did my employer mishandle my layoff?

A reader writes:

I was planning on quitting my nonprofit job because during my evaluation my manager criticized me for taking lunch breaks out of the office, ignoring her emails to my personal address after hours, and not working 50 to 60 hour weeks (without overtime pay). Instead, I was gratefully laid off with 30 days notice due to restructuring two months later. But what followed was strange.

First, the CEO sent an email to the entire staff announcing the circumstances of my elimination ten minutes after telling me. As a result, I had to overhear my colleagues gossip about me for weeks. Second, I was asked if I wanted a goodbye party (I declined), and third I was informed my manager would be taking my job!

To add insult to injury, my manager gave me a list of things she wanted me to teach her, things like software programs you can’t learn overnight. Thankfully, since I was planning on leaving anyway, I had already created a detailed training packet a few weeks earlier. I sent it to her as soon as I got the news hoping we could avoid an awkward meeting. But she insisted and scheduled it the day before my end date.

Though in the end, the stress and anger over the layoff were messing with my health, so I cleared out my desk when no one was around, and left a few days early without speaking to her. I think what my employer did was inconsiderate and out of line. Do you agree?

Well … not really. It sucks to be laid off. It can be be especially hard when you’re not allowed to leave immediately with severance and instead need to spend a few more weeks in the office that cut your position. But what you’re describing here doesn’t seem egregious to me.

Telling the staff 10 minutes after they told you might have felt quick, but it’s normal to want to get news out quickly so that rumors and speculation don’t spread, and so that planning can move forward with transparency.

Asking you if you wanted a goodbye party might have felt insensitive since you didn’t, but some people in your shoes do — and would have been offended if they weren’t offered one, especially if people who are leaving voluntarily have them.

And your manager taking over your work isn’t all that strange since your position is being cut; someone has to do that work and if your department is a small one, it’s not surprising that it might fall to your manager. And since she’s going to do that, it makes sense that she’d need you to transition your work to her, which includes training her on the tools you used to do your job. (People sometimes do have unrealistic expectations on this part, but that’s the whole “you don’t know what you don’t know” thing — she wouldn’t necessarily understand that the software is complicated enough that training her wouldn’t be a quick process. That’s not really an indictment of her.)

Being laid off sucks; I don’t dispute that, and it sounds like your manager was unreasonable toward you before it happens. But it doesn’t sound like they handled this particular thing terribly egregiously.

There may have been circumstances that made leaving early reasonable, but just heading out several days early without telling anyone and giving them the chance for final wrapping up of stuff … isn’t great.

Update: The letter-writer clarified in the comment section that she emailed her boss to explain she was leaving early.

{ 133 comments… read them below }

  1. Colette*

    I’ve been through layoffs, both as the person being laid off and as one of the people left behind, and it sounds to me like they handled this reasonably well.

    One of the things that causes stress during layoffs is not officially knowing what’s going on. I guarantee that rumours would have been flying 10 minutes after you were notified, but if management didn’t say anything, it’s awkward for your coworkers to offer sympathy, offer to help, or even get information from you that they will need to know to continue after they leave.

    Leaving early might have been a reasonable thing to do, but if you felt you needed to do that, you should have had a conversation with your manager to work out the details. (I.e. what information did she need from you? Will the company continue to treat it as a layoff with severance and unemployment or will they treat it as if you quit?)

    1. Green*

      I can’t tell what the timeline was here, but if they want to talk about logistics (unless you need to leave that day) and responsibilities (or parties?) right after delivering the news that you’ve been laid off, you can always ask to schedule a separate meeting to discuss those items because you need some time to process the news and think about how best to transition, etc.

    2. Heather*

      The layoff was treated as a layoff and not as if I quit. My manager was caught up with all projects before I left. We had talked about scheduling a training session for weeks, but she had a habit of procrastination and waited until the very last day to bring it up.

      1. Rebecca*

        Whew, that’s good! Hopefully that means you won’t miss out on any severance you are entitled to.

        So sorry you had to go through this. I posted below, but I was in a pretty similar situation a few years ago so I can relate. I’m sure there are better things on the horizon for you!

        1. Heather*

          Thanks. I was offered absolutely no severance–just the party, but I was able to collect unemployment.

      2. The Cosmic Avenger*

        The very last day? I thought you walked out a few days early? I’m not trying to get on your case for that, I’m just curious about the timeline.

  2. BenAdminGeek*

    Agree with AAM here. And then you “left a few days early without speaking to her” which just compounds the problems here. I realize it was a frustrating and stressful situation for you, but leaving without any warning before you trained her really doesn’t help your cause. Now you’ll always be “the guy who left and didn’t train us” regardless of what really happened throughout your tenure.

    1. Sadsack*

      Yes, and also, as Colette mentioned, OP put himself at risk of losing his severance due to not working through his end date and being uncooperative.

      1. Ann O'Nemity*

        I agree on the severance part. And I also wonder if leaving early without telling anyone could be counted as job abandonment, potentially changing the OP’s unemployment status from “laid off.” In my state at least, employees who have been laid off receive larger benefits than those who have been fired or quit.

        1. Heather*

          It wasn’t. I’ve been laid off and collected unemployment before, so I’m very aware of the laws in my state. I was able to receive benefits without a problem.

      2. Heather*

        I was extremely cooperative. I trained several staff members one-on-one so they were set after I left and made myself available to my boss. But she ignored me until the very end. I get it–she probably felt uncomfortable. But I didn’t think it was fair that she created a roadblock that didn’t need to be there. Without it, I would have sucked it up and done my job. Instead, I waited around for weeks, while she walked past me straight into her office.

    2. Elizabeth the Ginger*

      Yes – unfortunately, you’ve burned a bridge there. Granted, it might not have been a great bridge to begin with, since it sounds like your manager had some unrealistic expectations, but you missed a chance to leave a good final impression. It would have been good if you could have just pushed through those last couple days, knowing they were going to be bad days but at least over soon. If that wasn’t possible, though, the next best thing would have been to call or email your boss and say something like, “The stress of being here is causing health problems, so unfortunately I need to make today my last day. I’ve left all the XYZ files organized on the server, and documentation for the ABC software is attached. I value what I’ve learned at Organization and wish you all the best going forward.”

      As you apply for other jobs (unless you already have one), you might want to consider who at the company will be your best reference. It sounds like your manager won’t be the best.

      1. Steve G*

        Well, IDK if the OP burnt that bridge alone, I mean, they were getting laid off anyway, and they had had a bad review for items that would be considered unreasonable at other companies….

