Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 72 total)
  • Could you give me some perspective on this please?
  • Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    As you know my partner died ( 3 weeks after her 60th birthday). 3 weeks after she died I received a letter addressed to her from her employer ( the council) thanking her for her service. this stated it was a personal thanks for her service.

    Needless to say i wad appalled at this – particularly because it was claiming to be a personal thank you. I wrote back tearing them a new one for the letter. today I received a half assed apology outlining the procedures which as was obvious showed this to be a box ticking exercise It also denigrated my anger and did not acknowledge the reason for my anger which was claiming this was personal when it clearly was not and tried to pass on the blame to her line manager ( who knew she was dying before she retired and who has been very supportive and blameless in this)

    the apology was one of those ” sorry we upset you” types rather than “sorry we did a bad thing”

    they have said they will review procedures to stop this happening again. Is that good enough?

    Needless to say I wrote back again outlining why I thought their apology meaningless, pointing out that they did not even acknowledge why i was so angry with them.

    am I overreacting? Should I take this further? Oversight committee on the council? complain to my councilor?

    Not being able to see the wood for the trees right now I would actually appreciate others perspective on this. No need for fluffyness – give it to me straight 🙂

    Premier Icon Klunk
    Free Member

    life’s too short.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    ouch 😉

    Premier Icon brads
    Free Member

    Absolutely.
    No matter what result you ended up with , they will have forgotten it in a few months. It’s the way of large organisations.

    Let it slide. Quicker you forget about it the better your life will be.

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Full Member

    give it to me straight

    Half arsed is spelled with an “r”

    Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    What they said. It’s cock-up not conspiracy, move on.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Full Member

    With the greatest respect to your partner TJ don’t let her passing be remembered by this.

    Move on.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Ok chaps – that seems pretty clear view. thanks.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    What they said. It’s cock-up not conspiracy, move on.

    That’s my view too. Everything is so raw for you now, understandably, and I can see why you want to find something to “fix” to start to make things feel better, but it’s going to take a lot of time and reflection rather than charging headfirst into problems.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Full Member

    I’m guessing you already knew that these ‘personal’ letters are generated by a pc, bit like Facebook wishing you a happy birthday, or whatever. Still must sting a bit.

    Sadly, bureaucratic organisations have hundreds of ways to avoid any personal interaction or empathy – hence the non-apology apology. And they’ll have hundreds of ways of making any follow-up complaint disappear into the maw.

    Just go on a ride instead.

    Premier Icon fooman
    Free Member

    They’ve put into place a procedure to make sure everyone is thanked for their service and not forgotten. Personal thanks to employee. Maybe they need to sharpen their procedure, but beyond that what outcome were you hoping for? For what it’s worth there will be people in the council who miss your partner too but as an organisation things just move on.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    fooman – thats the point. Its not a personal thank you – its a box ticking exercise they are claiming was personal

    I would like them held accountable for what they have done.

    Burt the consensus here is clear so I will follow that. Be interesting to see if I get a proper apology now as well. I have also pointed out she did not retire formally. She never signed the papers . she was terminated whilst of sick.

    Premier Icon stumpy01
    Full Member

    +1 on this

    Kryton57
    Full Member
    With the greatest respect to your partner TJ don’t let her passing be remembered by this.

    Move on.

    It’s a pretty terrible & thoughtless thing to do & I know you like to approach these circumstances head-on to ‘right the wrong’. I applaud that.
    But, in this case you have better things to focus your energy on. There’s a time & a place, so I would let it go.

    Premier Icon igm
    Full Member

    It’s incompetence nothing more, but sometimes venting can be cathartic.

    Don’t let the anger consume you, but feel free to be angry. You may not feel angry, but if you do it’s not unusual, and a letter like that is a real and material thing to focus that anger on. But then let it go.

    And don’t expect anything from them. If you get a real and sensible empathetic apology, great – but don’t expect it or even seek it really.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    It’s a beurocratic process so fundamentally unsympathetic, however well meaning. Obviously timing etc is very poor and it must hurt like hell. However, no point in getting mad at a ‘process’ – although I realise that is far easier said than done.

    I also supsect this won’t be the first time you have such an experience, some random company eg bank will keep writing to your wife etc even after you’ve explained she’s passed away.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    am I overreacting? Should I take this further? Oversight committee on the council? complain to my councilor?

    You know, I think, that you’re lashing out in anger, right? This isn’t going to change anything, no one did this on purpose, it’s just “The Machine”. Bin it, take a breath, move on.

