it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news!

1.  “I wrote you about 6 months ago about finding out as the only female employee on my team, I was being paid $10K less than my male coworker ‘Steve’ despite us having the same job title and similar levels of experience and skill sets. I found this out from him indirectly in an offhand conversation about other job openings he was considering. You didn’t publish my letter, but you did link me to a helpful related question you had answered for someone else.

So much has happened since then. To make a really long story short, Steve was promoted to fill a vacancy, then eventually left the company. I was assigned one of his long-running, high-priority projects, and my life got much more stressful. One project team member has been hell to work with as he routinely fails to listen and doesn’t seem to grasp basic concepts. My company restructured right as the Great Resignation really kicked off, and we lost around half the talent on our team. The new higher-ups of our department implemented a bunch of micromanaging policies that ground our cadence to a halt. To top it all off, there was zero recognition of my hard work and continued successes from management this entire time.

I was going to speak to my boss about a raise, but I never did because I was suddenly much busier. I did tell Steve, however, and he was indignant on my behalf. Later, he shared with me that a new, entry-level male part-timer was making $10K more than me. At that point, I decided I was not OK working for a company that would treat women with so little respect, and began hunting for jobs. This honestly was a huge step for me, as at previous jobs, I had been treated poorly and even bullied by supervisors and had just tolerated it.

Due to traumatic interviews in the past and social anxiety disorder, job interviews give me full-blown panic attacks. I downloaded your interview guide and read through lots of your advice about getting hired, in addition to getting medication to manage my panic attacks. I was able to prepare ahead of time and come up with answers and questions I felt confident in. I was able to ignore the Ghost of Toxic Jobs Past telling me I’m not good enough for this field and market my skills. It was still a difficult road. I was very sure I would get one job, but then bombed a skills test from nerves.

I applied for a job at my dream employer, even though I felt like it was a real stretch. To my amazement, a hiring manager reached out very quickly and encouraged me to apply for a position I thought was way outside my abilities. I threw my hat in the ring anyway. During the interviews, I really felt like I synced with the team, but was still nervous I wasn’t qualified. 15 minutes later, the hiring manager asked me to give her my references! My hard work at my current job paid off, as I had a bunch of people, Steve included, excited to give me excellent references.

Today my dream workplace offered me the position, which comes with a 50% pay bump and a move to an area with a lower cost of living. I could hardly believe all my efforts paid off! I’m very happy and grateful to you for all the great advice.”

2.  “After ten years working in admin roles, I finally bit the bullet and decimated my savings to go back to university for a master’s degree in a STEM subject. Two years of working full-time/studying part-time and one year of full-time study later, I have been offered a permanent role at the same company I took a graduate role with. The work is tough but so interesting, the hours are long and unsociable but the team and benefits are amazing. Best of all, even as an entry level employee, I’m earning nearly 50% more than I did after 10 years as an admin. (Although that really is more because admins are chronically underpaid for the amount of work they do.) I’m more of a lurker than a commenter, but this site has been invaluable as I find myself entering a new industry at the ground level, while still being a good bit older than many of my peers. To anyone else working and studying at the same time: it can be so tough and exhausting and isolating, but it can pay off in the end!”

3.  “I was desperate to get away from a toxic workplace and took a job that was nice (not toxic) but not very fulfilling and the pay was low. I committed myself to one year so I could heal and recover then began looking for a new job. Nothing was panning out, especially given the pandemic, and I resigned myself to another year at my OK job.

Then, unexpectedly, I get a call from a friend asking for my permission to share my contact information with a third party. I had met this third party as we work in the same industry. It turns out, she got a job at my dream company and was putting together a team. She had read some of my prior work, and enjoyed the few times we met. She wanted to hire me. I am now working at my dream company. My work is challenging and interesting. The work-life balance is amazing, and my new salary gave me the final boost I needed to upgrade my living quarters.
The real kicker, the prior work she read was never published. It was just handed around in the industry and she came across it in a continuing edu. seminar. You never know how something small can later get you what you want. Keep going. Keep trying. And always talk to someone at those boring industry events.”