      2. Heather*

        I sent my boss a respectful message letting her know that I was leaving early. I was calm and cooperative at work throughout the entire experience, but in the end I really just couldn’t take it anymore. Plus, I never intended to use her as a reference. She frequently badmouthed the person whose position I replaced, even though other employees enjoyed working with her.

        1. fposte*

          I read “without speaking to [your boss]” as without telling her at all that you were not returning, and I think Alison might have as well; an email isn’t optimal communication, but it’s a lot different from walking out without telling people at all. So I think this changes things a lot for me. (I still don’t know that they handled the layoff that badly from what you’ve described, but that doesn’t mean you had to stay forever, either.)

          1. Heather*

            It’s hard to speak to someone who is avoiding you. My boss would normally stop by my desk once a day. After I was laid off, she stopped speaking to me without an appointment. The only way we did communicate was through email, so for the situation, that was the best way I could let her know.

            1. fposte*

              Right, but your original post didn’t mention that you’d communicated the information to her any other way, so it was understandable that we didn’t realize you’d let her know.

              Were you exempt or non-exempt, by the way? I’m presuming non-exempt since you mention no overtime, but sometimes people who are exempt wish for it as well.

              1. fposte*

                I probably should have clarified–I’m curious to know if your manager was actually breaking laws.

            2. Stranger than fiction*

              I’m curious what was said re: “the circumstances around your layoff”?

              1. Heather*

                The email was super long. But basically, it said they said that they eliminated my position, created a new one, and that and I was not qualified to take it, so it was going to my boss.

                Here’s a little more backstory: After I originally signed on, I realized they had a crazy turn over rate and key people were leaving left and right. After a popular manager left, they brought in someone to assess the damage, and she agreed with me that the expectations my boss created for my position were unreasonable. So I was the only one cut AFTER the big boss assured everyone that every member of staff was important.

                My manager didn’t even attend the lay off meeting. She sat in her office across the hall, let the big boss do the dirty work, then emailed me from behind closed doors a few hours later to ask how I “took the news WE gave you”. Wimpy in my opinion.

                1. Connie-Lynne*

                  That’s pretty crummy, to say “we made a new position, and X isn’t qualified for it” right out in a company-wide email.

          2. Ask a Manager* Post author

            Yep, the original letter sounded to me like you left without saying anything to anyone! That does make a difference, and I’ve added an update at the bottom of the post to add that information.

    3. Steve G*

      “I realize it was a frustrating and stressful situation,” It’s very easy to write that, but to live through it is something else entirely. My office was bought out at the end of last year and long story short, I got a similar agreement to stay a few months and pass things over/train people to get a severance. Worst working months of my career. I was freaking out about my future, bitter about being one of the people let go even though I was one of the main three people to build the operations in my state, and regularly not sleeping because I would wake up with my mind racing about how I’d been screwed (as in, I thought I was working harder than everyone else over the years because I thought it would lead to growth, not a lay off), why did I waste so many hears doing OT and skipping social functions only to be laid off, what the hell am I going to do for money. I was regularly miffed that the people I was training were doing less hours than me and got to cherry pick what they wanted to work on.

      Then I tried to put on a positive attitude, only to consistently get PO’d during training with trainees just not wanting to accept information, saying that they were changing things to their (unsuccessful, money losing way) when they didn’t even have authority to make such decisions, or consistently cutting me off as if they knew what I was talking about, even though I was discussing customer and process specific items I’d never disclosed to them.

      So I eventually got my must-stay-for-severance period reduced so I could get away from the stress and move on with my life and not have to spend 8-11/hrs a day stewing over “do you want me here or not???,” so I totally and utterly sympathize with the OP. Even if you are dealing with nicer people, it’s VERY hard to go to work everyday and deal with that dichotomy of “we need you so bad because you have all of the technical and customer knowledge,” but “we don’t need you here so your employment ends in X months.” You can’t wrap your brain around that.

      1. OfficePrincess*

        But the difference here is, you spoke to your employer and got your last day moved up. OP just left without saying anything, which opened up a potential new can of worms.

      2. Merry and Bright*


        With you totally on this, Steve G. I was in a very similar situation two and a half years ago.

      3. Heather*

        Thanks for understanding. I noticed a lot of people here assumed that I left without saying anything, which wasn’t true. To elaborate on the stress part, I was having anxiety attacks daily, not sleeping, and dealing with a very upset stomach during the last couple of weeks I was there.

        I felt like I was asked to put all of my personal issues aside (no income, no job lined up, no health insurance for dealing with medical issues, etc.) to cater to my boss who didn’t speak to me three out of the four weeks I remained in the office.

        1. HigherEd Admin*

          Your original letter says, ” and left a few days early without speaking to her,” which I think is where readers are making that assumption.

        2. Wren*

          You’re the OP? People are assuming you left without saying anything because your letter says, “I cleared out my desk when no one was around, and left a few days early without speaking to her.” Now that you’ve clarified, would I be correct in guessing you meant you happened to not speak to her (about anything, let alone the fact that it would be your last day) on that day? But, surely, you can see why people thought you meant you left without notifying her of the fact.

          1. Heather*

            I cleaned out my desk when no one was around to avoid a disturbance in the office. I thought it would awkward for them, and for me, to have everyone see me hauling stuff to my car. And yes, she was notified that I was leaving and that I would be available a few weeks after I left through phone or email if she needed help with anything.

        3. Steve G*

          That’s how I felt too. I already had enough martyring for that job, especially during my first 2 years where I was running around NYC ala Ann Hathaway in the Devil Wears Prada (I wish there was a guy reference here but the only guy-work movies are Boiler Room and Wall St, and my company didn’t do anything unethical:-)). The trainees lack of drive/communication added fuel to the fire. They should have been knocking down my door to get information/copies of sheets, etc. Instead, I ended up making a bunch of complicated presos for my boss on my job, and dumped my thousands of sheets on a hard drive. If anyone ever looked at them is beyond me.

          1. Heather*

            Yes, this! I love how you explain it, “martyring for the job.” In my situation, doing a kick ass job wasn’t enough. You were expected to drop what you were doing to help any employee in need, even if that meant working 20 extra hours a week to do the job you were hired to do. You were also expected to give money, attend events on nights and weekends, etc., but that’s another story for another time.

            Overall, I felt like I’d given plenty, and them some. So what people here are seeing as a simple request during a layoff, was pretty over the top at that point.

            1. Merry and Bright*

              Yes, OP, even when you aren’t happy at your job, when you have given so much to your employer it feels like being punched when your job is terminated like that. Some (not all) managers can be insensitive about it too, like yours. I was laid off in September and my toxic manager during my last two weeks made a big thing about planning the office Christmas lunch(!) in front of me, throwing in reminders that I would miss it. I suppose I am saying that there is no need for employers to pile on the BS. Anyway, hope all goes well for you. :)

      4. Rebecca*

        Yeah, I was in a really similar situation and it sucked. They didn’t announce it to the rest of the team until a week or so later. My husband had just quit his job to go back to school full-time and I had to complete my 30 days in order to get my severance package.

