Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Going Beyond the 2 Week Notice?

Cliff posted more than 8 years ago | from the strung-along-by-old-job dept.

Businesses 252

rovingeyes asks: "Immediately after graduating about two and a half years ago, I joined a local website design and hosting company that was looking for software developers. But soon disaster struck. The chief developer/systems administrator left the company soon after I joined and after a month of his leaving another developer quit, which meant that I was the only developer left in the company. Now for almost 2 years I have been taking care of pretty much everything from systems administration to end-user technical support to development. And after a long time I realized that the growth potential in this company is pretty limited. So I decided to look for other jobs and immediately got multiple offers. Now my boss wants 6 weeks notice plus on call service for another 3 months at subsidized rates. Is my boss being reasonable?""Since I am the only developer in the company, I thought giving a 4 week notice instead of 2 would be reasonable, but this happened. Another requirement he added was the need that I be on-call if any disaster strikes with the server infrastructure. Now this is my first real job ever and I don't know how to respond to it. I normally don't outsource, even though the money is good, because I don't want to compromise my current duties. My boss knows this.

Thus this question to my fellow Slashdot readers: Is my boss being reasonable? I can understand his view point of losing the only developer/systems administrator in the company. But I don't think I am bound by any law that I should provide those kinds of services (since we have no contract in place). Should I negotiate or just ignore them? Is a burnt bridge worth it?"

cancel ×

252 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Are you mad? (5, Insightful)

cjsnell (5825) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017569)


You don't owe your employer anything. Two weeks notice is being reasonable. Four weeks notice is being professional. Anything beyond that is uncalled for unless your employer has been really nice to you over the years.

Tell this guy to take his "subsidized rates" and shove 'em.

Re:Are you mad? (4, Insightful)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017744)

2 weeks would be acceptable, 4 weeks is about right, especially since this is a startup and you have been crucial. Then again, it doesn't sound as if he's really treated you as a key person.

As to his expectations, he's trying to cover his fanny for being stupid enough to run this way. He should never have had you as the sole techie., or if he did, he should have been working on golden handcuffs. (Even there, he's gotta have a backup plan. What if you got hit by a tiny comet?)

I'd ask myself a couple of questions at this point.

1) How has he treated me overall?
2) What do I want at this point-- extra work and money, or to get on with life and have some free time?

Those should help you decide what to do.

Personally, I would not be likely to do what he asks, even if the boss was my best friend, unless the compensation was very, very good.

And as other have said. don't sign anything!

Re:Are you mad? (5, Informative)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018165)

The above post says about 90% of what you need to know. They had at least 3 people (you, the head dev, and the other guy), lost one, kept going, lost another, kept going, and suddenly you're doing the work of at least 3 people. Oh, boy I bet the boss was happy! He paid you 1x for 3x the work! He took advantage of you for a good long while.

So it's his fault. He did not plan ahead. No employee is forever, and by keeping only one developer on, he made you indespensable. If he had treated you like you were indespensable, you would have better working conditions and better pay.

He looked out for himself by working you as hard as he could and not hiring anyone to work with you. Now it's time for you to look out for yourself. He can ask for all he wants. He's just covering his ass and I don't blame him for it. That doesn't mean you have to give it to him. He should be down on his knees thanking God you are willing to give him more than 2 weeks, or that you didn't just walk out on him.

Re:Are you mad? (5, Interesting)

DShard (159067) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017785)

I disagree, two weeks notice is a professional curtesy and four weeks means your a doormat. It is, quite frankly, entirely the former employers problem. The lack of foresight and employee concern this boss seems to portray is indicative of what most likely mean a dead company.

to the poster:
You never want to work there or for that boss again, so go nuts with it. Tell them to eat you. They did the same thing during your time there and with this request. If you already have other things lined out don't even give the boss two weeks (unless you have accrued vacation, then take that for pay). If they say anything other than "rehirable" to a future employer sue them (hehe, ok that may be going overboard.)

I have been in a similar situation and as long as you have something lined up, the rest doesn't matter.

More important than bending over and taking it is not to complain about it at your next job. The last thing new management/coworkers want to hear about is how crappy your last boss was. It makes you look bad and not them.

Re:Are you mad? (2, Insightful)

itwerx (165526) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018013)

Disregard the parent. The IT industry is as incestuous as any other and burned bridges *will* come back to haunt you.
As for the notice, I've given as much as six months (for bosses I liked :). I've never, ever quit with less than two weeks though, even working with what turned out to be complete idiots/assholes.
As for the subsidized on-call, that just depends on how much free time you'll have and if you feel like doing it or not. (Also depends on what exactly "subsidized" means?!?)

Re:Are you mad? (3, Insightful)

itwerx (165526) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018053)

As a follow-up to the on-call, get it all in writing in case it becomes a legal matter! Also make them sign some kind of waiver etc. Finally, since it is on-call, in addition to whatever you decide to charge them you might also consider a retainer. Finally, since they seem to like you so much and it doesn't sound like you really hate them you could think about doing a longer term support contract (charging enough to make it worth your while of course! :).

Re:Are you mad? (4, Insightful)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018334)

Not only get the on-call stuff in writing (if you decide to do it at all), but also make it clear to them (and make sure this is in writing), that your new job takes priority, so you are not available when you are at the new job, whether it's regular hours, overtime, or even on-call time. Also make it clear if this old boss pages you, and while working on their systems, you get paged by the new company, that the new company takes priority.

Re:Are you mad? (2, Interesting)

DShard (159067) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018272)

Disregard the parent.

Nice... a page right out of "How to make friends and influence people".

The IT industry is as incestuous as any other and burned bridges *will* come back to haunt you.

I've given as much as six months


As nice as it is to wear foil hats, at some point you just have to admit you have a fetish. A lack of backbone is great in a lackey but is horrid any step further up the corporate ladder.

Re:Are you mad? (1, Offtopic)

lscoughlin (71054) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018363)

Being a dick, and being a vertebrate, are not equitable.

It's a shame more people don't realize that.

It's a shame that people who don't realize that try to advise others to be a dick in the and call it "having backbone".

It is mildly amusing though.

Re:Are you mad? (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017985)

Tell this guy to take his "subsidized rates" and shove 'em.
This is the part that has me scratching my head. This boss is either an incredible idiot, or there's some factor we don't know about. He's just not in any position to make that kind of demand unless there's some kind of employment contract in play.

