should I get extra money for training my replacement?

A reader writes:

I have given my notice at work and my boss has accepted my recommendation to move a certain person from another department into my position. As such she was available for training upon my giving notice. I have asserted that I would like to be paid extra for training her. My boss replied that never in all his years has he heard of anyone asking for compensation for being a trainer, but that he would consider my request. I know in fact that the woman who trained me for my position indeed asked him for this very thing, and he eventually gave her a small bonus on her last paycheck.

I feel that just because many people in the labor force get exploited and given more and more work without compensation doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to ask for more. Indeed he has already saved money and time by agreeing to move one of his employees into my position rather than interviewing new applicants, etc. I don’t want to take out my frustration on the woman who will be replacing me by not training her well, but I am ready to do the bare minimum at this point. How standard of a practice is it to be compensated for being a trainer? Am I out of line or just a wimp?

Not standard; pretty unheard of. Out of line. 

Train her. This is normal.

{ 118 comments… read them below }

  1. Danni

    There is no pleasing some people!

    Haven’t you recently addressed concerns about people being asked to provide training/information AFTER they have already left!? I know training people is difficult sometimes, but I don’t see how the OP isn’t receving compensation…she is…by doing her job…during scheduled work hours…while she is employed. Yikes.

  2. Malissa

    Train her and train her as well as you can in the time provided. Why? because it you do the “bare minimum” it will come back to haunt you later. Some day some one will call this employer for a reference and that reference will be, “It seemed like she was a good person, BUT when she left she really short changed us.” Is this how you want to be remembered? Do you want to be that person who issued an ultimatum to the company to get a little extra money on the way out?

    1. AdAgencyChick

      I think OP is already too late on that. If I were his/her boss, when called for a reference, I’d say, “Just so you know, s/he expected to be paid extra for transitioning the new person into the role after resigning. Can you believe it?”

  3. Jennifer

    I am floored. I guess 99.9% of the working world has been exploited by the ever-so-ridiculous task of working to make a smooth transition upon their resignation. That is the point of a 2 week notice period. To give your employer time to work on filling your position, or if lucky, start training a replacement. Honestly OP, you should be glad he didn’t say thanks, but no thanks to your notice time, and asked you to leave then and there.

    1. Lee

      Agree completely. This letter is ridiculous!

      The request is out of line, I wouldn’t be surprised if that sours the two week period and leaves a lasting negative impression in her boss’s mind.

        1. B

          +1

          That is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. I am normally on the side of the employee since it’s such an employer’s market, but I absolutely cannot support this generation of the recent college grad working force that just….EXPECTS so much to be given to them and that they “deserve” it simply for being there and breathing.

          1. Kelly L.

            And you know how old the letter writer is…because?

            Can we not get into generation-bashing?

            1. B

              Not saying they are young and I wasn’t necessarily bashing the OP, but regardless, this is a classic case of someone expecting something extra just for simply doing their job.

              1. Liz T

                So you weren’t talking about the OP at all, just pausing to insult an entire generation, unprovoked?

              2. Thomas

                But you were bashing recent college grads based on something someone of indeterminate age did. And I would like to point out that being young doesn’t make you entitled/lacking business sense, and being older doesn’t make you savvy and professional. I work with a team of engineers, and it’s the young/new engineers who are the fantastic professionals, and the more senior/older engineers who can be problematic. Granted, this is maybe more a function of burnout/complacency vs the excitement andenergy for a new job than it is an age thing, but I think it’s fair to say that conflating youth with incompetence is a trend far out of proportion to what I’ve actually seen. Admittedly, I have a bias: I’m in my 20s, and got out of college not that long ago.

                My apologies for the wall of text, B, and this rant isn’t really because of you. Every time someone does something stupid, far too many people assume they must have been young.

                1. Anonymous

                  +1! I’m a recent grad and wouldn’t even think to demand more money just to train someone. At my last job, I trained my replacement as best as I could and even offered to stay an extra week because she needed more training. Please don’t group an entire generation together based on stereotypes

              3. Rose

                Really, B? You didn’t? You just wanted to bring up the topic of how you hate this generation of recent college grads on a completely unrelated post.

                It is extremely obvious from your comment that you made gross, uniformed assumptions about OPs age based on nothing but your own bias. Trying to backtrack now only makes you look worse.

                And I would consider calling someone’s actions “one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard” and saying you “absolutely cannot support” them because they are essentially spoiled and selfish to be bashing.

          2. Zee

            Thanks for generalizing a whole generation of young professionals based on one person you might have met along the way. But we won’t generalize your generation with you because they know we aren’t all like that and therefore we have their support.

          3. Kaz

            That’s why I hate old people. They love jumping on any opportunity to complain about how young people are so awful. They think they have all the answers, even in today’s workplace that is completely different from the one they started in, just because they managed to not die.

            /sarcasm

            1. twentymilehike

              They think they have all the answers, even in today’s workplace that is completely different from the one they started in, just because they managed to not die.

              Thank you for the laugh … I really needed that today after sitting in god-awful back-to-school traffic.

            2. nyxalinth

              You kids, get off my lawn! *shakes cane* And I’m keeping that ball you threw over here, too.

              :)

          4. starts & ends with A

            If there was a kind of comment that should get you temporarily suspended for commenting on AAM… This would be it!

