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Background: Over the course of the last few years, my manager has been bad mouthing me in nonofficial "around the water cooler" type conversations. I have overheard this many times and my colleagues have also informed me. He has said similar comments about other staff to me as well. Once I asked him not to, but no improvement.

This behavior makes me feel insecure, I want to buy a home but I don't feel safe enough to take that plunge. I can't have a senior second guessing me and spreading negative information to my colleagues.

The conflict: A weeks ago, while having a conversion, I told the CEO that I am considering leaving. (I thought it was only fair that I give him a heads up, he has been a good boss and I look up to him)

He naturally asks me what happened, I didn't want to have that discussion so I just gave a hit that I am unhappy the way a senior manager is behaving.

The CEO tells me to have an open discussion with this manager and see if something can be done. I had no intention of having that conversion, I just wanted to leave quietly and as quickly as possible.

A few days ago, I overhead him again (He speaks very loudly, hard to not hear. I was not snooping).

This made me very upset. I decided to write an email with cc to the CEO. Accused him of defamation. I knew he wouldn't accept any wrongdoing and I had no proof to show.

I feel like I vented few years worth of frustration and I am happy.

As expected he denied and tried to justify all actions.

The downside is, now that bridges are burnt, I should leave immediately.

CEO wants me to stay and try to work through it.

Should stay and I try?

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    We cannot make up your mind. This is a personal decision you will have to take on your own. – nvoigt May 4 at 7:46
  • So far your CEO isn't really getting involved in your concern but merely pushing the easily reached buttons. It's worth politely explaining to the CEO that you would only be comfortable remaining if you can be immediately transferred under a different manager. In the likely case that no such alternate role exists internally, then yes, it's time to leave. – Chris Stratton May 4 at 18:55
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You broke a few rules. Rules for looking after yourself and putting yourself first.

Never tell that you are going to leave until the day you give notice. You thought "it was only fair to give them the heads up". Nonsense. It's only fair to do what is best for yourself, and telling that you want to leave is not.

Venting made you feel good for half an hour, and now you fear consequences. Note to everyone else: Don't start venting. It makes you feel good for half an hour, and then there are consequences.

But what makes you think you should leave immediately? Again, nonsense. You look for a new job and give notice once you signed a legally binding contract with a new company. Especially since the CEO wants you to stay. It seems that in your mind the only possibilities are to stay, or leave immediately. No. The right thing to do is to look for a different job, and at the same time keep your options open and try to work it out. And at least let this company pay your salary until you get a different job.

It may also be that your manager is just a notorious gossip, who says stupid things about everyone in the office, while in reality he knows you are doing a good job. So instead of feeling insecure, just accept that you have a weird manager.

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