If there is such a contract, the guy needs a labor lawyer, stat. But if the boss's logic is "I need this, therefore you owe it to me," the obvious answer is, "Fuck you. It's two weeks notice and I'm out of here." A fair, responsible employer deserves better than that (basically, one should stick around for a reasonable period to help find and train the new guy). But that's not this company. They've been mismanaging their human resources, and don't want to take responsibility for it. They're no reason an ex-employee should make any sacrifice to help them out.

Its a courtesy.. (1)

huber (723453) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017585)

You can leave the same day if you want. I have quite jobs and left the same day. Its a courtesy to you boss and coworkers. thats all.

Re:Its a courtesy.. (4, Insightful)

glk572 (599902) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017804)

I've been hired and quit within the same hour. Telemarketing sucks.

As for the on call, go for it, write your own new contract, demand at least $50 an hour including drive time. You don't owe them anything but if they want to keep you on call there's no reason not to turn it to your advantage.

For those who think that this is an unreasonable amount, call a plumber, locksmith, electrician, repairman, any on call professional has the right to demand whatever the market will bear; and considering that these people seem to have had recruiting problems they may scoff at first, but when the shit hits the fan they'll come running.

Even better wait to negotiate a new contract until they're having an emergency.

I mean worst case they're going to say no, and if they say yes $$$

Re:Its a courtesy.. (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018066)

I wonder if this may be the very first time on slashdot that a "???" didn't come before "PROFIT!"

Re:Its a courtesy.. (1)

PranksterJD (689389) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018142)

I wonder if this may be the very first time on slashdot that a "???" didn't come before "PROFIT!"

Well I'm hoping he didn't go through all this to take a pay cut, so I'd imagine profit is in there somewhere.

Re:Its a courtesy.. (2)

squant0 (553256) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018191)

$50 per hour?

I know some software consultants that have only a few years experience that are making over $125/hour that work over 40 hours/week for companies. The least that should be demanded is what normal software consultants make, push up to over $100/hour (the drive time thing's a good idea too ;)

Re:Its a courtesy.. (1)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018285)

$50 an hour????

I get $60 an hour for doing psychic readings. For this kind of service I'd think he should be charging at least $85 or $100 an hour, probably more like $150. If the boss doesn't like it, he doesn't have to pay it. This guy is moving on, having to learn new systems and deal with a lot of other things in life. To have to be on call like that when he's trying to get out is a big weight to carry.

If the boss doesn't like it, he doesn't have to call him and pay the $150/hour.

Welcome to at-will employment (4, Insightful)

bconway (63464) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017588)

You never mentioned being under contract, so I'll assume you aren't. That being said, this is business, you owe your old company nothing, and it owes you nothing. They could fire you at any point for any (non-illegal) reason, and you can quit at any time. Two weeks is a _courtesy_ you are giving the company, when you are required to give none. Settle for anything more and you're being duped.

Re:Welcome to at-will employment (4, Insightful)

nocomment (239368) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017685)

He actually did mention that he is _not_ under contract. I think it's unreasonable for a boss to say that 6 weeks is a "requirement". I think the asker is screwed anyway, and the bridge is burned. Get out of there and don't look back. I have a lot of bosses who would give me a bad reference simply because I moved on. If you found a new job, ask the new job when they need you and tell your boss the requirements of the new job. Most employers understand the 2 week courtesy and will let you start after a couple weeks to tie things up at your new job. Slightly offtopic: I had a boss once who refused to talk to me or even look at me after I put in my two weeks. That was really uncomfortable. If it's a situation like that just bail.

Re:Welcome to at-will employment (5, Interesting)

DustMagnet (453493) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017907)

I have a lot of bosses who would give me a bad reference simply because I moved on.

I know you're on my foe list, but this isn't personal, I promise.

I find your statement very strange. I've never seen a single bad reference (I hear most people fear giving a bad references for legal reasons). If you've had multiple previous bosses trash you, maybe there is something wrong with you?

Like I said, I'm not trying to make this a personal attack, but I've just never heard of someone with multiple bad references.

It makes me think of something I read in an AARP magazine (inlaw's, I hate AARP). It was an article about, "How do I know if I'm a bad driver." One thing on the list was, "Do people honk at you more than they used to."

Please don't take this as an insult. I've read a number of your recent posts and can't see how you made it on my foe list other than the one that started with a lower case letter. Sorry, I'm a nut.

Re:Welcome to at-will employment (3, Funny)

TheAngryMob (49125) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017760)

"Non-illegal?" Is that the same as "legal?"

Re:Welcome to at-will employment (1)

Tom7 (102298) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017772)

Is no no the same as yes?

Re:Welcome to at-will employment (1)

DukeLinux (644551) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017769)

Most employers will not give you 5 minutes notice. I work in PA which is an "at will" State, which means that legally no notice or reason is legally required. You simply give you employer back any property that belongs to them and walk out. They call that burning bridges but almost every company that I ever worked for and gave "professional" notice to had a policy of never hiring back a person who leaves no matter what. Screw them. They certainly will screw you when the time is right.

no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12017591)

Sounds like it'd be burning a bridge to a sinking ship. Do what's best for your career.

he can't ask you to do everything.. (3, Funny)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017592)

..that he just feels like. besides, what's he going to do if you don't do everything like he says? fire you?-)

read your contract. check with your union(or some commie) friend what's legal and what's not. and if you really want to be a bitch.. tell him that you'll gladly consult him with problems for a 'nominal'(very high) fee afterwards.

Re:he can't ask you to do everything.. (1)

BlueFashoo (463325) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018149)

Actually, he can ask you to do everything that he jsut feels like. He just can't reasonably expect you to comply.

What he said (1)

Richard (5962) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017598)

At-will doesn't always work both ways, but in this case feel free.

They can fire you without any severance - you can quit without any notice, if you want.

Anything above that is gravy.

-Richard Campbell.

The first rule of quit club (1)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017600)

DON'T SIGN ANYTHING!

No matter what, don't sign any contract, agreement, notice, any piece of paper they hand you. Just grab your box of stuff and walk out of the door.

Re:The first rule of quit club (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017965)

Sounds like there's a story behind that. Who screwed you, and how?

Give him the two weeks because you're nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12017607)

And every day after that, your rate goes up. If he needs you for six weeks, he's going to pay for it.

