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How to Leave a Job on Good Terms?

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the grass-is-greener-yonder dept.

Businesses 755

An anonymous reader writes "I've been working for a small development company for 6 or 7 years. My boss has always been a bit nuts but overall it hasn't been a bad experience. I recently accepted a great job offer for a technology position in a different industry. I gave my boss my notice this week, and while he initially was understanding, he has since starting making accusations of conspiracy, deceit, and has otherwise attempted to make me look bad in front of employees and long-time clients. (who, thankfully, also think he is nuts) I don't like to burn bridges, but I'm pretty sure he's already burned it to the ground, even threatening to withhold my final paycheck if I don't find a replacement before I leave. Is it worth sticking out the few weeks I already told him I worked, or should I just cut my losses and leave early?"

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My two cents... (5, Insightful)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470515)



My boss has always been a bit nuts...


Been there...I sympathize.

...while he initially was understanding, he has since starting making accusations of conspiracy, deceit, and has otherwise attempted to make me look bad in front of employees and long-time clients.


There is no excuse for this sort of behavior. Period. Next time he tries to do it, confront him. Remember, at this point, he needs you a lot more than you need him.


I don't like to burn bridges, but I'm pretty sure he's already burned it to the ground, even threatening to withhold my final paycheck if I don't find a replacement before I leave.


You know, strictly speaking, it is his responsibility to find a replacement for your position, not yours. You should remind him of this in no uncertain terms.


Is it worth sticking out the few weeks I already told him I worked or should I just cut my losses and leave early?"


Just remember that giving a company notice before you leave is not a requirement...it is a courtesy you are extending as part of a positive professional relationship. Frankly, I'd ask him for a letter of recommendation up front, and if he refuses, or threatens to give you a less than optimal review, you simply do not owe him the courtesy of notice.



In short, don't devalue yourself, and don't let him devalue you, either.




Re:My two cents... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470526)

Maybe you should put some more white space in your post you fucking twat.

Re:My two cents... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470723)

It seems you have enough between your ears for everyone.

And now: My two cents... (4, Insightful)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470554)

You know, strictly speaking, it is his responsibility to find a replacement for your position, not yours. You should remind him of this in no uncertain terms.

There's no "stricly speaking" about it. You have no responsibility on this point.

If everyone knows your current boss is a nut case, just try to live with it until you leave. If you can't stand it, just walk out. You already have a follow-on job, and you don't need this guy, if he's going to bad mouth you anyway, cut your loss and don't show up tomorrow.

Re:My two cents... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470579)

Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if you may (in certain situations) be contractually obligated to give notice in good time.

Re:My two cents... (1)

larien (5608) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470728)

Depends on (a) local laws and (b) whatever contract you signed. (a) will be the default which may be over-ridden by (b).

Re:My two cents... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470602)

Just remember that giving a company notice before you leave is not a requirement...it is a courtesy

Note that this is not true in all jurisdictions. In Ireland, for example (probably one of the more american-like european jurisdictions!), companies and employees both can contractually require one month's notice on "contracts of service" i.e. employees (as opposed to "contracts for service" i.e. contractors), and typically do: in cases where you're "resigning" suddenly (i.e. in america you'd be fired), you typically "take all your remaining annual paid leave" for the month, to get you off-premises earlier.

Re:My two cents... (5, Informative)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470629)

...while he initially was understanding, he has since starting making accusations of conspiracy, deceit, and has otherwise attempted to make me look bad in front of employees and long-time clients.

There is no excuse for this sort of behavior. Period. Next time he tries to do it, confront him. Remember, at this point, he needs you a lot more than you need him.


Speaking from a point of view of someone who spent years working with people in therapy, it sounds like this person has some issues that go deeper than the anger and frustration most people deal with. While I would normally advocate standing up for yourself (which isn't necessarily a confrontation), that fact that you start by saying he's always been a little nuts makes me suspect any confrontation will blow up.

In simple terms, it sounds like he's in denial over what's going on and blames you. In his mind, he probably already sees you as disloyal and even out to get him. This is not a reasonable view, but everything you say fits with that possibility. If that is so, anything you do will be viewed as an attack, and only add fuel to his fire of hate. So if you confront him, there's a chance he could blow up, start calling you names, or just walking away, then burning you in some other way.

Only you can decide what is and is not important to you. At this point, he's made it clear he considers it okay to withhold your paycheck. I can't tell if it's a bluff, or if he's serious (from what little we have here), but be aware that he is likely holding it hostage. Normally a boss thinks he has control becasue he can fire someone or stop paying them. With only a short time left, he feels he can no longer control you, so he's using that paycheck as his way to make sure you stay in line.

While it sounds lame, you might be best to try to difuse the situations with humor -- just not at his expense. Or, if he trashes you in front of a crowd of employees or clients, and you feel a need to stick up for yourself, you can always say something like, "He's been treating me that way ever since I turned in my notice,' and try to make it into a joke. He won't take it well, though.

Re:My two cents... (0)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470718)



that fact that you start by saying he's always been a little nuts makes me suspect any confrontation will blow up.


OK...let me be a little clearer here. I never advocated that the writer challenge the manager's sanity. In fact, personal attacks like this will most certainly only make the situation immeasurably worse.