    Premier Icon TheBrick
    Free Member

    Save you energy and focus for other things. You will need them

    Premier Icon reformedfatty
    Free Member

    Once upon a time I worked for a marketing agency and we drew in data feeds of amongst other things, the deaths register. Sending something like you received was absolutely regarded as the worst thing we could do out of the variety of cock ups we could make.

    That said, there’s no good outcome for this. The most likely way you could make them change their ways is a freedom of information request on how they prevent this sort of thing, which will make them publish their bad processes to the world, and in doing so cause them to take a bit of a reality check that it isn’t really good enough.

    Premier Icon big_n_daft
    Free Member

    I would suggest a letter to your councillor, leader and the head of council. Say that you feel that the council need to rethink how they manage situations like yours as it can cause a lot of of unintended distress to families. Offer to discuss and give positive suggestions to enable the council be the caring employer it aspires to being.

    If they ignore you tried, if they take you up it’s a better outcome for all.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    they have said they will review procedures to stop this happening again. Is that good enough?

    Sounds like a positive outcome to me. They’ve screwed up, they’ve recognised that there’s a problem with their process and have committed to addressing it.

    I would like them held accountable for what they have done.

    How and to whom? Are you going to report them to the Inappropriate Letters Bureau? What outcome are you seeking? You’ve already had an (OK, if a bit shit) apology.

    It was surely sent with best intentions even if it was ill-advised, it’s probably a standard “someone has left the company” missive, might even be automated. Hanlon’s Razor applies here I fear.

    am I overreacting?

    Yes.

    I mean, totally understandably so, but yes you are.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    The non apology angered me more. It does not say sorry at all

    I’ll see what they come back with in response to my reply about the non apology but likely I will let it drop

    Premier Icon squirrelking
    Free Member

    I can see how that hurts but honestly, if that’s the worst you’ve had to deal with then you’re doing well. I mean that in the nicest way.

    When my mother in law died in similar circumstances there were so many things and people we were angry with, from the hospital to her care team, even getting rid of the leftover morphine and sharps box seemed to be too much to ask. Then there was the financial stuff, my missus thinks she still hasn’t got everything back that was owed.

    But we’ve moved on, that was 4 years ago, it’s still raw at times (your tale brought it all back) but you have to let some stuff go for the sake of your sanity if nothing else.

    FWIW I agree with what you’re saying, it’s a computer generated “personal” letter that could at least have a better template for the circumstances. But I treat these things the same as the “personal” letters from our CEO, MSP or whoever a PA is writing a template for that day. It’s a sad fact of modern life but I’m sure her actual colleagues have sent their own personal wishes to you. Focus on those sent with real feeling and just ignore the corporate nonsense.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    The non apology angered me more. It does not say sorry at all

    Honestly though, right there with you on that one.

    likely I will let it drop

    I understand your desire for righteous vengeance, but no good will come of this. You’ll just wind up more angry and upset.

    Choose your battles, sir.

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
    Free Member

    It’s appallingly shite but you’d be better off bickering with me about rugby. We are more likely to agree than those **** acknowledge what **** they are. You have said you piece, best to leave it for your own good.

    Premier Icon intheborders
    Free Member

    Am I missing something, what are you actually angry about?

    When my Dad died, Mum received ‘equivalent’ letters from his ex-Employers pension fund – Mum wasn’t the slightest bothered.

    Maybe handy that your OH wasn’t a pensioner as you’d also have to deal with HMG asking for some of their State Pension back (paid in advance).

    Premier Icon tthew
    Full Member

    big_n_daft isn’t living up to his user name.

    If you want to effect change for others in your sad situation, try and make it a  positive contribution, that’s got to be better for your mental health than remembering it as a negative thing that was done to you.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    The non apology angered me more. It does not say sorry at all

    Completely understandable, but this isn’t a good use of your time or headspace

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    For your amusement this is the email I sent

    Mr Kerr

    I was utterly appalled to receive a so called “personal” thank you for Julie Stuart. She died 4 weeks ago

    If it really was personal you would have at least spoken to her line manager who knew this

    I think this is utterly disgraceful that you did this and pretend its a personal thanks when clearly you simply do not care enough to find the facts

    Utterly heartless, uncaring and unthinking. You should be ashamed

    Jeremy Pascoe ( Julie Stuarts bereaved partner)

    the replay never actually says sorry Head of HR replied as the ceo is on holiday

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    When my mother in law died in similar circumstances there were so many things and people we were angry with,

    When my dad died we had to deal with… I think Carphone Warehouse, but I’m not 100% certain so don’t assemble the pitchforks just yet. My mum called to cancel his phone contract and they were like “you’re not the account holder, he’ll have to call us…” Like, we set fire to the bastard two days ago so good luck with that.

