Monday, February 10, 2014

How NOT to Accept a Resignation

I kind of think of blogging as story-telling, so here's one...

In 2006, I quit my first professional job. It was nerve-racking. I had never quit a job before. I mean, I left several jobs in college, but always because it was the end of the school year, or the beginning of the school year, end of break, etc... but never left a "real" job.

So I quit. I gave five weeks notice (holy moly, I really could have done with like, three.) My vice-president was disappointed, but informed the CEO that I was leaving.

Apparently, the CEO's response was "what will it take for her to stay?"

OK, so that's really flattering, but also really dangerous, right? I mean, if I say, "oh, pay me this much more and I'll stay," that doesn't make for a very loyal employee, does it? That certainly wasn't going to set me up for future success, and frankly, at that point in my life, I wasn't interested in staying, more money or not.

So then the CEO called me into his office.

And that's when things got weird.

The CEO ushered me in to his office, and followed behind me. He stood between me and the door, and, I kid you not, said "I have two sets of handcuffs, where do you want them?"

Want to guess what I immediately thought?

Well, I didn't say THAT out loud, but what CAN you say out loud? I fumbled around with some words, all the while thinking "how do I get out of here?" and "holy cow, he's blocking the door!" I actually sat at his conference table and talked with him. I have no memory of what I said, something about "it's just time for me to try something new," and thinking "this is yet another reason I have to get the heck out of here, RIGHT NOW." He kept chuckling, but also saying something about wanting to keep me there...I finally got out of his office, walked across the hall, and reported the whole, creepy incident to the HR Director.

I don't suggest trying to keep your employees by threatening to chain them up, and then laughing about it, but continuing to say creepy things.

Epilogue: Two months later, the CEO was fired. I got a phone call from a friend at my former work, saying "You can come back now."

I  didn't go back.

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