When I advocated confrontation, I advocated that the writer challenge the manager to substantiate the claims of deceit and conspiracy, or admit that they are groundless. Personally, I believe that the first confrontation should be done in private, and then, if the behavior continues, confront him in front of the clients.

Every time the manager levels these false accusations, he is doing significant damage to the writer's professional reputation. This cannot be allowed to continue.

Re:My two cents... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470634)

I'd also add that it might be a good idea to send letters/emails of appreciation to your co-workers and the clients of your company. Don't say anything negative AT ALL in the letter, focus only on the positives you believe you have experienced in the company. Go over your reasons for making the job change(don't mention money, focus on the positive opportunities you see yourself as having at the new company) and express your heartfelt gratitude for having gotten to work with and gotten to know such excellent people. Make sure everyone you have more than a "hi/bye" interaction with gets a copy. Including your boss.

This way, no matter what he says, people get to hear from you your reasons and get to hear from you the positive experiences you're taking away from the position. This will foster "warm fuzzy feelings" among many who might only ever hear "his side".

Let me stress, don't be negative in that letter/email at all. It is imperative that you not be negative at all.

Get a Firearm (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470639)

If your boss is that crazy, then you should bring a firearm to work. You'll need it to defend yourself.

Re:My two cents... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470697)

First and foremost make sure as many people as possible see you trying to be reasonable with him and see him being erratic.

The reason for this is twofold. Witnesses if you go to court over the paychecks (I'm sure he'll back down) and also just in case he says something personal in an attempt for you to lose your cool so he has an excuse for his ridiculous attitude.

Remember that you have the upper hand in this since you already have a job to go to whereas your boss has to find someone good enough to replace you. If the worst comes to worst staying for an extra week isn't a bad idea since then he can't honestly say that you screwed him over.

You might also want to put someone else other than him as a reference on your resume since I doubt from the picture you gave that he is likely to give a good impression of you if he's like this over you leaving. Look for a co-worker or another line manager you've worked with if possible to use as the reference.

Finally, if trying to be rational with him doesn't work you can always put superglue in his car doorlock - a couple of months after you leave of course.

And Now, my two cents... (2, Funny)

FyRE666 (263011) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470705)

Talk to a couple of your more violent friends. Organise a meeting between them and your boss after he leaves work. If he's in hospital for 2 weeks, he'll cease to be your problems.

Buy him some grapes ;-)

Hello Mcfly, Suck it up! (4, Insightful)

lecithin (745575) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470517)

"Is it worth sticking out the few weeks I already told him I worked or should I just cut my losses and leave early?"

Easy. You don't have any losses. You have a job waiting for you.

Stick with it until you said you would. ALWAYS keep to your word especially when leaving an employer. If they want you gone now, they will walk you out of the building.

It is your bosses problem, not yours. This sounds like a me vs you thing. If it is so bad, talk to your HR. The odds are that if everybody knows your boss is nuts, they do to. If they don't know, they want to know.

Do you believe that you are responsible for finding your replacement? I don't understand how they could keep your paycheck if YOU don't find a replacement.

If your boss thinks that he cannot replace you, put some bait in front of him. Ask if they can match an offer or do something to change your work environment. Even if you have no interest in staying, it buys time and allows you to leave with a smile on your face when YOU say no.

Back to the original though. DO NOT QUIT EARLY! You gave your word and it is a small world. It would suck to have this bite you in the ass. In a few weeks it will be over and you will laugh at it.

Oh yea...

You insensitive clod! You have a JOB! You have an OFFER and a JOB! You have a 'soon to be X Boss' that you can &uck with? Quit bitching! :)

Get over it! Screw with the Boss and have fun. You are leaving, he has no control over you. You have an offer, you don't need his reference. Get prepared for your new career and forget the past.

I am curious what the "different industry" is. Did you take up Hindu? :)

Re:Hello Mcfly, Suck it up! (0, Offtopic)

pstudent12 (842643) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470643)

Hindu == Aryan religion based on the holy Vedas. Hindi == Indo-European language, descended from Sanskrit which is the PIA (proto indo-aryan) languge.

Hindi vs Hindu. (1)

lecithin (745575) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470677)

Yep. I thought of that right after I wrote it. My bad.

Regardless, both are obscure enough to make the point that I wanted.

thanks though.

I do want to know what this guy changed to though. I left the software industry myself and it is interesting to hear what other folks have done.

Re:Hindi vs Hindu. (0, Offtopic)

pstudent12 (842643) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470726)

Regardless, both are obscure enough to make the point that I wanted.

You are funny. A billion people is not really "obscure". Not to mention that the holiest symbol (swastika) and words from hinduism were used by the Nazis (swastika, varna, arya) and were plastered all over WWII and countless films and documentaries.

Hell, the nazis even spoke Hindi on purpose to emphasize this (the native German word for swastika is "hakenkreuz" -- hooked cross).

Advice (4, Informative)

DarkHelmet (120004) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470519)

Obviously, threatening to withhold your final paycheck for something like this is against the law. Report him to the labor board if he does actually withhold it.

Otherwise, just be polite, but firm. If he burns bridges, it's his choice. You did your best.

Re:Advice (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470650)

Threatening to withold it is illegal, regardless of whether or not he actually does it.