4.  “I worked for 3 years and 10 months in the billing department of a long term care pharmacy as a way to pay the bills while trying to job search back into the career I trained for. Long term care pharmacies are the ones who send medications to patients in nursing homes. The pay is bad, the hours erratic, and the boss? She was never cut out to be a manager. Turnover has only increased. When I left yesterday, I was the person in the department the longest. The second longest serving person has been there just under three years. Everyone else has been there less than six months.

The manager is essentially a bully and enabled by The Powers That Be. I have been doing a stealth job search for awhile, keeping my head down and getting by. I decided that I was not going to give them the courtesy of two weeks notice when they have done nothing to earn or keep my respect. In fact, manager has sometimes bragged about how they take the desk file cabinets up to the front conference room for employees to clean out personal belongings rather than risk them coming back into the office proper.

I had a contract and start date, but was waiting for the final background check and drug test to clear. While I had no concerns, I never feel that a matter is settled until it is actually settled. I got word this week. On Thursday, I claimed the remainder of my belongings, clocked out, and dropped my letter of resignation on my former boss’s desk on my way out the door. I included my ID badge. I also included a copy of the notice I was required to sign when I was hired, stating the position was at will and that either party could terminate the relationship without notice.

They are SHOCKED I left like that. It’s end of month billing and I just left. I’m going to enjoy a 4 day weekend before I start my new job on Tuesday. In my new job, I will be the manager and earning double the salary I was making last week. I’m reading managing books and your blog to make sure I don’t inadvertently treat others the way I have been treated. Every employee is worthy of respect and consideration.

I know my worth. They’re about to find out how much extra work I quietly did simply because it needed to be done. It is indeed a very happy Friday.”

{ 126 comments… read them below }

  1. Flash Packet*

    OP#1 — I choked up a little with happy tears reading your good news.

    Congrats on getting away from toxic work environments and into a place that appreciates you.

    1. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

      I just wanted to internet hug them (with permission of course) because, LW1, “[You are] Good Enough [You are] Smart Enough And Gosh Darn It People Like [You]!”

    2. Paige*

      So happy for you OP1! I hope you gave a scathing exit interview, but I understand that that can be way too much drama for many. Good luck at your new gig!!

        1. LW4*

          LOL! I actually toyed with the idea of leaving a king from a chess set lying on on its side on top of my LOR, but knew the message would fly over toxic boss’s head.

          1. Lesley*

            We should share resignation letters because I did the same. Wrote a NASTY resignation letter after I closed on my new house (also on a Saturday), took PTO the following week, then started my new job a week late. Apparently my old toxic company was also SHOCKED that I left. I even called my boss (CFO) to explain myself and why I was so disgruntled — he screened my calls which further validates my decision. :) Proud of you!

            1. LW4*

              PTO is wiped out the minute you submit notice.
              My resignation letter was 3. sentences. One said I was resigning at close of business that day. Second said I had enclosed my ID badge. Third wished the team well. :-)

              1. Clobberin' Time*

                PERFECT. You were professional and followed their written policies to the letter.

          2. Reluctant Mezzo*

            Of course, you could have left the head of a chess knight there a la Godfather without all the blood…

    1. Ann O'Nemity*

      I just worry that the lack of notice is going to hurt the coworkers more than the manager.

      1. Maybe not*

        But we as fellow employees don’t owe it to our coworkers to take abuse from our managers.

      2. Kat in Boots*

        She did all she could, and more than most people they hired. No one is staying in that workplace anyhow, based on the letter.

      3. Please Mark This Confidential and Leave It Lying Around*

        Honestly, who cares? The last thing on my mind when someone jumps ship is oh poor me how could they quit this job at me? It’s 100% on management to staff properly. That they don’t is never the fault of the one that got away.

      4. Public Sector Manager*

        I’m curious how it will hurt the other coworkers. If they are hourly, they are likely to pick up extra shifts and overtime. If they are salaried (which I doubt), then working a lot of hours now and again is the nature of the beast.

        But the OP shouldn’t care in the least what happens with their coworkers workload because of the OP leaving. It’s up to management to figure that out. I pride myself on being a good manager. If one of my team left last minute, the absolute first thing I would do is throw down and help out my team. I wouldn’t give Tanya an extra 10 hours of work so I could still leave at 5 pm. And with a toxic manager, working extra hours is probably the least of their concerns.