          5. Mishsmom

            why is everyone bashing B? so s/he made a mistake… i agree you can’t tell by age, but isn’t everyone entitled to their opinion? :)

  4. Carl

    It might help with the kind of job it is. I’m going to guess this isn’t a highly/specialized skilled job, and agree with Alison. If it were something that requires specialized knowledge (years worth of training), then I would tell the employer I can only go over what the projects are and the intended goals, not teach them everything there is to know how to do the job. For example, if I were a software developer, I wouldn’t train a PC tech on everything needed to know how to design and program applications.

    1. TheSnarkyB

      But it obviously isn’t that sort of situation, or she wouldn’t have recommended person B, right?

    2. Daniel

      Agreed, you shouldn’t be training them on knowledge or skills that are required for the job (i.e. learning a programming language or application design), but in addition to transitioning open projects, you should train them in the processes and procedures used in the course of performing the duties required by the job (i.e. how to use the change management process that the company uses)

  5. fposte

    Would the training mean doing longer hours than usual? I’m trying to figure out why it would be something that you’d need compensation for on top of being paid to come in as usual. If it’s because it’s different than your usual day’s work, then you’ve opened up a can of worms, because it may be that an unskilled trainer’s pay would be *less* than what you’d be otherwise getting.

    Absent a longer day, I don’t see how it’s exploitative. I can see you might not want to do it and that you could be asking for some incentive to stay past a time when you’d ordinarily leave, but 1) I’d suggest putting it on that basis and 2) kissing a recommendation goodbye.

  6. Blinx

    Wow. In a word, no. Train your replacement well, speak kindly of the company and everyone it it to her/him. You want people to think well of you after you’re gone. Very curious to know what your boss thinks of the woman who trained you! Seems like the bonus was given very reluctantly! Go to your boss and say you were just joking. Bazinga!

    I can understand wanting to be paid for extra duties in general, but this usually comes at raise/bonus time. Since you’re leaving, you’ll be “paid” by having a good reference which you can use in the future.

  7. Ariancita

    I feel like there must be more to this story. Is OP being asked to train the replacement outside of paid working hours? Will training the replacement make the OP have to stay later and work longer because she/he still has to finish their already huge workload? Is the OP being asked to train the replacement after he/she leaves? I just can’t imagine that this is about simply not wanting to train the replacement.

    1. Emily

      I was thinking that, since the trainer and the trainee are employed fulltime, already under the same roof, the OP’s and/or the replacement’s current manager might be overestimating the convenience of the transfer, thereby underestimating the need to coordinate training time into either employee’s work day(s). I can see the replacement’s current manager saying, “best of luck in your new role, please wrap up your projects before you transfer, and if you need to drop by your new department for a few minutes one day to check in with your predecesor before she leaves, that’s fine.” So, maybe extra hours will be a factor, but if so, that’s what the OP (and her replacement) should talk to the manager(s) about, rather than a monetary bonus.

    2. AdAgencyChick

      I really hope that this is the case, and if it is, instead of asking for more money, I would simply say, nicely but firmly, to the boss, “Training her will take X hours, which means I’ll need to take some projects off my plate. I suggest A, B, and C.” Then OP can dicker about WHICH projects to swap for training, but should take a hard line that s/he has to drop SOMETHING.

    3. Judy

      Because engineering involves longer projects (months or years instead of days or weeks), every time I’ve given notice, from that point on, my major job duty was knowledge transfer. Either into documentation, or to another person. That’s what the notice period is for.

      At least twice (out of 4 times) I’ve spent the last week at least half days in a conference room with the “knowledge receptor” and my boss when available, walking through project files and my hard drive, just saying whatever I could think of that was not documented.

      I’ve also traveled to other locations to sit in conference rooms for a week to gather knowledge from someone who gave their notice several times.

  8. NewReader

    I don’t get this.

    At my last job, no one would train me because they were not being compensated to train people.

    HUH?
    You can imagine what my evaluations looked like. I laid it right out, “Boss, everyone here feels that they are not being paid to train. I have no idea what I am doing but I keep trying.”

    I felt like an idiot for all the energy I have put into training people over the last thirty years. No not really, but you know what I mean.

    Frankly, the last thing I want is a “professional trainer” to train me. I want people who are actually doing the work to train me.

    OP, I hope at your new job, that someone wants to train you. Or else you are going to have a heck of a time. I know first hand. Caulk it up to sending out good karma and go ahead and train the new person for your job.

    1. Long Time Admin

      I can’t even count the number of people I’ve trained during my career, or how many desk manuals I’ve created for whoever came after me. I’ve been in the opposite position, too, where no one would train me (usually as a temp), and I had to try to figure things out as I went along.

      I worked at one company as a temp for almost a year (as the IT secretary in 1999 – remember all the brouhaha about Y2K?). The people were great, but I was losing money by not having benefits. I found a permanent job, and gave my agency & the people I worked for two weeks notice. I created a desk manual for the next secretary, and I had 4 days with her before I left. Planning out how to train her and putting together the desk many were tasks I really wanted to do, in addition to my regular work. The new secretary was great, and I would have been happy to work with her. On my last day, she brought me flowers. Priceless!

