Awkward social/friend/coworker type situation (need advice, long)

I belong to a non-profit rowing club with an elected executive commitees made up of members. On Friday, our full time coach who I’ve known and worked with and was coached by for five years was fired.

Nobody is completely surprised; Sean (not his real name) could be difficult to get along with. He was often right but he could be a complete asshole about it. He managed to alienate a fair number of members to the point that some had defected to a rival club.

Despite this, a lot of us were friends with him and we’d go out drinking together, traveled to away regattas together, etc. I honestly believe that, although he can be charming and entertaining at times, he has some sort of problem reading people because he often didn’t seem to realize when he was pissing people off, often irrevocably. If you kinda accepted how he was, he wasn’t a bad guy and he is an excellent coach. (I don’t know why I’m writing this in past tense, he’s not dead)

Anyway, he finally ticked off enough people that the board made the decision to fire him. The board members are friends fo mine and I know they liked him so I trust that he’d pushed them to the point where they felt there was no alternative.

Despite that, it was a total shock to everyone, including Sean who was completely blindsided. Losing this job also pretty much means being exiled from the city as there aren’t any other positions in town.

I don’t know what to do now. Nobody had heard from him all weekend depsite calling and sending emails but a friend just ran into him at a sandwich shop. He said Sean was really, really bummed and he’d thought he’d been drinking.

I feel really awful that something couldn’t have been worked out and I’m not happy with how the situation was resolved yet this was something that had been building for a long, long time and really wasn’t a total shock to me. (I’d tried talking to him, everyone had, but that was the problem, he doesn’t listen)

Any ideas on what to do? I still support the rowing club even after what’s happened so I can’t just go with “they screwed you man”. We want to do something for him but wasn’t doesn’t involve going out to thebars, his favorite activity? It’s such an awkward situation and I feel horrible that he doesn’t have much support in town (but that’s kinda symptomatic of the types of issues involving him anyway). It’s kinda like a situation where a coworker is fired and is bitter towards the company you still work at. How do you remain friends.

I’m about to go down to the club for a few hours so I won’t be near the computer but I appreciate any thoughts anyone has. Thanks.

You remain friends only if you really were friends to begin with. This is when you find out if you two actually have a friendship, which is based on mutual feelings of respect, admiration, whatever, or an acquaintenceship, which may not be able to survive the removal of whatever common ground you had with each other that brought you into regular contact.

Good luck.

I’ve spent my life caring and worrying about people who didn’t care or need me to worry and care about them. Which is to say, it’s wasted energy a lot of the time.

That said, I haven’t stopped caring. I have just let go of the notion that it does any good.

You say that you and others talked to this guy and it did no good. I think you’ve done everything you can. You can’t live this guy’s life for him or make him happy. Offer a prayer for him, wish him well, but actively trying to help him isn’t going to, and worrying for him only tears you up.

So that’s my cynical advice, which I usually don’t take myself.

No advice, just sympathy and best wishes for the ex-coach. While I was not friends with the individual involved, I know of a man who lost a similar type of job (music rather than sports related) and then died a few acrimonious weeks later. ( I suspect suicide, but don’t know for sure.) It’s been a year, and the man in question and his talents are still very much missed.

Yeah, I was kinda worried but his mom was recently diagnosed with Alzheimers and I know he wouldn’t leave her alone. (altogether a shitty year for him)

Thanks for the replies, y’all. I guess there’s not a whole lot I can do. Ellen Cherry, yeah, you pretty much nailed the situation; it’s so frustrating, I just want to shake him. I’ve sent an email thanking him for all I’ve learned and asking him to keep in touch. And it helped for me to type tihs all out and articulate my thoughts.