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pressure from employer to stay, after resigning

I resently told my manager that i was resigning.  I had felt that I waited for an okay time to leave, since in managements minds there never is a truly good time.  Plus I couldn't time it perfectly.  The one job I wanted happened to come by at this particular time.  And I tried my best to make sure my deliverables where done and easily picked up by someone else.

My employer suddenly approved a salary increase, and talked to me for hours, over a 3 day period.  It was mentioned that I was leaving at a bad time.  They asked that if I must leave, leave a couple of weeks later than I hade planned.  I had already extended my 2 wks notice to 3 wks.  I felt like I could please both sides, but the extra weeks did not sit well with my new employers.  So I told my former empoyers that 3 wks is all I can give them.  My former employers counter offered and I told them it was not the money.  They tried harder to keep me, so I felt like the only way to have them understand my situation was to tell them that I felt mistreated by fellow employees.
They could only offer to move me into a different position to avoid those people.  But I knew that would mean I still needed to fully complete a task that required future interactions with the ones I had bad experiences.

The final arguement for me to stay longer was that I was leaving a bad impression to my fellow coworkers.  I was told in so many words, that I had abandoned them and would hurt my chances with possible future encounters.  I felt so pressured and thought that it was not fair to do that to me.  I tried my best to not make my leaving appear that way.  I worked extra hard to make everything I did easily understandable and organized for anyone to pick up.  I still bad about what was said and can't stop thinking about what happened.  When I finally stated that I can't give more notice, I saw the most upset face when they walked away.  It's like giving a team my all and in the end they turn their back and say it's not good enough.  I felt like I did my best to be professional during the whole time I felt pressured.  But in the end I guess I burnt a bridge.

What did I do wrong?

Thursday, July 1, 2004

Your boss would feel like scum (or not) if he was told you had to be let go, but he would do it. Don't feel so bad, life goes on for everybody involved.
Thursday, July 1, 2004

It's business and it always will be.  Unless he is promising you a life time contract, you have to look out for yourself. 

Also be warned that if you stay, they will decide when you go and they will be deciding without you.  Even if you changed your mind and decided to stay long term, you would not be trusted.  You strayed and who knows when you might again.

Business is business. 

Thursday, July 1, 2004

What you did wrong is that you did not understand
the truth of power relationships.

You suffer from having a "slave mentality." The king knows
how to keep their slaves in line through emotional
manipulation that they are largely immune to.  Fire
cannot burn itself.

You burned a bridge with the king because you were
disloyal. Obedience is assumed and they get piqued
when the illusion of control wavers.

The other slaves understand, so don't worry about them.
Hopefully you can start an underground railroad.

son of parnas
Thursday, July 1, 2004

There are no favours in capitalism!

the artist formerly known as prince
Thursday, July 1, 2004

Son of Parnas is exactly right, if politically incorrect.  Your employer knows you are expensive to replace.  He's got you pegged as being a "loyal employee" and he's using every emotional manipulation tactic he knows to create fear and guilt and appeal to your misplaced sense of "responsibility" or obligation.

It's just business: you work, he pays.  You owe neither him nor the company your loyalty.  Loyalty ends with your last paycheck.

Tell him you've enjoyed working there but that it's time for you to move on.

And your co-workers?  If you stay, they will lose respect for you because they will know you caved in.  We just had someone leave, at a rather bad time.  No hard feelings from the rest of us -- we knew for a while he'd been looking, and we wished him well.  Does it impact our product, and the company?  Sure.  But it's just business.

Should be working
Thursday, July 1, 2004

Recall what Just Sir said:

It's business.  "red tooth and claw".

Tell him that.

Thursday, July 1, 2004

This reaction from your manager confirms your decision and highlights why you should go ASAP.

Your value and contribution to the business was obviously extremely important, and yet the business failed to compensate or reward you well for that. Now you decide to leave they try the other options.

Worse, they try to put the guilt trip on you.

Should you be so stupid as to give in to their demands, you can be sure they would be plotting to get rid of as soon as they can replace you. Probably they would take delight in getting even with you over this, to establish that they're in charge.

You should clear your desk, tell them you're going now, and offer to do consulting for three weeks at $10,000 per week, payable in advance, and that you will require your own office.

