Employee advocate for exit interview
September 20, 2023 11:26 AM   Subscribe

I’ve been working a contract job for the past three months. My boss announced at the weekly all-hands meeting that she wants to hold exit interviews with us. She’s done some shady stuff during the time I’ve worked on the project. How can I request an employee advocate for my exit interview?

I took this position because I wanted to learn more about the field. During the time I’ve been there, I was harassed by a coworker (who saw me eating a cookie at lunch on my first day and said “eat too many of those and you won’t fit down the aisles!”); on a separate occasion, one of my coworkers threw a laptop at me. (He was fired, but my boss more or less told me it was his word against mine.) I was assigned to work in close quarters with the first employee, and when I asked to work with a different coworker, my boss told me that the team was too small to keep us apart and said that I “need to learn to work with different kinds of people.”

My actual job performance has been good by the expectations they’ve set, but I haven’t felt safe with my boss and have had to take notes during our weekly all hands so I don’t dissociate. My boss indicated today that she wants to have individual exit interviews with each staff member. I don’t feel safe going into a meeting with my boss without a third party present. Is there a way to request an employee advocate? What’s the best way to ask to schedule my exit interview until I have someone?

The last day of my job is 9/29. I got this job through a temp agency, and I have documented all of this with them.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Just decline the exit interview.
Or no show.
What are they going to do, fire you?
posted by phunniemee at 11:28 AM on September 20, 2023 [31 favorites]

Do not attend exit interviews. Follow the excellent advice here on how to avoid attending or, if you are forced to attend, how to handle the interview.
posted by caek at 11:30 AM on September 20, 2023 [24 favorites]

if this is a temp/contract position, don't even bother going. if your temp agency asks, explain that you were uncomfortable going, based on what you've already told them. if this woman asks you, just ghost her. she doesn't matter.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 11:49 AM on September 20, 2023 [10 favorites]

I have done exit interviews in the past and don't think they are always a trap but if I was in your position (a three month contract with a manager I didn't feel safe around) I would not do an exit interview at all. If she calendars it, I would accept and no-show. No employee advocate, should one be available for this, is going to make this worth your time or emotional health at all.
posted by sm1tten at 12:23 PM on September 20, 2023 [5 favorites]

I've been a contractor for many, many years and I would definitely decline this exit interview. If you're feeling generous, or think that your input could potentially benefit future employees/contractors, you could offer to fill out a questionnaire.
posted by mezzanayne at 12:32 PM on September 20, 2023 [5 favorites]

Depending on your industry and situation, your agency/rep might have a policy that prevents their contractors from providing direct feedback to their client in such a setting, particularly if it hasn't been a great experience for either party. Really, check with them and see.
posted by mochapickle at 12:45 PM on September 20, 2023 [6 favorites]

Email early in the morning of the interview and say "Hello Boss, I wanted to let you know that I woke up with a fever, so I'm isolating at home and won't be able to attend our exit interview appointment. Thank you for the opportunity and best wishes in the future, Name."
posted by nouvelle-personne at 12:53 PM on September 20, 2023 [8 favorites]

There is absolutely nothing good for you that can come out of this meeting.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:27 PM on September 20, 2023 [1 favorite]

There was the one exit interview I did where I explained to my boss that they were a witless sociopath and that the company was not so much a functioning corporation as a cargo cult version of one. I was both acidly harsh and mercilessly detailed and heavy on facts. When I was done, I felt like I had made an airtight logical case and whipped someone's ass at the dozens.

It all felt great to say, but I can't say it resolved anything for me personally and they certainly didn't take any of my many, many specific examples of their fuckery and incompetence into consideration. It was just me puffing myself up briefly to no avail.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:42 PM on September 20, 2023 [10 favorites]

I’d go and record it.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:51 PM on September 20, 2023

Dodge it or skip it. I'm in HR and I always offer people the opportunity to do an exit interview but don't force it. Your agency is who really needs to hear your feedback for consideration when making future placements.
posted by JennyJupiter at 5:00 PM on September 20, 2023 [3 favorites]

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