I have worked at an office as a contractor and got relieved a few weeks ago. I had fun while working there and at the same time my manager developed negative notion towards me for reasons best known to him.

I had expressed his behavior to other colleagues and found that everyone had a similar opinion about him except that no one was willing to take any action against him.

In the meanwhile, I worked closely with one of my colleagues named funny guy; he is smart, intelligent and funny. He made me laugh all the time and also guided me whenever I needed help.

Unfortunately, one day my manager strictly instructed him not to help me anymore. Funny guy himself informed me about this incident and started being moody towards me. I reconciled with him by having a small conversation and he started being as usual with me. Although, he used to get a little conscious while talking to me in the presence of that manager. I totally respect funny guy's behavior.

A few days back, I evaded a very strong repulsion from my manager and resigned from the contractual position. I was there for a few days after resignation. But, funny guy's behavior changed again, which I believe is because of our manager, which again I totally respect. On the last working day, funny guy and I had an accidental encounter and he wished me good luck. I was almost in tears as I didn't want to end the rapport abruptly there. If it wasn't for that accidental encounter, he wouldn't have met me, all thanks to my manager.

Now, I am working in a different company. I really want to get back in touch with funny guy. He is good man and was quite respectful to my feelings and emotions which I appreciated the most.

I tried to get in touch with him by calling him on his mobile phone; he did recieve my call but told me that he would call me back later which never happened.

He is definitely not the kind of person who breaks relationships for silly reasons; I have seen him maintaining good relationship with other ex-colleagues. I respect his actions towards me but at the same time I am deeply hurt that he is not responding to me.

I want to talk to him for 5-10 minutes and express how much I want to be in touch with him. I am not on any professional/social media network.

How can I best make him aware that I would like to stay in touch and maintain healthy professional relationship with him and also not come over as too pushy?

  • How long has it been since you called him? And do you have any other way of contacting him besides calling?
    – AsheraH
    Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 11:55
  • 1
    Hey WonderWoman, your post as it was is a bit opinion based and asking for advice what to do, rather than giving a specific goal and asking how to achieve it. I edited your post to try make it meeting our on-topic criteria. Hope this still represents you initial intend, if this is not the case, feel free to roll it back and/or improve it so it suits your intend.
    – dhein
    Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 12:23

1 Answer 1


If you have a means of contacting your ex-colleague without requiring an immediate response, such as text or email, that could work well to allow your colleague to respond when he has time. For many people, such a message leaves a more durable reminder than a phone call made while they're in the middle of some other task.

It's my understanding in our society there is a very low threshold before something becomes 'nagging', so I'd advise a single message and then let it be up to him. I'd recommend if you do two messages, and you are able to select different addresses or different mediums, to do so.

If you're sending an email message, is there a reason to not attempt to convey the 5-10 minute call you feel you're wanting to make in the email? This would provide less of a 'pig in a poke' situation, instead letting your ex-colleague know exactly what you want and expect.

It could be more helpful if I've tried to get in contact with a number of other coworkers and could say what worked and what didn't, but maybe not - different people are different. If you knew the style of contact the person preferred when you were working together, that would probably be more helpful than anything I could say. But if you knew that, then I'd guess you wouldn't be here asking.

All I can give for background here is about me. I've had a few ex-colleagues contact me, either as they were about to become an ex colleague or shortly thereafter, with requests for contact information and staying in touch. I've experienced a number of ways that people do this, and some seem reasonable and others don't.

On the one hand, I'm a notably difficult case, because I deal with far too much email at work, and thus my attention to my personal email tends to be notably subpar. On the other hand, I tend to be a bit more understanding of multiple contacts.

Most of the former colleagues who tried to reach out to me pretty clearly are in the reasonable group, with one or two emails indicating interest, and then waiting for my response. Or, possibly one or two texts - those I've mostly interacted with over an instant messaging client tend to prefer texts.

If they send emails, and it's a bad time for me, I might not get to their email for a few years, but the archive goes back far enough I'm likely to come across them eventually. If they send an email when I'm not otherwise swamped, it may take a month or two (as I said, my attention for personal emails is generally quite limited.)

If they send texts, and it's a bad time for me, I'll probably never get to it. My phone's interface for retrieving old text messages is notably lousy. Also, texts tend to be very short, and most ex-colleagues who send texts tend to assume their first name is sufficient for me to recognize their unknown number. Or maybe I get a lot of spam pretending to be ex-colleagues, and those are intentionally vague. It's really hard to tell.

If it's not at a bad time, I tend to respond to texts much quicker. My phone alerts me to them coming in, there's a list of the last however many text message sources, and something like ten are shown on the screen when I open the text message app.

Different people are different, of course, but it's my overall impression that I'm one of the more patient people around. I think I've only blocked one ex-colleague, after they'd sent me more than half a dozen texts in a couple of days. I've known people who blocked friends after just a few texts when they were busy.

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