Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I’m going insane trying to serve two masters, my old boss and my new
one. I’m overdue to start a new job in a counseling non-profit but had
to stay in my old job until they hired a new therapist. In addition to
trying to get caught up on all the case filing and leaving good chart
notes for my replacement, the old boss is trying to have me do
trainings and workshops for my colleagues so that my accumulated
knowledge doesn’t walk out the door with me. If he’d acted like he
thought I was worth this much, and paid me for it, I might not have
looked for work. But he always acted like I was disposable. I finally got
tired of worrying when I would get laid off and did something about it.
I care about my clients but I have my own sanity to protect. How can I
make this transition and be done with the old when I walk in to the


Dear Straddling:

My goals are clear communication and brevity of documentation. You
can have a cup of coffee with your replacement, but other than that,
you should focus on your new job. The good news is you have
technology in your corner. If you have a smart phone, use it. If not,
borrow one and do this: Make a pile of every chart/file/client record
you are responsible for. Use the recorder/digital notes application to
document the current status of this person. Have one notes file for
each client. (BTW test this out to be sure it works). State the client’s
name, and then say These chart notes are confidential and for the use
of the OrgName therapist only. Then go through whatever you would
want the new therapist to know: what the main issues are, the big
trigger points or positive motivations, major crises, and current status
of emotional health. Then send that file, which will transcribe itself into
text, to the new hire. Some of the text may get garbled, so speak
clearly. But the act of transcribing and making sense of things will help
get the new hire up to speed. Talking will be much more efficient for
you than writing. As for the workshops/trainings, go in and shoot from
the hip. Speak naturally and sincerely. It’s all you can do in the time
on hand.


I hope your old boss learns a valuable lesson: Tell people whom you
value what a good job they do it you want to hang onto them.