    2. Jen M.

      My predecessor where I am now just showed me where things were. She did not take the time to walk me through the finer points of the job. She did not leave a manual, so much as a piece of paper with basic things, like what time the mail runs are, etc.

      After she transferred (same group, just a different position,) she was really hostile to me any time I had questions, and I had a LOT of questions.

      I would have been GRATEFUL to have had proper training. The situation with my predecessor set a very negative trend for me where I work. I’m simply trying to find a new job.

      Training someone who comes in behind you is the kind and right thing to do. Otherwise, you are setting him/her up to fail.

    3. Piper

      At every job I’ve had, I’ve had to create training documentation for people. It’s just what you do. That said, I’ve never had a job where I was actually trained or received any kind of training documentation. Maybe someday, my training kindness will come back around and I’ll walk into a job and not have to flail around and “fake it ’til I make it.”

  9. moe

    “Indeed he has already saved money and time by agreeing to move one of his employees into my position rather than interviewing new applicants, etc.”

    Sure, it’s not as costly as it could be, but you certainly aren’t saving anybody money by quitting! Most employees who’ve been treated at all like humans recognize that turnover is hard on employers, and try to help simply because that’s the decent thing to do.

    I’m also floored that the previous person in this role supposedly did get a bonus for such an ordinary thing. Is this a crazy, toxic place? Do people often leave and just refuse to do normal transition things? Strange!

    1. Tamara

      On a similar note, the employee being moved into the OP’s position now has to be replaced in some way. So the savings here are not that huge in the grand scheme of things – just perhaps a bit less than they could have been.

      1. Liz T

        Aren’t they in face more than they could have been? You’re losing time in two different positions. The resources that would’ve been spent filling OP’s position are just going to be spent on the replacement’s old position.

        1. fposte

          Yes, the OP seems to be suggesting there’s a math reason why being paid extra would be appropriate, and the math doesn’t actually support it. (Plus the company’s not spending money on a search doesn’t mean they should hand that money over to a departing employee.)

    2. What the???

      Moe:

      Companies experience turn-over all the time. It’s part of professional life that people leave one job to accept another, return to school, become stay-at-home parents, or attend to an ailing relative.

      For all you know, the OP’s replacement will take the position at a significantly lower wage than she. It makes very little sense to write “. . . but you certainly aren’t saving anybody money by quitting!”

      The OP is likely moving to a higher paying position and the company can negotiate any type of salary with its role-shifting employee that it desires.

      Also, the employer set a precedent by offering the OP’s trainer a bonus, of unknown size, on her final pay check for providing training services. The OP would be foolish to not at least ask for the same treatment.

      Once a company has allowed something to take place, particularly involving money, an employee in the same situation can rightfully choose to ask for the same treatment. There’s nothing illegal or amoral about this.

      1. Ask a Manager Post author

        There’s nothing illegal or immoral about it, but it’s silly and professionally unwise to say that you’re going to do the bare minimum because you’re not getting a bonus for something that’s a standard part of transitioning out of a job, and to try to tie it to a larger point about exploitation.

        The fact that the employer may have saved money by not having to hire from the outside isn’t really relevant to what the OP is paid.

  10. Michelle

    In my office (large corporation) we actually have a process in place to handle this question when it comes up. The way it’s handled is that if an individual is training less than three people, they do not receive extra pay, however if they are teaching four or more people (for example, in a classroom setting) they receive a small hourly bonus for the days that they are training.

        1. Michelle

          Heh. I worded that wrong – three or less, no extra pay. More than three, small hourly bonus. And a hug.

  11. Anon

    Perhaps this is an IT or book-keeping role? My partner got a “leaving bonus” while responsible for an IT department, with little to no foreknowledge. I think it’s a “please don’t booby trap the system!” but in a kinder manner.

    In my last role I documented everything I did and had to hand over to an external supplier – in return for leaving on good terms I was given a month’s pay on top of my final month’s salary. I certainly did not ask – it was offered as a goodwill gesture as they knew jobhunting in a recession is difficult. Asking seems ridiculous if you’re the one who initiated the leaving.

    1. Jamie

      An IT leaving bonus? I’ve never heard of such a thing, but I say we make that the new trend – it has my full support!

      What you received sounds like severance.

      Please don’t boobytrap the system cracked me up…like the eisenbeibers bringing quilts and pies to Nick as thank you for not killing us gifts. (Grimm fans know what I mean…)

      1. Lexy

        lol’d at eisenbiebers. Grimm was filming in my neighborhood this morning! (I live in Portland obvs)

    2. Blinx

      Anon, you refer to job hunting. Were these bonuses actually more like severance pay, in a layoff? Never heard of a bonus for someone that quit.

      1. Anon

        For my partner, I think it was a “thank you” thing.

        For me, it was not redundancy in the legal sense as they were a little concerned about the HR laws – so they made an unofficial agreement, which included not working the final month if I got the documentation and handover finished. I did my projects and they probably don’t need another role like mine until they go into rapid growth again, and it was on good terms – they’ve even offered way beyond what is normally provided for a reference too.

        1. JohnQPublic

          I’m wondering if the previous person just got a bonus she was going to get anyway. I’m also thinking the boss may have given her less than the full amount, because of the ridiculous demand. And now I’m thinking OP just did that to herself too. :) But maybe im overthinking this. Never know I guess.