Do you even need to ask? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12017611)

Maybe you're just looking for reassurance, but it's quite clear that you already know the answer. Your boss is being incredibly unreasonable and is taking advantage of you since he probably views you as a naive college grad. If he needs three months of on-call service, perhaps he should quit being so tight-fisted and hire some new employees?

Give your two week notice, take the new job and don't look back.

No (1)

tsho (129531) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017612)

absolutely

You are not bound by any law (5, Insightful)

CarlinWithers (861335) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017621)

But it would be much better if you kept on his good side for the reference and ability to keep this as positive work experience on your resume.

Use the fact that you are only legally required to give him 2 weeks notice and nothing else as leverage. Then offer him to do what you think is reasonable. Maybe that's only giving him 1 month notice if a new job doesn't give you freedom to be on call for him. Maybe that means being on call only at times you set. Or maybe you can just offer to train the next guy for a little while.

Offer what you think you should be required to do after reminding your boss that you are not obliged to do anything. This might lower your bosses unreasonable expectations.

Re:You are not bound by any law (2, Interesting)

CarlinWithers (861335) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017665)

BTW, I'm reading a lot of people posting 2 weeks isn't neccesary. It is here in Canada, but I guess it's not in the US.

Re:You are not bound by any law (1)

DShard (159067) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017824)

Does that go both ways?

Re:You are not bound by any law (1)

damiangerous (218679) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018012)

Yes [hrsdc.gc.ca] , as long as you've been there three months (and a few other exceptions you would expect).

Re:You are not bound by any law (1)

twilight30 (84644) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017990)

Well, here in the UK, 4 weeks is customary at a minimum. When I worked in Canada it was as you say. Usually these kinds of things are spelled out in the contract, here at least, but given that the poster appears to be in an 'at-will' state, he actually has a lot more leverage than he realises.

I wouldn't let the boss get away with proposing that kind of crap. If he were employing people here in Europe, he'd be eligible for a nice business-breaking hauling before an industrial tribunal for his shitty practices.

The poster should get himself an attorney sharpish. You never know what kind of madness a prick like his boss would do if frustrated.

Re:You are not bound by any law (1)

Lord Dreamshaper (696630) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018156)

maybe I read the wrong stuff, but I checked it out for my own job about 4 yrs ago and found out that no notice was necessary in ontario. I'm pretty sure I found the info *on* the Ministry of Labour's website...

Re:You are not bound by any law (1)

rocketfairy (16253) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017890)

The poster is not legally required to give his boss two weeks' notice; that's a custom. The poster isn't under contract and could walk immediately, although I wouldn't recommend it.

As for the on-call business, give them a figure that would make it worth your while (plus 25% for good measure :). If the boss isn't willing to compensate you adequately, that isn't your problem, and you should be moving on to a job where you can develop your skills.

Re:You are not bound by any law (1)

Shiblon (25972) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017919)

But it would be much better if you kept on his good side for the reference and ability to keep this as positive work experience on your resume.

I disagree with these statements. Nothing you can do right now will change the value of the work experience you have so far gained. As for the reference, bosses usually make very poor references anyway. This is especially true of myopic startup bosses that get peeved when their techies leave.

Do you have any friendly co-workers that would give you a good reference? Most of the time the HR of a new job will call whomever you put on your reference list, and they'll ask what the relationship is if they care. My experience is that even if it's just someone you worked closely with, they'll take that as a good reference. I've gotten away with that countless times when I didn't feel comfortable with putting down a direct manager or boss as a reference. I've even put down people under my leadership as references, and it turns out that HR likes that even better when it applies.

In short, you have a lot of options when it comes to references, and it does sound like your boss is being extremely unreasonable. Walk away softly and don't touch anything, but don't worry about the references; you can be creative about those to good effect.

In a word... (1)

Spuffin (466692) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017623)

In a word, no.

Employment-at-will means you can be fired at any time and you can quit at any time, and neither require prior notice. In my opinion your boss is not being reasonable, but what do YOU think?

Simple answer (5, Insightful)

tdemark (512406) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017627)

Now my boss wants 6 weeks notice plus on call service for another 3 months at subsidized rates. Is my boss being reasonable?

No, he's not. Think about it, if they wanted to get rid of you would they give you 6 weeks notice?

Give him two weeks.

Anything beyond that should be charged per hour at the following rate:

(Your yearly salary * 2) / 2080

That's probably about 25-40% more than you cost them right now.

Any hours outside of 9 - 5 are at double-time. Minimum 4 hour charge.

- Tony

Re:Simple answer (1)

kwerle (39371) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017779)

Good answer, but a bit generous.

I'd go for 5*current salary for the 5th week, 6*current for the 6th week, etc. Make it all clear up front.

You said that 2 tech folks left after you joined, and that you're pretty much working alone. That means they've been getting some amount of tech work done for 1/3rd what it was costing them before those other 2 left.

Re:Simple answer (1)

Longstaff (70353) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017818)

The parent is right. Set the rates for any post-FT work up front and for what *you* want. The parent's numbers are spot on (although I'd go with a 1-2 hour min).

If you offered 4 weeks and they demanded 6, re-offer 4 firmly. If they hem or haw at all, drop it to 3 weeks, then 2, etc. Yes, a good reference will help you secure a better position, but at what cost? If you burn this bridge, the worst that they will be able to do is confirm start/end dates of employment and salary - it is *illegal* to badmouth you to any prospective employer.

I've burnt a bridge or two in my life. During a takeover that I worked through once, the new owners reassigned me to the corp HQ. Within 4 weeks, I knew this new position wasn't for me even though it was a step up. The management was clueless and made crazy demands. When I gave my notice, they pulled something similar to what you're going through. My response was "2 weeks and those are in my original office working for my old boss or I walk now".

I finished in the old office under my old boss.

Re:Simple answer (3, Informative)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018090)

It is NOT illegal to badmouth you to prospective employers, in so much as their statements are generally true. However, it is recommended that you not say anything bad because it exposes the company to liabilities, should the court feels you've exaggerated or lied. Often individual owners or simply sour bosses will ignore this advice, and it's up to you to figure that out.

So while it's not okay for former employers to spread lies about you so you never work in the town again, don't expect the law to cover up the fast that you've never been on time to work once, or that you were stealing more product than selling it.

Re:Simple answer (1)

Brown3y3 (810449) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018003)

Would have modded this up if I had the points. Unfortunately I don't.

Too many people in this industry whore out their skills for far too little compensation, and the idea of a subsidized rate is just outrageous. My advice would be give him two weeks and tell him to maybe actually hire a staff so one person leaving isn't so devastating.