        I was able to get a head-start on job-hunting, though, which was nice. I got an offer before my 30 days was up, so that was a huge relief knowing that I had a job waiting for me. But it was incredibly hard to get through those last couple of weeks at my old job, I just completely lacked any motivation! As far as I was concerned, that place could have burned to the ground. The only reason I stayed was so that I could get my severance pay, I knew I’d earned it and did not want to mess that up!

        1. Steve G*

          Wow that sounds scary! At least during my drama my SO was making good $, but it could have been a lot worse

    4. Diddly*

      Obviously OP acted rashly (due to the stressful situation) wondering if we can come up with a way for them to rectify the situation? (Depending on how long ago this happened.)
      Even just a phone-call to apologize, to say it was very stressful situation and they wish they hadn’t left like they did? Thoughts?

      1. Heather*

        Sorry, but no. Without rehashing every detail, my relationship with my manager was filled with tension because she repeatedly stepped over reasonable boundaries and even told me that I needed to get over them. Still, I made numerous efforts to come to an agreement with her so that we could work better together to no avail. In the end, I was ready to burn that bridge and walk away.

        I get it. Employees are always supposed to do the right thing. But reality is, we’re also people who can only take so much BS before enough is enough.

        1. Diddly*

          Was actually thinking of helping you in terms of references etc as everyone seemed to be picking on you – other comment I made I point out I understood what you were going thru as have been in similar situation. In Alison’s defence with the info provided it looked like you’d left without telling anyone and all anyone had to go on was the info provided in the original email – or what was published until now. We didn’t know full detail or how the manager acted etc.

      2. Yeahright*

        Here’s a thought, Diddly… they owe OP an apology… On ya, Heather, you did the right thing. I can empathise as I went through exactly the same thing as you and Steve G. Good luck for your future job search.

  3. I'm Not Phyllis*

    That sucks, OP – I hope you find something soon! I would just do what they’re asking you (even if it’s not fun) so that you leave on a good note. Be willing to help and make sure people know you’re available for training, but you don’t need to bend over backwards.

    Goodbye parties = the worst. I am impressed that they acknowledged it could be awkward for you and asked whether you wanted one. My last job made me plan my own under the premise that it was an office-wide celebration (something my manager did quite often so it wasn’t a stretch) and they needed some help. Yep – I did all of the work re: food and drink, invitation, coming in early to set up, etc.

    1. The IT Manager*

      I disagree. I left my last job involuntarily (somewhere between a layoff and a firing). I am an introvert, but I would have been very hurt if there was no farewell luncheon for me. Farewell luncheons were standard for people leaving or retiring, and if my departure had been ignored I would have felt terrible.

      Forcing a farewell party on someone who doesn’t want one is not cool, but so id ignoring someone’s departure without offering one. How are they to know your preference if they don’t ask you? They asked, you answered, and they accepted your answer. That is in no way inconsiderate.

      To be honest, nothing you claim as inconsiderate sounds that way to me. The problem seems to be the conflict between you and your manager made any interaction with her difficult, but someone needed to replace you (a layoff means they were eliminating your job so there was going to be some restructuring of the remaining positions) and you needed to train that person.

      1. The IT Manager*

        but, I’m Not Phyllis, planning your own farewell party that does suck especially when you have to do the setup yourself.

        1. Anna*

          When I was in high school I worked a summer hire job on a military base along with maybe 10 other students. On our last day of work, they threw us a going away barbecue. Except all the summer hires set it up, ate last, and then cleaned up.

      2. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

        When I was hit in a group layoff — management threw a “going away party” for us one evening.

        There was even a “thank you” cake.

        It was just too weird. I went. I stayed 15 minutes. I did not take a drink. I left. Quickly.

    2. Heather*

      Thanks! No, they did not acknowledge it would be awkward for me–I did when I declined. In the month leading up to my last day, I trained several people on different aspects of my job, worked with all of my contacts to transfer assignments, organized all of my files, and created a pretty impressive training book for staff to follow the technical aspect. . What my boss wanted was above and beyond reasonable in my opinion, considering she waited until the last 72 hours to approach me.

    3. Rebecca*

      They tricked you into planning your own going-away party?! That is pretty bad, I’m sorry.

  4. Pill Helmet*

    I once found out It was my last day by reading the email I was cc’d on that was sent to all staff telling them it was my last day, followed by a slew of goodbye emails.

    I was nearing the end of a contract but discussions were still ongoing about keeping me on. I had no idea they’d decided not to. They actually forgot to have the conversation with me.

    1. TheLazyB*

      …. at least they sent the all staff email?? The only thing more awkward would be if you had turned up the next working day and someone had had to tell you you’d already finished.

      Either way, that’s awful!

      1. Pill Helmet*

        Oh yeah that would have been worse!

        I worked remote most of the time and they asked me to ship my computer back to them on my own dime too. I only went in once a month but had been there a few days before.

        1. AnonaMoose*

          I would have just said no. ‘But I am happy to ship it to you as soon as you furnish your Fed Ex account number. Kthxbye.’

          1. Connie-Lynne*

            In fact, this is how I ended up getting a free computer from a previous company.

            I worked remote, and emailed asking for the FedEx number. The HR team repeatedly spaced on sending it to me. Finally, after a month, I emailed the IT manager saying, “hey, this property is not mine, can you please give me a charge account to send it back to you?” He emailed me back saying I could keep it.

      2. Dan*

        My favorite was my old HR guy at my last job. He found out he was being replaced when one of his buddies called him up and said, “Hey! I heard you guys are looking for a director of HR. Your growth has been a positive thing, huh?” Except the company wasn’t looking to grow the HR department… oops.

    2. Ed*

      I was in a group nested inside the Layoff Notification email group so I accidentally got the emails about all upcoming layoffs. It was weird going to a meeting with people you knew would be laid off later that week. It was tempting to warn them but I kept my mouth shut. People are pretty unpredictable in that situation so I could see that blowing up in my face. You think you would want to know but what would it really change other than being super stressed out until you were notified? My manager bought a new house two weeks before the layoffs started (he went in round one) and the director who had been his mentor for years didn’t warn him. He was pretty mad about that but that director got promoted to VP and kept his job so he had a lot to risk.

