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Feeling Bad About Leaving

So I'm one of the first technical employees at this startup run into the ground by a horrible CEO (abusive schmuck whose idea of management is treating professional employees like boilerroom workers). I started at the ground floor as the first senior programmer here (4 programmers total originally) and have 2,000 options out of a total 21,000,000 shares outstanding (which the companies I interviewed with universally called "an insult"). My boss knows I (and everybody else) view our equity position as insulting, and that our CEO is a dick, but we can't do anything about either. Welcome to capitalism.

So anyways, I finally get the opportunity to leave (one of the three companies offered and I accepted; the other two might have eventually), but it's right after I'm taking a week off to be with my new baby (arriving next Wednesday).

My boss (who has always been relatively good) just said "take all the time you need" after I explicitly said I was using my designated PTO time.

The first day back from the baby, I'm giving 2 weeks notice (already signed at the new job to start March 1st).

Oh boy, I don't relish that day. Any way I can soften the blow for the boss here (who I do like)?

Thursday, January 29, 2004


Thursday, January 29, 2004

You are giving two weeks notice. That is completely acceptable and professional. Since you like your boss, tell him you feel bad about putting him (specifically him and not the rest of the jokers it sounds like) in the position of refilling the position as that can be a lot of work for him. Point out that you have enjoyed working there and are ready to move on to other challenges. End of story.

For your own emotional sake, consider this. You have some (maybe valid) complaints about this company. If a company wants to keep you, they will treat you well during your whole employment. If your company is desperate to get you replaced because you are a key figure, they will treat you well RIGHT NOW when you quit. Don't fall for it. They had plenty of time to do well with you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting another job if your current one is suiting your personal and professional goals. This is a fact of life - go for it!

Good Luck!

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Remember to them you are just a tool.
They forget some tools have legs.

son of parnas
Thursday, January 29, 2004

As someone who manages people (I'm a developer too, so my p.o.v might not be worth much), let me tell you that, if your boss really is a decent guy, he's not going to hold anything against you.

Don't worry about it. In the end, you have to do what's right for you. He'll understand that.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

If you view everything your dickhead CEO does as the result of capitalism ('Welcome to capitalism' as you said), why do you feel guilty when you play by his rules?  You found somebody who would give you more (money, time, respect, etc...) in exchange for your labor.  Plain and simple.

As others have said, your direct boss is a human.  He'll understand when you tell him why you are leaving.

Joe Blandy
Thursday, January 29, 2004

Yeah, just go ahead and do it.

If things are as bad as you paint them, how could your boss ever fault you for leaving?  For all you know, he's looking for new employment on the side as well.  Once the rats start jumping ship they tend to go real fast.

Mister Fancypants
Thursday, January 29, 2004

Don't even think of accepting any sort of counter offers!

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Ask your boss if he'd like you to call him if something opens up at your new employer. Chances are he'll appreciate the offer.

Anonymous Coward
Thursday, January 29, 2004

The "Welcome to Capitalism" was more a comment that we'll never get another CEO; because the CEO and the Board are pretty much inseparable barring financial wrongdoing (in the New New Economy, the Board would never trust the advice of a technical person like my boss, the CTO/VP of Tech, much less any of us factory-workers).

Thursday, January 29, 2004

In Soviet Russia, the politburo and their leader are pretty much inseperable, too.

Flamebait Sr.
Thursday, January 29, 2004

I'm a schmuck too.  I feel bad about leaving (done it twice), and never once have asked for a raise, and always accepted the first offer given at a new job.

Can we form a support group?

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Just be gracious when you exit.  If they want to do an exit interview, LIE. Seriously, LIE.

Don't burn bridges.  Don't spout off about the stock options.  Don't make inflammatory comments about the CEO.

Exit interviews never change how things are run in a company and never have any adverse effect on poor managers.  But they can have a bad effect on you if you tell the truth.

Bad reputations have been created by people who leave ungraciously, even if they were the best employee while on board.

good luck
Thursday, January 29, 2004

No need to "soften the blow".  While you get along with your current boss remember the mantra..."It's not personal, it's business".

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Agreed re: exit interviews.  Honesty is great if A) you actually get a chance to talk to someone higher up the food chain than you normally would and B) you're leaving on basically good terms, because you're moving or going back to school or such.

In an environment like that, I don't have much expectation that they'll ever change their ways.  That's why you're leaving, right?  If you hate their guts, they probably know it and obviously they never cared before...  And if they don't know yet, it certainly is easier all round to leave without informing them.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

The best way to handle exit interviews in a situation like this is to always be busy and miss appointments. They're the only ones who gain from it, and obviously avoiding it is better than lying through your teeth.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

You have a new baby and a partner.  You are all under enough pressure without adding more from a job you are not happy with.  Get out.  Your family is what really counts.  Come home each night happy and everyone will benefit.

Been there.

David Freeman
Thursday, January 29, 2004

Assuming you're in the U.S. and you're at "at-will" employee (no specific time-period contract), then your company can and may fire you with 0 days notice at any time.

I saw that here at my biotech company; we've had two rounds of layoffs in the past 2 years.  Mgmt is very good here, and they were sorry as hell, and I think they did the right thing for the long-term health of the company -- but none of that changes the fact that reliable, competent employees with good attitudes and several years' tenure were laid off one morning, told to clear their desks by noon, and escorted out the door by HR.

If they can fire you at any time, you can certainly quit at any time!  Two-weeks notice is professional and courteous, they don't need more.

Biotech coder
Thursday, January 29, 2004

"we've had two rounds of layoffs in the past 2 years.  Mgmt is very good here, and they were sorry as hell"

So sorry that any of them fell on their own swords?

Friday, January 30, 2004

Remember that an employer/employee relationship is a one-for-one exchange - you get dollars for work performed. There is *never* any type of future expectation, unless it's contractually provided for.

Remember that when the company decides they no longer need you, giving you two weeks of severance pay is generally a premium on "lawsuit insurance" - it's to try to fend off any unjust termination suits.

What does giving them more time accomplish? Nothing. They'll just spend more time milking everything they can out of you. I was an independent contractor primarily for a single client for 18 months before I came to work at Microsoft. I gave him two weeks' notice which became four weeks due to the hiring process.

Now, two months later, I *still* get requests from him to fix bugs.

So give your two weeks' notice and leave with a clean conscience.


Friday, January 30, 2004

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