Thursday, July 1, 2004

It's really unfair what your employer is trying to do to you. Run, don't walk! It's too late for them to try to be "fair," and what's worse, if you fall for their new tactics, they will continue to take advantage of you.

Thursday, July 1, 2004

Yes, I agree with everyone else.

If they wanted to keep you so bad, then they should have given you raises and promotions all along -- rather than begging and manipulating to stay when you are about to leave!

Friday, July 2, 2004

Honestly, if an employer tried to hotbox me the way they've done to you, I'd curtail the notice back to two weeks.  If your remaining time was so precious to them, then why'd they burn 3 days of it applying the pressure tactics instead of letting you work.

You need to go into your boss's office and tell him that your last day will be 2 weeks from the notice date.  If you don't feel comfortable being blunt, then lie.  Tell them that the new company needs you ASAP, which probably isn't a lie.

Don't worry about burning bridges because your old boss has already done that.

Yet another anon
Friday, July 2, 2004

The only mistake you made was extending your notice to 3 weeks instead of sticking with your original two weeks. 

general confusion
Friday, July 2, 2004

Your only real mistake was to care, which although nice was not really appropriate, in the circumstances.

As others have mentioned, your loyalty should be to yourself and your family, not your employer/boss/co-workers.

It is just a business, although sometimes we treat it as more like a family kind of relationship. This is nice and cosy in the good times, it fosters lots of good feelings, but in bad times it just makes everything too difficult.

I know its a tough lesson to learn, I've been there a couple of times myself. But, at the end of the day, you have to walk away. You can't dedicate your whole life to the company, as they will not return this loyalty. When the time comes, they'd happily fire you and all your years of dedication will count for absolutely nothing.

Steve Jones (UK)
Friday, July 2, 2004

1. There's no such thing as "the perfect time" if you wait for it. "The pefect time" only exists if you take it now.

2. Your loyalty is to your new employer now. Don't screw with them, but the fact that you're giving your old employer an extra week may look good because they see you're loyal and care.

3. If you were fired or "downsized" they'd get along without you just fine. You left for a reason. Remember that.

4. Why are you worried about the impressions of your co-workers? What bridges do you think you'll be burning? Why do you care so much about some non-existant possible version of the future where the only possible people who can employ you are your former co-workers?

If you worked hard while you were there, nobody will begrudge you for jumping ship if a sweeter offer came your way. Is your old employer really so powerful that they can say "You'll never work in this town again" like an old hollywood movie?

5. This is one of my cardinal rules of business & dealing with sales people. Once emotions enter in to the picture, something is terribly wrong. Get out of that situation as fast as you can, you're being swindled.

6. Don't believe everything your employers tell you, and especially don't let them make you believe anything different about yourself.
Friday, July 2, 2004

If they were laying *you* off and you tried to appeal to *their* sense of loyalty they would probably either laugh or worse ask you to accept being laid off as an act of loyalty to the colleagues that you left behind. Both approaches make me sick.

Depending on where you work, you will have various rights as an employee which last until the day that you leave. It may be that in threatening to damage your future prospects the company is actually breaking the law or is harassing. The latter may be the case if they are making assertions about your moral worth to your team-mates and/or causing you personal distress. If they are calling you disloyal and not crediting you with the attempts that you have made to soften the blow then their actions are calculated to prejudice you and may be actionable.

Friday, July 2, 2004

Your mistake was agreeing to extent your 2 week notice period. They had no right to ask for, or expect that and by giving it to them you gave a strong signal that you lacked both the confidence in, and strength of, your convictions.

Give them an inch and they will take a mile.

Mr Jack
Friday, July 2, 2004

"OK - but my new employer won't wait that long. Tell you what, if you agree to go on paying me in the interim after I leave until I find another new job, yeah I'll do it. Oh yeah, and I'll need indemnification against this place going bust. And of course, I won't be in the office because I'll be at home job-hunting."

They won't go for it. And neither do I suggest you do it.

But management faces look so much better when they're purple and spluttering.

Katie Lucas
Friday, July 2, 2004

"This reaction from your manager confirms your decision and highlights why you should go ASAP. "

Well said.

