pretending you don’t exist, by ignoring your email queries about work-related stuff.

    It’s pretty bloody spooky, to tell you the truth. And I work in a COMMUNICATIONS business!! (smh)

    1. You just ruined all the faith I had left in humanity. Was email invented just so coworkers could ignore us? Seriously, it’s much harder to ignore someone when they are standing right in front of you, right? I would start sending all of my rainbow, chain letter forwards to those people if I were you!

  12. I have that same thing happen. I work in a grocery store so I think the problem is that people hate working there so much that when they leave they want nothing more to do with the place or their ex coworkers. I’ve even had ex coworkers turn into very rude customers.

  13. I know this post is a few years old but my new workplace is very close to my old one and I found your blog when I googled “running into former co-workers”. I had something similar happen to me when I visited my former office a month after my resignation. I had lunch with a former colleague and she convinced me to come up and say hi to everyone. I had issues with my direct boss but I was cool with everyone else. Still when I saw her in the office I said hi. You know what she said to me? “Do we owe you something?” She did not even acknowledge my greeting! I replied, “No, I just came to say hi to my friends.” (I emphasised on the friends part.) And she walked away without a word! So rude! She and your former boss are of the same ilk!

  14. I am struggling with being ignored by former co-workers so took to the internet for help, which is how I found your post! I work for a large collegiate institution and because my boss was resigning, I transferred to another area of campus. It’s so hard starting over, and I really wanted to remain “friends” with my former crew. It’s only been one month since I left, and my emails and text messages are ignored by a couple of people that I went to bat for on multiple occasions, people that I truly cared for and I thought felt the same. It’s so hurtful and I am having a hard time processing why??? Your post spoke to me, so I felt compelled to respond and thank you. In time, I will move on, just as they clearly have…grr! I would give anything to not give a s%#t and learn to be a badass!!

  15. This post made me laugh out loud when I was feeling hurt and sad about being snubbed by a former co-worker. Thank you to both you and your commenters for the reminder that it is about the rude person and not about the person being snubbed. Surprising to learn so many others were treated the same way. Makes it hard to go on being nice.

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