  12. snuck

    Good lord! No. You shouldn’t be compensated. When you started the job did no one show you the ropes? The previous employee might have gotten a bonus, but it might not be because she asked, it might be because she did such an excellent and lovely job of managing her exit and was highly valued. And just because she got a bonus does not mean you are entitled to one. A bonus is a bonus, it’s not part of your wage.

    Did no one ever show you anything in your existing job? And every time someone showed you something did they put their hand out? What about at your next job? What if no one shows you how to use the different phone system, or where the toilets are? That’s part of training too isn’t it?

    Finally – what about the issue of a reference? Do you really want to leave this company with a reputation as a self centred, egotistical money grubber? Because that’s what I thought when I read your letter. Unless you are doing something incredibly specialised that is unique to that company (not even the industry – remember there are a heap of other people hankering for your job every day) and the training is so vital that no one else can even begin to cover it, AND you are doing extra hours to do the training… you are being ridiculous.

    Sigh.

  13. Elyse

    I’ve worked only three jobs in my life, including my present one, and I still cannot imagine why OP thinks they deserve a bonus. I thought training the person to fill your position was just a normal “last two weeks” thing.

    I also don’t think it’s a good idea to just check out and do the bare minimum. I know it’s really tempting, but you just don’t want to burn that bridge when it comes time to use that employer as a reference again.

  14. Jill of All Trades

    Every job I’ve had involved me training new people throughout my tenure, and training is usually not in my title or job description. It’s just the nature of being a professional. Someone trained you, and thus you pay it forward by being a great trainer, whether you’re staying or on your way out.

    There usually isn’t extra pay for being a mature professional.

    PS – did it make the OP feel good to know that the predecessor required a bonus to train him/her? Will the OP feel good about doing the bare minimum if the demand is not met? Or better still, how will the OP feel knowing that they did this?

  15. Emily

    Just to give some context in the nursing field you do sometimes get an hourly increase for ‘precepting’ new employees. (I got an extra $.25 an hour as a CNA, I think the RN precepting me in at my first RN job is getting an extra $2 an hour). Now if there wasn’t a standing policy about this I do find it odd to expect to be paid more to train your replacement. If they were staying at the job and training people was being added as a regular component of the job then it would seem like an additional task that might warrant an increase in pay?

    1. A Teacher

      My sister is also a nurse and she gets an extra $2 for precepting new nurses. It’s standard in her field.

      1. kimberly

        Not standard, but common. My hospital gives the preceptor a bonus according to how long the nurse stays — those who are “official” preceptors at (I think) 6, 12, and 18 months if the nurse is still there.

        I’m not an “official” preceptor, yet I have an orientee right now because nobody else would work with her. I’m not eligible for the bonus, and I don’t get any extra money per hour.

        This is a little different than the OP’s situation, because you’re not “training your replacement.” Instead, you’re training someone else’s replacement, your future coworker.

        It is also different because of what is involved with orienting a new nurse. There is frequently a very formal program in place, with meetings over the 6wks to 3 months the person is in orientation, with paperwork to fill out and assessments of their progress to do.

        1. A Teacher

          I guess I should have standard in the area of the country where we live. Most of her friends receive this same extra pay regardless if they work in our town or in a larger urban city a few hours North or a few hours South–a lot of of her nursing friends are spread out. I know it is different from the OP’s situation, it is more common in nursing than most other fields I’ve worked with.

  16. Another Emily

    I agree that training your replacement is a normal part of your job and not something you should be paid extra for. (Of course if you worked overtime to do that you would get OT pay but you’d get that for any overtime.)

    However, the letter writer is under the impression that the person who trained her got a bonus. So it does seem reasonable to me that the letter writer would get this bonus if she achieves whatever goal her predecessor did to earn it.

    So, Letter Writer, if you’re still reading, what I’d do is approach my boss and say a less awkward version of this, “Hi Boss, I am happy to train my replacement. The reason I asked you about a bonus before is because Predecessor got a bonus for training me on her last paycheck. What do I need to do to earn that bonus? I want to do an awesome job training Replacement and I’d love to be able to earn that bonus.” The key here is 1) you want to earn the bonus and 2) you’re going to be a kick ass trainer.

    Or something. I don’t think the OP is out of line at all, solely because her predecessor got a bonus. It’s unusual and I’ve never heard of it, but it seems to be a thing at her company, so she has every right to try to earn that bonus.

    1. Another Emily

      I forgot to add, it’s possible that you’re wrong about your predecessor’s bonus (or not, but I don’t know you’re source for this knowledge). If your boss says, “Actually, Predessor didn’t get a training bonus,” says, “Okay, no problem” in response and let it drop. Then do a kick ass job training your replacement. Her bonus could have been for something else that you aren’t qualified to earn so believe whatever your boss tells you and finish out your job on a good note.

      1. Long Time Admin

        True enough. Predecessor might have gotten a bonus for all the work he or she did over the years, not solely for training the new person.

  17. anon-2

    Unless you have been threatened, or something like that, my recommendation is to go forward and fulfill what is regarded as what is expected — use the two/three week notice period to train your replacement.

    And leave gracefully.

    One thing I always learned – “After giving your notice, try to be MORE professional than the management you’re leaving behind.”