Don't mod this up, it's just a rant from someone tired of seeing people get burnt by employers who don't take IT/Development seriously.

Re:Simple answer (1)

geohump (782273) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018341)

No, this boss is not being reasonable.

Note that this boss is unable to keep any technical employees for any length of time.

What does that say about how he/she has been treating you since the other guys left?

Two weeks notice is all you need to give to be courteous. If they get abusive or coercive in any fashion (even simply laying a guilt trip on you), reduce it to one week, then to no notice.

Any other work you want to do for them beyond the two weeks- charge $85-$100 per hour and require a four hour minimum for anything done at their site, and a one hour minimum for anything done remotely.

Since this small comapny seems to be pretty, umm, well lets just say that it may be likely that you can't trust them at all, you may want to require payment in advance for any work done.

Think of it this way ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12017633)

... any time commitment you make to this guy beyond your leave-date, you're taking away from the time and energy you can put forth to your new job. If I was taking on a new job, the last thing I'd want to worry about were problems with my old gig. It'll make a bad impression on your new manager if he or she catches wind of your split responsibilities. Make a clean break. Stay for whatever time you negotiate with your old manager, timing it when your new manager wants you to start ... and give yourself at least a couple days of breathing room to rest. A year from now, you won't care about your last position, and your current boss will have forgotten about you. Trust me ... it won't matter. He's trying to get what he can out of you because he's got nothing to lose for asking ... but you shouldn't tarnish an unestablished reputation with a new employer to satisfy your soon to be ex-boss.

Tell him where to go (nicely) (2, Informative)

grub (11606) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017636)


Is my boss being reasonable?

No. When you were hired you probably had the two-week clause which was applicable to you quitting or them firing. If your boss wanted to can you, he wouldn't give you 6 weeks notice and offer to send you reduced amounts of money for 3 months after.

Be firm and polite, don't burn that bridge.

No (1)

esme (17526) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017641)

Your boss is being completely unreasonable. I don't know where you are, and what your local laws are, but most states in the US are at will -- unless there is an explicit notice period in your job contract, you can walk away with zero notice.

My first real job out of university ended much like yours. I was the only one left in the company who could maintain their servers, and do several other things. (I also got a 20% pay cut with worthless private stock, which is taxed like income, for the other 20%). When I gave two weeks notice, the boss demanded four weeks notice, and all kinds of other things.

I told him I didn't have to give any notice and would walk that second if he didn't change his tune. Needless to say, he did.

You're the one in the position of strength -- don't let them bully you.

-Esme

Re:No (2, Insightful)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017774)

In the United States, slavery is illegal. You can leave at any time. Nobody can force you to work, either for money or for free.

Explain all (5, Insightful)

danbond_98 (761308) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017650)

I think the best thing to do is sit down with him and explain why it is that you think 4 weeks is more than generous, and why he should expect to pay a premium not a subsidised rate if he requires services post that. While i can appreciate not wishing to burn a bridge, i think at some point you've got to say that the effort required to go past polite and accomidate his wishes is too great. There is no point in upsetting him, but he needs to understand that you are the one with all of the aces in this situation.

Kids these days... (2, Insightful)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017676)

Are you serious?

All of this stress going through your head will dissapear about 15 minutes after your final day on this job ends. You know why? Because you DON'T WORK THERE ANYMORE and don't have to do anything they ask anymore.

He can't even make you stay longer than 2 weeks, unless you signed something to the contrary when you joined.

If you are interested in keeping him as a consulting client after you leave (although your message sounds like you'd rather NOT), then negotiate with him. Tell him you want to give two weeks notice, but will meet him in the middle and give him 4 in consideration of the fact that you will be doing consulting for him.

Remember, after you walk out that door, your energy, commitment, enthusiasm, and mind will be on your NEW JOB, not this old one.

I had a terrible job once (paid well though) that had me on beeper duty all times of day and night and weekends. I could have been an obstetrician if I had wanted that. On my final day there after my two weeks was up, my boss became irate with me because I wouldn't stay late my last Friday night there. I explained I was sorry that he had to stay late, but I didn't work there anymore. I wasn't being paid to be there. And then I left at 5pm for the first time in 2 years.

Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12017687)

You're not allowed to quit ... now go back to work and stop posting on Slashdot!

Dilbert called (1)

Binnecard (805950) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017690)

He wants to know where his boss went!

Depends on your jurisdiction (1)

CokeJunky (51666) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017691)

Although it is possible where you live there are different laws, most places make it so that you can't even contract out of a 2 or 3 week notice period -- otherwise it becomes too easy to create nearly indentured slavery type positions. Basically the only thing you risk is as you said: burning bridges.

If you don't need his reference, and the new position you wish to take it is that much better , I suggest you give your notice and go...

I usually at least do my best to spend those last few weeks documenting everything of importance, writing down or resetting passwords, and preparing lists of all the various tasks you do. This will answer most of the questions that a replacement might have (assuming they are worth their salt.)

He's nuts (2, Insightful)

Skalizar (676291) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017692)

Unless you signed something to the contrary (and even then its probably not enforceable (IANAL)), you can quit with no notice at all. Anything beyond that is negotiable, for the right price. It's hard to tell from the brief description, but it sounds like he was willing to let you keep working yourself to death and pocketing the savings by not hiring and training someone else. Very short sighted on his part now that you're leaving him high and dry. I'd tell him that if he needs you after you're gone, consulting rates are $150/hour, 2 hours mimimum and only if you're available.

Sucker (2, Insightful)

DustMagnet (453493) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017697)

Your boss is very reasonable. I mean he knows he's had you suckered for two years and figures he may as well get what he can out of you. This guy is not your friend. You might think he is, but it's clear he's been paying well below market rate for years. Why do you think he lost those other people? Now he's trying to guilt you into giving him something for nothing.

You're in charge now. If you want to work with him, fine, but do it from the position of power you have. You don't need him. He needs you.

I understand loyalty. I'm very loyal, but it doesn't sound like your boss deserves it.

No Obligations, but go and Negotiate. (1)

StupidEngineer (102134) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017700)

I believe that if you didn't sign a contract that forces you into extra support, you have no obligation to do any of it. You're not just picking up and leaving. And I think that your 4 week notice is fair enough.

