the managers who feel personally betrayed when workers quit

Quitting a job is supposed to be business, not personal—but my inbox is full of letters from people whose managers are deeply aggrieved by their resignations, take it as a personal betrayal,  and respond with either fury or despair.

At Slate today, I wrote about these managers — and why this is just as bananas as it sounds. You can read it here.

{ 212 comments… read them below }

  1. ChristmasinJuly*

    This is possibly the main reason why I haven’t left my current school. I see our other teachers leaving for better teaching jobs elsewhere, and when they do, the principal badmouths them to everyone. I’m terrified of disappointing or upsetting her, as ridiculous as that sounds, and I’m working on it!

    1. NumberBlocks*

      I’m glad you’re working to combat this thought pattern!

      Let pose this thought to you – if your former colleagues already have new and better jobs, what’s it to them if their former boss is badmouthing them? They already have a job.

      1. CommanderBanana*

        Also, I have worked for many places where people left for new opportunities and then returned later. Your manager is ensuring that people don’t return! It’s incredibly short-sighted.

        1. Bruce*

          Yes, in the more than 20 years I’ve been working with my current group (including through an acquisition) I count many experienced people who left and then returned… sometimes a decade later but once so quickly that he asked if he could have his stock options back! (He was out of luck on that one). Trashing people just makes clear what sort of person that manager is…

    2. Jane Bingley*

      If she wanted to keep employees, she’d invest in their pay and make her workplace a peaceful, well-run place to work.

      If she cared about her employees as much as you care about keeping her happy, she’d be happy for people who are able to get promotions or benefits that are important to them.

      I’m glad you’re working on your feelings. They’re totally normal, but they shouldn’t dictate your career!

      1. tw1968*

        I wish your comment could be set in 200 point type and sent to every sh*tty boss in the world!

      2. Also-ADHD*

        I mean, at a school, a principal has nearly no or actually no influence on pay, usually, BUT they have a lot of influence over working conditions and this principal sounds like they’re creating the worst ones.

    3. Virtual Light*

      I was you. I summoned up the courage and left for a functional school, and am so much happier (and am no longer a burnt-out shell). When my former principal asked me why I was leaving, I lied and said, “Oh, I wasn’t looking to leave. It’s just that (new school) is my dream job. I couldn’t pass it up!” I found that showing cheerful goodwill and an attitude of “of course people change jobs!” helped to ameliorate negativity from her.

      Hiring season is upon the teaching world right now! I encourage you to look and see what’s on offer.

    4. Boolie*

      I hope the commentariat doesn’t flay me for this (do what you will) but I always feel bad for the kids when I hear about teacher exoduses. Though I feel for the teachers too, the kids have no choice, nowhere to go when they’re stuck in a badly-run school. They’re at the mercy of the administration and, in the case of public schools. the potentially apathetic voters. We as a nation need to do better by our teachers, who are human after all, and doing valuable work that deserves to be justly rewarded.

      1. Observer*

        I feel bad for the kids, too. But that doesn’t change the fact that teachers can’t be expected to kill themselves in a dysfunctional place.

        So, no “flaying”. You are right – the kids suffer. But in a real sense, this is not really relevant to the issue at hand. And also, they suffer regardless. Down-stream someone mentions the idea that you can’t out-manage poor working conditions and pay scales. Same for kids in school.

        1. Boolie*

          I argue that it is relevant because it can be the deciding reason why some teachers don’t leave, and it’s sad that there’s a moral dilemma that is tied to the profession that many other professions aren’t obliged to, really at all.

          1. MigraineMonth*

            I take the opposite view. Sometimes, the only way to change a dysfunctional system is to leave; if the school needs to attract new teachers, they will be forced to address low salary and poor working conditions far more than if current teachers complain. If the teacher leaves in a professional manner (finishes out their contract ), it doesn’t particularly disrupt student education the way, for example, mid-year layoffs would.

            I also don’t think teaching is unique in this, or even helping professions in general (though there is particular emphasis there). Almost any business can make a case as to why leaving should be a moral dilemma: Don’t you care about your coworkers/clients? Don’t you care if the business goes under and everyone gets laid off? Don’t you want to support the manager who has done so much to support your professional growth?

            I showed great loyalty to a billion-dollar for-profit company that convinced me it would be a moral failing to leave, and then they fired me.

            1. Boolie*

              Yes, teachers leaving en masse can ideally motivate change in a school…but what actually happens, though? Historically we’ve seen that schools close and students are consolidated into existing schools to save money, which causes the existing schools to be burdened by the issues the closed schools dealt with. It’s a shitty cycle. The change you’re talking about takes years to have any meaningful ending by the time people wake up, and by that time kids in a given class are far behind. That’s the reality.

          2. HoundMom*

            I am not a teacher, but this feels like an unfair burden to place on teachers. Teachers should not have sacrifice themselves emotionally or financially because the leadership at the school is strong; or there is not sufficient funds for the school.

            Historically, teaching was a female dominated profession so the social idea is that women are more mission driven and give more of themselves unselfishly is sexist.

            Teaching is a HARD job in the best of circumstances. Everyone deserves the right to be work in a place where they are valued and compensated appropriately.

            1. Boolie*

              I never said teachers need to carry that burden, I said it’s a burden they do have to contend with when deciding to leave the profession. And I feel bad for the kids who can be affected by it, sometimes permanently, depending on the extent of the issue.

              1. Ellie*

                Teachers aren’t the only profession this affects. Specialists, doctors, nurses, daycare workers, and virtually everyone who is employed in a small country town, business or community program is going to be in the same situation. I do feel there is a higher obligation to give proper notice, for anyone in a critical position like that. But at the end of the day, you have to do what’s right for you.

        2. Foagmlord*

          “But that doesn’t change the fact that teachers can’t be expected to kill themselves in a dysfunctional place.”

          Ooh, I quit a dysfunctional school once and the head of school took it very personally. Apparently, the day after I handed in my 30-day notice, he was going on a 3-week trip back to his hometown in Canada to get his daughter situated at her new school. That, of course, took 21 days of the 30-day notice.

          “I thought everyone knew!” he said.

          And he was wrong. I didn’t know until that day.

          I told him I was quitting for a job closer to the field I studied in college and also told him that I didn’t appreciate getting yelled at by other teachers in front of the class, especially over something I had nothing to do with (a potty-training kid was sent home without a pullup, I got yelled at for not giving the kid a pullup, but that wasn’t my job. My job was to wake the kids from nap time and send them to a different teacher to do potty time, and that teacher threw me under the bus, while my supervising teacher knew I didn’t do anything wrong and instead of telling the boss, she chose to say, “Hey, I saw you were about to cry!”).

          When he came back from his trip, he was cold as ice to me and made the working environment very uncomfortable. Even his wife, the co-head of school, took it better than he did! She said that I was always welcome back and wished me luck in my next role.

          Crazy world of managers.

      2. Virtual Light*

        The kids were the reason I stayed as long as I did, but it was leave the school or leave teaching entirely as the stress took its toll. And it is unfortunately a systemic problem: principals have SOME power in a school but the budgets, class sizes, etc are managed by the department of education.

        That said, my principal did not use her power wisely. She was undertrained and had not come from teaching. I was undertrained as well. Bad scene all around. But individuals cannot prop up the deficiencies of an entire system.

      3. Ellis Bell*

        I left a school where the burnout was such that I actually felt I had to leave FOR the kids. I was still learning the trade, and while I was effective for a few years, I knew I wasn’t getting what I needed from above and that I would definitely be the next domino/thing to buckle under the strain. My kids deserved better than an empty shell who couldn’t insulate them from a poor structure any more. I knew I had a few months left in me, so I gave as much notice as possible; I felt this would be enough time to find a good replacement. I left without anything lined up because my health was not great. The person they hired was much more experienced, and fresh from a spell in retirement to see out the second half of year. I was not the only person to leave, indeed the exodus was such that the head of the school left herself and went into a completely different field (it was her first headteacher post). I hear the school is under better leadership now, but even if it isn’t, it couldn’t have been affected by me. I checked in with the kids too, and they stayed afloat for the most part. I would advise anyone in a similar situation to me, to not try to prop up a failing system. Leave gently if you can, but leave you must.

    5. Chidi has a stomach ache*

      Yeah, when I left my role as a teacher I braced myself for fallout — I had a dual role where I reported to the Principal for part of my job, and to the President for the other. Thankfully, my principal was very matter of fact and focused on logistics for the transition. The president, though — whew. I was busy enough during my notice period that I didn’t really run into her until the last week. But the passive aggressive nature of that conversation still surfaces in my worst anxiety dreams.

      On my last day there, we happened to have a bunch of board members visiting, and one of them took me aside to say how they really appreciated my work, but also understood how important my new opportunity was. I had the distinct impression this was a response to some unkind things the president had said about me leaving. It was a relief to walk out of there.

    6. Josephine Beth*

      I stayed in a toxic job in education for way too long for exactly this reason. My former boss was (and is) notorious for saying “you’re dead to me” and badmouthing former teachers. I’m in a bit of a niche field so I worried about burning bridges, but in the end, leaving was the best decision I made. And, for what it’s worth, I’ve maintained a cordial, if not particularly warm, relationship with my former boss should I ever want or need to go back.

    7. Natalie*

      When the principal badmouths them, does that actually impact their reputation, at least with anyone who matters?

      It just seems like if she does that with everyone who leaves, most people would have learned by now not to listen to her.

      I don’t know where you live, but there are teacher shortages so many places, I’m sure you can find another job. Please know that you deserve to go somewhere where you will be appreciated and well compensated.

    8. Turanga Leela*

      This is why I decided to leave a former job! I realized that no matter how long I stayed, the director would be furious when I left. There was literally no path to leaving that job on good terms. I decided to cut my losses and leave sooner rather than later.