    Sometimes I’ve had to hold my nose through the notice period, but I’ve managed to get through it.

  18. Anon2

    I do think most people consider this part of the normal duties when resigning, but I don’t think it’s a terrible idea to ask for extra compensation for it either. I think the Op’s letter goes further though by equating it with the position a lot of people are in with increasing responsibilities with no raise in sight. Op – the difference I see there is that your extra duties are extremely finite and over a small duration. You are not in the same position as those people you’re talking about – those people are staring at a long-term situation of being “exploited”. It really isn’t the same and this is where you’re sounding out of touch.

    That said, my workplace pays people extra who agree to Mentor new hires. It comes with more work, more opportunity to make errors and also they are at jeopardy if the people they mentor make mistakes during their time together. It is a partnership between training and our department so that new people have a transition between classtime and going “live” on the floor.

  19. Steve G

    I could imagine a situation where paying to train makes sense. But not here, as the OP recommended the replacement, meaning he/she thinks the person is capable.

    In my company, for example, it can be frustrating to train people, so I can imagine someone getting fed up with it and asking for compensation, in some odd, backwards situation. I know in my company, I’ve had to train people to do x, y, and z, and because we are in relatively new energy markets, no one knows a-w, so you have to expend alot of time, energy, and patience to get a new hire up to speed. Which also means lots of overtime.

  20. eliz2012em

    First – I have a question. Can someone please tell me what OP means in this context? LOL

    Second – I find it difficult to believe that anyone would give notice and then feel aggravated that she has to train her replacement. This is SOP. And then to feel that you deserve extra compensation for doing what is part of your job? I’ll give you one thing; you’ve got bal*s.

    This is probably the most ridiculous request I have ever heard of in the workplace. And I agree with everyone here – you can kiss that recommendation goodbye.

    1. Adam

      Here OP usually stands for Original Poster or something to that effect.

      Basically the person who wrote the letter that prompted Allison’s posting. :)

      1. The Cosmic Avenger

        Right…in fact, sometimes around the internet you will see LW used for “letter writer”, but here OP is usually used to indicate the same thing.

  21. Neeta

    I suppose it depends on when exactly you submitted your application.

    E.g. I do all my job searching after work hours, which can often end up being after 8pm. If someone would contact me at say 9 or 10pm to ask for an interview I’d be a bit wary… if only thinking what hours these people must be working.

    Other than that, I’ve had plenty of companies contact me after 1 or 2 days of submission, and they seemed fine during an interview. Some even asked for same day interviews, but were generally pretty understanding when I had to decline and ask for the next day (at the very least).

  22. Anonymous

    I would be willing to give the OP a lot of benefit of the doubt here, since apparently this did happen there before. And I do see there they’re coming from with the thing about how so many people right now are doing more than one person’s jobs and not being fairly compensated for it, ok, I get that. I don’t think this situation applies, but I see where you’re coming from.

    Until s/he gets to the part about having to TRY to not take it out on the trainee, and grumbles about doing the bare minimum just to prove a point. That really speaks volumes about OP’s expectations for behavior and what they think is appropriate in general, and it kind of dries up my sympathy.

    1. LJL

      At first blush, I agree that I’ve never heard of it , and I’ve always made as easy a transition as I could by leaving documentation and/or working with the new hire or interim. However, if someone was compensated to train the OP, I can imagine that OP would feel a bit stung if s/he were not compensated to train the new hire. Another Emily’s point is also worth considering..that is the way I’d handle it. I’d put it out there, then drop it and apologize if I’d misunderstood the situation.

  23. Anonymous

    WOW. If you aren’t going to train the person they should just let stop working now, as they already have your replacement. You sound like a real peach.

  24. cf

    Not to be all me, me, me, but I was laid off from my last job with three months’ notice. I spent that time putting together documentation of how to do everything that I was in charge of doing. I was not happy about losing my job (and take grim satisfaction in seeing that the company has not thrived since they laid me and 1,000 of my co-workers off), but I was really proud of what I had accomplished and did not want to see my work come to a screeching halt because nobody else knew how to do it. I also really liked my co-workers and wanted their jobs to be easier once I was gone. I did not get paid extra.

  25. cf

    And another thing: I just started a new job last month. Last Friday, I found out that my boss, who had just left for a two-week vacation, quit. He might be back for a day or two after Labor Day, but that’s it.

    The business plans are due. He was in charge. He has all the numbers and the sources. I am now scrambling trying to figure out where he got his data (no attribution for any charts on his documents and the numbers don’t all tie to what I think is the source), which data I should be using, and who can and will give me data. I am also trying to figure out what to do with the financial reports that the foreign offices are sending me. I have been analyzing the data about the accounts I’m supposed to be handling and the numbers don’t make sense and he’s not here to tell me if there is something I’m missing. Nobody else in the group knows anything about my work – my predecessor quit in March and I didn’t start until July.

    BTW, I am in what is supposed to be a marketing position, not finance. Not that I mind this opportunity to do new things and expand my responsibilities – I am actually thrilled that he is quitting so I can do his stuff – but it would have been nice if he had documented his work and maybe sat down with the director of our group before he left to review everything so those of us who are still here wouldn’t be so screwed. I will not remember him so kindly.