        OP did the absolute right thing!

      5. Artemesia*

        She indicates that previous people who quit were ‘walked’ that day — so no notice is prudent.

        1. John B Public*

          Yeah, that’s what Allison says about giving notice- watch how management handles it and expect the same. After all, when someone tells you who they are, BELIEVE THEM.

          LW just took their power. Good for them.

      6. MM*

        Ooh, let’s not. Enough people put off quitting jobs they should quit because they’re worried about their coworkers as it is, no need to add to it.

      7. Lobsterman*

        My response to this is very hostile. OP explicitly says that other workers who gave notice were retaliated against. It’s awful to demand that OP open themself to retaliation.

    2. Caroline Bowman*

      Came here to say exactly that!! It’s the karma and exit that so many of us wish we could achieve, but obviously mostly won’t. You did it for all of the bullied, unappreciated, poorly-treated employees out there, properly inspirational! It IS possible to completely stick to the rules (THEIR rules), not be nasty or unkind, do one’s job as best as one can… but take no prisoners and exit stage left to far better things!!

  2. LW1*

    Letter writer 1 here! It’s funny that this is the day my letter got published, since my husband and I are moving this weekend! Additionally, this week I found out I am autistic. That knowledge has really helped contextualize the social anxiety I feel and why interviews cause me extreme discomfort –my brain is simply not wired to ever see most social interactions as a “natural” thing.
    Even more people have moved on from my old company since I wrote, which I am happy for. As for the new job, it’s been going great! It’s in the public sector so we are a lot more open about compensation. All of my interactions with my boss and coworkers have been positive and I’ve been fitting into my role so well, I’m actually already part of the interview panel for hiring new members for our team. I’ve only done one interview so far, but it’s giving me a better understanding of what interviewers are looking for and making me less anxious about the concept. I feel like I’ve been running full steam ahead towards my next goals ever since receiving this job offer, so it’s good to have a virtual celebration through this website. Yay!

    1. learnedthehardway*

      That’s a wonderful update! It’s hard to get a diagnosis, but remember that it doesn’t define you. It just helps you understand yourself better. All the best!

      1. Lead Balloon*

        I cannot speak for the LW but my autism diagnosis was liberating, and I was glad to receive it. Many autistic people do see it as a defining part of their identity but in a positive way (in the same way a person might see their gender, sexuality, ethnicity or other innate aspect of themselves as something to feel pride in or celebrate).
        I can wholeheartedly agree that it makes a massive difference in understanding oneself, including needs, strengths, barriers and ways to manage one’s life to make it easier and less painful.
        I also experienced a certain amount of grieving for all the struggles that resulted from trying to live as a neurotypical person etc.
        LW1, do allow yourself to feel whatever you feel following your diagnosis (it took a week or two for the grieving process to kick in), and if you need to, find an understanding therapist who ‘gets’ neurodiversity.

        1. KoiFeeder*

          My autism makes me awesome and I will die on this hill. I would be so much less cool if I wasn’t autistic.

        2. Morning Flowers*

          Yes, yes! My autism diagnosis was a HUGE relief. Just *having a word* to describe some of my difficulties doesn’t just empower me to tackle them (and stop me beating myself up for how I “should” be different), it also helps me communicate to others what those difficulties are. “Actually I’ve never slept straight through the night my entire life, it takes me hours to fall asleep, and those things are normal and comfortable for me and please don’t decide for me that you need to fix them, Doc” became “it takes me a while to fall asleep because of my autism,” and now I get precisely zero s#!t for it.

          LW, your autism diagnosis can also empower you to ask for accommodations in the workplace far more easily (ex. permission to wear headphones or otherwise have a quiet space to work that you might not otherwise get). Disclosing your autism to someone can be a fraught decision (people DO apply stereotypes sometimes), but it’s a tool in your back pocket if you ever want it! Having a name for how you work is a wonderful, WONDERFUL thing!

        3. Willow Pillow*

          I agree with this – I find that statements like “don’t let it define you” aren’t actually helpful. I’ve heard that the first year after an adult neurodivergent diagnosis (autism, ADHD, etc.) is a reckoning of sorts, which was true for me.

