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A few months ago, I decided to quit my job, resulting in 3 months notice, reduced to 1,5 months through negotiation. Things were going quite terribly as I was completely unmotivated by the work I was assigned. I kept reading my mail, answering it and working, though very slowly and not very well, but what you could call my manager started sending mail to me (with mostly negative content regarding my motivation) on my personal address. At the time, I had already found a new job and was only focused on hanging until the end of my notice, so I could leave and never look back. I did not answer the mail received on my personal inbox, nor did I mentioned anything to anyone about it as their content was professional and not insulting or inappropriate, and I think it was the correct decision in that particular situation.

I was wondering : what would have been the right course of action if I was not close to leaving the company ? I could let it go because I only had a few weeks left, but what if I hadn't quit, and she kept emailing me on my personal address on a regular basis ?

It is a small company, so no HR.

  • 1
    Are you sure it was intentional and not a mistake? People frequently type the first few letters of a name and press Tab to autocomplete, so if she one time legitimately sent an email to your personal address, it's possible she was unaware she was sending subsequent ones to it also. – thunderblaster Jun 17 '16 at 13:07
  • She used to send me mail to my company address before, so I'm pretty sure this was intentional. It happened more than once, too. – Sheldonator Jun 17 '16 at 13:19
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If you weren't on your way out, the correct response would have been to ask why they weren't sending to your work address. There might have been a good reason, eg work mail being archived and trying to keep the criticism off the record. If there wasn't a good reason, you would ask them to do so and stop using your personal mail for work communication unless they were trying to find you for an of-hours emergency.

  • 3 good answers from different angles, this is the professional way of handling it politely. – Kilisi Jun 17 '16 at 21:39
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I would not done anything with those emails for several days and then replied ignoring the content of the mail with one line saying something like:

"Hi, Sorry I don't check this very often, can you please make sure you send these to my work address in future as I'm not likely to see these. Thanks "

It might beggar belief that you don't read that personal email- (but there's nothing saying the address she has is your primary account)

  • I like this strategy, I actually don't check my personal mail very often, I mainly just use it to put in online forms and stuff. – Kilisi Jun 17 '16 at 21:38
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I personally don't consider a personal address (email or snail mail) to be sacrosanct. It's nothing more than another way to get hold of me. In fact, because of delays in the onboarding process at my current employer, I occasionally get email at my personal address even now, though I have 2 work emails, one at my employer and one at the company to which I'm contracted.

What I would have done in your situation is just ignore it.

In the future, I'd set up an email address specifically to give to employers. It's particularly easy if you have your own domain, just set a new recipient. That gives you the option to shut the email down if you run into this problem again.

  • I agree, it's not sacred – Kilisi Jun 17 '16 at 21:38

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