Re:Advice (1)

aeproberts (863753) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470722)

It is ILLEGAL for him to withold pay without any due cause. Leaving a job is obviously not a good enough reason. If he wantsto withold pay then he is not allowed to let you continue to work there. By allowing you (or you being nice enough) to still show up he is obligating himself to pay you. Stick to your word - Don't leave early because it could damage your reputation down the line. Unless things start to become unbearable or dangerous I would take the high ground, finish up strong and leave when you said you would.

lolz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470520)

wtf

Dupe??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470522)

Is it just me, or have we seen this "Ask Slashdot" before???

Use the legal solution.. (1)

Ckwop (707653) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470523)

My advice, Hold out for the remaining weeks of your notice then if he with-holds your final pay-check file a law suit for breach of contract to get the money he owes you.

Simon

Re:Use the legal solution.. (1)

eric76 (679787) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470648)

If he with-holds your final pay check, file a complaint with your state's labor commission. There shouldn't be any need to get a lawyer involved.

Re:Use the legal solution.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470666)

Great, get lawers involved... that always makes everything MUCH better

Re:Use the legal solution.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470747)

Actually, in this situation, it really could make things better for him. I suspect that if you document the harrassment (including the libel/slander he has apparently been committing) and bring it to the attention of your company's legal department, your boss will immediately be read the riot act and told to STFU.

If your current company doesn't have a legal department, they probably aren't well set up to defend themselves against a lawsuit. Remember, if you win (and it sounds like you probably would, but IANAL) you can recover not only damages but also penalties and legal costs.

Again, IANAL. But documenting everything would be a good idea at this point, if you are not already doing it.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470524)

fp

Try finding a replacement (0)

Espectr0 (577637) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470528)

If you can't, try explaining your boss. If he still doesn't like it, and if you don't mind much that paycheck (how much) then you at least gave your best effort.

Re:Try finding a replacement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470571)

Would you go so far as to give a blow job for something that is already yours ?

Re:Try finding a replacement (2, Informative)

OrangeSpyderMan (589635) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470613)

I'm afraid I think this is bad advice. As previously mentioned, it's not his problem to fill his position when he leaves, and grovelling because you can't find someone will just serve to prove him right. By all means he should offer to help interviewing candidates if he's still around, but his boss probably won't want him to, as its a little too much like admitting he's not as bad as the boss appears to be trying to make out he is. At the end of the day - as many other posters have said, the professional way is to hold up your end of the deal - work the notice, and work it as well as you've worked the rest of the time, but don't lie down and drop your pants the minute the "crazy" boss decides he wants more than you and employment law think is reasonable.

Re:Try finding a replacement (3, Insightful)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470642)



Um...no. Respectfully, I must disagree.

It is not the writer's responsibility to find a replacement. That resposibility lies squarely with the manager.

If the manager still doesn't like it, tough. He's contractually obligated to pay that final paycheck.

Find a Replacement? No, No, NO! (2, Insightful)

lax-goalie (730970) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470714)

First, it's not his responsibility.

Second, and more importantly, there are a ton of issues that go into a hiring decision, many of which don't have a thing to do with the specifics of a job. An applicant may have skills, but may not have the right temperament, outlook, or might not be a good fit for the company's culture. (Or a zillion other reasons...)

I've hired, and I've (thankfully rarely) fired. Bringing on the wrong person isn't good for anyone, and from a company's perspective, is tremendously expensive in time and money.

Finding your own replacement for a job is just a bad idea all around.

easy (2, Funny)

grumpygrodyguy (603716) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470530)

If it were me, I'd give him a good 'ol fashioned swift kick in the nuts. Then say thanks for the job insecurity, expoitation, long hours, minimal pay raise, and general harrasement.

Then I'd give him another good kick in the ribs to grow on.

Re:easy (1)

FosterKanig (645454) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470616)

Then say thanks for the job insecurity, expoitation, long hours, minimal pay raise, and general harrasement.

How do you know that he works at EA?

Re:easy (1)

venicebeach (702856) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470630)

I guess thats why they call you grumpygrodyguy.

Re:easy (1)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470753)

If it were me, I'd give him a good 'ol fashioned swift kick in the nuts. Then say thanks for the job insecurity, expoitation, long hours, minimal pay raise, and general harrasement. Then I'd give him another good kick in the ribs to grow on.

There's a fine line to walk. Don't make a habit of being a doormat, or people will get in the habit of walking all over you like one. At the same time, being able to get deal with assholes and deal with unfair treatment is a valuable business skill.

I've found that hitting back at the people who make your life difficult gives you a short-term sense of satisfaction and release of frustration, but in the end being able to walk away and say, "despite this guy being a total asshole, I kept my cool and did the right thing" is far more valuable and satisfying in the long run. If someone tries to bully you, just keep your cool and stand your ground.

Two words (1)

unassimilatible (225662) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470531)

"White Oleander."

Solicitor's advice , not slashdot's! (5, Insightful)

norfolkboy (235999) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470534)

This sounds legally dubious.

You need the advice of a solictor. Especially if he is withholding pay, and damaging your reputation.

OT: Solicitor (UK) means Lawyer (US) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470647)

Solicitor: Chiefly British. An attorney who advises clients on legal matters, represents clients in certain lower courts, and prepares cases for barristers to present in the higher courts.

for the other Americans in the audience.

