There is social protocol that says the one who is quitting a job should do it gracefully. In fact, the more gracefully you exit, the better the reference will be when you’re looking for another job. Despite the temptation to burn bridges you should avoid the sudden or rude departure and play the gentleman or the lady. Giving gifts is also a way to demonstrate that you’re above any problems that were going on while there.
A good rule of thumb to follow is never to give gifts that have significant value, whether you are leaving your job or giving gifts around the holidays. Baked goods are always a hit because there’s thought that goes into it. You’ve got a better chance of making people happy through their stomach than through any trinkets. Unless of course you are the boss, then it’s always welcome to give gift cards to your employees. Flowers can go plenty far in smoothing out a rough year in the office.
Whatever you decide to give, do it with sincerity and equally. Distributing gifts unevenly in an office can be bad, unless established rules of departmental division are clearly stated up front. Also, be sure to check with Human Resource managers to ensure there are no explicit policies against giving gifts. Even if you’re leaving, you shouldn’t violate stated policies, or put employees in an awkward situation whereby they are accepting a gift against office rules.
Top five parting gifts when quitting your job
- Take them out to drinks – Nothing says goodbye like picking up the bar tab. This is a safe way for everyone to get out of the office and feel remind themselves that it’s not all about the work, after all.
- “Kiss My $#%” custom M&Ms – We’re not saying you should burn bridges here, so why not create your custom candies with something nice: “So Long, Be Well!”
- Random office supplies left in your desk – These vultures already have an eye on that red stapler you’ve greedily guarded. You know you can’t take it with you, so you might as well gift it to the next sucker who can guard it greedily.
- Coffee gift cards – You can load up on these cards from your local coffee shop, and support their caffeine addition at the same time. Nothing says thank you like nurturing coffee addicts!
- Mummy Mike Rubber Band Holder – Well, if you are feeling a little bitter about being tied down at the job, you can show your feelings by giving this novelty gift. Available at http://store.heliotropehome.com/mumirubaho.html
Sometimes we sabotage our jobs because we want to quit our jobs. On the extreme end we might have sordid affairs at the office (getting it on with a co-worker when you know you shouldn’t), but more common are the little sins we commit in an office or workplace that serve to protest our wanting to get fired. Dumb.com has a clever little collection of dumb reasons I got fired, includes those who asked for it (i.e., I secretly gave my boss Ex-lax constipation medicine instead of chocolate) to those who let their personal life get in the way of their professional one (i.e., I let my ex-boyfriend into the Pizza Hut where I was working and we got drunk and passed out on the floor of the restaurant). Perhaps the very best rant was posted anonymously under the headline ‘Mean Boss’, but it would seem that the employee might learn a thing or two about dealing with an abusive boss or co-worker in the workplace:
I was working as a marketing executive at an IT firm. My boss was handicapped, short, and a very loud, rude mouth. He was (is still) the meanest and most cruel boss on the face of the Planet! Well one day a customer walked into our premises with a laptop that he had previously bought from us. He claimed it was faulty and started yelling and demanding his money back. I was the one who officiated the sale so when it came to my boss’ attention, he blew off the roof. He started cursing me and yelling at me as to how i suck at my job. Then he went on to abuse my mum. That was it! I got into a fit, grabbed his neck, pulled him out of the wheel chair and threw him out the window!… (lucky for him we were on the gound floor…) He called me “the biggest idiot I’ve ever seen” so I told him that only an idiot employs an idiot! Ofcourse after that i was fired, ordered to pay for the broken window. – dumb.com
Getting sloppy with our work on purpose is not a laughing matter. It’s the little infractions on a job that lead to getting fired, and getting fired means you’ll have a hard time finding another job. Stealing paper clips from the office or spending too much time on Facebook in the afternoons might go unnoticed for a while, but remember that these little sins are not often lost to bosses who might one day tally them up, then decide it’s time for you to go. Perhaps it’s better to recognize your unhappiness and take action to leave before that inevitable time comes. Take your future in your own hands!
We don’t endorse scorched earth policies when you leave your job, but we do understand the joy in watching others go out with aplomb. Please note that word “aplomb” is different than “a bomb”. There are many checklists to reference when planing to quit your job, guidelines to help you avoid making enemies while going graceful into the sunset. But checking boxes is different than using common sense. When US News wrote, “notify your boss in person”, they meant you should inform him or her in a delicate and private manner, not with a viral video on the Internet. The Classy Woman blogspot suggests to “Exit Gracefully”, so announcements over microphones pretty much negate grace. Monster adds that above all, you should keep your cool in a heated situation, but they say nothing about bringing your own matches and lighting a fire underneath the boss’s seat.