      1. LMW*

        Can I just add a nice story here? At an old job, my new boss decided to layoff one of my coworkers as part of a much-needed reorg. Unfortunately, the poor woman went on maternity leave a week after he started. He knew she was going to be laid off before she even came back, but managed to convince HR to wait 6 months to let her “wrap up projects.” They had just bought a house before new boss started and she went on leave, and she says that six months was essentially the difference between them keeping and losing the house. Project-wise, he had no real reason to keep her on. It was entirely about being decent and showing the rest of the team (which had had huge retention and morale issues before he joined us) that our department cared about its employees. And it worked — aside from me, I think most of that team is still there 6 years later.

        1. Pill Helmet*

          That is a nice story! Always good to hear about people doing the right thing for others.

          1. Steve G*

            Yup, granted, it seemed a bit premature to be firing people 1 week into a new job. Kind of reminds me of “the firing lady” skit on MadTV

        2. Pennalynn Lott*

          I was let go in a 3rd round of layoffs once, without severance, while I was going through some really complicated health issues. However, without me even asking, the company paid for 100% of my health insurance premiums for the next six months (through the end of the calendar year) after they let me go. I cannot begin to tell you how helpful that was to me.

  5. Bee Eye LL*

    I was caught in that position once where I was laid off but they wanted me to train my old boss on web development. Not just how to make basic updates, but the entire field of web dev from graphics to layouts and so on. I ended up going to lunch one day and never coming back. I regret doing that, but at the time I was losing my mind.

    1. The Cosmic Avenger*

      Considering how outlandish those expectations were, I doubt they would have thought any better of you if you had stayed and “failed” to train your boss in multiple new career skills. People who are that unrealistic tend to be unrealistic in many areas.

      1. AnonaMoose*

        Actually, based on how ludicrous that request is (I mean, shoot, it’s taken me years of teaching myself), I might too walk out!

        1. Heather*

          Bingo! I spent a lot of time and money learning those skills. It would be like teaching a dentist how to code. Sure, I’ll tell you what needs to be done and how, but I can’t give you something to slap on you resume in an hour. It just wasn’t logical to me and I tried to convey that.

    2. Heather*

      Yes! That’s exactly the position I was in. She had an entire month to look over the training materials and ask me if she needed to work through anything. But instead she ignored me completely until the last few days (she had a habit of procrastinating). Then expected me to teach her web design in an hour and a half. By that point I was more concerned about how I was going to afford groceries, than how she was going to learn how to crop pictures.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        Ideally, the way to look at it is “I’m here until Friday, and how you use my time during that period is up to you. If you choose not to have me train you on things until my last week, that’s your call.” You’re not under any obligation to go above and beyond because of her bad planning, just to do what’s feasible during the time she gives you. (But I also don’t think it makes sense to be resentful that she waited so long; that’s going to impact her, not you.)

      2. Wow*

        Heather, where are you located? Maybe we’ve been working for the same people! It sounds like every ingrate client I’ve ever freelanced for.

  6. MsM*

    The only really strange thing I see here is you deciding that having a conversation about handing off your responsibilities was the very last straw and you couldn’t even talk about it. Sure, the meeting might have consisted of “I don’t know what I can tell you at this point that’s not in the packet,” but who cares? You were already leaving. You could have responded to any truly outrageous demands (and again, while the job itself might not have been reasonable, nothing about the departure plans seems to raise any red flags) with “I’m sorry, I can’t accommodate that. If that means we need to wrap up my duties today, I understand.” But whatever missteps they made, you overshadowed by clearing out without telling anyone.

  7. Ed*

    I agree with AAM. This is all pretty standard for a layoff and it’s simply a case of layoffs always stink. A company will base their layoff-related decisions on what is best for them and the remaining employees, not the few that are leaving. For me, best case scenario is being let go at the end of day with some severance but I’ve also seen people complain about that because they didn’t get to say goodbye to everyone. Training your replacement is by far the worst case scenario but the work remains when you leave so what is your company supposed to do? I am on good terms with my company but I can only hope my level of access is so great that they will walk me out if I get laid off.

    I’ve seen roughly a thousand layoffs over the past 5 years and it is very uncomfortable for everyone involved when Jane is boxing up her stuff surrounded by her co-workers. And the goodbye parties and making the rounds throughout the office to say goodbye is absolutely the worst. I’m not implying the person being laid off doesn’t have it 100 times worse than those that remain but it stinks for them too. As a result of witnessing that at a past job (I was eventually let go but in a late round so I saw it coming), I now keep my cube stripped down so I could be gone in 5 minutes.

    1. Long Time Reader First Time Poster*

      Hah, I haven’t brought personal effects to work in years, and I always keep my laptop in pristine order, with all of my portfolio work backed up on a personal drive. I can be gone in sixty seconds at any given moment. Sure makes it easier to disengage when they tell you to grab your stuff and go.

  8. TCO*

    I was laid off from a nonprofit under some frustrating circumstances when the funding for my position was eliminated. I had several months’ notice, and yes, I was not pleased without the whole thing was handled. But I did my best to put that frustration aside (or at least hide it) and take the high road during my departure. It really worked to my benefit in terms of keeping my relationships and references positive.

    I did document some of my work procedures and train my coworkers in how to do them. That’s not crazy to ask of a departing employee at all–some of your tasks still need to get done.

    I actually did consent to a going-away party, and while it was a little tough to show up with a smile on my face when I was so frustrated with some of our leadership (for creating the circumstances that led to the layoff) I’m actually glad I went to the party. It was a chance for my coworkers to let me know how much they appreciated me and would miss me, and I also got to say my goodbyes. It wasn’t their fault I was being laid off, after all. Being celebrated by them helped me feel a little better about what I had accomplished in my role.

    OP, I can empathize that it’s really hard to care about things like procedures and parties when you’ve been mistreated and are stressed and bitter about a layoff. But you missed out on a chance to take the high road here. Leaving early (without notice) and refusing to train someone else on your job duties made you look bad. In my experience the non-profit community is pretty close-knit and reputations travel quickly–and you probably damaged yours. I hope that doesn’t endanger your ability to find another job.

    1. Heather*

      Again, she was notified that I was leaving early. Also, I made myself available to train her the entire time. It was her decision to ignore me until the last two days. By ignore I mean no phone calls, not responding to emails, not talking to me in person, etc. I made every effort to be positive, and not be the bitter person sulking around the office, which put my co workers at ease. I never complained while I was there, and refrained from discussing my layoff in detail with anyone in the office.

      And my background is finance. I do not intend to work at a nonprofit in the future. There are some traits about that industry in general that I don’t enjoy.

      1. LJL*

        I have no advice, Heather, I just know that I was in a similar situation and it really, really sucked. However, I am in a much better place now, and I hope it turns out that way for you too. Best of luck with your next career steps.