The only response from management that MIGHT sway me is if they simply asked "is there anything we can do to make you stay?"

BTW, everytime I've been been thinking of changing jobs I FIRST let my boss know how I feel and ask for what I want.

Then, when the right job comes along, I don't need to discuss it with my employer, because the issue is already settled: I gave them a chance to meet my needs, they chose not to. If they did it NOW, I wouldn't trust it to last. I get to leave with a guilt-free conscience AND it's INCREDIBLY satisfying to calmly quit with no discussion. I can always say : "I let you know how I felt 3 months ago. You had all that time to change and you did nothing."

Mr. Analogy
Friday, July 2, 2004

Just ask yourself a few questions......

Why hadn't the salary been approved before you handed you notice in?

You extended your notice from 2 to 3 weeks as a goodwill jesture. Did the recognise this?. No matter what you offered them that wouldn't be happy.

You've left your deliverables so they can be picked up be someone else. Has this been recognised by your current employers?

Ian H.
Friday, July 2, 2004

When you give notice, your boss has 2 things to do ASAP:

1. Get you to stay longer
2. Start shopping for your replacement

Look at it this way - you're basically firing the company.  That very same at-will contract that lets them kick you out with 2 minutes notice gives you the same right - only out of professional courtesy does anyone stay for that 2 weeks.

If they've already shown that they will be totally unwilling to give you a good reference (making you sing & dance for a godd reference doesn't count), then make a deal with your new employer to start as quickly as possible, and jump ship.

BTW - The "lame duck" time b/w giving notice and actually leaving is awkward and weird 99% of the time - get used to it.

Greg Hurlman
Friday, July 2, 2004

You did not do anything wrong. The reasons they want you to stay are not good ones from your perspective:

1 - You are grossly underpaid and they know it. Big pay raises to keep you are a strong indicator of this.

2 - You are leaving on your schedule and not theirs. Once you have proved your "disloyalty" by wanting to leave, they will replace you as soon as they can, unless one of the other conditions is met. The bit about wanting you to stay a couple more weeks/months is a strong indicator of this one.

3 - They are incompetant at finding skilled, competant employees. At my current office, one of the owners has a little plaque stating something like "if you keep looking for people who think outside of the box, you should get rid of the box."

Next time someone tries the "think of the children/co-workers" guilt trip on you, you might want to make a remark about not having packed your bags for that guilt trip. You might want to look at some books on "office politics" to get an idea of what was being thrown at you and what you might see in the future. Many companies will walk you to the door (if not immediately, then the next day) when you give your notice. When you plan to give your notice, a smart thing would be to take home all your personal belongings the day before. More than once I saw someone walked to the door, and their personal effects (photos, plants) destroyed or trashed that day.

Books that might help:
Throwing the elephant
the psychology of persuation
what would machiavelli do
never be lied to again
how to work for a jerk
never work for a jerk
48 laws of power
the psychology of influence

Friday, July 2, 2004

"Nothing personal, this is just a business decision". That's what they will say to you when you are layed off.  It's what you should internalize and say to them.

If you do stay you'd better really be irreplaceable to them, because they started looking for a way to replace you the moment you even hinted you might leave.

Jim Howard
Friday, July 2, 2004

Only way I'd stay is if I can bang all the hot chicks in marketing and I get a leather chair, a kick-ass laptop system, a kick-ass desktop system with flat screen monitor,  an expense account, a company car, and everyone including management must address me as "Your Eminence".

All in all, I'm not asking for much. :-P

Friday, July 2, 2004

> What did I do wrong?

I've read many comments like Jim's above, and took them to heart.

So when I resigned recently, I thought about my decision carefully before-hand, and decided in my own mind that I *was* going to go through with resigning, no matter what they might say to me when I told them so.

When the time came and I told my manager I "am going to resign my position", he asked me why (I had an answer, one that talked about my new opportunity without disparaging the people I was leaving), and he asked what he could do to change my mind (different working conditions, different project, ...): and to that I said that my mind was made up, and that "my resigning wasn't intended as a negotiating tactic".