  2. Kimmy Schmidt*

    I wonder if there are certain business sectors where this is more common (I’m thinking of education in particular, but I’m sure there are others), or if it’s more dependent on the individual boss. Or maybe the individual company?

    1. NeedRain47*

      I’m wondering if it’s more common in small companies where it’s easy to come to rely on one employee to practically run the place, maybe? But I bet a lot of it just comes down to personality and suspect that bosses who are aggrieved by this are generally aggrieved by people not doing exactly what they’d prefer.

      1. Colette*

        I’d agree it’s more common in small companies, because people don’t move around as much. In larger companies, groups get re-orged orpeople move up or take other posiitons regularly – in a smaller company, there’s fewer places to go.

        1. Capt. Liam Shaw*

          I work in back office banking. Very common. Large and small banks, didn’t matter. Before I got to where I am now, I honestly just expected a manager to go off the rails.

          I think the places where I would be more worried is places people don’t leave very often. That seemed to be the only common thing I could see in my experiences.

          Oh and the maturity of the manager (sometimes).

          1. MigraineMonth*

            Yeah, my role has pretty high turnover and I never saw bad manager behavior around reports leaving until I took a job in government, where you’re expected to stay until you retire (and many do). I was pretty shocked when my new manager “jokingly” referred to a colleague as “that traitor” because they took a promotion to lead a different team in the same department.

            The good news is that my manager retired; “that traitor” came back to manage my team, and they are doing it in a much less alarming way.

      2. Fluffy Fish*

        Small companies also tend to pull the “we’re family” schitck. And are less likely to have a functioning HR. Both of which contribute to bad management.

    2. Scarlet Ribbons in her Hair*

      It can happen at any company, whether big or small.

      I gave two weeks notice at a company that buys and re-sells ingredients of fertilizer and animal feed, and I was astonished when my supervisor and office manager were taken aback, because I had never said that I was unhappy. Well, they should have known that I was unhappy. The company had stopped giving raises, saying that they had formed a committee to evaluate everyone at the same time to see who deserved a raise and who did not. The problem was that the committee was never able to meet. We were told that someone was always out sick or on vacation or on a business trip. Since TPTB refused to tell us who was on this committee, we weren’t able to point out that all of them were in the office every day last week.

      A number of people quit before I did, saying that they were tired of waiting for the committee to meet. That’s what I said, too. I have no idea why my supervisor and the office manager were so surprised.

      Years earlier, whenever anyone gave two weeks notice, they were kicked out immediately. (This did not apply when I quit.) People continued to give two weeks notice, thinking, “Well, it happened to them, but it won’t happen to me.” They were wrong. Only one person quit on the spot, saying that he didn’t give two weeks notice two weeks ago, because he knew that he would be kicked out immediately, and he wanted to be paid for those two weeks. Of course, he was kicked out on the spot. The owner of the company was absolutely furious.

      At a real estate company, a co-worker who had been perfectly friendly to me for seven years was promoted to be the office manager, and she started acting to mean to everyone. I had the feeling that she wanted us to quit so that she could hire her friends. Finally, I couldn’t take it any longer, and I gave two weeks notice. When my supervisor (whom I didn’t like, and he didn’t like me, but we managed to work well together) found out, he begged me to tell the office manager that I had changed my mind and that I wanted my job back. When I refused, he got very angry and said that if anyone called him for a reference about me, he would give them a terrible reference, so that no one would ever hire me, and it would teach me a lesson.

      It’s so strange to me that in order to stay on good terms, an employee is supposed to give two weeks notice, but a company doesn’t have to give any notice at all if they want you out.

    3. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

      It happens in non-profits a lot, so that includes most education, but I would say that it’s very much dependent on the boss and not the company. Then again NP employees in general, not just managers, are often really committed to the mission, so quitting for …gasp… more money, is sometimes scandalous; going to work for another NP with a similar mission, not as much.

    1. Trina*

      There’s a place under “Connect” to report ads to Alison – none of the ads here are supposed to autoplay audio.

    2. Hlao-roo*

      There’s a link above the comment box that you can click to “report an ad, tech, or typo issue here.” Ads that auto-play video are allowed, ads that auto-play sound are not. So if it was an ad that auto-played sound, you can report it.

    3. Phony Genius*

      Was that ad on this site or at Slate? Alison has no control over Slate’s ads.

    4. M*

      I find this so irritating. There is no time when I am reading when I want a video flashing away in my peripheral vision.

      Firefox allows you to block autoplay audio and video. Some slip through, but it’s a huge improvement over Chrome.

      1. Weaponized Pumpkin*

        Yay for Firefox! The internet is only a habitable place for me because I aggressively block as much moving stuff as possible! Videos, parallax effects, animations. On slack I have all the animated gifs turned off because the last thing my overly sensitive brain needs is a constant disco party in the corner of my eye.

  3. Lady Ann*

    Sometimes I think I’m not that great a manager, but then I read these stories and feel much better.

    1. Office Manager slash Miracle Worker*

      I feel the same. But reading this blog has helped me see that I am doing well and also what not to do.

    2. MigraineMonth*

      I’m never inspired by perfection, I’m inspired by “I bet I could at least do better than that.”

    3. Moo*

      Yup. It’s because of stories like these that I always make a point of congratulating the person on their new role, and thanking them for their contribution when I get the bad news

  4. Clefairy*

    As a former manager of front line teams, it’s super frustrating to be in a constantly revolving door of being short staffed due to people leaving, BUT I learned pretty quickly you can’t take it personally. You can be happy for your leaving employee’s new opportunity AND frustrated about staffing, but the latter has nothing to do with the individual employee and should never be expressed to them. If you make employees feel bad for leaving, then I’d say the employee has a doubly good reason to leave

    1. Filthy Vulgar Mercenary*

      And the other employees will be less likely to give you more than minimum notice.

      1. BlondeSpiders*

        I’m feeling this deeply! When I was a young manager (21) I was…not the best. I would become very upset when my minimum wage record store employees left to work at other stores in the mall. While I didn’t feel betrayed personally (except for the teen who left to go BACK to Burger King, wth?) I was upset about all the extra work it caused. Frankly, I was way too immature to run a record store at that age. When I started my own business at 30 and hired people, I handled resignations much more smoothly.

  5. Jane Bingley*

    I left a job that asked me to stay for four weeks because it would take at least that long to train my replacement. I agreed to three and showed them the work I’d done over the past two years to document my my day-to-day tasks.

    They then spent two weeks deciding whether to hire and ended up not hiring a replacement at all. I spent my last week rapidly training a number of different people on complex, interrelated tasks. I can only imagine how difficult it was for them to cope after I left.

    1. The Person from the Resume*

      That is not what the notice period is for. It is not time for a company to hire your replacement so you can train them. The only way you should be expected to use your notice to train your replacement is if your replacement were already employed at the company and within the first week they are assigned to learn your duties from you.

      Does any business doing office job, professional, white collar hiring hire anyone in under a month? Nobody does it in under two weeks. If the person that they do hire has to also give the standard two weeks notice, then there’s not overlap.

      1. Banana Banana*

        I replaced someone who trained me. But he felt comfortable enough with the boss to tell him almost a year in advance that he was planning on moving on and that it’s in his [bosses] interest to overstaff for as long of that period as possible.

        I was hired like four months after that conversation, which in many places is the time taken to find a full time replacement.

        That situation is so rare that you’ll know if you’re in the sort of workplace where that can happen and you know your own plans that far in advance.

      2. Jane Bingley*

        In this very specific case, it was assumed we would be hiring a team member to lead the team – that was the case when I was hired into the role in the first place. I interviewed two days after applying and started a day later, so I was able to be more or less trained within two weeks. But that’s definitely unusual and not typical for most workplaces!

  6. Filthy Vulgar Mercenary*

    This really highlights the need for more emotional and social intelligence, imo.

  7. Elizabeth West*

    “They took a day off to deal with their feelings

    It’s business, not a breakup!

    1. Peanut Hamper*

      The ironic thing is that if they are mistreating you and you need to take a mental health day, they would probably feel that you are being ridiculous and over the top.

      1. MigraineMonth*

        “Oh my GAWD, why are you so DRAMATIC?!” they demand, slamming the door and flouncing away.

      2. Gyne*

        I don’t know, I don’t think it’s fair to say people in one role are allowed to take mental health days and people in other roles are not. At the end of the day, managers are just as human as the rest of us and are going to have feelings about staffing challenges in their departments (and are sometimes going to react poorly in a stressful situation.) I certainly wouldn’t laugh at someone who got laid off and needed to take a day to deal with their feelings about it.

        1. MigraineMonth*

          There’s a pretty large difference between “I need to take a personal day” and “I need to take a day to deal with the overwhelming feelings of distress and betrayal I’m having because of you.”

          There’s a difference between a standard mental health day and a guilt trip.

        2. Snell*

          I think you’ve misread the comment thread. No one here is saying that certain roles should be allowed mental health days while other roles shouldn’t. They’re just pointing out the hypocrisy wherein bad management treats employees poorly, such as being dismissive of and disallowing mental health days for employees, but then taking mental health days when they themselves decide they need it. So far everyone here is in agreement that everyone in the workplace should have an allowance for mental health days.

          In the specific case where the quote comes from, the employee gave notice, a completely normal, common, and mundane thing to do. The managers are “disappointed” and “betrayed,” and so they took time off for themselves to deal with their feelings. Most people would consider that overly delicate—the managers are taking this way too personally. That’s the whole point of the Slate post. I think if you give it another careful read, the context should help you understand where Elizabeth West and Peanut Hamper are coming from.

  8. dobradziewczynka*

    I never understood managers taking it personal when someone leaves – especially when they are fully aware that the job sucks, or that they are abusive or just a crappy environment overall.