      2. TCO*

        The additional information you’ve provided here in the comments really clarifies a lot. I think some of the key information was missing from the initial letter, which is easy to have happen when you’re frustrated and stressed.

  9. some1*

    I think what’s been especially difficult for me in situations like this (losing a job, getting broken up with) is the lack of control, which makes everything about the way it goes down seen through that lens.

    From the outside I don’t think the LW’s company handled this very badly, but I know if I were the one going through it, I can see how the lack of control would make me feel worse, and I think it’s the lack of control that might be what is hard to accept about the situation.

    – planning to quit but getting laid off before that could happen
    – being informed of the decision, and wanting some time to get used to it/tell my coworkers on my own way, but it gets announced before the LW has the chance
    – wanting to hand over a manual to the manager; manager insists on being trained

    1. Ed*

      “I think what’s been especially difficult for me in situations like this (losing a job, getting broken up with) is the lack of control, which makes everything about the way it goes down seen through that lens.”

      To me, the worst thing is the instant destruction of the future plans we all have in our heads. You can’t help but picture yourself with your current partner or in your current job five years from now. Not only do you have the immediate loss with absolutely no warning (though maybe you were ignoring the signs) but then you realize your future plans are gone as well.

    2. Heather*

      Thanks, you get it. What I failed to mention is that the layoff came after my boss found out that I was planning on quitting. I’ve been laid off before, but what made this one especially frustrating was that it felt like a personal attack from someone who wasn’t getting what she wanted. Two weeks before I was laid off, she pulled me aside and asked me to stay. The message I got from my employer was confusing, and very stressful.

  10. Diddly*

    I think we’re all thinking in a clear-headed way, whereas OP would have been emotional, stressed, and also humiliated, even it seems reasonable for the manager to take over the role from an outsider’s perspective and to instantly expect training (indicating perhaps that they did need OP…) As OP I think you’d feel a little shell-shocked.
    When I was ‘laid-off” during the conversation I was almost crying point, and was told I could leave straight away – out the back door, which was preferable because I didn’t want to cry in front of everyone. I was very upset and down for a number of weeks, worried about how on earth I was going to find another job and what I was going to do next. I have no idea how I would have coped if I’d remained at work, or how I’d have kept it together, especially if my manager then wanted me to teach everything I knew in x amount of time. I think the main take-away is that it would be humiliating, as would the ‘goodbye party’ – when you hadn’t chosen to leave, and not giving the OP time to compose themselves before everyone in the office knew I think is unfair.
    So yes I understand OP’s actions maybe weren’t great at the end, but personally I would have found it very difficult under the same circumstances, and may have acted rashly as well.

    1. Future Analyst*

      I agree. We all like to think of ourselves as the ultimate professionals, but at some points in our lives, we just don’t think clearly, and sometimes act poorly. OP, this situation sucked, and I’m sorry. We can all sit here and tell you how you should have acted, but one never knows how terrible you might feel in the same situation. Learn from this situation, and if it comes up again in the future (hopefully not), you might want to consider asking for a shorter transition period.

  11. John*

    Here’s why the announcement went our 10 minutes later — to avoid situations such as this:

    One afternoon a co-worker who sat a couple desks away from me emerged from a meeting with his boss. There was no change from his usual demeanor. After settling back at his desk for a bit and making some quiet calls, he commandeered a garbage bin and started dumping files. Passing him en route to the bathroom, I said in a joking tone, “Ah, finally cleaning up, huh?”

    Him: “I’ve been let go.”


    1. Heather*

      I get it, that makes a lot of sense when you put it that way. It had to be done at some point even if it didn’t feel too good.

      1. TootsNYC*

        The other reason that as a manager, *I* would want to notify everyone about the layoff is that it lets me control the conversation.
        And the people who are left are going to be “collateral damage,” so how they hear about it is very, very important. The mood of the office going forward will be greatly influenced by how everyone else hears this complacency-rattling news.
        Which means that my email would be full of regret, and praise, and good wishes for the person we are losing.

        I might not do it by email, actually, but by calling everyone together in a hurry.

        I worked at a place that–for the first time -ever- (and I’ve been through 7 layoffs at various places)–said to the folks it was laying off, “We’re laying you off for financial reasons, and your last day of employment is the Friday two weeks from now. You can leave today, and never come back; we understand because it’s upsetting news. If we’re upset at having to give you this news, we can only imagine how much MORE upset you are to hear it. Your last day of work will be unchanged, your severance will be unchanged, and your reputation with us will be unaffected. You’ll still be eligible for rehire if it ever works out, and we’ll still admire you.
        “But if you are willing to come back, we’d like to wrap up anything you’re in the middle of, and help your colleagues by passing on whatever is necessary. You can pack up your desk at your leisure, and get your personal emails off your computer.”

        It made a huge difference to those of us who were left, because our colleagues were treated like professionals, instead of like potential felons (often those laid off are escorted from the building, and their computers are frozen).

        And so–considering that at many of the companies where I’ve witnessed layoffs (as manager, target, or onlooker), you’d have been immediately escorted from the building—I think they treated you pretty well.

        Your immediate manager wasn’t all that professional; I can see where her refusal to acknowledge you as a human being during those weeks would sting.

    2. Juli G.*

      I kid you not, a guy returned to his office from his meeting being told he was being laid off and was saying goodbye to a few of us.

      A woman from the engagement committee stopped by his office to say “You just won the free vacation day raffle!” He wasn’t terribly excited with his prize.

  12. RidingNerdy*

    I think the company drew out your transition period too long, but I don’t think you handled the transition well, either. A simple conversation to go over the training packet would have sufficed, and I probably would have brought it up WELL before the scheduled day before your end date (that’s leaving it far too long, IMO).

    I was once laid off when the department I managed was transferred and consolidated with another department in a different geographical location. My staff and I were welcome to apply for new positions, but would not be transferred or relocated. It was a huge project, so we expected to work an additional 3 months from our notice date. My poor staff was strung along for 6 months, and I remained for 12 months after our notice date. It was the worst 12 months of my working life.

    1. Heather*

      I sent my boss the training packet the day I was notified, and we did talk about it during our scheduled catch up meeting. The conversation about the training came a few weeks later. I reiterated that most of what she asked to learn was well documented in easy steps for her to follow, but she insisted and didn’t schedule the meeting until the last 48 hours.

  13. KT*

    This seems like pretty standard behavior when an employee leaves, either by layoff or resignation. I don’t see what’s so egregious.

    But leaving days early without a word, well, that’s a good way to lose your severance package.

    1. Heather*

      She was notified that I was leaving and I told her that I would be available to answer any questions post-layoff. And, I wasn’t offered a severance package to begin with. It was a nonprofit. They were eager to get money, not give it.