- Anonymously bridging the culture devide since roughly 2 pm today

Actually... (1)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470680)

it's cheaper and faster just to ask Slashdot.

Re:Solicitor's advice , not slashdot's! (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470684)

Solicitor? How quaint and folksy...

I SECOND THIS ADVICE (1)

shpoffo (114124) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470727)

I don't have points to moderate, so I second this opinion - as with others above who have said so as well. Get a letter of recommendation that is accurate and faithful to your work with them. If there is any witholding or reputation damage, consult a lawyer, and consider informing your bos, politely, of this consideration. Make sure communication is clear - because it's clear that he easily feels threatened. The solution to getting the most fair situation for you will probalby involve a little bit of negotiation and maneuvering on your part. Part of it sound like you need to stand up for yourself more.

.
-shpoffo

Stick it out (1)

superdifficult (720702) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470535)

While it's hard to say seeing as I don't know the exact details of your situation, I've always believed you should stick things out.

Perhaps you can go out and get your boss drunk one night and just get it all out on the table. I'm sure he's just overreacting because he's upset.

We all understand... (5, Insightful)

MoonFacedAssassin (539728) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470537)

The main question you have to ask yourself is "Do I need this job experience on my resume?" If you are compelled to answer yes, then your best bet is to leave as cordially as possible, but explain to any other interviewer, if necessary, that you left to pursue an advancement of your career and your supervisor resented it. I say "if necessary" because there's no point conveying that if the interviewer doesn't contact them for reference. Granted, it's tough to find out whether or not they will be contacting them.

Most sane and mature employers understand that as long as you give them notice of the termination of employment that the burden of employee replacement is on the employer, not you. The fact that your current employer is doing this proves how immature he is. Withholding the last paycheck may be something stipulated in documents you signed at the beginning of employment so you may want to look those over.

I have had previous employers that I have had issues with personally, but tried my best not to burn the bridge myself. If they had burned the bridge, I would definitely talk to their boss about this. If they didn't have a boss above them then I would gladly have had choice words for them. It's all a judgement call, but if you need this on your resume, definitely don't burn the bridge yourself.

I think he needs it on the resume... (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470583)

The main question you have to ask yourself is "Do I need this job experience on my resume?"

He said he'd been there 6 or 7 YEARS. I think he needs it on the resume.

Re:I think he needs it on the resume... (1)

zbuffered (125292) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470670)

In Colorado, if you put that 6 or 7 years of job experience on your resume, but do not use your crazy boss as a reference (which sounds like it's going to happen anyway), you've got nothing to worry about. Past employers cannot legally give any information beyond "This person worked here from xx to xx". They can't even say if you were fired or not (I'm only 70% sure of this part). So, sure, it'll be on the resume, and the company might even get called up, but there's no reason to think that burning a bridge is going to bite him in the ass unless he needs the reference.

Of course, YMMV.

Re:I think he needs it on the resume... (2, Insightful)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470675)

I don't think it will be a big deal. He obviously got this new job without a reference from the psycho manager, so he will have the new manager (hopefully not a psycho) as reference for his next job. He can still list the old place, and if someone wants a reference contact in the future, give them someone other than the psycho manager, who hopefully would have been fired by that point anyway. In summary, you don't necessarily need a reference from your manager to be able to list a job on your resume. Some companies don't even allow managers to give references, so HR departments are used to encountering situations where they can't get a reference from someone's current or previous manager. Just use someone else.

Re:I think he needs it on the resume... (1)

Monkey-Man2000 (603495) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470693)

He said he'd been there 6 or 7 YEARS. I think he needs it on the resume.

And that alone should impress employers. I think an employer would care little, if as the grand-parent stated, that the boss just resented him leaving. That seems like the most plausible explanation (from the new employer's perspective). Clearly, he was a good and reliable employee otherwise they would have gotten rid of him long ago.

Re:We all understand... (1)

graphicartist82 (462767) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470671)

If you are compelled to answer yes, then your best bet is to leave as cordially as possible, but explain to any other interviewer, if necessary, that you left to pursue an advancement of your career and your supervisor resented it.

If he's just putting down that he worked at this place for a certain period of time in his 'job history' section of his resume, his new employer cannot call and ask them for a reference. Any HR person will know that. All his current employer can do is verify that yes, he did work there for that period of time -- that's it.

Now, if he put his boss down as a reference, (which, as it seems, would be a stupid idea) then his boss could put his (albeit crazy) $0.02US in. So, even if he does end up having to quit before his notice is up, he'll be perfectly find and come out smelling like a rose.

That depends... (1)

mikael (484) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470541)

... does your new job depend on references from your existing employer? I wouldn't want to make the situation any worse that it is already.

If nothing else, you might end up meeting your current workmates in another company some time in the distant future.

Otherwise, get out of there as fast as you can, since you have already indicated that you were unhappy working there.

Get a lawyer (2)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470546)

And have the lawyer write a simple letter explaining that you'll be paid through the end of your employment regardless of finding a replacement. Remember, too, to take the high road, don't stoop to this guy's level. It'll make him look all the more like the ass that he is.