But all in all, you could go ahead and negotiate with him into a future support contract if you really want. But be very clear on what you'll support, how much time you're going to spend, and when you'll be available for support calls. You may be able to get some additional $$$ from it.

Agreed length? (1)

DjReagan (143826) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017706)

This is the sort of thing that gets agreed on when you take the job. What notice period is specified in your contract? Anything longer than that is not reasonable. If there isn't one specified in your contract, usually 4 weeks seems to be common/reasonable.

Be a true professional - it will pay off. (1)

bryanp (160522) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017717)

Two weeks notice is for Joe Schmoe Employee. If you're a true professional and you're not leaving under negative circumstances you do more. When I left my employer of 15+ years* (I had been with them since I was 19 and in college) I gave them notice about 20 minutes after I accepted my new position. That was a bit over four weeks notice and I busted my hump to get all my project work up to date. When I left I was ahead of every one of my counterparts within the company from a "caught up" standpoint. I also offered to help them out evenings and on weekends if they really needed it as long as it didn't interfere with my new job.

As a result I am still on excellent terms with them. If something happened to my job today I know that there are people at my old employer who would find me something to do so I could pay my mortgage. And I still get to buy the company's product at the employee rate. :)

That said, don't let him screw you over too badly.

*I know your typical IT guy doesn't work at the same place 15 years. I've always been weird.

Re:Be a true professional - it will pay off. (1)

WebHostingGuy (825421) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018099)

I agree and would hire the previous poster in a heartbeat. Don't be so quick to burn your bridges. Your current employer is in a bind when you leave and they are asking for quite a lot (as many have pointed out). However, you can negotiate anything you wish. As a former employment litigation attorney I can tell you that the employees who leave on good terms rather than on bad terms have better work careers.

While your current employer might not have any have room for growth they might network with other executives who run companies who have growth. Just think about being a jackass to your current employer and then applying for a position in a new company a few years down the road and finding out the hiring manager knows the boss of your old company. Think you will be hired? Try again.

You don't have to be a slave to your old employer but you don't have to be a dick either. Sit down with the old employer and say this is what I can do, what would you like me to concentrate on before I leave? Ask them if they would need help in documenting any procedures before you leave or assist in the training of the new person before you can go. But don't leave yourself on call. You might want to leave yourself open to exchanging emails for a week but indicate to your old employer that your new employer will take priority.

Be honest and direct and both you and your employer will benefit. Let them know what to expect from you and know what you expect from them. Discussions like this will put you head and shoulders above the crowd.

No (1)

linuxwrangler (582055) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017737)

Unless you have a contract that stipulates that you do and even then probably not. Often companies offer generous severance to people that they terminate to get them to complete certain assignments (assisting with completion of a merger for instance). That's a different situation. I've never heard of someone being compelled to stay, at reduced rates no less, when they are quitting.

The company cheaped out. They paid you less than your market rate and they didn't hire sufficient backup. Then they insulted you by demanding even more work for less pay. If you want to reward that behaviour then stay otherwise leave now.

Think about it. They would not bat an eye at walking you out the door without any notice or severance if it suited them. You owe them no better.

Your boss' demand that you stay really makes it sound like you made the right choice to quit. Don't cover for him/her. Leave now and enjoy a few days rest before starting the new job. Don't sign anything. Enjoy your new job. Profit.

Your boss is trying to take advantage (4, Informative)

legLess (127550) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017746)

Now my boss wants 6 weeks notice plus on call service for another 3 months at subsidized rates. Is my boss being reasonable?"
As my dad used to say, "People in hell want ice water." Your boss has been taking advantage of you for two years, and he's trying to keep doing it.
Another requirement he added was the need that I be on-call if any disaster strikes with the server infrastructure.
"Requirement??" Unless you signed a contract allowing him to place arbitrary restrictions on your freedom (and, frankly, even then) he's in no place to require anything. "Ask politely while blowing money at you with a fire hose," maybe, but certainly not "require."
Should I negotiate or just ignore them? Is a burnt bridge worth it?"
If you do negotiate, remembe that when you leave it's his ass on the line, not yours. How much is his ass worth to him?

Personally I'd stick with two weeks and let him sink. Your offer of four weeks was very generous; you're not required to give him 5 minutes. His evil attempts to muscle you into doing something that is not in your best interests, or the interests of your new employer, should be repaid with a firm and polite, "I believe two weeks is customary. Best of luck finding someone new."

Charge them hard, make them bleed (1)

crstophr (529410) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017748)

They can't make you do jack. You can leave tomorrow with now warning, just don't come back.

However, sounds like you have a great opportunity to make some money. Figure out how much you're willing to suffer and then make them an offer.

You'll be "on call" and will do other work for them in your off time at $75/hr. If they don't like it, shrug, smile, and say "Best of luck to ya. Oh, and it's 80/hr tomorrow. 75 was a one time only offer." Now get up and leave.

Bet they stop you on the way out or call you at home soon after. You are in a great bargaining position. Do not let them intimidate you and if they try to fuck with you at all keep raising your rates. Be polite and professional the whole time.

Best of luck to you.

--Chris

Your boss is being completely reasonable (2, Insightful)

theantix (466036) | more than 8 years ago | (#12017751)

After all, it's his job to make things go smoothly after your depart -- why not try to cajole or guilt you into staying as long as possible? What isn't reasonable though is for you to fall for that -- give him the two weeks you are required to, and after that it's none of his business what you do.

No, he's not (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12018095)

Just because its your "job" to do something; doesn't make any action taken under that guise "reasonable".

That's so basic I am surprised even slashdot moderators failed to recognize it and modded you up.

Get out! (1)

NRP128 (710672) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017757)

I've not even made it to the naive college-grad stage yet (just the naive college kid right now) and i can tell you that if you have better offers and you're not in a LEGALLY BINDING contract (your signature on a cocktail napkin is more binding than some agreements i've seen (including apartment leases)) with your current employer i'd give him the 2 weeks, 4 if you want to be nice and show a new college grad the ropes, and get the hell out.

Unless he's willing to pay competitive rates for your consulting work (which is what your on-call stuff would be) then by all means serve whatever purpose he needs and charge his ass as much as you can get away with.

If he's not willing to pay the money then tell him to find another sucker. What's he going to do? sue you? Where's he gonna win at? Fairyland State Court is out of session right now. If he DID sue you, just file a counter suit and when you win you get even MORE money AND you get your lawyer fees paid (i think...depends on the charge)

His nuts in a salad shooter (1)

n1ywb (555767) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017759)

It sounds like the company will probably tank if you leave on short notice. Unless you've documented everything extremely well.