Let’s take a moment to review our top five favorite exits, while reminding ourselves that these ex-workers are still looking for another job.
- Dance Your Way Out – Marina Shifrin worked for a Taiwanese animation company and quit her job to dance as a pole dancer (not really). Without irony, Shifrin told the Huffington Post “I’m fed up with constant shift in duty changes.”
- Douche Your Way Out – Because your life soundtrack sounds like violins and teardrops, it’s best to give your coworkers a feeling that there will be a hit movie made about you after you leave.
- Announce it to the World – The greatest part about quitting is watching your boss wipe his brow in anguish, wishing his lowly workers would behave themselves when checking out for the last time. Oh yeah, don’t forget to have your friend film the whole thing. Wait for it.
- The Friendly Farewell – Because entertaining your coworkers is the whole reason to make a scene on your way out, make sure to loop your boss in on the whole escapade. That’s quitting your job by the rules.
- Hire a Marching Band – Quitting your job with a raucous parade out the door is silver, but having a job waiting for you once your on the outside is gold.
It’s a desperate situation one never wants to find him or herself … report the workplace problem to a higher authority or keep your mouth shut? Take, for example, a driver in Connecticut who reported an unsafe truck within the fleet at Polumbo Trucking. The company went on the offensive and sued the driver and the mechanic who leveled the accusations. Appeals followed and the federal government eventually upheld the rights of the accusers. Whistle blowers everywhere sighed relief, but there’s no word on the fate of the employee at Polumbo Trucking. He’s likely going to have a hard time staying employed or finding another company willing to hire the tattletale.
Protection for tattletales was what labor unions first aimed to provide during the 1800s. Workers often couldn’t complain without serious repercussions. And while many unions organized for the purpose of raising wages and improving harsh working conditions, the real victories were improved safety conditions in the workplace. When workers were not afraid to report problems, working environments became safer.
Today, most labor unions obsess about contracts and pension plans, idealistic for a fairness in compensation. But safety remains a major concern, frequently brought up in negotiations. Ample break time and a reasonable work weeks prevent human error, for instance.
But most of us don’t have the protection of labor unions, although everyone agrees on the necessity for protecting tattletales who protect us. All too often the tattletales become martyrs, sacrificing their own careers in the name of justice. Lydia Dishman recently wrote about the career danger in calling out an employer in the name of justice: How to Whistleblow Like Edward Snowden Without Blowing Your Career. We’ll summarize the points below:
- Examine the Risk vs. Reward
- Blow Without Blowing Your Career
- Human Resources Should Play a Role, Too
Seems like common sense, but in the heat of the moment we find ourselves not thinking clearly. Perhaps there’s an immediate threat or you have anger over the situation. Whatever the reason, it is important to cover your bases and mitigate the fallout if you go public about what’s going on within your company.
Bullying and intimidating has taken a front seat in today’s culture wrought with ego maniacal CEOs that glorify the prodigal genius at the expense of the average worker. So let’s take a look at what the common scheme is for abuse in the workplace. There’s actually a recognizable recipe for abuse that can help you address and change your situation.
A recent survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute concluded that more than 35 percent of Americans reported being bullied at work. Sexual harassment and racial discrimination have subsided, only to be replaced by the underbelly of human egos, manifesting in bullying. Bullying typically takes place when the least competent manager attempts to compensate for his or her lack of real contribution to the business, which results in the offender pushing himself forward to be noticed in ways that are meant to let everyone else know whose presence is biggest. It is helpful to recognize the patter, then take action to make a change.
Recognizing the cycle of an abusive boss or coworker
Workplace abuse falls into a common pattern that is frightfully common in today’s work environment:
- Bullying – Your boss or coworker attacks our pesters you with regular abuse, with the purpose to make you feel bad
- Sorrow – After intimidating you, your boss or coworker blames him or herself for the bullying portrayed. But their sorrow has more to do with them getting in trouble with others than any sorrow over what they’ve done to you.
- Excuses – They make excuses such as “it was a high stress situation” or “I was under a lot of pressure at that time
- Return to Normal – They do everything they can to gain control over themselves and stop the abusive behavior. They may act as if nothing happened or seem especially charming. This is called the honeymoon phase
- Plan of Attack – Believe it or not, these people find it necessary to bully and pester, so they’ll begin to make plans for how they’re going to bully again. They look for mistakes you’ve made and character shortcomings, then attack.
