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I had a great job I was laid off from years ago that I want to list on my resume. But my old boss passed away and the new boss is an ex friend of mine who would say anything to discredit me. How do I handle this in future interviews? I would never bad mouth my old boss, but what about this coworker?

Situation: Friend and I ran a substance abuse counseling center for court ordered clients. This friend had a relationship with a client (unethical) and I refused to sign their completion forms for the court.

My first mistake was initially trying to handle it on my own with this coworker instead of involving the boss until months later. I knew my friend wouldve been fired if I addressed it sooner. Unfortunately months went by and this friend made the office intolerable. The boss asked why our friendship ended and that’s when I told him the truth. Yes I snitched. Shame on me.

As the business manager (and HR), I insisted we hire an outside HR firm or some other inter office conflict arbiter to help our small company move past this. That was too costly for my boss during the recession, so that’s when I made my second mistake.

I told him if we couldn’t effectively handle the conflict, then the best thing for his business is to lay one of us off. And guess who got laid off. Yes, that was dumb of me.

Why did he choose to keep her? Because I also mentioned the boss’ own unethical issue a month before this conversation, and this coworker didn’t feel the boss was wrong.

The boss was 23 years sober but he began to slip.. he was providing substance classes to clients with a 6 pack in the office fridge. I didn’t tell him it was unethical, I just came to him with genuine concern for his sobriety. But since the ex friend didn’t think it was wrong of him, it made his life easier to let me go.

Despite being laid off and collecting unemployment, the old boss and I were on good terms for years before he passed away.

How do I address this in an interview? Is it better to leave the 2.5y job off my resume?


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