Is it bad manners to wish an ex-boss a "Happy Birthday"?

Is it bad manners to wish an ex-boss a "Happy Birthday"?

by Sue
(Tampa)

Details are many, but simply put: I worked for a partner in a law firm for almost three (3) years and quit on a Monday morning approximately eighteen (18) months ago. Nevertheless, he sent me a "glowing" reference letter one (1) week later in the mail. (He sent me a Christmas card this past Christmas.)


Thank you for your thoughts on this matter.


Aug 11, 2011
Happy Birthday Wishes
by: Wendy (Modern Manners and Etiquette)

Thank you for your question.

From what you have written, it sounds like this person you worked for is very classy. There are so many times when an ex-boss will hold a grudge against an employee who has left the company. This is not the case.

You have made a good impression on this person and vice versa. Just because he is an ex-boss does not mean that you cannot maintain a friendship. It would be a wonderful gesture for you to wish him a "Happy Birthday".

My husband continues to have employees that have worked for him in the past wish him "Happy Birthday", send us Christmas cards, ...etc. These mean a great deal to him, because he feels like he made a friend rather than an employee.

It is a fantastic idea to maintain the ties you have with this person.

Best wishes!!

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