      It’s easy to judge without living through the situation yourself. Remember, I’m human, and I can only put myself last for so long before something had to give.

      1. Joline*

        I think most people are responding to your letter in this way because your original post was read by many as you not notifying your manager at all that you were leaving early – which is a lot less professional than what actually happened.

        The opinions are changing further down the thread once people had that information.

  14. Gene*

    I think what my employer did was inconsiderate and out of line. Do you agree?

    Nope. Even with a full set of manuals and tips, sometimes talking with someone who uses a system makes a transition better and easier. And it’s entirely possible that your manager needed some time to look at your “detailed training packet” to know what questions to ask, thus the delay for the meeting (or she was just plain busy). Instead you got your tighty whities in a knot and left a few days early without telling anyone and left her high and dry. That’s one major burned bridge – for everyone there.

    1. Future Analyst*

      I don’t think that’s fair. It’s not as though she had exclusive access to a bunch of passwords and proprietary information and left without providing access to anyone else. The OP may not have handled the situation well, but to claim the manager was left high and dry is a bit of a stretch. After all, they were going to have to get along without her in a matter of a week.

      1. Future Analyst*

        And from reading the OP’s comments upthread, it sounds as though the manager made herself unavailable to transfer some of this knowledge earlier. Hardly the OP’s fault if the manager was avoiding her.

    2. Gene*

      After reading the updates from the OP, I’ll retract most of what I said.

      I don’t think the employer was at fault here though, the previous manager was the problem.

      Best of luck to Heather.

      1. Heather*

        Thanks, but I had to roll my eyes at your “tighty whities” comment. You’re right, the issue wasn’t really with the employer-it was the manager. I didn’t have any new projects, so I want around to each department and asked what they needed so I could set it up before I left. She chose to ignore me until the last minute–as was her custom. That’s why I was angry. My relationship with everyone else was great.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          But really, there’s no reason to be angry that she didn’t take better advantage of your last few weeks; that’s going to harm her, not you.

          It sounds like you have lots of legitimate reasons to be frustrated with this manager, but I don’t know that I’d be outraged by her mismanaging her own work, which is what this really was.

          1. Heather*

            You’re right, she really was hurting herself, not me. I guess the anger comes from her wanting me to fix the problems she created by mismanaging her work, even though I was leaving. It was strange, she talked about my layoff like I was going on vacation, not leaving the organization for good.

  15. Kate M*

    OP – just wondering, were you exempt or non-exempt? If you were non-exempt and paid hourly, then yeah I’d agree that the stuff they did before the layoff was pretty bad (not paying for overtime, expecting you to answer emails without paying you for your time, etc). But if you were exempt, even what they did before the layoff I wouldn’t consider that bad. It probably wasn’t the right fit for you, but there are plenty of great jobs where people work more than 40 hours per week and answer emails at night. I understand being at a super stressful job and wanting to leave, just pointing out that (if you were exempt), these things might not have been as egregious either.

    And as for the layoff procedure – I agree with everyone else; nothing really stands out to me as terrible here. The worst thing was that your manager procrastinated about wanting to learn the program, but even then, that wasn’t your responsibility to make sure she knew what she was doing. You could have given her the hour and a half she asked for, and then let her sink or swim after that (and maybe let her learn a lesson about how long it takes).

  16. Well*

    OP: being laid off sucks. But don’t confuse “being laid off sucks” with “this company did a crappy job laying me off.” What could they have done differently that would’ve made it better? You didn’t have a goodbye party, which was your preference. If they had laid you off immediately there’s no guarantee you would’ve continued to get paid for a month – would that really have been easier for you? If they had waited until the day before you left to tell your co-workers your position was being eliminated, would a full month of listening to your co-workers include you on all kinds of long-term planning conversations really have been easier?

    I was laid off at my last job, and sometimes you need to take an objective step back. Are you mad about how they laid you off — or are you just mad that you got laid off in the first place?

    Also, I don’t know how far after the fact this is, but you should really, really consider reaching out now to apologize to your manager for cutting out a few days early. Something like “Hey — I’m sorry I cut out a few days early. I know it wasn’t appropriate. I was upset about being laid off and felt very uncomfortable about finishing up my time, but that’s no excuse. Please let me know if there’s anything you needed from me in terms of knowledge/closing out my role that you didn’t get.”

    This does mean swallowing your pride and if your manager is unreasonable maybe you’ll get a snippy “we were better off without you anyway” response. But if possible, whether you use this person as a formal reference or not, you at least want them to not actively torpedo your chances at your next job.

    Finally: sorry you were laid off, OP. It gets better – I was laid off from my last job and while at the time it was crushing – in terms of both my self-confidence and my personal finances – I’m in a much better place now, and it pushed me to grow as a professional in ways that I wasn’t going to in that role.

    1. Future Analyst*

      Agreed with this approach. Acknowledging that you shouldn’t have left like you did may not change their perception of you, but it’s better to apologize and see if they need anything else from you than to ignore it.

      1. Future Analyst*

        Just read your responses upthread OP, and now see this makes not sense. As far as I’m concerned, since you gave her a heads up via email (and frankly, I think this is fine, given that she didn’t talk to you in person), you’re good to go. I still don’t think the company handled the layoff in any egregious manner, but your manager certainly sounds like she was hard to work with, and I don’t blame you for feeling frustrated with the whole thing.

    2. Heather*

      Sorry, but like I said, she will not be getting an extra apology from me. In my last letter to her (since she wouldn’t talk to me in person), I did say sorry for not being able to stay the next few days and gave her my contact information to approach me if she needed help with anything.

      I was actually happy about being laid off. I’ve been laid off before, and this one was handled a little better. Plus, I did not like my job to begin with so having the freedom to look for a better fit was great. I do see the bright side in all of this.

      Specifically, It was my manager’s behavior that was the problem. She liked to demand things at the last minute, then refuse to acknowledge me until after projects were due, and get upset when things weren’t done to her standards. Her request for training was another example. I tried to learn her communication preferences, but nothing worked. She didn’t respond to phone calls, emails, or impromptu office visits. In the end, enough was enough. I had to focus on me, not her and her desire to learn PhotoShop.

      1. Well*

        My bad, Heather – I missed your response upthread. Your position seems much more reasonable in light of that. Thanks for clarifying (and, like I said, good luck — sounds like you have a healthy perspective!)

  17. AnnieMouse*

    Retired HR professional speaking here. It was handled poorly at best. The usual is the day before you leave, an email goes out saying that you are leaving and that your job duties will be handled by XXX. Nothing more, nothing less.