    I had a horrible job experience (4 years in a non-profit from hell) and when I finally gathered enough savings to go – I quit and the managers involved were extremely angry. Meanwhile I was put on a PIP and treated as if I was lowest of the low. It boggles my mind to this day – why were they mad? Shouldn’t they been happy I left? If someone could explain please clarify for me.

    1. Silver Robin*

      I agree that taking it personally is not the way to go, but I do wonder…

      For managers like the one quoted, who feel like they are doing all they can to be good managers etc, that they feel like an employee leaving is an indication of their ability to be a good manager. The adage “people quit managers, not jobs” comes to mind. I can imagine managers feeling like they did all this work to make the job good (or bearable) and then feeling like the employee quitting is saying “you, specifically, failed to make staying here worthwhile”. Which is simply untrue. I, for example, have a great manager. That does not mean I plan to stay past 3-5 years. Nothing to do with them and everything to do with opportunities for growth/pay, which are limited at the current org.

      1. Caramel & Cheddar*

        You can do everything right as a manager, but you still can’t do *everything* and that’s why they need to learn they can’t take it personally. Your manager could be great about fighting for raises for her staff, but if her own superiors say there’s no money, then there’s no money. Maybe she’s great at developing and mentoring junior staff, but the org has an “up or out” approach to things and there aren’t currently any open positions. They could be the best boss to ever have bossed and they still can’t counteract things like “I’m looking to switch industries” or “I have just received a six figure inheritance and I am taking a trip around the world for a year.”

        And honestly, even when I’ve had great bosses, part of what made them great was recognizing the limitations of what they could do for me and saying “Yeah, I get it.”

        1. AngryOctopus*

          OldJob had 5 people leave almost together from a group of 40. This had very little to do with OldJob as a place to work and a lot to do with the fact that OldJob was very clear about promotions, and that they weren’t going to create a bunch of director positions just to promote people who may otherwise deserve it. Which is a feature! The associates don’t want to work somewhere where everyone gets to be a director (means nothing, no real responsibility), and small companies narrow down at the top, as they should! 4 of those 5 people were moving on to ‘director’ or ‘just below director but new company was smaller and would probably make directors from within’ positions. And one was changing career paths. Good managers 1-are honest about what paths up the company can provide and 2-are celebratory when good employees land those higher jobs that aren’t available, and leave the company.

        2. Silver Robin*

          this is exactly my situation with my current manager. she is great, the organization is a bit of a mess. she knows that, I know that, she knows that I know (we commiserate!). and she absolutely does not expect me to stick it out just because working for her is good.

      2. Prospect gone bad*

        Exactly! It’s a relationship like any other relationship with another person. Sometimes they seem one sided, online you only hear about horrible managers but as a manager, sometimes it can be draining when you give and give and it isn’t appreciated. It just is human nature. Sometimes nobody can thank you. For example, you might save somebody in a round of layoffs that is coming up, and they’ll be complaining to you about BS, not knowing layoffs are about to come. And you’re sitting there like, is this person for real? But you just need to keep a smile on your face

        Now, someone can make the argument that you are not supposed to be appreciated. And I get that. But there’s a dynamic online where people jump in too quick to say that fixing any and all problems is the management job. As if we have super powers

        And that’s what’s draining at times.

        TBH I do think management roles are going to get harder to fill as they become more thankless and all of the perks have gone away, such as corner offices

        1. MigraineMonth*

          If you feel that the job is thankless and doesn’t have the same perks it used to, it may be time to move on. You shouldn’t feel like you’re giving and giving at your job and not getting anything/enough back. Your relationships with your reports should be transactional.

          Remember, you aren’t protecting a report from a layoff (or giving generous bereavement or flexible maternity leave) for their sake. You’re doing the work of building an effective team that will make you look great so you will get raises and promotions. You should plan to leave these reports at some point and move on to bigger and better things (if that’s what you want).

        2. Pescadero*

          “Now, someone can make the argument that you are not supposed to be appreciated.”

          You are supposed to be appreciated – by your superiors.

      3. Fikly*

        Managers who interpret someone leaving as a personal betrayal are unlikely to actually be good managers. It’s the tip of the iceberg.

        I had an excellent manager tell me that providing good customer service doesn’t mean the customer always leaves happy. Instead, you do your job and provide excellent customer service, but sometimes you just cannot give them what they want. Similarly, a good manager doesn’t mean that your employee will never leave. There are many reasons an employee’s best interests mean they leave!

        1. Silver Robin*

          I feel like it is something I would use to distinguish “decent/good” from “great”. I can absolutely imagine a manager who gets overly personally invested in the success of their team, advocates for them, supports them, and then is crushed when they leave. Probably something a newer manager is more likely to do. But that does not make them bad, just not great.

          1. MigraineMonth*

            Eh, depends on their behavior, in my opinion.

            A manger who is over-invested in the success of their reports might decide to protect a poor performer from being fired, or never passes along critical feedback that might be taken badly. They might put in an unreasonable amount of overtime and not take vacations, modeling unhealthy habits. They might decide their reports would be more successful if they just ate better/went to therapy/broke up with their SO/didn’t waste money on expensive trips/wore the manager’s clothing. They might try to make friends with their reports. They might also make leaving very uncomfortable by bursting into tears, getting angry or avoiding any report who gives notice.

            I would say those were all characteristics of a bad manager, not just a “not great” one.

          2. amoeba*

            I’d say it depends mostly (entirely?) on what they show, not what they feel! I can definitely imagine being hurt if my employee decided to quit, but that does not give me the right to show them – put on a professional, friendly face and save the complaining for your spouse in the evening or whatever.

      4. Festively Dressed Earl*

        Since the “people quit managers, not jobs” adage is so often abused to cover for companies who underpay across the board, skimp on benefits, perpetuate toxic cultures, and don’t empower management to retain good employees, I propose the counter-adage “You can’t outmanage bad policy.”

        1. AngryOctopus*

          I quit my last job because of the manager, but that was also because they {read: HR} refused to move my role, and I didn’t want to spend more months doing a job I hated for a person I didn’t respect as a manager.

        2. Prospect Gone Bad*

          Yes! There is definitely a trend lately where any and all problems and wishes failing, get blamed on the boss, instead of thinking about why the thing is occurring. Take your pay example. I cannot out-raise inflation (at least here, at this job in this location). Landlords decided to increase rent 30% or 40%, well, we already raised prices as much as customers can bear to cover the raises we did give. We can’t just raise everything to infinity because the money needs to ultimately come from customers.

        3. Sara without an H*

          “You can’t outmanage bad policy.” We need this on a tee shirt.

          Thanks, I shall add that to my collection of future needlepoint projects.

      5. Observer*

        For managers like the one quoted, who feel like they are doing all they can to be good managers etc, that they feel like an employee leaving is an indication of their ability to be a good manager.

        Sure. But the thing is that those people tend to also not be great managers. Like this guy – I’d be willing to bet that they are nowhere near as good a manager as they think. Because they contradict themselves in a way that really implicates how they relate to their employees.

    2. Clobberin' Time*

      Because that’s how the minds of abusive people work. They rightfully hold all the power, they control whether or not you have a job and what your working environment is like. When you quit, you exercised your own power to leave.

      It was never about whether or not you were really a good employee.

    3. CanadianNarwhal*

      They put someone who had already resigned on a PIP??? Boggles the mind indeed

      1. dobradziewczynka*

        oh it was~! So glad I am out of there. Years later the main person/manager apologized and was trying to be all friendly after the fact when I ran into him.

    4. Perihelion*

      A PIP? That’s hilarious. “If you don’t stop this quitting behavior, then we will have no choice but to fire you!”

      1. dobradziewczynka*

        it is funny in retrospect but my goodness it was so wild at the time. I stayed way too long because of the community/clients we were serving.

    5. Cherries Jubilee*

      I think a lot of it is anger at not having ultimate control over their employee. They don’t want to have to feel like they have any need to woo or retain staff, they want their staff to be their own set of sims to do with as they please. A breezy, professional quitting belies that fantasy.

      1. Silver Robin*

        ooh I could totally see that too! Still not appropriate to take it out on anyone, but if they feel stuck, I understand the bitterness of seeing other people leave. Of course, the trick is that the manager gets to leave too!

      2. JustaTech*

        When my department/site had a big spate of folks leaving (for a new, shinier company) we held a lot of “going away” parties (party = sodas/beers and chips in the break room). Then upper management decreed that there would be no more going away parties because “it looks like we are happy that this person is leaving”.
        No, it looks like you (upper management) are mad that people are quitting for a better job. We, their peers, are happy for them.

        So then we held our going away parties off site and didn’t invite upper management.

    6. Berkeleyfarm*

      Wait, you got put on a PIP after you submitted your resignation? That’s super petty.

  9. Given the Silent Treatment*

    When I gave notice at my last job, my boss stopped speaking to me, and hasn’t spoken to me since. He didn’t even say bye on my last day. I’m job hunting now and I don’t feel like I can use him as a reference.

    1. AngryOctopus*

      Same! I ended up giving my notice to the dept director (due to a conversation we were having where it became obvious they weren’t going to move me out of the role I hated anytime soon), and he told my boss right away. My boss then didn’t speak to me for a week, then it was Thanskgiving week and the company had given it to us as holiday, and then he finally spoke to me for 20′ the next Monday. Started the convo with “Dept Director tells me you’re leaving”. Yes, he told you two weeks ago. I’ve already wrapped up everything without you. I’m glad I don’t need you as a reference.
      He was [obviously] otherwise a terrible manager as well, and a large part of the reason I left when they didn’t transfer me right away (and yes, they could have, based on our work and the amount of hiring they were doing at the time).

    2. Nora*

      The executive director at my last job did that. We had a great relationship, and fortunately I was warned ahead of time so I didn’t take it personally. The organization was constantly hiring – I think we were fully staffed for just a couple of weeks out of the 2.5 years I was there.