Re:Get a lawyer (2)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470600)

And have the lawyer write a simple letter explaining that you'll be paid through the end of your employment regardless of finding a replacement.

I'd use the lawyer only after he held up my check. Make the assumption he won't do something so stupid now, keep docs, and *if* he does something so dumb then pull out the hired guns.

Leave Now (0)

tyleroar (614054) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470547)

Leave now and threaten to sue him if he doesn't pay you. He can't not pay you if you don't find a replacement. Since you have already found another job, it doesn't much matter if you leave on good or bad terms.

cut your losses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470552)

he's trying to find something to blame on you, don't wait until he does.

before you leave document everything, you do.

then sue his ass off: from witholding pay to defamation of character...

Don't publically call your boss 'nuts' (4, Insightful)

tonsofpcs (687961) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470553)

DO NOT write anything like the following in a slashdot article: My boss has always been a bit nuts.

Re:Don't publically call your boss 'nuts' (5, Funny)

Fyz (581804) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470620)

Well, I did submit as an anonymous reader...

Whoops.

Re:Don't publically call your boss 'nuts' (0)

tonsofpcs (687961) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470661)

And when you talk about the advice you received from slashdot, no one will notice that it is you?

T's win... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470556)

Get outta there, it's gonna blow!

He may be in violation of the law (5, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470558)

I have no good advice for your general situation, other than this:

1) offer to go quietly immediately, and offer to stay for a reasonable period of time - 2 weeks after your initial notice is reasonable - and let him make the choice.
2) if he lets you go today, don't expect to get paid for time not worked.

If he actually withholds your final paycheck, take it up with human resources, his supervisor, or if necessary, someone higher up. What he is doing is most likely illegal. If necessary, remind him of his legal obligations and that the next step will be the court system, civil AND if applicable, criminal court. Don't threaten legal action unless all else fails, that will burn all bridges.

Re:He may be in violation of the law (2)

Brooklynoid (656617) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470708)

1) offer to go quietly immediately, and offer to stay for a reasonable period of time - 2 weeks after your initial notice is reasonable - and let him make the choice.
2) if he lets you go today, don't expect to get paid for time not worked


No. State when your last day of employment will be (typically 2-4 weeks from date of notice) and stick to it. If they ask you to leave prior to that date and don't pay you through that date, then they're terminating you, and you're entitled to collect unemployment insurance (if there's a long enough lag before your new job starts), and to collect any perks (severance package, etc.) normally provided by your company upon termination.

Difficult to leave on perfect terms, always (2, Insightful)

xtal (49134) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470559)

It's the same as breaking up with a signifigant other - when it comes right down to the marbles, you're leaving because there's something you don't like, and by collary, you think that you can find something better. In this case, you already have something better. The person on the other side of the equation is going to have a tough time with that.

It's worse if you're leaving a business on shakey ground - because it's the ultimate vote of non-confidence. I think it's worse in tech, because a lot of the time, the people ARE the company.

Don't worry about what your boss thinks. Do what you said you would, always, but at the end of the day the decision has already been made. Concentrate on making a good impression with your new employers.

Stay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470560)

and fulfill your end of the commitment

Be direct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470565)

I'd agree with the other posters so far and say, yeah, stick it out.

I guess I don't know your boss at _ALL_, but, if it gets too bad, at some point, you're just going to have to be direct with him. I'd imagine it'd go something like "You're treating me poorly and making both of us look bad, you already know I'm going to leave, so we should make this as pleasant and professional as possible. I intend to honor my promise to stay for N weeks, but if you want me to leave sooner, I will." Being direct in a positive way shouldn't burn any bridges. Of course, like you said, if he's crazy, you may already be hosed.

Good luck in your new career!

Re:Be direct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470597)

Oh, and _DON'T_ mention lawyers or suing or dogs-with-bees-in-their-mouths until _after_ he withholds the check. He probably is just bluffing to try to get more "equal footing;" there's no sense spending any goodwill capital on his stupid little game until you have to.

Withholding pay (1)

Leebert (1694) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470568)

even threatening to withhold my final paycheck if I don't find a replacement before I leave.

Withholding pay without just cause is often illegal. I'd consult with legal counsel, or at minimum your state's department of labor.

Re:Withholding pay (1)

taustin (171655) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470609)

It's always illegal in the United States. It's generally criminal.

Don't even bother talkign to the asshole. If he does steal from you, file a complaint with your Labor Relations Board. If you can't take the risk of lost pay, get out immediately, and file that complaint as soon as you're out the door. Threatening to withhold a paycheck is illegal, and generally criminal, as well.

There's no reason to be friendly about it. (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470576)

Given that he's already threatened to steal money from you, tell him that he either needs to pay you ahead of time, or you're walking out the door.

That's my opinion of the ethical situation. If you don't think that'd work, or you don't actually want to walk out the door, you should:

TALK TO A LAWYER. Seriously. They will tell you what you can do if he actually stiffs you. No, no one thinks you should actually work for free.

Uh-oh! (1)

AntiPasto (168263) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470577)

Oh how could you disrespect the family like this? Well...

you want to fuck your boss apparently (1)

painkillr (33398) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470578)

your question is about leaving on good terms but the real problem is the way your boss is treating you. you're like one of those rape victims that thinks you asked for it somehow.