    1. Kate M*

      Yeah, to me that would seem like the worst possible way. If I was leaving on good terms (even with a layoff), I’d appreciate a good-bye party or something, and a chance to wrap things up with other people. That just seems so cold and unfeeling. I’m sure it depends on your workplace, but that certainly doesn’t seem the “normal” or “usual” way to handle it. A firing, sure, but not a layoff on good terms.

      1. TootsNYC*

        What I’ve seen is that you get laid off on a Friday, and your computer is frozen when you’re in that meeting,a nd someone meets you at your desk to watch you pack your stuff and escort you from the building.

        That’s SOP in many, many places. And it’s kind of brutal.

        I don’t know that the OP’s experience is “the worst possible way”! I’ve seen something similar happen (transition period and openness), and for MOST of the people, and especially for the “survivors,” it was far preferable.

        1. jag*

          “That’s SOP in many, many places.”

          It depends what field you are in and the culture. If you’re in finance or high-tech, yes, that is common. Proprietary and client information is deeply valued.

          But if someone is being kept on for a transition – which is quite common in some fields, even in the case of this OP, then that is not SOP, and keeping it secret is destructive.

          Last layoffs at my organization gave people six to 10 weeks of time on staff to help us make the transition. The layoffs were not about the people being laid off – they were about circumstances. So it was better for our organization – and them – to have a slower transition.

          Last firing went as Toots described – the person was locked out of our IT system. But that was someone we no longer trusted.

    2. jag*

      “The usual is the day before you leave, an email goes out saying that you are leaving and that your job duties will be handled by XXX. Nothing more, nothing less.”

      This is terrible practice if the person or people being laid off are continuing working for some time. It’s a great way to start gossip and speculation. Plus it undermines effective planning by people not privy to the fact that someone is leaving. Even meetings – invitations might be sent to someone who won’t be there. Does that person accept meetings, or decline them? Keep secret why he/she can’t be there?

      1. Emily*

        Usually at my org the company-wide email goes out on the last day or close to it, but that’s for the people that basically don’t regularly interact with the person. The team they work with is notified much sooner for the reasons you cite, so people who work with them can make appropriate arrangements and plans to wrap up and transfer work.

        1. TootsNYC*

          And in my experience, nobody knows until it happens. Except for the person’s manager, usually.

  18. Ann O'Nemity*

    After reading the OP’s updates, I think the main grievance is that her manager barely spoke to her during her month-long transition, and then requested an impossible amount of training to occur in the last few days. The other things mentioned in the original letter (staff-wide email notification of OP’s layoff, offer of farewell party, long transition) are normal or at least forgivable. But I too would be ticked if my direct manager ignored me like that and then expected the training that should have been regularly occurring all month to be crammed into the last few days. It also shows an irresponsible level of procrastination; a manager who lays off an employee with a month notice should fully expect that the employee will be actively job searching and may leave early.

    1. fposte*

      I think that’s an accurate assessment. The OP was already hating this job and then this was the coup de grace, and her unhappiness about that request spilled onto other things that aren’t really a problem.

      1. puddin*

        I know I would have the feeling of “I lay ME off??!! I didn’t even want to work here!”

        The layoff procedure seems totes norm. But I can see how frustration and disbelief can make the OP irritated by the actions taken. Layoffs suck no matter what.

        1. fposte*

          Yes, totally. Actually, the more Heather describes her manager, the more it sounds like the layoff was the best part of the job.

    2. TCO*

      This is a really good distinction. I think the additional information OP has provided really helps illuminate what the serious problems were–and the going-away party and all-staff e-mail were not the true problems.

  19. Mimmy*

    Honestly. I’d say your employer handled your layoff better than mine did several years ago. My layoff was really odd–they said they were eliminating my position, but in reality, they just changed the parameters because I was replaced and no one else was laid off. I too was given 30 days notice, which I appreciated, but I can see how awkward that can feel. Plus, I didn’t even get a say in whether I had a good-bye party! I think it was meant to be a surprise, but my coworker blurted it out by mistake.

    Luckily, I was able to get unemployment with no problem.

  20. jag*

    “The usual is the day before you leave, an email goes out saying that you are leaving and that your job duties will be handled by XXX. Nothing more, nothing less.”

    This is terrible practice if the person or people being laid off are continuing working for some time. It’s a great way to start gossip and speculation. Plus it undermines effective planning by people not privy to the fact that someone is leaving. Even meetings – invitations might be sent to someone who won’t be there. Does that person accept meetings, or decline them? Keep secret why he/she can’t be there?

  21. Seal*

    At my previous position there was a checklist for managers to use when an employee left. Among other things, the manager was supposed to ask the outgoing employee if they wanted a going away party, with the employee having the option of saying no. This was to ensure that all employees were treated equally and to ensure that parties weren’t thrown for those who did not want one. There were plenty of people – myself included – who were adamant about not wanting a party.

    However, my boss at the time was so upset that I had the audacity to resign – in reality he was worried that the person who had covered his backside for far too many years was leaving – that he stopped talking to me and never went over the checklist. As a result, he never asked if I wanted a party so I never had the chance to tell him no. That still bugs – I would much rather have had the opportunity to turn him down than to have not been given the chance to do so.

  22. Margaret*

    The only thing (beyond some additional comments from the OP that clarify some issues with the manager in particular) that strikes me as particularly not well done about the initial layoff is the email to everyone 10 minutes after she was told. I don’t agree with the other commenter that it’s normal and ok to just send an email on their last day as notification – but surely you can give the poor person who just found out they’re losing their job more than 10 minutes to process it before it’s public knowledge! I would be a mess – whether I’m sad or angry I’d be crying, my initial response to anger is also typically tears. I wouldn’t want to be dealing with coworkers asking about it, either in sympathy, curiosity, or about transitioning work, while I’m also getting over the initial shock.

    Very occasionally we get an email that it’s someone’s last day that day, and it’s usually been difficult to tell in those situations who’s choice it was, and how much notice was actually given (the official language tends to be very euphemistic, even in the few situations where I know it’s essentially firing for cause). Even if a full two weeks is given by an employee who’s quitting (as I know was done recently by a now-former coworker I’m friends with – gave two weeks, they waited a week to publicly email), they usually delay it somewhat to give them some time to start wrapping things up on their own terms, and I’d say on average the public knowledge is given one week out from their last day. Granted, that gives some time for rumor mills to start up, but I think some balance should be struck here. Neither on the last day nor immediately upon giving the employee notice is the appropriate time to make it public.