    3. Wendy Darling*

      I quit a job because my manager was a huge bully and she refused to speak to me ever again.

      Which. Was. AMAZING. I think she was trying to punish me but it was legitimately the best thing that happened to me in that job, especially since I already knew I couldn’t use her as a reference because she would just tell people I was the worst.

    4. Seal*

      Same thing happened to me. What got me is that my then-boss knew I had been planning to leave once I finished my masters degree and had even served as a reference for the job I was leaving for. The whole thing was very bizarre.

  10. Keyboard Cowboy*

    I have a rockstar team member leaving sometime between now and the end of next quarter. It does suck, and I have mentioned to him how much they helped while they were here, mentioned that we will have a hard recovery after they leave, etc. But of course I’m not going to stop them, I agreed to give a reference, we’re planning their offboarding, and so on. Where’s the line between expressing “gosh you were great, we will miss you” and guilt tripping them? I don’t want to cross it, but I also want this person to know how much impact they had while they were here, you know?

    1. Alex*

      Telling them how awful it will. be for you is, I think, off limits. There’s plenty of ways to express gratitude that don’t include having it be about you.

      For example, “I’ve so appreciated your work on X, you’ve done such a great job with Y, and it’s really been a pleasure to work with you. Please don’t hesitate to use me as a reference in the future, as I will highly praise your work. We will certainly miss you!”

      Not “I don’t know what we are going to do now, because we can’t possibly replace you. It’s going to be so hard to do X with you gone!” That just makes the employee feel like they are hurting someone, and most people don’t like feeling that way!

      1. learnedthehardway*

        Yeah – instead of telling them it will be terrible when they leave, be happy for them and ask them for referrals to their network, because they are wonderful and you want someone just like them.

      2. Caz*

        “You’ve raised the standards of the team as a whole and I’ve said so in your reference” was one I used. It was hard to lose him, because he was excellent at the job, but he was capable of *so much more* and I tried to emphasise being happy that he was moving onwards and upwards.

    2. CR*

      You give them an excellent reference and wish them well and stay in touch. That’s the best way to demonstrate you appreciated them as an employee. Definitely not guilt tripping them.

    3. Peanut Hamper*

      Focus on their feelings and experience, and not yours.

      Saying “we’re really going to miss you” generally makes people feel great. But stop short of saying why you’re going to miss them. You’ve said enough right there.

    4. Caramel & Cheddar*

      I think the “we will have a hard recovery after they leave” is the part where it might start to tip over into guilt tripping. I know the “you’re irreplaceable!” sentiment can feel like a compliment, but when I’ve had it said to me, it always felt like “We’re disorganized and understaffed and you were the wad of gum holding it all together.” That’s not a compliment, and more importantly it also wasn’t my problem!

      1. LemonToast*

        This is so true! My former department kept telling me how “invaluable” and “irreplaceable” I was, and how everything would fall apart if I ever left….but when I tried to leverage that into a promotion and/or a raise, I was told I was “too valuable” to let me have any other position, and since they can’t give me a new title/position, they can’t give me a raise either. It was so dumb. So I moved to another department and I’m not making about 100% more than I would be at my old place. And it’s within the same organization, so there was money. They just didn’t want to share it.

        It just made me feel crappy and NOT valued when I was constantly told I couldn’t develop my career because THE BOSSES has not done their job to manage their department effectively.

    5. Betty*

      In addition to the other great points made here, I think frequency matters, as well. Like, saying ONCE shortly after you get the news, and ONCE on or just before their last day “I just wanted to say how much I’ve appreciated your work and how much you will be missed” is nice and appreciative. More than that and it gets into manipulative, I think.

    6. Jaunty Banana Hat I*

      What I always do is tell them that they have been a huge asset to our work and we are going to miss them, but that I also understand that they have to take care of themselves, and if they ever need a reference, to please let me know because I would love to tell others how great they were.

      Do not guilt trip at all. That will just ensure that they will avoid you/your company going forward. Think about what you would want *your* boss to say if you were giving notice.

      I’ve been lucky in that all of my managers at my jobs (except for one, and that one I quit because they wouldn’t give me the day off to attend my brother’s graduation when I literally never asked for days off and worked 6 days a week) have been very congratulatory and pleased for us when I or my coworkers moved on to a new position. They definitely modeled the right way to treat your employees.

    7. Filthy Vulgar Mercenary*

      Agreed with the others on not saying how hard it will be when they leave. Often people feel guilty and this is your opportunity to set the example on how they should be treated and how they should treat others if they end up leading people.

      “Of course we will miss you but we will figure it out. You need to do the things that only you can do – others can do your job, but only you can be there for your family/move up in the world/live your own life. We will definitely miss you and I also want you to know we are all rooting for you wish you well”

      Then he feels good about the team he’s leaving and is more likely to refer people to you or collaborate with you in some way in the future.

    8. Emmy Noether*

      One thing that did make me feel good when leaving somewhere was being told that if ever I wanted to come back sometime in the future, the door was open.

  11. Observer*

    In a way the one that blows me away is the one who says that they get that people need to do what’s best for them but they “just feel betrayed.” That’s just an incredible lack of self awareness, and makes me wonder if they are as good a boss as they think they are.

    1. BellaStella*

      Yes, emotional and social intelligence noted in another comment are what is missing here.

  12. Alex*

    I once gave notice at a really crappy job, giving 2 weeks. My boss was trying to get me to extend my notice period by saying how inconvenient it would be for him to have to try to replace me, because they would never find someone with my skills and productivity at the salary they were paying, and my excellent performance had put them in a real bind because they had come to rely in me in this low paying position…and that therefore I should stay just a little longer.

    …..why do you think I’m leaving, buddy!

  13. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

    Several jobs ago, I had a high-performing coworker leave for a new opportunity. One of their closer peers, with whom there was a joking relationship, asked “Where will we find another glutton for punishment with your appetite?”

    I don’t think that thought was unique.

  14. DisneyChannelThis*

    I think a lot of it in the US at least has to do with how tied your work role is to your sense of person. 90% of the time “what do you do for work” is the followup to an introduction in social settings. That over investment in your job as your identity leads to a lot of these weird over emotional reactions to quitting.

    1. Sara without an H*

      I agree. I also think that a lot of managers, especially bad ones, are insecure and try to over control their workplaces to compensate for that.

      And when staff give notice, that means their control was an illusion. Hence the melt down.

  15. CommanderBanana*

    Well, to quote Taylor Swift and Bon Iver, “Never left a warning sign/I gave so many signs.”

    My coworker and I left our last organization about 3 weeks apart, and in both cases, our boss refused to acknowledge that we were leaving and refused to participate in any sort of hand-off.

    Before that, I had a colleague who just moved to another department, but our manager was upset by her moving that she refused to acknowledge it or do any knowledge transfer, and since she was the only one who performed a number of specialized tasks, we had a massive knowledge gap when the position was finally filled. And this was someone who still worked at the same organization!!

    People who act like this have no business being managers.

    1. Magenta Sky*

      It’s hard to replace a rock star employee.

      It’s just as hard to replace a rock star manager.

      But you have to fill the position with what you can find, either way.

    2. Laser99*

      I wonder if it ever occurs to these types it can cut both ways. What if you were interviewing and they said something like, “I see you worked for Tangerina Warbleworth at Llamas R Us, what was that like?”
      “Well, I wasn’t going to mention it, but since you asked…when I gave notice she told me I was a worthless tart and she hated my face.”

  16. reg*

    whoever needs to hear this, and especially for those in the nonprofit sector, i never left a job until the toxic environment and micromanaging became too much to deal with. i am very loyal, and i have never been rewarded for that loyalty. the rewards i am reaping now, over a decade into my career, are because we unionized.

    1. CR*

      Yup, my career is in the non-profit sector as well and it took me years to figure out that working hard and being a good person won’t make up for toxic environments or bad managers.

    2. Kayem*

      I went from intern a volunteer in a nonprofit because that was apparently the only way to have a chance at getting a foot in the door. It was made explicitly clear that the only way to get a paying job in that org was to start volunteering and all volunteers eventually became paid employees.

      After two years of trying, the perfect opportunity came up in an adjacent department doing similar work that would have been collaborating with my current department. I was basically THE pick for the position…until my supervisors found out that as per the org’s policy, accepting the job would mean my volunteer hours would be capped at 10 per month. And so they scuttled my candidacy. I didn’t find out what they did until I was introduced to the new (external) hire.

      That was a sign that there was no getting in that door, so my partner and I found a better opportunity elsewhere and moved out of state. Which is funny because both my partner and I each volunteered in that department for 15 hrs/week. Instead of having a reduction in one volunteer’s hours, their department was left with zero volunteers.

      But you would have thought the world had ended from the reaction of my supervisors. They were so upset that I would do that to them. How could I leave them with all this work left undone? I was in charge of projects that would now never be finished! How could they hope to complete them without my expertise!?

      As if they were the ones that had the right to be upset after they *withdrew my candidacy without my consent* from a job I really wanted (not to mention really needed).

  17. Peanut Hamper*

    I think a lot of these managers are just high on their own farts. If they were that great to work for and paid so well and respected me as a professional, I wouldn’t be leaving, would I?

    And if I gave two weeks notice and my manager started acting like this? That two weeks would vanish. Nope, sorry, today’s my last day. Best of luck. I’m probably not going to get a decent reference anyway, so bye, Felicia!

  18. Agile Phalanges*

    I had a job where the boss was rarely in (which is fine) but wasn’t the best at communicating, whether he was in the office or not, which isn’t great when you’re expected to be keeping track of various details but yet aren’t clued in to what you’re even supposed to know. I resigned and he chewed me out in his office for about 45 minutes, asking why I wasn’t happy, and after listing a few reasons, he yelled some more, again asking why I wasn’t happy, and I said, “well, this conversation sure isn’t helping!” One of my co-workers even IMed him to tell him to lay off, which of course he didn’t see until after his tirade. He came and apologized, then literally never spoke to me again in the two week notice period. I wrapped up a few things and mostly surfed the internet alone in the building so I could answer phones and/or the door.

