Q&A With Jane: My boss publicly criticized me in an email to our whole office

The brutal and straightforward answers to HR-related queries and concerns.

Hi Jane!

I recently got a new job within the same organization. The HR personnel is handling the transition, so I didn’t get the opportunity to hand in my two weeks’ notice. I sent an email to my boss asking about handover and he responded with a 1,200-words long email essentially shaming me for not giving the two weeks’ notice. He also called me a ‘professional liar’ among a bunch of other things, and CC’s the entire team in it.

Now I don’t work with this anymore, however, I also don’t think I should have been subjected to such public humiliation because I am simply doing what HR is instructing me to do. I may have to coordinate with these coworkers again as we’re in the same building. Would I get called a snitch for pointing out that I’m simply following directions or should I simply move on? What’s the professional thing to do?

Boos Humiliated Me

This is bad. Your manager should have removed names from the email sent to you. Here’s what you need to do:

Reply all, “Thanks, John. Let’s schedule some time in a few days to discuss.” This shows that you acknowledged the email and will manage it instead of running away from the situation.

When you meet with the previous manager, you don’t need HR to be there. You can simply tell him that you consulted with HR for the transition and they advised you to….

You should also reach out to HR and ask how to best manage this transition because there is some animosity from the previous manager.

Remember, you need to dig out of the situation on your own. It is a challenging situation, and if you get through on your own, you’ll come out much stronger on the other side.

All the best!

The brutal and straightforward answers to HR-related queries and concerns. Send in your queries with the subject line ‘Ask JANE HARPER’ at

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Jane Harper
Writer. Human resources expert and consultant. Follow @thehrdigest on Twitter

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