          To also add on with therapy advice, trauma-informed was really important for me – the medical model of autism essentially distills to trauma as a result of autistic traits not being accepted – and I would steer clear of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. YMMV but Dialectical Behaviour Therapy has been better.

      2. Fikly*

        I’m autistic, and you’re entirely wrong about this. Autism is not like a mental health disorder. Autism fundamentally shapes the way your brain functions and the way you think. You cannot separate you from autism. Autism inherently defines you. Just like being neurotypical defines you.

      3. Max*

        My ADHD diagnosis absolutely defines me, since it means my brain is physically different from other brains and impacts everything I do of every minute of every day. I know you probably don’t mean it this way but saying “it doesn’t define you” generally reads less like support and more like “I don’t want to accept that you are fundamentally different from me and accommodate those differences, I’d rather you pretend to be normal for my comfort”. Some things that make us different *do* define us. That’s only a bad thing when it’s the basis of discrimination and when the definitions are imposed on us by others.

    2. Slow Gin Lizz*

      So great, OP! I’m very impressed with how you tried to overcome your anxieties. This new job sounds terrific and good luck on the move!

    3. LW4*

      I am SO very happy for you! You earned this new job and are going to do great in it! Knowing why you don’t fit the stereotypical profile is empowering, isn’t it? Keep being amazing.

    4. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

      Isn’t it cool being on the other side of an interview? I swear it is the best practice for being interviewed

      1. Paris Geller*

        It truly is. I’ve only been on an interview panel a few times but seeing it from the other side has totally changed my perspective on how I think about interviewing in general.

    5. Bookworm*

      YAY, OP! All the updates were great but yours especially made me smile. Thank you for sharing. :)

    6. MEH Squared*

      Your update made my day, LW1, and this makes it even better. I am smiling so hard for you right now. Rock on with your bad self!

    7. Alexander Graham Yell*

      This is fantastic news on all fronts! Congratulations on the move, the diagnosis, and finding a role and company that suits you so well!

  3. FisherCat*

    LW4 this is an expertly delivered and very deserved flounce out.

    Congrats and enjoy it!

    1. Observer*

      Yes, indeed. I’m generally not a fan of flouncing. But sometimes it is EXACTLY what is warranted.

      Kudos to you. It sounds like you carried it off to perfection.

      1. LW4*

        LW4 here. Thank you. I have NEVER left a job without notice before. This time? It was warranted. I have been hearing updates from someone still trapped and it is not going well for them.

        I two weeks into my new role and loving it. There is steep learning curve as we try to build a new program from scratch. I’m snuggled up with some Dummies books right now to master how to bend MS Teams to my will. The team? Amazing people all around. Kind, helpful, and HAPPY. I am sleeping better, eating less (in a good way), and feeling so much less stress. It will be even better when the first paycheck drops in to my checking account.

        Toxic boss never reached out to me. No one at the company (other than my inside contact/friend) has said a word to me. Fascinating to see. It bothers me not one bit.. I have deleted all of their contact information from my phone. So liberating.

        Freedom to be a happy productive person is an amazing feeling. I’m drunk on it at the moment.

        1. Lynn*

          Your letter made me evil cackle in the best way possible. So happy for you.

          Also MS teams is a jerk and just know that any issues you have with it, are its fault and not yours.

        2. MEH Squared*

          I like the cut of your jib, LW4. Congrats for getting the hell out of dodge and I hope you enjoy your new job to the max.

        3. Reluctant Mezzo*

          Yes to this! Never be afraid to go to easy sources to explain things (cf, I have sailing in some of my writing, so I started with the Junior Golden Book of Sailing and worked my way up to an actual sailing manual). So using a Dummies Guide? Yes to the dress.

        4. Polly Hedron*

          From LW4’s original post above:

          They’re about to find out how much extra work I quietly did simply because it needed to be done.

          Has your inside contact confirmed that they have found this out?

          1. LW4*

            It has only gotten worse. Another person quit after less than 6 months on the job. They are so deep into the mud I don’t think they are in a position to notice the extras I took care of. Bonfires are raging everywhere. So glad I am out!

