update from the reader who had been promised a raise and promotion three years ago

Remember the letter from the reader who had been waiting for a promised raise and promotion for three years? To make matters worse, she had recently agreed to take on new work in exchange for a title bump and then ended up getting told that she would’t be getting the title bump after all. Here’s her update:

I wanted to update you on this whole thing. I immediately went and spoke to my boss about the change in the terms of my accepting the new work. She told me she understood where I was coming from, but that our VP (her boss) had rejected the title change. I decided I would continue to work on the project but continue the job search. I started that evening. In an unbelievable stroke of luck, a great fit for me came up right away. I applied on a Monday, interviewed on Wednesday and had accepted the job by the following Tuesday. I gave my notice at work and everyone, including my boss, was shocked. She told me to expect a counter offer.

A week went by before the counter offer came directly from the VP, who I was told originally turned down my promotion. When I rejected the counter offer, the VP asked if I could meet directly with him before I left. He let me know that he was worried about the department and wanted to know what insight I could offer. (As an aside, another colleague resigned the day after I did, and that meant 1/4 of the department had resigned in under a month.)

My last day, I spent about 30 minutes with the VP who asked me a lot of questions about the department and directly why I was leaving. I let him know that I had found a great opportunity, but that I was also concerned with what I perceived as the organization going back on its promises to me. Long story short, he was shocked that the organization would be making promises of titles, etc and asked who had rejected it. I danced around it a bit, but he pushed me and I eventually told him that I was told he was the reason for the rejection of the promotion. He told me straight out that it wasn’t true. It was a strange position to be in and while I wish the organization well, it was just one in a long line of situations that was totally toxic. I don’t know where it went from there with my boss and the VP. They have a lot of stuff to work through in the department, so I don’t know how high on the list a former employee is.

My new job so far is fantastic. I love it. So, alls well that ends well I suppose. Thank you to you and to all the commentors for the great advice.

{ 39 comments… read them below }

    1. Josh S

      Glad things worked out, and that you found a new job. Congrats! I hope it is a wonderful place for the next phase of your career!

      In other thoughts, What the crap!? Your boss was apparently lying to you, which gives all the more reason for you to get out of a bad situation.

  1. Nev

    Wow, such a great ending of this situation! Dear OP, I wish all the best with your new job and hopefully, your sincerity would help your former employer fix at least some of the issues.

  2. jesicka309

    That’s a wonderful ending. Hooray!
    And good on the OP for being upfront with the VP…sounds like there were management issues going on above you that you were caught up in inadvertently, and at least you get to leave with the more important person (big boss) on your side if you should ever need them/want to work there again.
    Makes me hope that one day I’ll be lucky like that and get a job so quickly!

    1. Esra

      I was going to say the same thing. Not just congrats to the OP, but good for her for talking to the VP.

  3. mimimi

    Good for you, OP, and congratulations on the new job.

    *Someone* is lying at the old job and that ain’t good.

  4. Adrienne

    It’s a relief to hear about stories like this, where it ended up all working out so well… gives me some hope! I’m glad you found such a good new job so quickly, OP. Congrats!

    1. Lisa

      I like that OP was able to tell the VP that he was the reason, and now maybe he can address the lying by the boss. It may also be a similar reason why the other person left.

  5. Steve G

    I love this story. You refused to take it lying down and came out better in the end. People in your organization are getting reality checks because you decided to take action. Congrats.

  6. ChristineH

    This was one I was hoping would have an update. So glad to see this situation turn out well, and so quickly too!

    Very weird about the VP’s claim about the promotion. I would love to be a fly on the wall when he meets with the OP’s now former boss! *insert evil laugh*

  7. Gary

    Congratulations OP! Sounds like your boss was lying, trying to save the organization some chump change by not giving you a raise. If only we know how the VP and your boss’ conversation went, that would make this post a story book ending!

  8. BadMovieLover

    It may be that the VP is the one lying. sadly, I’ve known situations in which higher ups “forget” something they said. Now I get everything in writing and save it.

  9. Anlyn

    Congratulations. I hope this doesn’t make me a bad person, but I kind of love karma coming back to bite them.

  10. Bridgette

    Yay! Thanks for the update, OP. So glad you found something wonderful. I hope this organization opens its eyes and realizes how badly they have treated people.

  11. some1

    Wow! I def feel like this LW could work for my old employer, where, sadly, stuff like this happened all the time.

    I echo the other commenters: somebody is def lying here. The only thing new I had to add is it sounds like the former VP is a pretty incompetent manager IMO. If he was “worried about the department” the time to address it is was way before 1/4 of said dept resigned at basically the same time & he was willfully ignoring problems. If he thought all was sunshine & roses until then, it means he wasn’t managing your direct boss properly.

  12. KayDay

    This made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside =) Congrats on the new and better job.

    (btw, the warm fuzzy feeling is extra awesome since my office is freezing…so thanks for helping with that, OP!)

    1. Jamie

      This update brought a smile to my cynical little heart as well.

      Just an aside – I would trade you my warm for your freezing this morning.

      It’s pretty chilly in here today, my office is the only warm place since I have the server cabinet in here. People are already making jokes about needing to schedule meetings with me just to warm up.

      Looks like the season of the thermostat wars is starting…

  13. Nodumbunny

    Woohoo! Most importantly, congrats on the new job and on sticking up for yourself so, so effectively!

  14. The Other Dawn

    Congrats OP! I tend to think the boss is lying in this instance, although I realize it could be the VP. And I agree with the other person who said that the time to worry about the department isn’t when 1/4 of the people leave in a short time; however, I would add that it’s possible the boss was making everything out to be just fine and sweeping stuff under the rug.

    1. some1

      That’s what I thought, too. But if you’re an effective, hand’s-on-but-not-micro-manager, your employee shouldn’t be able to get away with sweeping stuff under the rug for this long.

  15. anon-2

    Good for you. I don’t know what the counter-offer would have been.

    But on the other hand, you were probably better off leaving. Good luck in the new position.

  16. Ask a Manager Post author

    One other interesting thing in this update is that it took them a week to get the OP the counteroffer. That’s a really long time when someone has accepted another job offer. I wouldn’t be surprised if the boss delayed telling the VP for a while, because she wasn’t sure how to frame it.

    1. Jamie

      Really good point. It could go either way, but my intuition is that the VP was in the dark and it was the boss who was lying.

      If true, it will make for a very interesting meeting when the VP has a little chat about what’s been going on.

    2. anon-2

      Or, as I often stated and implied, management people had a “come to Jesus” session and realized that they had messed up — and were making a futile attempt to repair a relationship they had damaged and destroyed.

  17. iceyone

    Congratulations on the new job – you did the right thing!

    As for your ex boss/the v.p – one of them was lieing (or both!)

    I had a similar experience (in my case however the immediate boss was a psychopath who had issues) where the whole department walked out!

    Unfortunately the board thought the sun shone out of this persons behind – it was only 2 months later that this person was found committing fraud – they did invite me back, however I declined!

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