Trying to quit my job is harder than I thought it would be.
September 20, 2011 6:29 PM Subscribe
Please give me advice on a sticky job resignation issue. My manager did not accept my resignation date, and then things got complicated.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (45 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I work for a major company in the US (fortune 100). I accepted a position with a competing major company. This morning, I gave notice verbally to my manager (Joan). Because we both work from home, I did this over the phone. When asked, I gave October 4 as my last day, which is a two week notice. Joan stated that I might be required to stay for a longer period of time due to my position, and she needed to research it. I was pretty sure that there is no such policy, and that our Human Resources website states that employment is at will and no notice is required by either party. I agree to let her research it, she's obviously surprised by the news. I figure my two weeks is not going to be an issue once she realizes that there is actually no requirement at all. We plan to meet again later that afternoon, at our regularly scheduled weekly meeting.
During the afternoon meeting, Joan again states that she is still researching the possible requirement for me to stay, and that she needs to talk with her manager before giving me an end date (her manager is the department head and is traveling on business this week). Joan tells me that it would be no longer than three weeks. At this point, I'm kind of in shock. I decide to get her off the phone ASAP and call the HR hotline to make sure I understand the policy as written. My reasoning behind this is due to Joan's argumentative nature (even when wrong). Her tone was already confrontational, and I wasn't prepared to have an argument and potentially say something I might later regret. Joan was already giving me a hard time in general, saying things like "I can't figure out who should take over your work, you only told me this morning and we don't even know how long you will be here".
When I call the HR hotline, the HR representative ends up reading me the "manager's view" of the webpage, which has more information than my version shows. It clearly states that there is no notice requirement for voluntary termination, and says that 1-2 weeks notice could be given as a courtesy. At this point, I'm not sure if Joan is truly ignorant of the policy (she's been a manager here for twenty years), or if she's using shady tactics to get me to stay an extra week. I wouldn't put it past her, but it's equally possible she's getting it confused with a policy for when an employee makes an internal move (not sure why she wouldn't look it up if she wasn't sure). At any rate, I'm now very wary of staying the full two weeks.
A further complicating factor:
If I start with my new employer before 10/1, I am eligible for their 2011 bonus payout next spring. It's prorated, but it still could be anywhere from $1500-$3000. I was willing to give that up to enable the other members of my team to have a smoother transition, but given Joan's refusal to accept my 10/4 end date, as well as her unwillingness to discuss any transitioning of my work, I would now like to leave on 9/29 so I can start with my new employer in time to earn a bonus. I have not yet sent anything to Joan in writing. I don't think this as a stalling tactic in order to make a counter offer.
I can see only two options at this point, is there anything else? I want to start at the new company on 09/29 no matter what. Please keep in mind that I am trying to avoid burning bridges (yes, it might be past that point) and I really want to leave on good terms with nothing on my file (I don't really know how this works). As far as her reference goes, I've been with the company for eight years and have four other managerial references, so I'd never use her anyway. I would prefer to avoid involving Human Resources, but I am open to that route if necessary.
SO, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
OPTION 1: Send Joan a short resignation e-mail stating that I have researched the notice policy and that my last day of employment will be 09/28. (Please help me with the resignation e-mail wording if this is the best option).
OPTION 2: Wait until she talks with her manager. This could go three ways:
1. Her manager tells me I need to leave immediately because I am going to a competitor (fine with me, problem solved)
2. Her manager is also clueless and agrees that I need to stay the three weeks (I really can't see this one happening unless Joan outright lies). I'm not sure what I would do at this point, but I definitely won't stay past 09/28. Advice welcome.
3. Her manager tells her that obviously we're an at will company and she needs to accept my resignation date. At this point, I would need to revise my resingation date to 09/28. I'm not sure what I would say here, probably just that I received new information since we last talked and I need to revise the date. Advice welcome.
OPTION 3: Something else (please explain)