    1. EM

      Hrm. Something about this situation sounds fishy to me. The boss leaves for vacation and quits while away (which is really sketchy and unprofessional), there are no sources for data (could just be laziness or to cover something up), and numbers do not make sense or add up (again could be carelessness or something worse). Since you’re not in finance, I’d see if there was someone else in the company who can help you make sense of things at first. It could be that things don’t make sense yet because you’re learning a new area or it could be that things don’t make sense because there is some sort of fraud/wrongdoing going on. Or your boss was just incompetent. :/

      1. Editor

        I once worked in an office where the administration was pretty tight-lipped about budgeting. So we never knew the schedule for preliminary budgets from year to year (it varied), but the department head hated budgeting so he would take off for two weeks just as it was coming up. He wouldn’t leave information behind or alert the second-in-command about the fact the budget was likely to be due. She got resigned to scrambling around to do a budget whenever he went away.

        One year the director’s wife had been demanding a vacation at a certain time and he went along with it very agreeably. Second-in-command was surprised because it was two to three weeks earlier than many previous budget requests. Second day he was gone, the memo arrived — preliminary budget due in a week.

        Turns out the director had heard rumors about the possible earlier deadline and acted accordingly. I thought he was a stinker for doing this so consistently, mostly because he wouldn’t provide any input or warning beforehand.

        Budgets were a political football some years, and the way he survived the politics was to claim he hadn’t drawn up the budget. I’m amazed he got away with it, but he did.

        Obviously, there was a big incentive to screw over the second-in-command. I often wonder if the assistant director had been a male instead of a female, would the director have gotten away with this for years?

  26. KellyK

    Yikes. The whole purpose of two weeks’ notice is to allow a smooth transition. That includes training your replacement.

    The only way this would be remotely reasonable is if the training stretches out your workday way beyond normal or includes days that wouldn’t normally be expected. If you and your replacement are both doing all the same work you’ve done previously for your whole notice period, and the training is all happening on evenings and weekends, then sure, it’s worth asking for something. But a lot of training can be having the other person watch you do your tasks or help you with them, so it shouldn’t totally be “extra” work.

  27. Another Michelle

    By the way, she doesn’t actually “know in fact” that her predecessor received a bonus for training unless she physically saw the bonus check and heard the boss himself say it was given because of the training. Even if she did those things, it’s still none of her business what anyone else in the office makes, and claiming to know that info is probably not a good strategy when asking for money.

    1. Karyn

      This! As Alison frequently points out, someone else may be paid more for the same job as a result of better negotiations, better skill sets, etc. Just because you “know” what someone else makes doesn’t mean you deserve to make the same amount. You don’t deserve to make what someone else makes until you do the work that proves it.

    2. The Other Dawn

      I agree. I would say only the boss and the payroll person really know who is getting what when it comes to pay and bonuses. It’s no one else’s business.

  28. Scott Woode

    I’m going to be the lone-wolf here and say that her asking for more money when training her replacement is not entirely uncalled for if she works in hospitality. That is my caveat. Imagine, on top of your carousel of doing intense customer/guest services, making correct transactions, managing the busy floor, addressing every issue that comes up (and believe me, there are a great many that occur over the course of an hour, forget an 8-10 hour shift) you are then expected to train a “newbie” for the position in the limited time you have “on the clock.” That is a lot you are taking on (I’ve done it, it’s rough) and to do it all well can be exceptionally challenging.

    Now, based on the letter at hand, the OP certainly seems out of line asking for money to train her replacement. But, I think it should be noted that there are some industries out there where this would not be poo-poo’d. Obviously, judging by the manager’s response, the industry she works in is not one that would pay extra. She may have shot herself in the proverbial foot with this request.

    1. Jamie

      Is it typical for customer service jobs to get extra money for training, or are you just saying it’s more warranted? Because I’ve never seen/heard of that happening.

  29. The Other Dawn

    OP, so basically you are ready and willing to set your replacement up for possible failure? That’s just wrong. Like your boss, I have never heard of anyone asking for compensation to train their replacement. It’s just part of the job. Why wouldn’t you want your replacement to share in your knowledge? How do you think it will look for you when someone asks her to do something and she says “OP never showed me how to do that” and it happens frequently? And how would you feel if you arrived at the new place and the person training you just did the bare minimum?

  30. Karyn

    This just reminds me of people who think that just because something is not specifically listed in their job description means it’s not their job. I’ve never heard of someone getting paid to train a replacement simply because you would feel “exploited” otherwise. Asking someone to take on two entirely separate job descriptions or roles for the long term without any additional compensation may be exploitative. Forcing an employee to work overtime without compensation when they’re nonexempt is exploitative. Training someone to take over your job without additional compensation when you’re paid to be at work during your notice period anyway… isn’t.

  31. Mike C.

    Hey guys and gals, I think we get it. I know we all get a thrill for smacking around someone we don’t know on the internet, but this is getting a bit silly.

    1. Sandrine

      I don’t think it’s a thrill about smacking someone around, the only thing I fear in such instances is that the OP will be so scared that we don’t get any kind of response.

      I hope AAM does get an update though.

    2. twentymilehike

      Can I 1+ Mike C? I’ve always commented by the rule, “if you can’t add something new, don’t make a comment.” It’s a LOT of reading when there are SO many comments, and if someone actual says something non repetitive and useful, you miss it because you don’t want to read through 100 comments that are basically the same thought, just phrased differently.

