My ex-employer emailed me to ask some technical questions that are bothering them. I worked on those projects. My products had no flaw and the issue is now they want to enhance it, and they think I have the best knowledge.
Well, apparently it is no longer my obligation any more. I am wondering if I should help them positively. To certain extent they did not treat me well, they paid me too low; even that I didn't really hate them, I still emailed few of them greeting emails after I left there, but to my surprise, some of them just ignored my emails, this hurts my feeling.
Now the request is from one of the people who ignored my email. I hate to help him.
You haven't given me any reason not to help them. The reason to help them is that good will goes along way and can come back to help you. You can argue that it's not the obligation of myself or anyone on JavaRanch to help others, but we do because we want to be nice adn because the good will can come back and help us.
You said that the pay was low. If that was a problem you shouldn't have accepted. It's not as though they lied or misled you. Is there any other way they treated you badly or was it just the pay?
Some people didn't email you back. OK, that happens. Did anyone currently asking you for help not email you back? Just because someone in an office/company/group/circle of friends doesn't like me isn't reason enough for me not to help the others in that group. Perhaps they didn't see your emails or you wrote them at a busy time and they simply forgot.
Even if they weren't the nicest people, helping them could show you to be the bigger person.
In the end, it's your call. Only you know the relationship you had with them and what feels right to you.
Here's a question for you: is this help going to consist of a 20-minute telephone call where you provide general advice, or is it going to be a day or a week of your time?
If it's the short phone call, I would agree with Mark, good-will never hurts. But personally I wouldn't let that go longer than an hour or so.
Joined: Jun 30, 2006
Thanks folks for the response. The reason why I had to accept the pay was because of green card process. The ones who ignored my email didn't directly ask me favor this time, but I know he is the one in charge of that project. I guess he must think it is embarrassing to ask me favor (apparently when he ignored my email he never thought one day he would need my help), so he is asking another fellow who is not in that group to ask me favor..
Well, I have a very bad experience from my previous employer, its not money but it could have affected my whole career. But then he was in a really trouble and come back to me and still I have helped me.
Nothing wrong in helping, as Mark mentioned it makes you bigger.
Ultimately in a life money is not everything. Its the Humanism, which gives you piece of mind.
I wouldnt go about using the current employers email to communicate with the previous employer. If you want to help them I suggest you call them up or let them call your cell phone. In some cases helping the, now competitor, can get you in trouble.
In the end its your call. If you feel happy lending them a hand go ahead and do it. If not tell them you are busy with other work or ignore the mails. Ask yourself the questions that you are asking us and think about it for a while. Good luck with your decision.
I feel you should help them. I always believe that you should not do a mistake because some one did for you. Because your employer not treated you well you don't need to treat them in the same way. Your help will be always recognized.
Anyway, You should help them....once upon a time it was your company ...that served you.
The problem is , some companies dont understand the importance of persons when they are inside ...they feel the gap when the person leaves.
Morale :Its very difficult to understand how a person was important for a project ....when he leaves its then they feel for it.
But good employers never does it....I know couple of companies, when any person wants to leave they asks personally about the reason .....they dont want to loose any assets....they try to help if thats reasonable.
By The way , smaller companies are not that much professional .....sometimes they think ...hire/fire policy could enhance them which really does not.
However, i suggest you not to take revenge but help . it will make you bigger. [ December 25, 2006: Message edited by: alfred jones ]
hey raj ! never think of helping .those goody goody days are gone ,be practical .why am i telling this is now in this world ,unconditional help is not excepted and no one in the world deserve it those days are gone . anyway at the end it is your individual decission. regards romy
The help may not be reciprocated at the moment, but as Mark said before, it can come back to help you. It's the smart move to maintain as good relations as possible to former employers and coworkers. You never know under which circumstances you might next meet them, especially in a job market as dynamic as I understand India's to be.
never think of helping .those goody goody days are gone ,be practical .why am i telling this is now in this world ,unconditional help is not excepted and no one in the world deserve it those days are gone .
It is also amazing how small the world is... Helpful things that you do eventually do come around. Or maybe some won't. But that is the point of professional networking.
We are talking about taking a few minutes to answer a few questions. Or spending an hour to write a transition document. Or even to do an introduction between two aquaintances that you know will work well together.
It may not sound like much. Or it may sound sappy. But twenty years later, that professional network that you took the time to build, is probably your best source for jobs, or technical help, or even people to go have some beers with.
Henry [ December 31, 2006: Message edited by: Henry Wong ]