  4. Industrial Tea Machine*

    OP1, I’m so happy for you! It makes me so happy and hopeful to see other people with anxiety working through it to live their best lives no matter what the brain snakes have to say. As my therapist says, the definition of success is not to stop ever feeling anxious, but to find a way to live a life that reflects your values anyway. OP, you did exactly that by searching for a job that pays you what you are worth. You EARNED that pay bump with hard work and resilience, and I hope you enjoy every penny of it!

  5. Observer*

    #1 – If you are in the US and have the bandwidth for it, maybe you could drop a complaint with the DOL?

    I know you don’t want to go back there anyway, but it would be good if they were forced to adjust their practices even somewhat.

  6. LW4*

    LW2 & 3, I’m so happy you have found better options. Going back to school was a leap of faith and courage, LW2. It paid off! Good for you!

    LW3, you have proven the power of networking and being your authentic self. I am glad you are in a place that values you, your skills, and talents.

  7. Veryanon*

    LW4, there’s really nothing better than being able to “peace out” of a terrible job. The job I had before my current role was so, so toxic. I was finally able to leave for a much better opportunity, and gave my awful manager my formal resignation ON MY BIRTHDAY. It was, by far, the best birthday present I have received as an adult.

  8. Gary Patterson's Cat*

    All great stories!
    RE: #4 I normally don’t recommend leaving abruptly like that. But sometimes it is warranted, especially if you are paid hourly or feel you’ll be treated badly during a notice. As they say, payback’s a bitch.

    It’s just ironic that these companies lobbied and push so hard for “at will” employment. Until it happens that the employees quit at will and they are suddenly shocked. Ha! Serves them right.

  9. TeaLady*

    All these happy endings made my week, OPs 1 & 4 especially. Having worked in the past in some poorly compensated positions (admin) and under toxic managers I understand how hard it is to self advocate while fighting anxiety. Bravo everyone for making it out and improving your situations!

  10. raincoaster*

    I bloody LOVE that the last writer left that way. It’s a labour market, people, and the boxes employers have built box them in as much as they box in the employees. Now that the tables have turned, corporations are experiencing cognitive dissonance and I LOVE IT!

  11. Chilipepper Attitude*

    Just amazing letters and a great end to the week!
    Thanks all for writing in.
    Best professional flounce ever #4!

  12. PNW Butterfly*

    Good for LW 4, but I could never. As a bystander in companies where this has happened, it just makes the person who walks out look petty and unprofessional, and makes it a bad situation for the ones left behind. I would rather work through a notice period and be class act…you never know when you will cross paths with people from ex-jobs. Obviously, we don’t have all of the details of why it was such a bad job but unless it was something illegal going on, I can’t see doing this.

    1. LW4*

      Climbing into a lifeboat will not make my coworkers less wet. I thought long and hard about this, but respect goes both ways. My decision was the culmination of years of abuse and with consultation with experts in hiring/career reinvention.

      1. the cat's ass*

        “climbing into a lifeboat will not make my co-workers less wet.” BRILLIANT. Well played!

      2. Roo*

        Having worked in toxic environments before I can tell you that sometimes these bold resignations are *exactly* what it takes to get senior leaders attention about the culture problem and maybe create some urgency/energy about a real fix. If they choose to ignore your message, that’s on them.

        I bailed on my toxic environment while they were actively trying to promote me. “All our good people are leaving.” Uh-huh.

        Your post made me smile, good for you!

      3. PNW Butterly*

        Don’t get me wrong, I am applauding you. I just think for me that I would work up the guts to do it and then go home and shrivel into a ball of anxiety about all of the scenarios that would never actually happen and the thought of going through that anxiety would prevent me from leaving w/o notice. But I am so so glad you are happier and rid of the toxic environment…it sounds like it was the right thing for you in this situation :)

        1. Fikly*

          This is far more honest than your first comment.

          People who leave like this are not petty and unprofessional. And they are not judged to be so by their coworkers, who are fully aware of what a toxic environment they are.

          You’ve just been gaslit by management telling you they are.

          1. Properlike*

            When my boss left our toxic environment, I was nothing more than insanely jealous and begged her to take me with her, because I was not yet job hunting. Because I had been beat down by the abuse for too long.