      I do love the comments and for the most part enjoy the opinions of the commenters, but lately there has been a lot of just repeating the same thing over and over.

      Do we really all need to make a comment that we agree with AAM? Can we really not refrain from commenting if we don’t add anything new to the conversation? It just degrades the quality of the comments, and I’m afraid its going to degrade the quality of the blog and that’s the LAST thing I want to happen! Next thing you know it’s going to be like the MSN comments. EEK!

      Sorry, guys and gals … I do love you all and don’t be mad at me!

  32. anon-2

    Well – there IS an exception to all this ….

    If you are being involuntarily terminated, but are told you must train your replacement before you are being thrown out, there is no ethical or professional consideration involved, you can walk out immediately.

    I would feel EXTREMELY uncomfortable if I were told “You’re fired, but before you go, spend two weeks/three months/four months training your replacement”…. I wouldn’t want to be around people that didn’t want me there.

    1. Wilton Businessman

      Assuming you are not under any contractual obligations, but you are free to tell them to take a flying leap and give your two weeks notice. There may be monetary loses that you will have to come to terms with, but in the end you have controlled the situation.

  33. bemo12

    Probably too late to the party, but a lot of people are under the false impression that they are only required to do exactly what they think the position entails, as I think the case is here. I have had employees fight me because I asked them to do something that wasn’t listed on the employee responsibilities section, which I had to explain, was not exhaustive.

    I’m pretty sure you’ve harmed your reputation though, which is sad, because you really don’t have much time to recover.

  34. ANB

    I was asked a few weeks ago to train someone on a task I’ve done once for another department in the past when I had some downtime – totally not in my usual remit. I’m a week behind in my own work but I didn’t say no, I went and did it. The kudos from doing it is more than the cost of the time it took me to do it.

    Sorry OP, unless you are being asked to work extra hours or extra days on your notice then there should be no extra compensation for this. If it does involve extra hours/days then normal overtime rules for your contract/position would apply.

    I’m not sure why you feel ‘exploited’ and suspect there are other issues at play that you aren’t telling us about. In another view he will lose money whilst this new employee gets used to your job and up to your speed than if you hadn’t given your notice and left. It normally takes a new employee at least a few months to get up to speed.

  35. Grey

    A two-week notice is for the employer’s benefit – not yours. You don’t get compensated for their inconvenience. This is the time when you say, “I’m sorry I have to leave, but I’ll stick around to help make it easier for you”.

    I’d be insulted if I were your boss. I’d consider an apology. Then maybe you could salvage a good reference.

  36. dangitmegan

    Doing just the bare minimum sucks. Think of the poor person replacing you. I just started a new job a couple of weeks ago. The previous person left the job back in June with the understanding that she would come back to train the new person for a day. She requested to be paid for the entire week for coming back. The company of course said no to that and she refused to come back. No one else but her can train me, and she won’t even return a phone call or an email with specific questions about where she stored something. It stinks. The person who is replacing you has nothing to do with your relationship with the company so it’s just the nice decent person thing to train them as you’d want to be trained.

    1. MH

      I had something similar happen to me. I went into a permanent job where there had been a temp covering it for a few weeks. The temp was supposed to stay on for a few days to help train me, but decided not to show up, just leaving a few handwritten notes.

      I found out after I started that of the three bosses I had, I would not have gone to work there if I had met Christy at the interview. She would dump work on me at the last minute with really short deadlines and had a really bad attitude.

      Three months in I decided to go back to the temp job I had before. On my last day, they brought in my replacement, not having told me I would have to do a handover to him. As a consequence I spent all day training him, not doing the work I had intended to do, including one of Christy’s short notice jobs. It gave me great pleasure to dump the work back on her desk when I walked out of the door.

      I informed HR at my exit interview that in my opinion the reason they had such a high turnover of staff in that job was because of this manager’s attitude.

      I kept in touch with the man who replaced me, he would email and phone asking questions. He also got fed up with Christy and left a few months later.

  37. Danielle

    I haven’t read all of the comments, but the OP’s request doesn’t seem that far off to me.

    In a previous company, people were paid to train new-comers.

    When I first started, I had 3 important tasks to learn, which would take 2 weeks each. My 3 co-workers trained me in each area for 2 weeks each, and they were paid an additional %.10 per hour for those 2 weeks. Of course, we were non-exempt union employees, but we still got paid for doing something considered “extra”, and I definitely consider training to be extra, since I view that as a manager’s job.

    Now, I’m not sure about the company paying for training replacements, but it never came up. I just don’t think it’s wrong or unusual.

  38. Me too

    I found this thread when I too was put in the same situation as the OP. I will tell you I am more than happy to help in any way I can but sometimes enough is enough and I do find employers taking a mile when you offer that inch. I am also leaving my position. One that I have worked as a temporary employee for 2 years full time. The company does this so they can save on benefits. Anyhow, I have been asked to not only train my predecessor but my boss because honestly he just doesn’t get it and has not taken the initiative to learn what is going on in his departmetn. If that was not enough I am being asked to do write ups on my tasks so they can refer to my notes. If that isn’t enough, my boss has set up weekly meetings until I leave (28 days- which I am counting) to see how the writings are coming along and go over them. Please people. I just want to run. So although I would not ask for extra money to train, I do understand being asked all these extra tasks and not appreciating it on my last days. It puts a lot more pressure on me. My two cents only.

