Ask Agony Uncle Eli

Rainbow Counsellor Elijah Michel is here to help with your queer issues.

I’m livid about my work situation and am on the verge of walking out. Two of us were up for promotion and I was told I was a shoo-in. I’ve been there longer, have taken fewer sick days and I’m way more knowledgeable about our products and services than the other guy. Upon returning to work I’ve discovered my colleague has been promoted instead of me. I had my heart set on this new position and told my friends and family it was mine. I haven’t had the heart to tell them I didn’t get it. I doubt I’ll be able to respect my colleague now so should I leave before I get fired?

That sounds so very disappointing and I hear you in your frustration at this news. You use the word “livid” and also make the assumption you will get fired, so I’m curious as to how you feel you might express your frustration. If you think you may do something in anger that jeopardises your employment situation then do take some time to work through your emotions with a trusted friend or colleague. It’s also okay to gently enquire to management if there was anything you could have done differently to receive the promotion. Be careful not to take things out on your colleague who is now your manager as this is not helpful to either of you. You can be honest with him about your disappointment. You can also work hard this year to attain your own promotion, or, if management doesn’t see any chance of that for you in the near future, seek employment elsewhere where your dedication and knowledge can be appreciated.

I’ve been feeling very much in limbo lately. I experienced so many losses last year – my mother passed away, I was made redundant, and my partner of 17 years left me – and have been struggling to decide what to do with my life at the ripe old age of 64. I worry no-one will hire me at my age, nor anyone would want to date me, so I’m unsure how to move forward. Any suggestions as to how to create a new life in my twilight years?

I am sorry to hear of the losses you endured last year – three incredibly stressful life experiences and in such a short time frame. I must commend you on your question of how to create a new life. You hit the nail on the head with the term “create” so your awareness of the choices you can now make is the first step forward. I’m not sure 64 is even close to ‘twilight’ years, so don’t rush there too soon, and rest assured many businesses prefer to take on more mature employees with both life and work experience so you’re not out of the running yet. How about seeking a part-time job for now? If you intend to retire at 65 then you may as well start winding down. If you have no desire to retire any time soon, how about applying for a couple of part-time jobs to both incorporate variety as well as cover your bases. As far as seeking another relationship, ensure you have had closure from your separation before trying to enter another. There’s no harm in joining a dating site in the interim and enjoying the freedom that comes with being single. You never know where that might lead.