    1. pally*

      45 minutes??? Nope. I’d have left. For good.

      Not gonna allow anyone to use me as their emotional punching bag ever again.

  19. No Drama Llama*

    As a manager and now director, I have never understood this response. I tell all my staff that I expect them to do what’s best for themselves and their family, whatever that looks like. I do my best to make sure that means staying with their current job, but if it doesn’t I support them in making a change.

    1. Ama*

      I have a report who is struggling with how our employer is managing our hybrid policy (they pulled back a lot of our flexibility in March). I finally told her that while I love working with her and don’t want to see her leave, I don’t want her to stay out of loyalty to me if this policy is really not working for her life, and that if she wants to start looking for a new job I’m happy to be a reference.

      She doesn’t have a lot of 9 to 5 work experience and I really didn’t want to see her fall into the trap I fell into early in my career where I stayed in a job that made me miserable out of loyalty to a boss I really liked.

  20. NeedRain47*

    The bobdang ego on these people, who think their own/their company’s well being should come above the employees own needs. It’s delusional really. I’ve never had a boss like this but would walk straight out, I don’t see any value in trying to not burn bridges when someone is going to burn it for you.

  21. learnedthehardway*

    The examples in the Slate article really are unhinged!! Yeesh! You’d think we lived in the middle ages, and people were committing treason by swearing allegiance to a rival monarch, or something.

    Kind of explains a reaction I had when I was in a recruiter role, and someone at a bar told me that recruitment was little better than slave trading. I imagine he became one of those managers, with that kind of attitude. I gave him a piece of my mind that his statement was seriously offensive (given the realities of slavery, past and present), and that our economy is based on a free market of labour, and that if companies wanted to retain good people, they had better treat and pay them well.

    On the flip side, my husband is taking it personally that one of the employees he has invested a lot in (in terms of opportunities, development, going to bat for him on compensation, etc.) is actively looking. I’ve tried to point out that it’s economic and driven by cost of living, but my husband is hurt. I pointed out that at least his employee trusts him enough to tell him and to let him do what he could to retain the person. I’ve also reminded him to treat the guy like gold, and to not act hurt and rejected, because it’s NOT PERSONAL.

    1. Observer*

      You’re doing the right thing. You could also remind him that sending off good employees well gives him benefits. Others will give more notice, departing employee will be likely to refer good staff to him, etc.

    2. RVA Cat*

      The SAG strike reminds me that a more fitting analogy for these bad managers might be the studio system from the “golden age” of Hollywood.

  22. Governmint Condition*

    The 5th item in the article sounds like the person may be staying within the company but changing roles. If that’s the case, upper management might want to know how lower managers are treating employees in such a situation. (I’ve seen this happen in government agencies. A lot depends on how upper management wants to handle these type of situations.)

  23. Baron*

    I do wonder how much of switching jobs is cultural/class/generational. The nature of my work and industry is, you might stay somewhere for three to five years. But I’m the only one in my family who’s in that world – the rest of my family, it’s like, “You get a job as a teenager and then you work there for the rest of your life.” For my siblings to quit a job, something would have had to go outrageously wrong. For me, it’s, “Well, it’s time to try something new.”

    If an employee is saying the latter, but a manager *feels* like someone only quits a job when something is cataclysmically bad, I can understand why that manager would be upset that that person was leaving.

    1. NeedRain47*

      It’s economic.
      Is your family in some field where people get regular and sufficient pay raises?
      I get the impression that this used to be a thing that happened for most people, and that’s why people didn’t have to switch jobs.

      I’ve switched jobs every five or so years, because the cost of living rises faster than my income and getting a new job at a higher salary is the only way to catch up. Then that job also gives very small raises and after a few years I have to switch again in order to not basically get poorer every year. This seems fairly common to me…. I’m gen x but I’m not sure it matters.

      1. Baron*

        Blue collar, no raises ever, poor, poorer every year. They’re not going to just switch jobs, though – that’s their *job* you’re talking about! They’d no more switch jobs than they’d cut off one of their limbs.

        That said, I think most people nowadays think like you or me.

      2. NotRealAnonForThis*

        Also Gen X.

        I’ve had to explain the concept of “if I’d like a solid raise, more than a not really a COLA, I have to switch jobs because its not going to ever happen at a current job” to family members in my parents’ generation. 1-2% a year isn’t going to triple my salary in 25 years, there’s no pension anymore, and my employer matches up to 5% of my salary in my 401K if I’m working for someone generous. Literally watch the lightbulb go on over several heads…its not that we’re disloyal, its that we have to do this.

        Watched my Dad summarily “be loyal”, in a job with decent enough raises in salary and title…only to be laid off at 55 (after 25 years in the same job). Then I watched my Mom stay in the same position for 25ish years…only to be made redundant due to changes in technology in her industry. So I ask – why on earth am I going to be loyal again?

        1. Kayem*

          Also genX. My brother is a millennial and I’m constantly having to explain to our parents that switching jobs is not a sign that he’s flighty. Our dad told me that he expects Bro to stay in his new position “for a damn long time” and was going on about how my brother switches jobs too much. I just…what? Bro’s previous job was his first professional job and he stayed there for nine years, which was eight years too long. His new job is the exact same title and duties but literally twice the salary because even after nine years, OldJob paid him less than a Walmart new hire. If anything, Bro is TOO loyal.

          Both my parents should know better for similar reasons to yours, but they still harp on the loyalty thing. I told my brother to just not tell them anything when he starts job hunting until after his probationary period. Because they’re not paying rent for all the space they’d take up in his head.

          1. Foxy Hedgehog*

            Late to the game here. I recall explaining to my retired “boomer” father-in-law that the only way in my industry to get a raise better than 3-5 percent a year is to leave your company for a different one. He had a union job with a pension, and, well, my spouse and I don’t have either of those, so the typical incentive structure from when he worked was completely different from what most people have today.

            Your parents may think of sticking with a job as “loyalty,” but for them it was almost certainly self-interest that kept them at the same place for decades at a time–the same reason self-interest encourages job hopping today.

  24. BellaStella*

    “Moreover, many of the managers who react badly to resignations didn’t bother to do the things that might have helped avoid them, like increasing the person’s pay, taking their concerns seriously, or even just asking what would keep them happy at work. None of that guarantees an employee won’t move on anyway, but outrage over a departure is particularly ironic when the manager previously put no energy into retaining the employee in the first place.”

    THIS. A colleague of mine left earlier this year after 15 years at our firm. There were other things too with a difficult manager who wanted to be this women (and be in her place and go to her meetings and conferences), but when she gave notice (a month!) it was a betrayal per the difficult manager. The manager who could not write well a pay rise justification, etc etc and did not fight for her. The follow on effects of this colleague leaving are terrible (massive workload for lower level employees), and we are just hiring a new person now, and well…. it is not fun.

    This betrayal thing is a well being issue too for the team. Who wants to work for someone like this?

  25. pally*

    Why can’t (er…won’t) bosses look at things through the eyes of their reports?

    Everyone wants to progress. The expectation that an employee wants to remain forever at their job without any kind of ‘forward progress’ (i.e. more pay/rewards, advancement opportunities, enrichment opportunities, recognition, etc.) is unrealistic. Doesn’t the boss want some kind of ‘forward progress’ in their job?

    All those emotions over an employee leaving are a cover for a boss who didn’t properly cross-train or document the tasks necessary to do the work. And that’s on them. Now they are pissed at themselves for not doing this.

  26. Elsewise*

    When I left a job at a really horribly-run, tiny nonprofit (why is it always the tiny nonprofits?), my boss was horrible about it. He hung up on me when I called him to tell him I quit! (I would have done it in person, but he was on a multi-week vacation out of state for the third time since I’d started five months earlier and no way was I holding off putting in my notice while he extended it twice like he’d done last time.)

    For the next two weeks, he ignored my calls, only reached out to me to assign increasingly unrealistic work, and refused to discuss transition planning. I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to convince him to come in on my last day to give me my final paycheck, but he did, sat through my walkthrough of my documentation, and told another coworker that he had no intentions of replacing me or assigning my work to someone else. I was the only fundraiser there! I took the checks to the bank! He said my work was “not that critical” and they’d just do without my position. When I last checked I’d been gone for seven months and not replaced, so who knows how long that promise will hold out. I’ve never been happier than when I left on my last day.

    He canceled an event that I was supposed to be running a few days after I left. It would have been super easy, I’d already done the hard work, so he would have just had to show up and collect the money. He tried to push me to stay longer so I could do the event, but I said my new job wouldn’t allow it. My new job then pushed my start date back a week, but haha no.

    1. NeedRain47*

      I like how he managed be both angry you were leaving, presumably b/c you were doing a good job and he didn’t want to lose you, yet completely dismissive of the value of your work. Must be nice not having any cognitive dissonance. Cripes.

  27. Be Gneiss*

    At my last job, when I gave notice, my boss called and hung up on me several times, then quit speaking to me until 2 days before I left, when she asked me to train her on everything I did – at 2 sites – because “it can’t be that hard.”
    It’s a small town, and her husband is a teacher who runs the Facebook page for my kid’s graduating class. It posts all the info about activities, events, things they need parent volunteers for. They blocked me from the page.
    But hey…we were all family, right?

    1. Artemesia*

      I hope you complained to the teacher’s principal about this ridiculous behavior.

    2. NotRealAnonForThis*

      I’d be taking that malicious blocking to the principal at least – and asking that they either remove the husband from administration of the FB page or add another administrator, or find another way to disseminate the information.