          2. Hannah Lee*

            IME *sometimes* people who leave without notice are being petty and unprofessional or other not so great things. (I’ve seen at least one or two cases of that, where I had a pretty good sense of the work environment, employee-employer relations to know there wasn’t anything egregious or unprofessional on the employer side which would have “caused” the flounce, including once where an employee gave the usual 2 weeks notice, but 2 days later left the office for lunch and … just never came back. They’d left their building keycard and a once sentence printed note on their desk that said something like “Decided to leave today instead. Here’s my key” Which was … a choice, I suppose)

            From everything LW said, this does not seem to be the case with them. This part alone, aside from the lousy pay, erratic hours, poor working conditions: “manager has sometimes bragged about how they take the desk file cabinets up to the front conference room for employees to clean out personal belongings rather than risk them coming back into the office proper.” was a clear indication that this workplace was toxic and management was likely not going to treat resigning employees professionally or even just like a decent human being.

    2. Twenty Points for the Copier*

      It sounds like they were in the habit of walking people out as soon as they gave notice which to me overrides the normal advice about giving two weeks notice.

      1. Vanilla Nice*

        Yes. As Alison has said before, if an employer is consistently punitive to employees who are thinking of leaving or planning to leave a job, they lose the right to expect that subsequent workers will extend typical professional courtesies on their way out the door. If they don’t like it, they should more honestly examine why employees are abruptly quitting in the first place and make adjustments.

      2. Where’s the Orchestra?*

        “ It sounds like they were in the habit of walking people out as soon as they gave notice”

        As an employer you get in return the respect you show your staff…sounds like this group didn’t ever respect the staff so they got no respect in return.

    3. Shout sister*

      I have worked in places where leaving like that makes you a legend, certainly wouldn’t have affected the professional reputation of someone who had always behaved professionally. And honestly, kind of a brief morale boost to those left behind to see the tables turned for once.

    4. Observer*

      s a bystander in companies where this has happened, it just makes the person who walks out look petty and unprofessional,

      Having been left holding the bag, so to speak, I can say that in cases like the OP is describing, that’s only true of the bosses and the “crab bucket” people who simply can’t deal with the fact that others are managing to leave.

      and makes it a bad situation for the ones left behind.

      No, what makes a bad situation is bad bosses, bad policies, and bad behavior on the part of and on behalf of the powers that be.

      The OP was being bullied and mistreated by their boss. And the bosses have a bad track record in how they treat people who are leaving. Why should the OP endure that?

      1. Vanilla Nice*

        Right? LW 4 says that it was an at-will employment situation and that they even signed an agreement to that effect at the time of hire. They have zero legal or ethical obligation to worry about how their resignation might affect the needs of their now-former employer.

        I have to admit that I’m sort of amused at how many people think that “2 weeks’ notice” is some kind of hard rule rather than an unwritten professional courtesy. In my experience, the only reason that a lot of people follow it is for the sake of maintaining a positive relationship with their former boss/employer for future references, and LW 4 clearly knew that wasn’t going to happen. It’s also pretty standard procedure now in some industries (for example, finance) that you’ll be walked out the door as soon as you submit your resignation notice.

    5. ToS*

      This may have been a step to avoid additional toxicity/trauma, so people may understand. Workplace bullies, and bullies in general, are awful.

      Standing up to bullying behavior is hard. The Moth Podcast has Sheila Calloway’s True Justice story about speaking up for fairness and empathy – it is HARD to create change. Politeness and civility can be used to control people. I am so glad for people who can BE the change – even if it’s the one person who stood up to a demeaning departure process and left on their own terms, providing exactly what was needed.

    6. Westsidestory*

      My last place I quit (not toxic just stupidly managed) as gracefully as you would wish, Butterfly, with two weeks notice, copious documentation, and having trained my replacement, who would be getting a pay raise/title bump for it.

      She quit 3 weeks later. Any twinge of guilt I might have had just dissolved when I heard that.

    7. grubsinmygarden*

      The place was already a bad situation *before* LW4 left. And clearly the place wasn’t getting any better while she was there, either.

      If you draw the line of workplace loyalty at illegal activity, you owe yourself more and employers less.

    8. Workerbee*

      I think it’s time we start putting to rest the perception that doing unto others is automatically petty, unprofessional, makes us no better than they are, etc. Whatever the rhetoric, the blanket reactionary term just seems fostered by the people doing the harm in the first place.