  23. AnonAcademic*

    If it helps with perspective, OP…my partner’s entire (small) department was cut in a round of layoffs that happened the week before Christmas, and ONE DAY before annual bonuses were distributed. The company let go of around 15% of their staff across several departments so most people there lost coworkers, some of them quite well liked, and so some of the remaining employees apparently felt like the bonuses were blood money. Several people left for other jobs in the coming weeks, then there was ANOTHER round of layoffs (of people who presumably had just received performance bonuses – talk about mixed messages). I can’t even imagine – “ah yes you’re being cut for financial reasons, please ignore the fact that the C-levels all got their biggest bonuses ever this year.”

  24. Erin*

    I…actually disagree with Alison! First time since I’ve been following. Confession: I have been laid off twice myself and it might be my bias talking.

    The manager’s behavior was terrible. Reprimanding you for not responding to your personal email after hours? Expecting you to work extra hours without pay? Demanding you train her on computer software problems *after* you were laid off and even *after* you sent her a detailed training packet you had put together? Not to mention announcing your leave to everyone before you left. Really?? Wow.

    She may have covered her butt in terms of *technically* handling things correctly, but, holy crap. I don’t blame you one bit for getting the heck out of there early. The only reason not to would be to not burn any bridges, but is she really going to give you a glowing recommendation based on previous behavior? I can’t imagine so.

    1. CorporateAnarchist*

      I always disagree with Allison (well not always, but I feel like there are times where I feel like she’s not taking the employee’s side.) What can I say? I’m not the kind of person that believes in Capitalism, and Corporate America embodies the things I hate about this country (And I say this as someone who’s not necessarily ashamed of being American…)…so there you have it.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        It’s certainly true that I don’t automatically take the employee’s side! That’s not the point of the site. I don’t automatically take the employer’s side either. My whole point here is to help people understand how this stuff works so that they can make decisions that will make their work lives happier; that’s not really about taking one side over the other.

        1. Erin*

          I think you do a great job and admire how you allow other viewpoints and disagreements (providing they’re not vulgar or attacking you, of course).

    2. HRish Dude*

      “Expecting you to work extra hours without pay?”

      If you’re an exempt associate, that’s kind of the point. You can work a 5 hour day or a 10 hour day, you’re being paid for the job, not the time.

      1. Heather*

        I see what your saying, but the job was complete. The request to stay late every day was more about culture than workload. She liked people in her department to hang around in the evening to chat and catch up and would brush off opportunities to follow up during the day.
        Also she would ask staff to volunteer on weekends. I met my volunteer requirements (part of the job) then declined to come in. That’s when I was criticized for not working enough hours.
        At this place, face time was the most important. It was better to work 60 inefficient hours and be best friends with the boss than 40 productive hours and meet your best friend after work.

      2. Observer*

        That’s true up to a point. Unless you are getting VERY well paid, making 50-60 hours every week the norm is NOT reasonable.

  25. CorporateAnarchist*

    OP, I work as a contractor and most recently, I was in the same situation as you: worked for a non profit, was let go after 5 months in what was clearly a hatchet job situation where my manager had set me up to screw me over. I refer to it as a hatchet job because….well you’ll see in a minute. My manager didn’t even have the decency to contact my staffing agency, and when I told them, my recruiter was so baffled and a little annoyed in the way the whole thing was handled. I wasn’t too surprised, though…My manger had been rude to them in the past. Yes, she was rude even to the agency! But I honestly bought into her faux-progressive BS and didn’t try to pay too much attention to her loaded, racist comments about her children and loud, obnoxious personal phone calls in the workplace (Seriously, this woman would take time out of her day to address telemarketing callers when she could just ignore them like a normal person).

    She even, like your manager, openly talked crap about the previous employees with her inept step-nephew (“That Indian girl was SO disorganized…”) It wasn’t until I looked up the previous employees online did I notice a startling pattern…that all of the people who had been there lasted as long as I did and like me, were women of color. The longest lasting person has her freaking step-nephew, whom she only hired because she’s dating his uncle. SHE EVEN TOLD ME THIS. I, and every single person who had been there before me, had way more qualifications than this kid, and he screwed up left and right. I would even catch this kid’s mistakes on the work I handed in (because he felt compelled to always destroy everything I created, and also because he was a vacuous black hole of suck…although I wouldn’t doubt his step aunt put him up to it). I had asked him if I could tweak something he sent or help him out and he literally chewed he out and played dumb, reiterating that his work had no mistakes(!!). On one project, he completely botched a project I began and finished on time because he didn’t know how to use the software and yet, this was deemed my fault, because I was “disorganized” (Her favorite excuse). Right after my manager had told me of their relations, they both made it openly obvious that they were only looking out for each other and couldn’t wait until I made some mistake that would make my stay a short one.

    After putting up with their abuse and being super polite to the point of submission, all I can say at this point is…these people are so beneath you and I, and you will move on to greener and better pastures, OP. I promise you. Let these petty douchebags fester in the hell they have created for themselves. My manager did the same song and dance number about what a “good” person I was, and how talented I was and yadda yadda. She spieled on that she was going to give me a glowing reference and add me via social media, only for me to find out that everything she had said was a bold face lie (That “add” amounted to crickets, and she never contacted me ever again). Trust me, these people will reap what they so. Just take comfort in that. They don’t last long in their game and eventually they piss everyone off. Or, if fate isn’t working fast enough for you, you can cast a voodoo spell and hope their hair falls out. Whatever works.

  26. ITPuffNStuff*

    the thing that seems most odd to me about this is that the manager scheduled the software training session for the day before the employee’s last day. i mean, where did she plan to go in the inevitable event that she had questions more than 1 day later?

  27. Scott*

    The resounding trend I’m seeing in this post is how loyal people are to companies. Companies look out for themselves. I’ve seen so many people devote OT, missed vacations, etc only to be let go. Its truly not worth it. I resigned from a position and left the same day after speaking with HR. I transitioned no work and still remain in contact with all my coworkers.

    I think the layoff was an awkward one. I feel like you should have been told and no one else to be honest. It was an awkward situation to be in.

  28. BakerStreet*

    I think the OP had every right to leave early and the way companies toss employees aside is just absurd. They act as though employees aren’t going to rip them on websites like Glassdoor.com or anything else for that matter.

    I’ve told two other women what a pervert paradise my former employer is and they changed industries. Some websites do a great job of showing you red flags when employees talk about no health benefits, no paid holidays, low salaries for that field, etc. I’ve even seen a few where women complain about the sexism (thinking they are females posting honest reviews) and low pay.

    My situation is awful but I at least get unemployment. My former employer thought it was okay to harbor gross old men who like to grope and force young single female employees to have sex with them. I complained and was still attacked TWICE at work. That pig is still working there and I was the lowest paid employee to be laid off for “budget reasons” and the ONLY woman.

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