      1. Be Gneiss*

        It’s truly delightful to be a transplant in a very small town….where school administration and the teacher in question all grew up together and hang out every weekend.
        I’ve managed to come up with a couple workarounds, but it’s childish to the point where it will either make you laugh or cry.

  28. CatCat*

    Ex-manager just didn’t talk to me at all after I put in my notice. Which was fine with me since he was a major reason I was leaving.

    1. NeedRain47*

      My ex boss *only* tried to talk to me after I put in my notice. After literally never having a normal small talk conversation ever, not once, for the seven or so years he was my supervisor. (He would also not ask us about work stuff, but then be mad that we didnt psychically know he wanted to know.) Suddenly he’s casually asking me about my life. I was literally speechless. Maybe if he’d treated me like a human before that I wouldn’t have left.

    2. badger*

      I once got the silent treatment for almost my whole notice period, but that was an improvement, so hard to be mad about it.

  29. Hermione Danger*

    I started to type, “Taking it personally is ridiculous; these employees aren’t leaving AT them.” And then I realized that, actually, maybe they are…

    It’s still ridiculous, though.

    1. Warrior Princess Xena*

      No, I think most employees are leaving because of, not at. Or at least primarily because of.

  30. BBB*

    the last job left, on the surface my boss handled it well but they basically pretended like I wasn’t leaving during my notice period and then bad mouthed me and blamed me for every little thing for mooooooonths after I left. my favorite was claiming I ‘refused’ to train a new employee before I left except my boss had changed the training documents, pointedly removing me from the trainers list (a documented and easily verifiable thing). I was still friendly with quite a few people there so I got to hear all the hilarious tea afterwards lol

  31. Suz*

    When I resigned from my 1st post-college job, my boss acted like I broke up with him. He wouldn’t speak to me, look me in the eye, or be in the same room with me during my notice period.

  32. Just Another Zebra*

    I left my last job after 2 years. It was retail, and commission based. The signs were all there that the business was not doing well financially. When I turned in my notice of a month, because we’d just gotten a new store manager (and frankly I wanted my commission), you would have thought I single-handedly padlocked the doors and was responsible for the business closing. The ASM couldn’t contain her snotty remarks, and the DM CRIED IN THE BREAKROOM and begged me to stay.

    It was an experience for 20-something year old me, that’s for sure.

  33. Keymaster of Gozer*

    Early on in my first managerial role I had that ‘what did I do wrong?’ feeling when a good member of staff handed in their month’s notice. I stressed that night over how hard it was going to be to replace this guy because he’d been there for over 10 years and his insider knowledge of systems was flawless and not something that could be trained.

    Then I reminded myself of how many times I’d resigned from a role to go somewhere better for me despite having wonderful coworkers and mangers. Could be more pay, closer to home, job has more room to grow – there’s plenty of reasons aside from ‘you’re a bad manager and I’m getting the heck away’

    1. Sara without an H*

      +1. I’ve had people leave to attend grad school, become stay-at-home parents, or because they married someone and moved to a new city. None of it was personal, and I didn’t take it as such.

      I once had somebody quit without notice. Since he didn’t contribute much to overall productivity, I was able to contain my disappointment quite nicely.

      That said, my advice to managers would be not to get too dependent on one stellar employee. You need written documentation of at least the major job duties and cross-training, wherever feasible.

    2. Jackalope*

      I Will say that this blog – and comments like this – have helped me out so much in a position where I sometimes have people leave (more volunteer than work). It’s been super hard and frustrating sometimes, and I’m often the person doing the most processing of their departure (removing systems access, etc.) so I feel it a lot for each person. But I remind myself that it’s not personal, and have never said anything other than wishing them the best and telling them we will miss them, and as far as I know none of them have had any clue the level of personal dismay I’ve felt when they’ve left. And it’s always worked out one way or another. I remember the first departure I was SO upset about, and couldn’t imagine how we could possibly do without that person. She had so much institutional knowledge and had a wholistic way of viewing things that we needed. And now that she’s been gone for a few years… The person who replaced her didn’t have that knowledge, and we’ve missed it, but he’s gifted in other ways she wasn’t and so we’ve grown in ways we couldn’t have if she’d stayed. So if she’d stayed it would have been great, but the new person has been a different kind of great.

  34. Warrior Princess Xena*

    Ultimately the cold hard truth is that people are going to leave. They will leave because they resign, get health problems, have family with health problems, or any number of other reasons that may have absolutely nothing to do with the company, job, coworkers, or manager. Management acting personally betrayed just adds another reason as to why people will leave; it won’t stop them.

    1. ladybulii*

      I agree 100%, at the end of the day managers cannot force employees to stay in their company (especially if there are no benefits). One of my former colleagues left their admin position due to pay (for context they were there for nearly 2 years and were only getting £9.50 per hour despite doing full-time; to note this is minimum wage). To add to this, they informed me how much the senior office staff were getting (all of them, including myself are on minimum wage and there is a trainee admin with zero experience getting £12.50 because the company sponsors their visa). My operations manager (who is one of the directors) told me I hope I don’t pull any surprises like that (as an inside joke or something, I don’t know); as of now I have been offered another position for a job with the council (which I am gladly taking) as my current job has zero opportunity. For more context, almost everyone is (and has been) getting minimum wage or barely above for years (including management), only my directors get £30 p/hr.

      Of course, there are managers who are decent (albeit rare) but if you cannot invest in your good staff long term, they will seek other opportunities. The best thing is to be loyal to yourself as most companies will not be loyal to you.

  35. All Het Up About It*

    I can understand it FEELING personal sometimes as a manager when your employee decides to leave. And it’s rare when someone looks forward to the hiring and training process, which is a slog. But that there are so many managers out there who get caught up in these feelings and express them in completely unprofessional ways…. Wow!

    Especially because there’s no… acknowledgement. I had a manager once who didn’t react great to a co-worker’s decision to leave. But there was a lot of change and upheaval going on in that manager’s personal life and in the company. And the manager apologized later. Managers are human too and sometimes our emotions get the better of us for whatever reason, but recognizing that and not giving someone the silent treatment for weeks or months… That’s part of doing business too.

    1. NeedRain47*

      “don’t act like a toddler at work” gets to go out the window when someone quits, I guess? this is well said, it’s okay to be upset but not okay to take it out on others.

    2. Ama*

      Yup — I once finally got to hire a new report after we were under a hiring freeze in the early pandemic (my previous report resigned literally two weeks before the shutdown). And then that report left after five months, because an old boss offered her a job that paid well over what we could offer. I remember getting up from my computer after she told me (we were still full WFH then), walking into my husband’s home office and bursting into tears because here I was thinking my stress levels were finally going down and now I was right back in it.

      But my report never knew that, as far as she knew I handled everything extremely professionally. It wasn’t her fault my department was chronically understaffed to the point that losing one employee threw my work life into chaos.

      1. Warrior Princess Xena*

        It sounds like you handled it really well! There’s plenty of reasons why someone can be upset when employees leave, but you’ve demonstrated that the key difference is how you behave to the employee.

  36. H.Regalis*

    My last job my boss was briefly visibly frustrated when I put in my notice, but it wasn’t directed at me—someone else had just retired a week or two earlier—and she immediately apologized for it.

    I cross-trained other people so they could cover for me until my position was filled, I wrote an entire manual on how to do everything I had been trained on, and I spent my last day troubleshooting something wrong with a process I had a built, and was able to get everything sorted by the end of the day. I wouldn’t have worked as hard on the last one if my boss had been a huge jerk!

  37. Justified*

    I quit a job suddenly (1 week’s notice) because I had to deal with a barrage of urgent family health issues. When I told my boss (the owner of the small business), he leaned back in his chair, tented his fingers and said, “What’s your contingency plan?”

    ??? What’s your contingency plan, buddy? You laid off all my staff and cut my freelance budget in half. Now I’ve got a sick kid and I don’t trust you for a minute to make arrangements to help me deal with that, because I’ve seen how you treat others.

    I just couldn’t get over how smart he thought his question was. Not. My. Problem. Any. More.

    1. Observer*

      When I told my boss (the owner of the small business), he leaned back in his chair, tented his fingers and said, “What’s your contingency plan?”

      For what? I think that I actually would have asked that. I mean I suppose he really expecting *you* to provide the contingency plan for the business. But it’s just sooo out of line that I really think that this would pop out of my mouth before I realized what he was actually asking.

      1. Justified*

        He really, really thought that it was somehow my responsibility to have a plan in place to make sure his business kept running smoothly. I left all my work and files in excellent shape and walked out the door a thousand pounds lighter.

    2. CommanderBanana*

      LOL. Tell him that that sounds like a problem, and you only respond to people that come to you with solutions! :D

  38. SMH*

    When companies or managers lay people off, demote people, or close a location they always say its not personal it’s business. Funny how its not just business when employees give notice.

  39. Angstrom*

    My first boss — a good one — told me that he’d found that employees were more likely to stay if they knew they could leave without drama. His policy was to tell folks that if they wanted to move on he’d thank them for their work, give a good reference, and welcome them to apply again if they ever wanted to come back. His experience was that decreasing the anxiety about leaving made it less likely to happen.

  40. Wendy Darling*

    I had a manager who I generally liked a lot who was a little dramatic when I left. I kind of understood because the company was a sinking ship and I was like the fourth member of my team to leave, but it was still not great. We had a few conversations like:

    Him: “What am I going to do without you?”
    Me: “I have no idea but probably whatever you did without Wakeen.”
    Him: “It’s going to suck!”
    Me: “Probably!”
    Him: “I shouldn’t be saying this to you.”
    Me: “You absolutely should not.”

    We’re still friendly, and I feel for him, but it was not his best moment as a manager.