Unless there's something you haven't mentioned, your boss has no legal recourse, so you're basicly free to do whatever. But do you really want to fuck him? Thats up to you I guess.

If I were you, I would stay long enough to hire and train a replacement. I would offer to consult AT MY CONVENIENCE at the going rate for the area. I wouldn't make any promises, however.

Think of your future. (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017770)

Once you decide on your new employer they are going to be putting pressure on you to start sooneer rather than later, plus you are probably going to want to make a good first impression, put in some extra hours learning your new job, etc.

The last thing you want is some old job hanging over you while this is going on. Give your old boss 1 week notice, take a week off and start your new position refreshed.

Nothing unreasonable with asking... (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017792)

Now my boss wants 6 weeks notice plus on call service for another 3 months at subsidized rates. Is my boss being reasonable?

It's perfectly reasonable to want something. It's also perfectly reasonable for you to say no.

But I don't think I am bound by any law that I should provide those kinds of services (since we have no contract in place).

In most states you don't even owe any notice by law, but two weeks is kind of the unwritten rule in any case.

Should I negotiate or just ignore them? Is a burnt bridge worth it?

It sounds like you don't have another job lined up already (or you'd have told us your new job starts in X weeks). If that's the case, maybe a burnt bridge isn't worth it. In fact, if that's the case maybe you shouldn't be quitting in the first place. Ultimately it's a decision only you can make, though. What's your opportunity cost? What would you be doing in those extra weeks/months if you weren't working? How much is that worth to you? Is your employer offering more or less? If it's more then your decision is pretty easy. If it's a little less, maybe you can negotiate. Otherwise, well, you've gotta factor in the cost of the burnt bridge.

zerg (1)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017802)

Hire a goddamned lawyer, unless you want to end up contractually obligated to work for minimum wage w/ no overtime...

Did you sign a contract? (2, Insightful)

macdaddy357 (582412) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017803)

Unless you signed a contract obliging you to give in to your bosses outrageous demands, don't do it. People in hell want ice water, that doesn't mean they are entitled to it. Give him two weeks, and if he gives you further grief, walk.

Some people have unreasonable expectations (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017814)

Its no wonder the rest of the people left ship. By failing to replace lost talent and placing more burden on you, they've shot themselves in the foot. Certainly, there is an expected amount of bad feelings that will be present at the end of any relationship like this. You've tried being reasonable about the transition, and he wants more.

Briefly, size up the situation. Your employment is as will. You've got a new gig lined up, and no obligation to fulfill the duties when you quit. Other things to consider is how badly you need the money, how much you enjoy the work versus what else you could be doing (sleep), and how your new gig would interact with it.

Your boss is haggling with you, which isn't a good sign. Given their track record, they may shove duties onto someone else real quick or expect you to essentially work two jobs by failing to hire anyone new. You need to be aboslute with a last day of employment, or its likely they'll fail to plan adaquetely. Don't worry about burning this bridge. If during some future hiring process they come across this guy and company, the differences in his story between you working 2, 4 and 6 weeks with 3 extra months of duties are going to be small if the transition winds up costing them customers or money. They've set themselves up for it, and any of the above options is accomodating enough for a capable company or boss. If you want, you can try negotiating the prices involved with his offer, but remember that it wasn't money that caused you to leave in the first place.

Been there (1)

The Ogre (21899) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017837)

I left my prior employment in similar circumstances.

Two weeks is customary - 4 weeks was quite generous.

The fact that he responded with 6 weeks plus other "requirements" shows you he's not looking to make a transition easier - he's looking to milk you for as much as he can get. Oh, I've *sooo* been there.

Tell him he has two weeks, and if he has an issue with that you can leave now. Consulting past that is negotiable (check with your new employer first to avoid a conflict of interest) - and be sure you charge *more* than you were making, not less, or you'll have just traded your job for a lower-paid consulting gig.

And be ready to just walk. Seriously. I know you don't want to leave anyone in a lurch, but this isn't a situation of your own making - it was your bosses job to find and hire people within a reasonable time to replace those who had left, and just because he let it go this far is no reason for *you* to pay the consequences...

Get out (3, Insightful)

crmartin (98227) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017842)

What he's asking for is indentured servitude, and the reason he thinks he can get away with it is he thinks he can guilt you into it.

Give him two weeks notice. Period. Don't worry about burning bridges, as you don't want to work for this clown anyway.

Here's what you do ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12017848)

Tell your boss you'll go with that aggrement if he lets you fuck his daughter. I guarantee the problem will solve itself!

Don't do it (2, Interesting)

miyako (632510) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017851)

6 weeks notice seems really unreasonable to me, 4 weeks is even a bit long, but if you feel comfortable with it, then there is really no problem. I would suggest giving 2 weeks notice, and offer to come in on a certain day or the next 2 weeks to help interview your replacement.
As for having them be able to call you in to fix anything that might go wrong, don't do it.
Just as an example of what can go wrong, a friend of mine got a job at an upstart company about a year and a half ago, and basically built their entire IT infrastructure. When the company started doing really well, the owner started making some really bad decisions, and my friend decided to get out before the entire company collapsed. Anyway, the owner asked her to do something similar, and she agreed.
Not too long after that, they called her and wanted to know if she could make some minor changes to their file server (IIRC it was just changing some permissions). Anyway, she went in over the next couple of weeks for minor things, and never was paid for her time, she'd basically just assumed that checks were in the mail. A few months later and she'd found another job, and had cut her losses from the old company, and hadn't heard from them again, when the owner called demanding that she come make changes to their website. She basically said that she wasn't going to because it had been about 3 months since she'd quit, and had no obligation to come in, and their current IT person could do it. Well after some pestering she agreed to come in and do it, saying that she wanted paid that day. She went in and made some changes to their site, and once again the guy tried to get out of paying her. After this she decided to just take the guy to court to get the money that he owed her, and he turned around and tried to counter-sue her, saying that she'd intentionally messed stuff up in order to get called back in and charge them more money.
Although she did end up winning, and the guy had to pay all the court costs, it ended up being a big pain.
From the way you say your boss wants you to come in and be willing to do work "on the cheap" and want's you to give such a long notice, it may be possible he too is expecting to basically not higher someone else and outsource all the work to you for free.

be careful about your future job reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12017853)

I had a similar problem; it was my first sysadmin gig, too. They were a small outfit who didn't know what sysadmin work is really worth, so I bailed after getting a much better offer. After I left, they gave me shitty references, despite having kept their systems up for a year on my own and putting up with unreasonable demands.
I got the heads-up from a prospective employer who had called them for a reference.
Make sure you have a good reference from *someone* in the company if you think you'll need it.