Stick with it... (1)

mojatt (704902) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470584)

Regardless of whether or not he's being professional doesn't mean that you shouldn't be. From what you write, it seems like everyone already knows he's a taco short of a combo platter, so your reputation shouldn't suffer too much.

Even still, if you stay for the duration and he skimps on the final paycheck, take his ass to court...

Easy Answer (5, Insightful)

DanielMarkham (765899) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470586)

I've been there, done that.

Had a couple bosses (especially, for some reason, small development and start-up companies) that lost it.

The easy answer is: do the right thing. You did the right thing by giving notice, you did the right thing by hanging in there. Go in to work each day and be the best you can. Help hand off the codebase. Give the best training you can to the others.

The more you do the right thing and your boss acts like an idiot, the better you are doing. Do the right thing and let the rest slide.

In both of my cases, the old boss felt sorry for acting the way he did. (But this took several months) People get upset when they don't know what to do. Sometimes they act very poorly. My advice is to be a bigger person than that.

Fear not! (1)

SpeedyRich (754676) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470587)

Timothy

I don't know whether you're based in the UK, because if you are then you can claim for many, many things and hang this chap out to dry. For example

* constructive dismissal
* bullying
* libel

The best thing is to consult your trades union representative, a solicitor or citizen's advice bureau.

Again, if you're in the UK, you can put in a formal grievance (even if he *is* the boss), then take sick leave due to stress. He'd still have to pay you.

Best of luck with both this and your new job!

Re:Fear not! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470738)

Awesome answer. *High five*

Be cool, but not too cool. (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470591)

My personal advice is to make it known that you will honor your word to work out your remaining time and give 100% while you are there, but if it's outside of your job description to find and train your own replacement don't.

I don't advise that you do this, but personally, I prefer to make legal threats, but vaguely. It's a subtle thing, you want to make a threat to take legal action that the boss will later wonder if you meant you'd kick his ass.

After he sweats it out for a night or two, let him raise the issue again, let the veil drop. Let it be known that you were talking about legal channels.

LK

Does your boss have a boss? (1)

Fyz (581804) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470593)

Depending on the size of the company you're working for, your wacko boss may have a boss of his own.

And seeing as you won't be working for this guy anymore, maybe it would be time to let the boss of him in on what you and (probably) your colleagues think of him.

That way, even though you may have burned a bridge with him that was already smoldering, you might be able to maintain a general good standing in the company. You former co-workers, who may themselves be higher-ups later in your career, might even appreciate the gesture.

It can also be a preemptive strike to let him know about your strained relationship with your former boss, so the überboss won't be poisened by his lies...

DEE-fense, DEE-fense! (2, Informative)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470603)

Don't underestimate what crazy people might do. Be as clean as the driven snow. Make sure you haven't taken anything out of the office. Go over anything you've signed and nail down written documentation that you've complied with it.

You can turn a conversation into a paper trail by writing a letter along the lines "This is to summarize our conversation of $DATE. I am dismayed that you would think $ACCUSATION, which as I explained is of course incorrect. If I have misunderstood your position please let me know".

It might be worth the money to consult with an employment-law attorney and ask "here's what I'm doing, I'm dealing with irrational people, what precautions do you suggest?".

Reason with him (1)

EriDay (679359) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470605)

Find a non-threatening situation in which to have a talk with him. He needs to be reminded (in a non-threatening way), that employment is a 2-way street.

He does not hold all the cards here. You obviously have some leverage, or he wouldn't be behaving the way he is.

Let him know that the best way for him to find your replacement is to not have a rep as an a-hole.

Get a special purpose mail account. Offer to answer the first 1 or 2 simple email questions for free. Then figure what you going rate should be, and pick up a few hours of gravey for a month or 2.

the next time he accuses you of anything at all (1)

ChipMonk (711367) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470606)

Tell him to put it in writing. It's the easiest and surest way to call him on his irrationality.

Then consult a lawyer, if you haven't already.

WorkplaceFairness.org (4, Informative)

kitzilla (266382) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470611)

but I'm pretty sure he's already burned it to the ground, even threatening to withhold my final paycheck if I don't find a replacement before I leave.

WorkplaceFairness [workplacefairness.org] has a few tips along these lines.

Sounds as if you've given sufficient notice. Unless you're violating some employment covenant, your employer has no legal basis by which to hold your final check and is probably attempting to intimidate you in an unlawful way.

Be professional, write or say nothing negative, ask for any employer complaint in writing, work out your notice with as much enthusiasm as you can muster, and seek any remedy after the fact.

This is why we have unions, folks. Or why we *had* unions. The workplace does NOT regulate itself.

Good luck, and enjoy your new job.

How I did it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470612)

Tell your boss you had an offer for x5 your current salary.

Don't tell your boss by any means the name of the new company.

He will agree with you that you must take the offer, unless that is he wants you to stay and is willing to increase your salary times 5.