I actually gave them two month's notice: because the scheduled end of my current project was then two months away, and because in my employment contract I had agreed to give two month's notice; I subsequently made sure I that I did actually finish the project within those next two months.

So, what I was doing was legal and ethical, and I believe we all knew that, and nobody complained about it. We eventually parted with the bridge unburned.

They stopped even mildly trying to talk me out of it when I handed in my letter of resignation (in duplicate: one to my manager and one to HR), which I did 15 minutes after I told my manager in person for the first time. There's something about putting the thing in writing that makes the decision seem final.

Christopher Wells
Friday, July 2, 2004

Fuck 'em.

Loyalty is dead on both sides of the employment equation and it the primarily the employers that killed it.  So fuck 'em.  Don't even give it a second thought.  Also, you shouldn't have given them the extra week.

Mr Fancypants
Friday, July 2, 2004

I think it's incredibly demeaning to offer a raise after you announce that you're quitting. They're treating you like a chump. Get the heck out of there.

However, I wouldn't burn my bridges, just be firm that you've made up your mind. Who knows, you may be working with these people again at a different company.

Friday, July 2, 2004

Your biggest mistake was to give your employer a third week's worth of work without asking for anything in return. If I was in your shoes, I probably would have asked for a written letter of recommendation from my boss in return for staying an extra week.

Giving two weeks notice is not a requirement on your part it is simply a common courtesy.

Friday, July 2, 2004

Thanks to everyone for their responses.  It's good to know that I did not fall for their games, and stood my groudn.  I only gave them 3 wks notice because the second wk was a mandatory shutdown.  I felt that just because I management did this, I shouldn't punish the person who's going to take over my work.

I would like to put a twist on this topic and see what everyone thinks.  What if this was 1 or 2 or 3 wks from a major release?  It's always been an unwritten rule to leave after certain milestones.  But by what I am reading, it doesn't seem to be the case anymore?

Also, any managers out there want to give there take on this?

Friday, July 2, 2004

I will wait to complete a major milestone, at least if I'm utterly essential to the project, and make sure there's somebody else to take over.  But if the empolyer is acting inappropriately, then they get exactly what my contract and basic professionalism require, and not ten minutes more.

I'm glad you told 'em to stuff it.  Your story is full of all kinds of danger signals; it sounds like you were dealing with a first-class manipulator, and you ultimately handled the situation professionally.

J. Random Hacker
Saturday, July 3, 2004

You should hang in until the scheduled release date if one is less than a month or two. BUT, just because they miss the date doesn't mean you need to stay any longer. Give them 2 wks notice 2 wks before the deadline. Say "July 25, when the project is scheduled to be completed will be my last day." Be forewarned that when they miss the deadline due to management incompetancce having nothing to do with you that they will phone the client and say "It is out of our contral, this asshole employee of ours got up and quit just before delivery." Don't let that bother you, that's just them pointing fingers.

Dennis Atkins
Saturday, July 3, 2004

It's the *manager's* job to worry about meeting deadlines, not yours.

If the manager has such poor scheduling or work environments that vital staff leave, that's the manager's and the company's problem. The manager and the company are being paid much more than you, so please don't go shouldering their problems for them.

Management material
Saturday, July 3, 2004

As a manager, it's my job to plan the project and be sure that I can cover forseen eventualities like someone leaving or going long term sick.

I would also say that if the project is properly managed, there is no reason why someone leaving the week before a deadline should be an insurmountable issue. I shouldn't need the specific skills of one person because if I do that implies that my design is non-standard, or that someone has coded me into a inappropriate hole, or that the system is too complex for end users to understand anyway, or that there are so many bugs that it needs very specialised knowledge to unpick them. If I manage my projects like that, I deserve what I get and I shouldn't be suprised if my staff leave.

Monday, July 5, 2004


If this project is so darn important, what are they doing having mandatory shutdowns for?

dot for this one
Monday, July 5, 2004

I know after I answer this one, y'all know why I had been wanting to leave.  Many of you probably guessed due the clue that there is a shutdown during the week of July 4th.  It has been a recurring thing now for quite a few years here at Sun.  Since they are requiring us to acutally take vacation or time off w/o pay during this week, I'm gonna take it and enjoy it.

Tuesday, July 6, 2004

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