      Asshole people depend on non-asshole people to enable them, and as just one topical example, learn early on that most people are more afraid of being thought Not Nice than of being taken advantage of.

      1. Gary Patterson’s Cat*

        “Asshole people depend on non-asshole people to enable them”
        That’s a really good point.

    9. From the bathroom*

      With all due respect, bad businesses depend on people like you to have opinions like that to keep their staff in line, unfortunately. You know what else is petty and unprofessional? Letting people go with zero notice.. bragging about how they refuse to let people collect their belongings… That is petty and unprofessional, yet businesses do it daily because employees are too scared to return the favour and inconvenience them equally.

      LW4 handled this beautifully.

  13. Forrest Gumption*

    OP #4 – I literally just stood up at my desk and gave you a standing ovation. You rock!!!!!!!!!

  14. Bookworm*

    Another long week that made these updates so nice to read. Thanks to all for sharing! Always nice to end it on a slightly happier note.

  15. KuklaRed*

    Such great letters this week! Congrats to all.

    OP#4, I left a horrible job under similar circumstances a few years ago and it was SO SO satisfying! I had all my stuff packed up, my laptop and badge set aside while I checked my phone constantly for the final OK from my new employer. As soon as the email hit my phone, I picked up my stuff and found the HR person. I handed her my equipment and my letter of resignation and said “Today is my last day at [horrible company].” She was shocked but corralled me into staying for a brief exit interview. I let her have it – all of the pent up frustration and anger I had been carrying around with me. Then I flounced my way out of there and went home, smiling all the way.

  16. Danger UXB*

    “Today my dream workplace offered me the position, which comes with a 50% pay bump and a move to an area with a lower cost of living.”

    Congratulations, but you left out the part we really want to hear: “My current boss can’t understand why I would want to leave.”

  17. sleepy*

    I used to work for a huge multinational company. In mid-December we were informed that that our division was sold and starting January 1, we belonged to a whole new company. I had a testy relationship with my boss at Corporate, and it would have been easy to tell him I had work to do for my new company and stick his 2017 reports up his ass, but I smiled, did the work, shook everyone’s hand and said goodbye. That part of my reputation has served me well since. The momentary pleasure of the unprofessional walk out isn’t worth the potential long term risk. You never know who the hiring manager will be at an interview 5 years down the road.

    1. Kittee*

      Exactly. It would be very very satisfying to leave a toxic place without notice, but it may come back and bite you in the butt later, so I wouldn’t.

      1. Observer*

        In the OP’s situation, there is no way it’s coming back to bite them anywhere. Any reasonable person knows that this is an abusive place that BOASTS of humiliating people who give notice and walks them out the door. ANYONE who is going to hold it against someone that they didn’t let themselves in for that is NOT reasonable, and not someone who I would expect to give me a good reference no matter what I did. And I would actively try to avoid working with them.

    2. Workerbee*

      Nah. Assholes get away with their behavior because of people who enable them. A hiring manager in an imaginary possible future job, who either came from a job that willingly treated its people like crap or thinks its’s okay to do so, is not worth worrying over when you are actively being treated like crap.

    3. Gary Patterson’s Cat*

      The momentary pleasure of the unprofessional walk out isn’t worth the potential long term risk.

      Yes, yes it is.
      If you’re in such a toxic or dangerous place with a bully boss. Yes it is. Plus, it can be cathartic.

      Actually if the boss or company have a bad reputation, no one will bat an eye if you’ve up and quit without notice. That’s what “at will” means. Companies wanted it, well, they’re getting it!

    4. Observer*

      The momentary pleasure of the unprofessional walk out isn’t worth the potential long term risk. You never know who the hiring manager will be at an interview 5 years down the road.

      And what exactly is the risk here? That some idiot will hold it against you that you wouldn’t accept abuse? I mean that is really the only kind of person who could hold it against the OP that they left without providing notice.

    5. Vanilla Nice*

      I mean, I guess it could be an issue if you’re in a very small niche industry, but it sounds like LW 4 is changing careers and has weighed the risks accordingly. I’d trust their judgments.