    1. Jamie

      Are you being asked to stay late or come in extra days in order to do this?

      Because if not, and this is being done during normal work hours I don’t see what’s egregious about asking you to create documentation and do training for your replacements – and the meetings sound to me like project meetings, and the project is making sure the ducks are in a row before you leave.

      Again, if they are not asking for additional time from you, this seems pretty normal to me.

  39. Rob

    Gone off topic here slightly.

    Am I the only one who understands what the readers asking?

    Yes you’re certainly ALL right in the essence it may “bite s/he in the preverbal rear later on”. I myself no matter what or why the reasons for leaving company ALWAYS have left on a pleasant note. Because the world is very small and with Karma etc….. “S**t happens”.

    However. I do feel if I myself or this “reader” has spent say x amount of years developing an individual (not pre trained) skillsets and its benefited the company (why else would they be working there if not) then I should hope (notice i said hope and not expect) a little extra in one’s final pay as you are in fact training! Unless your job role is a trainer (hehe) then why shouldn’t any one of us be allowed to ask? Maybe its the way this person worded it that got everyone’s backs up but if worded handsome and smart I’m sure any boss/employer could respect that and see their point?

    Maybe I’m wrong but as always just an Opinion. But feel free to crucify me for my “young” thoughts (27 btw and worked full time for 8 yrs).

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      The problem is that this just isn’t how this stuff works — it’s so far apart from how this stuff works that the OP will come across poorly for asking. I think you’re thinking in terms of how it SHOULD work — and if we were in a vacuum where we didn’t have to consider normal conventions, then you absolutely could make an argument for it. But we’re not in that vacuum, and we do need to consider normal conventions and how it looks when someone seems utterly oblivious to them.

  40. Rob

    I think you may be missing my point.

    Firstly i’m going to forget your “vacuum” comment as its just pointless and an awful analegy.

    Secondly, it may not be how you do it or a considerble percentage of people. But i can assure you it does happen and most certainly is “how stuff works” It needs to be convayed in a professional well thought out manor. Not half arsed and spur of the moment. You would have to have such amazing skills that for whatever it is you are training. Not another person within the company could teach.

    Really simple to be honest! Or should i go use a “vacuum”?

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      There wasn’t an analogy. “Operating in a vacuum” means operating in a situation where you don’t need to take any context into account — that there are no factors to consider other than the specifics you’ve laid out. My point is that that’s not the case here — the OP is not operating within a vacuum; she’s operating within a context where there are conventions and established ways of how things work.

  41. Johnathan

    They should pay you extra if you are training your replacement on knowledge that you had prior to working for the company, or knowledge you acquired outside of work. Anything the company trained you on during your tenure, you should train your replacement with those skills. Unfortunately, a business is unlikely to pay you extra because you are just head count to them. Their goal is to cut cost cost, maximize profits, and be lean.

    Good luck..

  42. Anonymous

    I would not ask to pay extra, but I agree with what the last poster said. I was in the same situation; however, they asked me to train my replacement prior to me resigning. I asked them if this meant I was getting fired. They told me “no”, but they wanted insurance in the case that I do “resign”, they would have a suitable “minimum wage” replacement. I resigned on the spot saying, “I am no longer interested in working a position that can ‘apparently’ be done by a high school drop out.”

    My thoughts: I’m not exactly angry, but frankly, I feel disappointed that they think what they did was smart. If they want insurance, I’d tell them to go hire two people of equal education, rather than getting someone with a degree to train someone who dropped out of high school to work their position. It’s rather insulting to the person in question (me) and the profession.

    My situation:
    I am a university grad with a ba in management and programming as a hobby (proficient in a variety of development languages as a hobby). I was hired as ‘general labour’ supposedly 2 years ago (new grads can’t find a real job); however, I was roped into implementing the whole accounting & inventory system, website, and order system with no contract whatsoever. I even provided training and documentation to the employees. I was promoted to system administrator. Then they wanted me to hand over administration as well because they thought they could substitute cheaper labour to do it as well. At that point, however, I had lost all interest.

  43. Amber

    I too was under the impression that your should be compensated for duties that are outside of your job description. Trainers are paid higher wages than workers, so why wouldnt a company compensate their employees for doing a job that they should be paying a higher rate for.

  44. Anonymous

    I have a similar situation. Part of me wants to leave, but every time someone leaves at my company there’s a last minute rush to train a new person in 1-2 days for someone’s entire job and it makes me nervous. We use specialized software that took me more than a year to learn and I still sometimes have to contact the company’s support team for in-depth questions (management always seems to want to push the limits of the system). While I have created some general guides per my supervisors request it seems impossible to document every possibly scenario when I’m just trying to cram it in with my regular duties. My company never makes an effort to hire people with experience in the software (too expensive). I’m worried that if I do leave they will continue to call and email me with extensive questions (they’ve done this before to others). Once the ex-employee stops responding our HR director starts giving negative reviews of the employee to anyone that will listen (official reference requests and contacting people in our industry that she knows). Anyone been in a similar situation?

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