GET OUT NOW!!! (1)

jt2190 (645297) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470615)

If there is nothing you can do to improve the relationship between you and your employer in your final days, leave now, if you can. By staying you are only incresing the probability that something you do will make the relationship even worse. I doubt you'll be using this guy as a charater reference, anyway.

best way to leave... (1)

KillShill (877105) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470625)

a job on good terms is to be on the phone with the BSA while your boss is "letting" you go... :)

Two wrongs don't make a right (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470628)

What kind of person are you? Are you prepared to sink to his level? Just take it on the chin and get on with it. You're moving on so he has no control over you. Threatening to withhold your last pay cheque is the actions of a desparate person trying to control you. Unless there is something in your contract about finding a replacement he has no grounds, although if he follows through you will have to get a lawyer to write them a letter. If you want to be proactive, seek legal advice now. Personally I would wait - how long is your notice period?

leave. now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470632)

"even threatening to withhold my final paycheck if I don't find a replacement before I leave." uuhhh that's pretty actionable there (unless it's in your contract which would be a bit odd)... time to go. now. don't pass go etc. etc. also make to sure to notify the companies HR and his management about that crap.

Not To Hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470633)

Even with all the accusations - don't ever lose your cool and don't get sucked into arguments. They can be easily infinitely circular and even if the person is shown wrong, he won't admit it and all you've done is feed his bad attitude towards you.

If you need to talk to your boss, do it at a moment when he's at a good mood, otherwise leave him alone.

If you can, give him a list of good replacements for you (someone you know is competent and looking for a job) if you filled a vital tech position they don't have someone else already in the company for.

Ditto redundancy - don't lose your cool - leave the air open for a reconciliation on his part if he so chooses.

Been there before (1)

u-235-sentinel (594077) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470651)

Had an employer like this once before (who hasnt?). After the third day I told them I had a couple weeks vacation and left on a trip out of state. He apparently thought I would be at home and tried calling. Didn't like the fact he couldn't reach me while on vacation.

Basically I told him vacation means leaving the office behind. For that matter, quitting means leaving the company behind :-)

If you have vacation time then I'd take it. You will arrive at your new company less stressfull and they get a great employee ready to go full steam. Sure it might sound like you are leaving the company in a lurch but remember, you ARE leaving them. They will simply have to get over it and move on. That's life.

What would he do? Give you 3 wks notice before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470654)

What would he do? Give you 3 wks notice before firing you? No, he'd can you then and there. Do the same, if you wish. Call it a business decision, and let him worry about it. Unless he pays you to recruit for him.

Your boss is setting himself up for a lawsuit. (1)

galaxym100 (863323) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470656)

Your boss is slandering you. I would suggest looking into getting a lawyer. You might want to politely remind him that slavery ended over a hundred years ago ( in this country) and that he does not own you. I am a old fashioned but it seems he has dishonored you and has probably been underpaying you for a long time now. We have a saying in Texas "Money talks and BS walks" and I am sure your state has a similar proverb.

Stick it out... (1)

waterford0069 (580760) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470665)

Stick it out. You made a commitment to be there until a certain date. Be there until told otherwise. Leaving earlier could be considered leaving without notice. In some parts of the world, if an employee quits a job without notice, the employeer is entitled to keep the last two weeks of pay as compensation for the lack of notice (just as if you are througn out on your kiester, typically you will get some sort of severance - two weeks).

Typically an employer will send you home when you give notice (unless there is some knowledge that really has to be transfered - but you should have already been planning for that in the first place and keeping copious notes). This way there is no opportunity for you to sabotage the operation (even if you think you are leaving on good terms).

If for some reason your boss does send you home, get it in writing. Then you have some proof that you were send home for the duration of your employment.

And ofcourse if you don't get your last cheque, you can always sue. Generally a nicely worded letter from an attourny to the owner(s) of the operation should suffice (and raise questions for the jerk to answer).

Sun? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470679)

It sounds like you work for Sun. I bet I know you.

Does he have a daughter? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470681)

If so.... Sleep with her!

Don't worry about it (1)

deanj (519759) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470691)

Jobs like that are poison.

From the sounds of it, it's a good thing you're leaving. In a job like that, it's ALL about the boss, and what will make him look good. Bosses like that place blame everywhere else, and never where the blame really belongs, squarely on their own shoulders. They ignore ideas and suggestions for new things, and when you turn around and do exactly what they ask for, they try and turn it around as if it's your fault for just doing what they're asking. The boss just can't take personal responsibility, even thought it's THEIR job. It's ALWAYS someone else's fault.

No matter what you do, it's not going going to be good enough.

If this comes up in an interview where you need a reference, use co-workers as references, not the boss.

The boss can't keep that last paycheck without getting in big trouble with the state (check your state's employment office).

If word gets back to you that the boss is bad-mouthing you, get a lawyer on retainer and sue.

Got a lawyer? (1)

ID10T5 (797857) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470694)

<IANAL>

...and has otherwise attempted to make me look bad in front of employees and long-time clients.

If what he's saying is not true, seems you may be able to claim damages for slander. However, if it is true, not much you can do here.

...even threatening to withhold my final paycheck if I don't find a replacement before I leave.

Does your job description/contract specify that you need to find your replacement? If not, that particular task is not part of your job duties and therefore your pay cannot be legally withheld. If such a chore is part of your job (but why would you have agreed to such a condition?), I'm sure there are plenty of people looking for tech jobs right now...

Is it worth sticking out the few weeks I already told him I worked or should I just cut my losses and leave early?"