      I also think that there are different shades of quitting unprofessionally. Simply leaving at the end of your shift with an “I quit” note is unusual, but it’s not like that JetBlue flight attendant a decade ago who screamed at a passenger as the plane was landing in NYC, quit over the intercom, and then slid out the emergency slide. *That* was unprofessional. I honestly think that LW 4 is fine as long as they’re willing to accept the fact that they won’t be able to use that boss/company as reference, which it sounds like they’re fine with.

    6. Middle Aged Lady*

      It’s at will. Would the company gove her two weeks notice to let her go? If they didn’t respect norms and marched people out the day they gave notice, the employee loses two weeks pay before new job starts. People can’t risk that.
      Companies used to get away with not respecting the norms around leaving but employees could not—or look unprofessional. Now that we have the internet, bad companies get bad reviews and people know. It’s a workers’ market now, too.

    7. Anon for this*

      I was a supervisor at a company 20+ years ago. Manager routinely treated employees poorly. He found out I looked into the labour laws in support of some colleagues, made up a snap performance eval, then told me I was not performing up to snuff. Worst thing, he told other employees! After decades of stellar reviews. I felt humiliated. I found a better job with a 40% pay bump, and resigned. He immediately promoted one of my employees over me for my notice period. What a joke!
      Often I wish I would have left them with no notice and a scathing exit interview. But here I am decades later, working for that same company in another division, very happy with the people I work with! And all because of the way I left those many years ago, and the good reputation I had with the company.
      You never know what the future holds. But my situation was vastly different than LW#4.
      BTW, one year after I left that horrible boss, he called me at NewJob and wanted a reference for a posting for a management position that would have made him my new boss!! Needless to say, the hiring manager asked my opinion on OldBoss, and I was honest. He wasn’t hired.

    8. allathian*

      Not really. In the LW’s shoes, I’d probably walk out of any interview where the hiring manager was someone I knew to be toxic.

  18. Pikachu*

    #1 – wondering if you ever had the opportunity to tell your former employer you knew about the pay discrepancies and how they handled it.

  19. AnonyNurse*

    I pulled a mini-#4 at my first nursing job at a psych facility that was profoundly intentionally understaffed. I’d already given my two week notice.

    And then the night shift supervisor called a colleague a p*ssy for being concerned about being on a locked unit alone with patients. I said, this is my last shift I’m done.

    The day shift charge tried to bully me about it (“are you sure this is how you want your first nursing job to end?”). I thought, “this is the best possible way for it to end.”

    I left the unit. Handed my badge to the front desk clerk who looked stunned. The sunlight hitting my face and the fresh air. It was glorious … and I never looked back.

    (Also that place has had multiple patient deaths, citations, new leadership, etc, so I very much made the right choice).

    1. LW4*

      AnonyNurse, you absolutely did the right thing. You can’t fix a sinking ship as one of the lowly crew members.

    2. Middle Aged Lady*

      I was thinking of leaving a nonprofit where I worked for a short time—no boundaries with the population they served and some situations I thought weren’t safe. Came in one day to hear of a stabbing in the parking lot and was like “I’m out.” Told my boss who said ‘don’t start rumors’ which really angered me. I called in the admin who corroborated the stabbing. I got my stuff and left.

  20. TG*

    This set of Frida Good News is up there for me, all time!!!
    LW #1 – way to go for it and realize your value
    And wow – sounds like you hit a home run! You never know how you’re going to get to where you should be – so thrilled for you!
    LW #2 – way to make sacrifices to upgrade your skills and get out there – so happy you realized you could learn and do more! STEM is a great way to always be in demand!
    LW #3 – thrilled for you and while I don’t regard walking out normally, in this case you did the right thing for you. I wish employers would get it together and treat their employees with dignity and respect and not as minions to be controlled – rock on in your new job!!

  21. TG*

    Argh I got confused on letters so let me be brief and say Lw 3 and 4 – both of you rock and I’m so thrilled for you both!!

  22. Squirrel Nutkin*

    SO thrilled for ALL of you! WOW, great work persevering, everyone. You deserve all of those good things you’re getting now. : )

  23. Summer*

    LW4 – that was delicious! Thank you for sharing and best of luck in your new position!

  24. Foley*

    LW1, I want to be all kinds of mad at Steve. But he truly did you a solid by revealing the depths of the pay mismatch.

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