- Scheme – The abusers puts their plans into action and create the scenarios where the bullying can start again
The age-old question is more talk than action these days. Find me someone who has never asked themselves “Should I quit my job” and you’ve found someone who has never had to work for his or her own money. At some point in your life, regardless of your success, you’re going to dislike what you’re doing enough to ask the question. But quitting your job outright, without another job in the wings, is something to be avoided. NEVER quit your job unless there’s a serious problem with the workplace, in which case you should file a federal discrimination complaint immediately or file a complaint about job health issues.
Quit for a Good Reason
More likely, you are gauging what it means to be in an unhealthy environment, wanting to grow into a new career, or simply deciding that you are ready for a new and wonderful career path that is different from what you’ve been doing. We’re talking about not burning bridges. If you are in an unhealthy job environment, it beggars the worker to take action to get out of it. There are a few tools we can use to evaluate whether to quit the job (including taking the test). In other words, don’t just talk about getting out of an abusive job; instead, evaluate the situation, make an action plan and then execute. A few tried and true procedures can help accomplish this task responsibly and quickly.
- No Communication – Do you receive emails from your coworkers or managers about problem matters when they are only steps away? Do you find that people tip-toe around big problems with no one willing to call out a bigger problem? Do you find that there is a blackout about what’s going on in a firm?
- Bad Leadership – Do you see the managers and senior directors are not doing their work? Do you find that there is no sense of direction of what to do next? Do you find yourself surfing the Internet because you’re waiting on management to tell you where to go next? Do you not respect the boss?
- Sink or Swim – Do you find yourself in situations where coworkers or managers could train you on how to do something but repeatedly don’t? Do you find that there’s a general misunderstanding for how the work should be done? Is there a sense that nobody knows what the heck is going on?
- Teamless – No support, no help, no cohesion, no feeling of responsibility spread across the department or business? Are you in it together or going it alone?
- No feedback Given – Do you find there is nobody willing to feedback to you, or if they do it’s acerbic criticism or general praise? Do you have periodic and scheduled reviews of the work?
- Dead-end Job – Is there no chance of advancement within the company? Is there little or no learning of job skills? Is it a path to stagnation?
- Checking it In – Is there a sense that nobody around you really cares and is merely showing up to collect paychecks? Is there a feeling that monotony rules the roost? Are you bored consistently?
- Crappy Office – Does the quality of the work environment suck?
- Bad Pay – Nothing further needed to be said about not making what you deserve.
- Dislike Job – Nothing will improve your situation if you don’t like the work you’re doing. If you’re doing it for the money, glory or for the power then you’re likely to make yourself and those around you (including your family) miserable along the way.
Have you ever asked yourself the question “Should I quit my job“? If so, we’d love to hear from you in the comments on whether you quit your job or not and if so, for what reason.
Hate your job? Get in line! Complaining about a bad job at a party is something similar to bringing up the subject of politics at a birthday party, or discussing the merits of birth control at a pro-life rally. Needless to say, it’ll likely fall on deaf ears if you’re using the nonconstructive word “hate”. The point here is that we should consider whether we want to bring down the mood of a conversation BEFORE we bring up our hate for a boss, co-worker or a job as a whole.
As the old joke goes, Do you hate your job? Oh, right, there’s a support group for that called EVERYBODY. They hold meetings every day at the bar. But do you really want to be that person bringing everyone down with what they already know? Believe me, they know you’re miserable because you’ve been ranting and raving about it since, well, forever.
Hate the word Hate
Hate is an overused word, one that is more in line with racial or cultural problems, not your impression of going to work. There are concrete procedures to follow if you have problems with an abusive boss or coworker. And there are ways to deal with that terror you’re feeling. Here are a few steps to take to take the “hate” out of your job.
- Introspect – Why do I hate my current job and what feelings does it illicit in me? Is it the place, or is it just me?
- What is it? – After looking at yourself, then you should list out the things on a sheet of paper that you don’t like.
- Talk – Have you addressed your problem with your immediate boss? They will likely have an opinion on how to help.
- Be Optimistic – You can fake it until you make it into another job. Nothing good comes from being Debbie-downer or Johnny-raincloud
- Be Professional – Don’t sabotage yourself and bring down your coworkers at the same time. Nothing good ever came from cutting your nose off despite your face.
- Set goals – Again, take steps to plan a career change.
- Change – If you’ve gone through all these steps and you are still hating your job, then now’s the time to change jobs responsibly.
Notice that there is nothing about bitching and moaning to your friends and family. That’s not a concrete course of action, although it may help you feel better about yourself in the short term. The key to understanding and devising a plan of action is to work on what it takes to get out of the bad situation. Be organized and be successful in loving your next job.