Did you document the "few weeks" in your notice, or was it verbal? If it's in writing, you should probably stick with it or it may come back to haunt you later. If it's just verbal, he's got nothing he can hold against you.

</IANAL>

Be responsible for yourself... (2, Interesting)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470696)

...he has since starting making accusations of conspiracy, deceit, and has otherwise attempted to make me look bad in front of employees and long-time clients...

If you're being honest with yourself and the /. community as a whole, and if you didn't do anything to deserve the flamewar he is waging against you, then I have this to say about your soon-to-be-former boss: He's an idiot. My advice: Simply be respectful. Don't say anything bad about the boss or the job. If anyone asks (even in some sort of exit interview), tell them it was a good job and everything was fine, but you're leaving to make the next step in your career plans. Period. Believe me, in the future, when the topic comes up, people will know who was the wacky one and who was wise.

At our company, we don't have the best possible wages and benefits. What we have is good, but there are certainly other companies out there that offer something better. Every so often, employees find a "better" job and leave. I've heard what the "big boss" here says when someone gives him notice. He usually bids them farewell, invites them to come back and visit sometime, and generally gives them some advice. For example, if an employee is known around here for something detrimental, the boss will usually remind him (not to rub it in, but rather to help him out) to pay particular attention to that aspect of his work, so he will start the new job on a fresh page.

In 20 years, we only had one incident. A secretary, who was a complete wacko, got fired. She took customer lists and God only knows what other information with her, and she actually called all the customers and trashed us. She made threats, she did all kinds of stuff... Our boss, being the wise and learned man that he is, told us all not to worry about it. The ending of the story: Customers called and asked what was going on. We explained that we had fired this secretary. They all said things to the effect that, "You're better off without her." People are not stupid, and they understand who's on the up and up...

Use Google! (5, Funny)

CypherXero (798440) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470701)

You could have risked it and put in your name, his name, and the company's name. Then, wait about a week or so, and then tell him to search Google for either of those 3 terms, and watch his face in horror as the number one result is a bunch of geeks are talking about kicking him in the nuts.

Stand up (1)

azav (469988) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470702)

Stand up to him, be a man and let him know in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS that "this adolescent, unprofessional puerile shit will not fly" if he does not back down, and apologize to you and your clients for the damage done to your reputation as well as the illegal activity of threatening to withhold a paycheck, the lawyers will fly. Tell him "you know what's right, show some respect, be a man and stop being a pussy."

And be REAL sincere, strong and sincere about your opinion.

Hope this helps. I doubt he has a backbone. If you show yours, my bet is he'll fold.

small company makes it harder (1)

gseidman (97) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470703)

If I'm reading between the lines correctly, the boss you refer to is pretty near the top of the company and there isn't much in the way of an HR department. Policy is probably in short supply, and you may not even have a real contract. If any of this is accurate, you should consult with a lawyer (which does not necessarily mean hiring one; try to get a free consultation).

Really, there are two issues: your reputation and money you are/will be owed. Given that you already have a job to go to, your reputation is pretty safe as long as you behave well. That means staying through the time you committed to staying when you gave notice. You will have to balance the money you will lose by forfeiting your last paycheck against the time and money it would cost you to deal with it legally. That consultation with a lawyer will help with determining that.

It's only going to get worse. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12470707)

If you don't need references, bail. If you need references but can get them from other people, bail. Basically, it's not going to get any better.

A friend of mine went through something similar. A client who didn't understand the technology my friend was demonstrating freaked out when my friend said some code he wrote tricked the system into behaving properly. It was a way to explain a coding hack, but it turned out to be a poor choice of words. The idiotic client was so terrified she called and ranted to his boss, who instead of siding with his employee, gave him hell. Within a few days, the boss started questioning his abilities and treating him poorly, accusing him of various things, all of a sudden oblivious to the years of outstanding work he had done. It came to the point where my friend couldn't take it anymore and decided to leave. A few days before he was supposed to resign, a secretary overheard a conversation he was having with coworkers about why he was leaving. The secretary only overheard bits and pieces, and decided to tell his boss that he was talking behind his coworkers' backs. He got fired on the spot, after some three years of hard work, because of hearsay, unfounded accusations, uninformed clients, and an unstable vengeful manager.

Simply put, you do not want to be around a boss that bears grudges and will abuse his position to express his displeasure. It's not worth it.

legal action (1)

vinn (4370) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470712)

If you don't like the way you're being treated, this may qualify as harassment.
1. Document each instance of things he's done to you and others that you consider 'nuts'.
2. Tell him publically you don't like the way you're being treated.
3. Document each instance someone else has observed such behavior directed at you.

You then have two options. Take this to your state labor board, which may be completely ineffective if you're a salaried employee. Or, take it to a lawyer. With your hefty settlement you'll be able to afford to work on open source software full time and make the world a better place.

Your bridges are already burnt - if you can't absolutely guarantee he'll give you a positive recommendation then you have no reason to maintain playing his games.

Leave by leaving a condom (0)

Man in Spandex (775950) | more than 9 years ago | (#12470750)

on ur boss' door knob.

Then for ur next job when ur employer will ask for reference "what did he do before leaving" and your ex boss goes "left a condom on my door knob", ur current boss will laugh it up and you'll be da shit!
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