Be nice but stand up for yourself (5, Insightful)

xoboots (683791) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017870)

Your boss is being unreasonable. 4 weeks is plenty generous on your part. Explain to him that he had 2 1/2 years to remedy the situation and that 2 more weeks isn't going to make a difference. Explain to him that if he wants support, it will have to be on your terms and at your rates and on the condition that it does not interefere with new contracts/jobs. Be professional about it, but partly that means presenting yourself as your own entity and not his personal minion. He needn't take you up on your proposal, but that is his choice.

He has never "owned you" and I am assuming that over the time you were employed there that you acted responsibility and did what was asked (ie. you earned your paychecks). He has no right to demand more from you, particularly once you are no longer an employee.

It is difficult when you are the go-to-guy in a small outfit where you likely have a very personal relationship with your boss. Your leaving may very well jeopordize his business so he can take it personally, but then again, his business is his responsibility, not yours. Don't be surprised if you are suddenly offered down-the-road equity or other future incentives. You may decide that such offers are in your benefit, but beware and think carefully. They can also be more of the string-you-along type of offers and if you are already in a business relationship where you have the weak hand then it is very difficult to change that.

Consider what would happen if the company suddenly went bust -- likely you would get shown the door, any outstanding owed wages and accumulated vacation pay and that's it.

I know its tough because it involves a personal relationship but there comes a time when you have to think of yourself first. Your boss is obviously doing that on his part, you must do it on yours.

Good luck!

you are being suckered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12017904)

I had a boss try that. I told him 2 weeks at regular rate, then 2 more weeks at triple time. On call for 6 months at $200/hr.
He decided on 2 weeks.

See this as an opportunity (2, Interesting)

drix (4602) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017930)

I am surprised at the number of people offering up the predictable "Dude, fuckim'" response. Maybe it's because I'm an economist and not a computer scientist, but I see considerable opportunity for you to gain from this situation without really burning any bridges. The fact that your boss is so demanding suggests your skills and business-specific knowledge are of considerable value to the company--well in excess of what you are being paid, since if not he would simply hire someone else at the going rate. You are in a very strong position to dictate terms. Counteroffer his "subsidized rates" nonsense with a quote for 3-4 times what you make on an hourly, pro-rata basis. Clearly, they already know you've got them by the balls, and my hunch is it would still make good economic sense to pony up. If he balks, you are released from further obligation.

In my estimation, this approach will lead to less recrimination than if you simply left them hanging. Their response clearly illustrates that you are undercompensated, and coming in with a high demand is really no more than a request that you be valued fairly. They know this, and will blame themselves, not you, if things fall through.

requires 6 weeks and then on Call after that? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017949)

Unless you are getting a TON of money for it no way. If he wants to keep you there then he should shower you with perks and cash. I would say you are getter off leaving. Two weeks is what I consider the minimum. Four weeks is you being very nice.

Oh man... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12017950)

...the four weeks you offered were generous enough. Tell them thanks, but no thanks. I'll be leaving at the end of those four weeks. My new employer needs me, and if the situation were reversed, he'd understand completely.

at my last job (1)

everyplace (527571) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017959)

I worked at a company that had offices in multiple locations in the USA. I interviewed at an office other than my own, and got a job there. I applied for a transfer at my main office, and gave them 5! weeks notice. They declined my transfer, citing too great of a need for me at my current office.

I quit, moved on, and haven't looked back. The best decision I made in 2004, hands down.

Get the 6 weeks and pay in writing! (4, Insightful)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 9 years ago | (#12017960)

You mentionned getting other job offers. Get this "demand" of your boss in writing (the 6 weeks + on call stuff). I assume that this was never part of any contract you signed with the company.

The reason: when you go for the other job, they'll most likely ask for references. There is nothing worse than getting a bad reference, especially from your last employer. If he decides to say you left with little or no notice, you can show the new company that you gave two weeks which was plently, and his "real" demands were completely unreasonable.

One more thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12018002)

Imagine your company decided to fire you, and you went to your boss demanding an additional three months of employment, plus a further period of weeks where you could work whenever you felt like it, and for which they would pay you twice what you currently make.

What do you his answer would be? I know mine's.

Your answer to the above question should fully inform your decision. End of discussion.

This is not uncommon... really (2, Informative)

Subgenius (95662) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018021)

The previous poster mentioning haggling is correct. He says 'jump' and you say 'not that high, and it will cost this much.' At my company (another long-term IT guy, 14 years @ same place) we always ask folks for more time, but we understand that sometimes we will get it, and sometimes we wont't (we even use some extra perks , if it will help), but we don't do anything nasty if they say no. We also try and limit the consulting fees with the understanding that the employee is in the catbird seat.

Some folks know the game, and some don't.

This might sound cold-hearted, but it is just the way things go.

Having said that.... if this person even STARTS to imply that you agreeing to the mandatory notice and lower-priced consulting fee is a requirement for your final check, you need to be VERY careful. Contacting a friend who may happen to be a labor lawyer (or just read your own state codes) would be a smart move. In California, you should expect your final check within 96 hours of your last work hour (if I recall correctly..)

Turnabout is fair play (1)

redelm (54142) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018032)

How much notice would they give you if they laid you off? That's a good maximum for notice.

Unfortuantely, your boss is being egregiously stupid in insisting on later obligations, and you'd get get out of there and avoid all future work for him. Minimize contact. Unreasonable people seldom improve.

You Have No Obligations (1)

BlueFashoo (463325) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018120)

Since you stated that you are not under a contract, you have no obligations. You can legally walk out today if you want. You won't get a good referral if you do that, but you allready have another job lined up. Common courtesy is to give two weeks. Presumably this new job pays better, so the sooner you get to that job, the more money you will make.

You are not required to sign anything. You are not required to be on call. You are not required to give him 6 weeks notice. You are not required to give two weeks notice. You are not required to do anything for your current employer.

Remember, when you are employed, you are selling your labor and your life. Your life is slipping away day by day. Why spend your time working at a high stress job if you don't have to?

