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Lucky employee now sits on the fence

Q. For years I have wanted to switch companies for a different position. The company I was interested in approached me out of the blue and offered me a great job. After several meetings and detailing all the particulars I gave notice to my current employer and while they were extremely disappointed, they wished me well.

Once I was scheduled to begin the new position, I froze and was overcome with anxiety. Most of it was the regret of hurting the employers who had been very nice to me over the years, as well as the fear of having to learn all different systems, which felt overwhelming at the time.


I told the new company I needed to put my start date off a couple of months (which they were fine with) and told my current employers I would stay while I thought things through. They were thrilled and have done everything to make my job better.

I am beyond grateful to both companies for handling this so well, and I am happy to not be forced to choose until I am ready.

I am now overcome with shame, embarrassment, and just feel like a dope. Eventually I will want to try out this new position, but I fear that when I am ready it is going to be even harder to leave the Old Company since they are now pulling out all the stops to make me happy!

I have dug an even deeper hole. If I had just left when I got the offer, I’d be OK by now.

I feel so foolish for not seizing a great opportunity and at the same time want to be fair to both, but I’m not sure how to make the move later when I’m having such a hard time now.



A. If New Company had refused your request to delay your start time, you’d have made your choice and adjusted to all the frightening changes by now. The generous options these companies have allowed you to pursue seem to have paralyzed you.

Now you must make a decision. I can’t tell you what decision to make, but you have to make one. The longer you delay, the more like a dope you will feel.

If you leave, you may regret it. If you stay, you might also have regrets.

It’s OK to stumble a bit. It’s OK to pursue an opportunity but then change your mind. But you’ve turned what should be a transactional experience into an emotionally fraught experience.

Decide what is best for you — not these two employers. And make your choice, notify them, and commit to the choice you’ve made. If you end up declining to move to New Company, thank them sincerely for their patience and tell them that Old Company has made staying where you are the best choice for you.

Q. I have a brother and sister-in-law who just don’t get it.

They brag incessantly about their two brilliant, gorgeous, talented granddaughters. That alone would be annoying but at the same time they are critical of my grandchildren, who are, of course, brilliant, gorgeous, and talented.

The last time we spoke, my sister-in-law actually said that her granddaughter is a genius. I could only comment that this was spoken as a true grandmother. But she asserted that no, this was true.


I am fortunate to have many friends who have grandchildren. Occasionally we relate a story about them that makes us proud, but we don’t gloat or brag.

Am I just lucky, or is bragging the norm?


A. Some people seem to only relate to others through asserting superiority. The ubiquity of social media — where people inflate their triumphs and occasionally overshare about their tragedies — has also inflated this tendency. So yes, bragging has become the norm.

The good news is that this makes us “normies” all the more special!

My daughter once wrote a passionate essay in defense of being “average,” and I’ve never been prouder (but now I’m bragging!).

Your brother and sister-in-law get to brag about their grands, but they may not critique yours. You should nip that in the bud.

Q. You gave a helpful response to “Buried,” who was trying to cope with a paper-hoarding spouse.

Setting up online accounts will help to reduce paper. They should also invest in a scanner. Scanned documents can pile up virtually, and will not contribute to the paper clutter.


A. Great suggestion. Thank you.

Amy Dickinson can be reached at