I work as a programmer in the information technology area. A new employee was hired to be a manager of an adjacent department, where the department is a 'customer' of my work. They request various projects/fixes and I am the 'grunt worker' who delivers.
I have a pretty strong college background and I have participated in competitive programming as a student and later a coach. I also tend to keep to myself and don't talk to many coworkers outside of immediate work duties.
The manager employee in question, (call him B) came a few times early in his hire, in retrospect, I think to socialize, and he noted my background as impressive and expressed his praise at how smart I am or must be and how great it is to have me available to the team. I normally just listened and nodded and said thanks, but beyond that I did nothing.
During a few moments I felt like perhaps I needed to return the favor, and return similar banter to Mr B, which in part may have required researching his background, but I never did so. I was never interested in that or him in particular, and rather wanted to avoid interacting with people in general as a whole.
Recently [after a couple of years working in the company] I've learned that B is leaving the company for his own reasons. My question is - do I need to do anything at this time, like come and praise B for his work and contribution to the company, and his background, or express any other communication, while he is still employed at the company? I feel like I had to do something before which I never did, and hence wanted to do a last ditch effort while he is still employed at the company.
My questions are:
- Do I need to do or say anything to B now, after learning that he is leaving when I never extensively interacted with him, except those instances I described, and occasional work projects?
- If this situation happens again with anyone else, do I need to do anything in particular or do I just smile and nod and say thanks?