I recommend giving your current employer two weeks notice, and then taking a couple of weeks for yourself before starting your new job. Spend that time spending time with your family, hanging out with friends, watching clouds go by, catching up on your reading, basically living life. Many employers don't let new employees take vacation for quite a while after they've been hired, so this may be your only opportunity to get some good quality liesure time. Remember, no says on their death bed that they wish they had spent more time at the office. People always regret not spending more time with their loved ones or not spending more time in some liesurely pursuit.

Bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12018137)

Ask yourself, what can he do if you don't agree?

Answer: Not much.

You are only required to give 2 weeks notice, by law, so unless your contract says something else, you can negotiate terms with him. I suggest: either your boss pays you twice your hourly wage, with a 2 hour minimum, for anything he calls you about; if that is not acceptable, tell him to talk to his lawyer. He doesn't own you; slavery is long dead.

Unreasonable (1)

ripbruger (312644) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018162)

If that company couldn't fill the other vacancies within an 2 year timeframe, that's really not your fault. I'd say your boss is being unreasonable here, especially for asking for another 3 months of being on call. If everything is well documented enough, you shouldn't need this. I personally would just walk away, you've gotten 6 other offers, go with them. This job would just be added grief.

Absolutely Unresonable (1)

jtshaw (398319) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018203)

That is rediculous. Two weeks is the professional standard. If you have another opportunity you want to take then give your two weeks notice and take it. If they want to hire you back for part time support then they damn well better do it on your terms. It isn't your fault they put to much of a burden on you and are up a creek without a paddle if you leave.

Your boss is burning the Bridge (1)

redelm (54142) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018204)

I can understand you wanting to ensure a professional transition and part amicably. But it takes two to Tango. Your boss doesn't seem very reasonable (subsidized callback rates?) and he's torching the bridge. Sometimes you can negotiate. Sometimes not. You'd know him better than any of us.

He's not the position to make demands (1)

Gary Destruction (683101) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018292)

You're all he's got. And you could tell him that he's not in the best position to make such a demand. Without you, he'd be up the creek without a paddle. Maybe he needs to miss your presence for a while. That should make him appreciate you. Everything you've been doing has been taken for granted when you consider your situation.
To go that long without finding someone to help you is fool-hearty. Honestly, I don't see how your boss couldn't have seen this coming, unless he truly believed that you would stay. Unfortunately, good workers get taken advantage of.

Your boss has a few options. (2, Insightful)

Shag (3737) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018307)

1. He can do whatever he's been doing, which obviously is going to cost him his only developer, which might very well mean the company goes under.

2. He can let you go, but make an arrangement with you (and this does not mean him demanding things - as #1 above illustrates, he is in no position to negotiate) for you to provide some sort of continuing support on a consulting/contract basis.

3. He can do a total about face and actually do what he should have done in the first place - maintain appropriate staffing levels instead of "saving heaps of money" by making one person do everything. I don't know whether he can afford this or not.

If I were in your boss's shoes, and could afford it, I'd probably be looking at doing #3 and asking you to manage it (at, of course, a higher salary), since I (as him) obviously couldn't find my ass in a dark closet, business-wise, and you obviously can.

What does your contract say? (1)

Spudley (171066) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018330)

Firstly, what does your employment contract say?

In truth, you should stick to whatever your contract says, unless you have good reason not to.

The consensus here seems to say two weeks is normal, but every job I've ever seen has had a four week termination period in the contract. Perhaps the norms are different here, but in any case, I would say that four weeks is reasonable, especially given that you have a key role.

Much more than four weeks is much less reasonable, because it can affect your chances of being accepted for your next job - employers want to hire you as soon as possible, and if they have to wait six weeks for you, they might pick someone else.

The idea of being 'on call' for several months after that is even more tricky. Nobody minds taking the occasional call from their former colleagues if they don't understand your code, but a formal deal for it is different. Bear in mind that any work you do for them in this period will be on the time of your new employer, who might not appreciate it. For you to agree to it, you'll probably also need your new employer to agree, and they'll quite likely want to take a cut if it eats into your time that should be spent working for them.

Document everything! (1)

bobthemuse (574400) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018338)

Whatever you do, sign a contract for your last X weeks and get a documented pay rate for any work you do after that, and make sure that it notes that taking the work is at your discretion.

You've already implied that your boss is unreasonable/inconsiderate. Would you put it past them to fire you as soon as they find your replacement? (with 4-weeks notice, not terribly unlikely). Would you put it past them to pay you at a lower rate for on-call work, assuming you accept it? Have it documented, have them sign something for each call-out that says "I called so-and-so on m/d/y and understand that I will be charged for a minimum call-out time of Y hours at $Z/hour.

Document everything. They do, even if you don't know it, it's the only way to level the playing field.

Legally.... (2, Interesting)

chewedtoothpick (564184) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018377)

He cannot require more than 2 weeks notice if you are in California... It is illegal. That is of course unless otherwise stated in some employment contract (written of course.) I have had to deal with this many times, and every time someone has tried to pull that on me, I gave them ONLY the two week notice instead of any of the extra notice / help I had originally offered...

And then... (1)

furry_marmot (515771) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018378)

First - what everybody else has said.

Second - If your boss fights you, threatens you, or tries to intimidate you, you have the option to just leave.

The thing a lot of bosses will try with younger employees is pulling the parent card. "You'll be in big trouble if you don't do what I say." Like what kind of trouble? Can he make the other company fire you? Make you somehow come back in to work for him? I think not. Since you've already got a new job lined up, there's not a damned thing under the sun he can do to you, and it's in his best interests that you never figure this out. He'd love it if he could cut your pay and tell you that you don't have permission to leave -- and have you believe it like you're tempted to at the moment.

You're a big boy now. It may take a while to realize it, but you get to make choices.

4 weeks makes you look good. (4, Insightful)

kponto (821962) | more than 9 years ago | (#12018387)

Your boss sounds like an ass. Like many people have said, you're not "required" to do jack, and two weeks is a courtesy. As far as being "on-call" when you don't work there, that's called being an Outside Consultant, which usually requires a sizable retainer to cover your enormous hourly rates. Though in this scenario, I'd probably do everything in my power to avoid contact with this company in the future; some accounts just aren't worth the headache.

However, I would definitely stick with the four weeks, since that's what you offered to begin with. Plus, as a added benefit, if you make it known at your new job that you're giving your old job four weeks instead of two, it'll display you in a very good light to your new employers.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?