  41. Jay (no, the other one)*

    For a minute I thought the “boss refusing to speak to me” was mine because that’s exactly what happened to me. Despite the fact that he had been actively trying to get rid of me when I gave notice he immediately stopped speaking to me. I’m a doc and was required to give 90 days notice, so I worked for him for another three months and he would not talk to me even when I needed information about his patients. I had to ask someone else to ask him. It was bonkers.

    Three years after I left – THREE YEARS – I Emailed him because I needed information from a chart to answer a legal request from a past patient. He had one of the nurses answer it. She was not his secretary or assistant nor in any way related to the request. He just wouldn’t respond to me. And he did the same thing to a colleague once she went on mat leave – didn’t speak to her for another two years until he managed to force her out as well.

  42. Forty Years In the Hole*

    Oof these were tough to read – but seems like most folks escaped the umpteenth circle of he**.
    This doesn’t just happen in private, corporate or public settings. Military workplaces can be just as petty.
    I give you:
    -The senior officer who pouted/snarked/admonished me for -gasp! – wanting to be posted with hubby. I was “abandoning him” and he cold-shouldered me until I left 2 months later; and wouldn’t let me leave with hubby. Made me stay back the additional 2 weeks just to prove his point. Never mind that he was also posted out at the same time.
    – the civilian HR manager I reported to was terrible to work for, to the point I begged my career oversight office to get me posted asap. Once mgr found out, she did everything to lambaste me to everyone, incl senior staff; they were terrified of her. She piled on extra “priority” files (but never followed up on them herself) and was just a complete *#@$. Didn’t bother to say bye and wrote in the stage farewell card that she didn’t “have time” to arrange for the SOP farewell luncheon – even with 3 months notice of my departure. So, 5 yrs of solid work, good collegial relationships and reputation down the tubes. Still traumatized from that job.

  43. FrivYeti*

    I’ve never had a manager be as bad as the Slate examples, but I certainly had one example of a wild situation. I used to work as a temp, mostly doing long-term placements for sick leave or long vacations (think two to four weeks, as a rule) and I ended up at a part-time position (20 hours a week) for *two years*.

    I was stuck in limbo, because the company was taking advantage of a loophole in their union agreement. The union didn’t allow part-time workers, but it did allow temps, so as long as I was a temp I wasn’t covered, but if they hired me they would have to make it a full-time job at union rates, which would be a lot more than they were currently paying me. So they just kind of… kept me as a temp. Which meant that a third of the money they were paying was going to my agency, and I didn’t get vacation days or health care.

    So after the first six months I started gently pushing, and pointing out the problems, and my manager kept saying that they were in negotiations, and nothing happened over and over, and eventually after a year and a half the manager admitted that there were no negotiations and nothing was going to change. So I went back to school, and a month before my school was due to start I gave my notice.

    And you would think I had declared my intention to burn down my desk and skate off into the night. My manager was completely shocked, had no idea that I wasn’t happy with my part-time temp worker position, had no idea how they were going to fill the role (I would have suggested just calling the temp company, but I was still being polite) and couldn’t resist saying a few times a day for the next week what a shock it was to have me leaving, and would I reconsider (again, would I reconsider *having been accepted by a post-graduate college program*.)

    The icing on the cake was that because I was a temp, and not a permanent employee, my manager let me know that she wasn’t allowed to give me a reference according to the company’s HR rules; any reference would have to come from the temp company that had no knowledge of my work beyond “he didn’t get fired.”

  44. Kelly*

    My last boss told me I was stabbing him in the back when I quit. A colleague lower in rank called me a traitor to my face. Everyone would stop talking when I walked into a room. It was bananapants.

    I quit because he was a raging narcissist who expected to treat his employees like marionettes with no personal life while paying bottom of the barrel wages and expecting concierge type service for clients. I quit and now literally make twice the pay and work half the hours.

  45. Cherries Jubilee*

    Tons of jobs, maybe the majority, no longer have reliable decent raises, a clear (or any) path upward, or pensions. You have to change jobs every 3-5 years if you don’t want to hamstring your career. It’s whackadoo to be shocked when that happens.

  46. Trishy*

    I gave two weeks notice at my last job, at a small company (less than 50 people). The owner didn’t speak to me the entire two weeks. We didn’t directly work together a lot, but it was noticeable when he never even said good morning. Such a baby. There were Reasons why I quit, and that just reinforced my decision.

  47. CubeFarmer*

    There’s one director in my office who is like this. He’s very late career, so I can’t imagine that he’s planning to go anywhere else besides retirement after this. He’s the only person I have encountered who acts like it’s a personal insult when someone leaves his team.

  48. Critical Rolls*

    Okay, man, like, feel your feelings, that’s cool. But then talk to your therapist about your excessive emotional investment/attachment and just wish your employee well and give them a good reference.

  49. Anon for this one*

    I do not understand why bosses have to be this way but at least I get some bananapants stories out of it.

    As in, I told one boss over and over again about serious issues and that if they weren’t solved or at least mitigated I would not be able to do my job effectively. He kept brushing me off. Plus the CEO did things like scream at me for ten minutes straight in a meeting for no reason. (Said CEO got even madder when I didn’t react.) The boss excused it with “Oh, he’s been this way for decades, he won’t change…”

    After that, I got a new job and gave the exact amount of notice dictated in the employee handbook. My boss went passive-aggressive and sighed “I’m having trouble NOT taking it personally” when I said “This isn’t personal, it’s just business. I was made an offer I can’t refuse.”

    The CEO flipped out — I had to call him to resign because my boss was afraid to tell him — and screamed that I should have ASKED his PERMISSION to APPLY for the job because “That Is How Things Are DONE and You Should KNOW That” (yes, he spoke in caps).

    I bit back a lot of impolitic remarks. Instead I said nicely, “This is business and it’s the proverbial ‘offer I couldn’t refuse.'”

    He tried to tell me he would only allow me to leave on my stated end date if every single bit of work I had on my plate was completely done (not possible for many reasons). I said no, my leaving date was firm and I would be leaving. He hung up on me.

    Then in a later meeting he had the nerve to say “Maybe I’ll chain you to your DESK and not LET you leave. For three or four MONTHS. Until EVERYTHING is DONE.” Which…yeah, um, that’s more than a little creepy.

    I laughed in his face and said “Yeah, no. Not happening.”

    He almost choked. I regret nothing.

    1. Rick Tq*

      I would have gotten up, said “In that case I am leaving and I will not return”, walked directly to HR to tell them officially and leave. I hope you had already cleaned out your desk.

      1. Anon for this one*

        Oh, I’d already cleaned it out. At that point we were all remote so I figured if he booted me off the VPN in a fit of fury, I’d call the new job and tell them I could start a bit earlier.

        I think that came across somehow so he refused to boot me but also refused to speak to me and sent bananapants emails that I was not allowed to contact anyone in my industry for personal *or* professional reasons ever again. And that I was not allowed to use “proprietary materials” that were actually public-source data.

        I emailed back and asked if he really meant to lay claim to a very public set of open-source data he did not own because surely he knew he had no legal right to it or to tell me I couldn’t ever contact anyone in my industry again for any reason?

        He didn’t respond. Bananapants, man. Serious bananapants.

  50. Cruciatus*

    Yikes, this was not encouraging to read at this exact time! I just passed my pre-employment screening at my future employer and will put in my two weeks’ notice tomorrow or Thursday so let’s hope things go better for me than those featured in the article!

  51. Sally Forth*

    I went back to school for a mid-life career change. My first professional job was great in many ways except for my boss. Her attitude was unbelievable. She told people my title was “Librarian’s Assistant” instead of “Assistant Librarian.” (I always figured Dwight Schrute stole this one!) Her temper tantrums were legendary. I was aware, through our local specialist library community, that a lot of people I knew hadn’t last more than a month there. I thought I would do okay since I was the same age as she was and she was less likely to bully me. I lasted 18 months and decided to quit without finding another job.
    When I submitted my resignation I counted out working days and gave three weeks’ notice because I was permanent part-time at 4 days per week. She started screaming that I was unprofessional to give such short notice because I didn’t take into account her planned days off that month. I said I had and the third week was to accommodate her not being there. For the next two days she came to work with swollen eyes from crying over how I was treating her. She said she didn’t trust me there alone and gave me the rules under which I could quit:
    -at the department going away dinner I was not to say her latest book throwing episode (witnessed by a volunteer who reported it) was the last straw
    -I was not to say anything negative when others from my grad class were thinking of applying and emailed to ask me questions about why I had quit. If I did, my name would be mud in the local library community
    -I could work out the third week but had to send her daily reports to prove I was working.

    I took this email to HR to ask them what to do. They said to continue to work out the notice as planned if I would like to. The next week, I was met on
    Monday morning by the VP of our department and they asked if I was going to another job and if not would I like to extend my notice period while my manager was out on leave. She was gone for three months.

    1. Sara without an H*

      I’m a 35 year veteran of libraries. I believe every word of your story.

      I once worked at a branch library of a Very Prestigious Private University. (You’d recognize the name.) Our head librarian was so awful that nobody would stay more than a couple of years. Unfortunately, TPTB did nothing about her, but Campus HR passed the word to NOT use her as a reference and to use them instead.

  52. Seriously?*

    Had the head of my school do this to me. I told him in Feb, stayed the rest of the year even though my husband already moved, so I was alone selling a house with a toddler and a dog. We were moving to a different state for husband’s job, and he acted like it was a personal betrayal. Wrote a very meh reference letter after my five years of hard work and loyalty. Such a jerk.

  53. Yikes...*

    This happened to me at the publishing house I worked at. I left to go back to school in an unrelated field. My manager, who is just a year older than I, was pissed off. She went off the rails. She treated me like garbage for my last month there, like a child throwing a tantrum. She refused to even say goodbye to me on my last day, and left early instead. It’s a small company, and we all know each other, so this was doubly rude and vicious. Her nastiest act was refusing to organize a goodbye gift, which was par for the course for any employee when they leave, meaning that when our boss, the CEO, officially announced that I was leaving at a company-wide meeting, there was no gift to hand over to say “thank you”. It was so obvious that this was not business as usual. No love lost there, but I still think of this crazy manager whenever someone complains about management at my current job (where I am appreciated and supported).