    I called them and got a similar runaround. I hung up, kicked the sofa about for a bit and deployed some inventive Anglo Saxon, then rang them back full of piss and vinegar. Got a different call centre woman who said, “oh, I’m so sorry, you need to talk to our bereavement service,” and put me through to someone who could not have been more empathic or helpful. It just took like five phone calls for that to happen.

    Funny things, corporates.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Am I missing something, what are you actually angry about?

    That the letter said ” a personal thank you” she was off sick with stress for over a year. She did not retire she was terminated. Its obviously not personal

    then the non apology merely compounds the anger

    but I do take the point that its not worth my energy and attention.

    Premier Icon big_scot_nanny
    Full Member

    Absolutely not the same situation, but to give you another example of a v large employer (this one was about 135,000) of awesome personalisation and timing:

    After 10yrs with my previous employer, on the day of 10yr anniversary I got a bunch of flowers (nice), a badly photocopied circular letter (that wasn’t even straight on the page) thanking me for my 10 yrs in lots of glowing praise, and then later the same day got called in to see Boss and HR as role was made redundant.

    Boy, did I feel valued that day!

    Think also just leave it TJ, it is rubbish, you have said your bit, prob for this one best move on to avoid it consuming you with negative thoughts.

    Premier Icon poly
    Free Member

    fooman – thats the point. Its not a personal thank you – its a box ticking exercise they are claiming was personal

    would you really expect anything different from ECC? or indeed any large organisation? if the letter had arrived a month earlier what would Julie have done?

    I would like them held accountable for what they have done.

    What sanction would you be satisfied with? do you really think a better-written apology from someone who has made it further up the greasy pole by writing platitudes will make any difference to you or indeed the next person?

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    if the letter had arrived a month earlier what would Julie have done?

    Nothing – she was dying at that point

    If it had arrived while she was well enough to reply she would have been as angry as i am. she was off sick with workplace stress that the council did nothing about and she never retired. She was terminated

    What sanction would you be satisfied with?

    Disciplinary action for lying and for the non apology.

    the non apolgy is from the head of HR – the top of the pole

    consensus her is clear tho and I will follow it

    Premier Icon singletrackmind
    Full Member

    My friend died whilst employed by local council. Flag on council office flown at half mast on day of funeral. Council paid for flowers and hand written letters from high up seniors in the council.
    Let it go, you have said what needs saying and pointed out how much they really care about their staff

    Premier Icon lucky7500
    Full Member

    Disciplinary action for lying and for the non apology.

    Disciplinary action against who. The council employee who first drafted the now standard letter 40 years ago? the automated computer system which sent out the letter, and probably thousands of identical letters every week? The various regulation authorities which stipulate that employee details must be retained on systems for a particular period of time after leaving employment?

    As said above, if a well meaning but mistakenly sent letter with no follow up needed from an old employer is the worst thing that you have to deal with after the death of a partner then consider yourself very lucky.

    Premier Icon Onzadog
    Free Member

    Don’t rip people a new one. If there’s one thing this world isn’t short of, it’s arseholes.

    Premier Icon poly
    Free Member

    Disciplinary action for lying and for the non apology.

    They’ll have no staff left if they take action for being economical with the truth and writing vacuous meaningless apologies!

    Premier Icon Ro5ey
    Free Member

    I say let “them” have it

    Get your anger out

    With respect, and it’s understandable, you seem to have been spoiling for a fight on different threads ??

    Better for it to be in this manner, via email exchange to a faceless organisation, rather than out in the real world where something might (and I know its a very big might) physical happen or you end up upsetting someone not really deserving it.

    But do it for what it is and don’t expect much of an outcome.

    Good luck

    Premier Icon Esme
    Full Member

    Unfortunately, every one of us who has been bereaved will have a tale of corporate insensitivity.
    My contribution:
    A final bill from British Gas, saying “Good news, you’re using less electricity compared to this period last year”.

    Errr, yes, dead people tend not to watch much TV or turn on the lights.

    Since the bill was addressed to me, as my late mother’s executor, they KNEW she’d died six months earlier.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    Since the bill was addressed to me, as my late mother’s executor, they KNEW she’d died six months earlier.

    It’s just a computer spitting out letters, no human involvement at all. Someone updated the contact details on the account and the computer spat out the letter with those details. It doesn’t know nor care about anything, nor anyone and never will do; it just spits out bills and letters in their millions. Until someone deletes the account it will spit out letters for the next 50 years or more….

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