  54. Glazed Donut*

    I felt like a bad manager when an employee quit and my reaction was “oh, okay, that’s fine.” I wasn’t sad, I’m not upset about the shifting workload onto others…and she WAS a good employee. shrug.

  55. Berkeleyfarm*

    I got a bogus PIP started against me because my manager left for a much better opportunity and I was too closely associated in their minds. (I was gone not long after.) They took that departure very, very personally.

    The other management response to that was to call the CEO of the place that was hiring a lot of our disaffected employees (disaffection 100% due to bad management), claim they were poaching our intellectual property, and demand a no-hire agreement. Which they got, even though my then-employer was a local government agency and did not have what I commonly understand “IP” to be. I was unsurprised to hear later that this was common with big Silicon Valley companies.

  56. SterlingCooperDraperPryce*

    I had a job for a mom-and-pop company that I truly enjoyed. There were no benefits (at the time) but decent pay, and generous profit sharing. We were “all building the company together,” the owner liked to say. But as the company started to make money, the employers started living the good life and their generosity waned (which is totally their call; I get it). The last straw for me was at an all-hands meeting the day after they returned from a company-paid, tax-writeoff week in Hawaii with their extended family of a dozen or so, where they announced there would be no more profit sharing. Not just in the future, but we wouldn’t be getting the profit sharing checks that would normally be given out that day. I realized I needed to put my own financial needs first, no matter how much I enjoyed what I was doing. So I started job hunting, and a few weeks later, I gave three weeks notice. They refused. Wouldn’t take it. Told me I couldn’t leave. And they were not joking. They simply wouldn’t acknowledge it. They tried to negotiate a different end date. They tried to guilt me into staying. They sweet-talked me. They got angry. It was nuts! At first I was stressed about it, and then I realized it wasn’t really my problem, because I was in control of where I worked and where I didn’t work. So I worked through the end of the day on my notice, left like it was a normal day, and just didn’t go back. I have no idea if they were surprised by that, or not.

  57. Kindred Spirit*

    I have quit both a large international company and quit a manager/client. When I resigned from the company, I was just starting with a new manager after multiple reorgs and management changes in the preceding months. Fortunately, my manager of just a few days (though we did work in the same division, so we did have a relationship of sorts) didn’t take it personally.

    I quit a client a few years back, even though I was excited about and really wanted to do the work. Until I started working with the client, that is. When I told her I wouldn’t be available for subsequent work we had talked about (but there was no commitment or contract) she reacted very poorly. She tried to persuade to try again. Then she cried. She tried to blame someone else for something deceitful she herself did. She badmouthed another contractor… I felt so much lighter walking away, but still bummed about missing out on the work experience.

  58. Someone Else's Boss*

    I once had a boss who told me I was not suited for my role and should consider other opportunities. So, I did. I found a new job and gave my notice. My boss told me, to my face, that she knew I would fail in my new job and I might as well move to a new industry because she planned to badmouth me. Three months later, she got fired. I have never before or since felt this way about someone losing their livelihood, but I danced around my kitchen. I’ve been at my new job for 7 years and every day someone tells me they couldn’t live without me.

    1. SB*

      I don’t think you can look at it as she “lost her livelihood” when in actual fact she THREW AWAY her livelihood by being a terrible manager.

  59. Kelly*

    That reminds me of the weird/vindictive supervisor I had. We were both applying to the same grad schools and I got a better reference letter than him from our boss. He started a smear campaign of sabotage to get me fired or something. It was WILD. I ended up transferring to another location closer to home which ended up being a godsend.

  60. SB*

    When my first assistant left after she completed her traineeship I was very sad to see her go but I knew why she left (progression opportunities we were absolutely unable to provide). It does feel like a loss, especially when you have nurtured & mentored this person for two years & put some of yourself into their development. I even got her a cake on her last day that said “you’re dead to us now” (which was a joke which she found funny). I am however thrilled to get her regular updates & she is now regional manager for a logistics company & has been offered the opportunity to work abroad for a year in other branches which she is accepting this week. I am so, so proud of her & how far she has come but I absolutely admit that when she left I was sad & disappointed, which I think is a natural thing to feel under these circumstances.

    1. Observer*

      Something I have said to people is “I’m sad for me but happy for you. Best of success in your new ~~whatever~~”

      1. SB*

        My go to when I am genuinely sorry to see someone go is “our loss is their gain”. I do believe we spend so much time with colleagues that we develop a bond (in some work places a trauma bond I am sure) so it is not unreasonable to feel disappointed & a little sad when someone moves on.

  61. Anon for This*

    It could have been a lot worse, but when I left my last job which was in a very small business, the manager told me he “wasn’t sure he could keep his love for [industry]” after I left and that he felt blindsided.

    While I will admit I never actually used the words “I will quit if you do not fix this”, I don’t understand how you have multiple conversations with someone about how they are literally having serious mental health issues because you refuse to take part in *running the business that you own,* and are then surprised when you’re employee quits.

  62. Jennifer S.*

    I was hired at a social services agency in direct service position. I had been in a similar position at the same agency but had left to finish a relevant degree program. When I returned I was hoping to get X position but it was not available so was offered and accepted Y position. After working at X position for 9 months or so, I was very burned out from the stressors at work and financially stressed as student loans were due every month and it was just not enough pay. I had spoke with Boss Lady about my stresses and told her I was thinking of quitting. She had no helpful commentary. So I started to apply for other similar positions. The only requirement when you first get hired to a position is to stay for 6 months before applying to another position in the agency. And give two week’s notice.
    I ran into an old colleague at a coffee shop up the street and she said that a Y position job just opened up at a department she just got promoted into managing! I was excited and applied. She is an awesome lady and I knew she would get me the mentoring I wanted in that speciality. I got the job and gave two week’s notice.
    Boss Lady L heard that I had applied for the new position and the next time I saw her she didn’t speak to me and glared at me like I had kicked a kitten. She told New Boss untruths about me and the quality of my work. But New Boss had worked with me for years in various settings and she knew it was bull. This was in 2006. I ran into Boss Lady at a party of a mutual friend last year (16 years later) and she STILL wouldn’t speak to me. She’s unhinged.

  63. Beentheredonethat*

    This is a great article and the voice of reason.

    I really do understand the emotions of loss or panic but those could be largely prevented if managers/companies 1) planned better 2) stopped treating work like it’s something you should be infinitely loyal to or live your whole life around.

    It’s also time people stopped frowning upon ‘job-hopping’ when changing jobs every 1-3 years is generally much more profitable than staying in the same company for years. A likely increase of 15% when starting a new job, versus about 5% per year for staying in the same company… I’m surprised that a lot of managers are still surprised.

  64. FitPro not Fitspo*

    the second worst manager I ever had (the worst one was… a long story) spent months being dismissive, showing contempt to me and his other two reports at every opportunity, listened to NOTHING we tried to tell him, bottlenecked our work, and looked down our tops if he could (my coworker) and trash talked us for being “dowdy” when he couldn’t (me).

    When I left, he followed me into the parking lot to ask me to put a good word in with my new employer. No thanks, I’m good!

  65. ContentIsHot*

    This is my husband’s boss. Takes it as a personal offense when someone leaves, no matter the reason. My husband and another manager both gave notice last week because their boss/owner has made the company such a toxic dumpster fire to work for, and they’re failing financially. After bad-mouthing them behind their backs, Boss announced that he won’t be in for the rest of their last week. He does that every time someone leaves. Several other people are looking to get out right now because everything is so bad, so I guess he’ll be taking a lot of vacation this year.

  66. TakenAdvantageOf*

    As a manager who has hired and lost several employees over the course of my career, I get it – people leave. I’ve done it myself. But in the past few years I’ve become a bit sinister due to my last 2 experiences. The first was a chronic health situation in which, for a full year, I bent over backwards so the person could work part time at best while I paid their full salary and took on the extra workload myself so they could seek treatment. The week after their treatment finished they gave notice for a job they’d been offered 6 months prior but their new company wouldn’t let them flex their schedule so they delayed their start date. Right on the heels of that I had another one with another chronic health issue – again, bent over backwards and did double the work so they so take unlimited paid time off. Right after the condition was in remission they quit to go to a new job. In both cases, they had no right to all the free paid time off I gave them to EVEN THOUGH we had a very affordable disability policy that they passed on. I will be much more hesitant to be so generous with my time and money in the future.

    1. Boof*

      Absolutely do not stretch yourself / the org beyond what you’d be ok with giving anyone if they quit the next day. So, I imagine long time employees who had done their own share of covering/stretching in the past would get a lot more than someone who was new.
      Honestly same thing works well in a lot of other areas of life; I have a rule not to loan anyone anything that I’m not ok with never getting back. If they return it I will be pleasantly surprised and be more willing to loan them more stuff in the future.

    2. Burger Bob*

      Do you mean you’ve become more *cynical? You surely aren’t being intentionally *sinister. At least, if you are, I’m surprised you’re admitting to it. XD

  67. Boof*

    I’m just going to say I think there are a cadre of managers / employers out there who do feel obligated to their employees beyond what makes pure business sense, and/or attached to specific folks beyond economics; not saying all those who take a resignation personally would be in that group – NOT AT ALL – but I suspect some might be. Which still doesn’t make it reasonable but just saying that some managers /might/ think it’s reasonable because they think they would do the same / hang on to people they shouldn’t because they are chummy with them.
    I’d just focus on the logic that a business is not a family and shouldn’t try to operate like one! I don’t charge my family for things I do / I give some family/dependents a lot of free stuff just like some other family do for me!

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