A Bit More On My Exit Interview

I have seen some comments on the web about my exit interview. Interesting comments for sure. So I thought I would add a bit more response. It's hard to express the tone of a person in a text medium like a blog. It was just the way the HR person spoke and the tone of his voice that really got to me. Almost condescending. I can understand being confused, and maybe even a bit flabbergasted, about me leaving just after a year. But there is right and wrong way to express that. I thought he stepped over to the wrong side of that line.

My boss himself understood. He didn't want me to leave, but he told me straight up that personal and family situations come first. Would he hire me again? I would like to think so; he said I did good work.

Someone told me that 18 months is a pretty standard time for many people to stay in one company. I don't know about that, but I did stay at my first company for 10 years, so it is not like I make a habit out of moving from company to company.

The job itself wasn't my dream job. I took the job not because I thought I would love it, but more because it filled a need for my current situation at the time. If I was "in love" with the work, I probably would have tried to find a way to make it work -- maybe the 115 mile commute would have taken on a different flavor. But even then, a very difficult decision would have had to be made. I would say the job was fair to good, but there were some issues with the role, the team and the work itself that did not make it a perfect situation.

The bottom line is that life happens, and life is more than just your career. You can't always time things perfectly to make sure all parties involved don't feel slighted. You can, however, do your best when you are doing what you are doing, but sometimes you just have to make decisions that you think are best for you and your family. And that's it really -- not much more I can say about it.

My Exit Interview Was Not A Pleasant Experience

In my previous post, I hinted that I was none to pleased with my exit interview. Well, here are the details. At 10 AM, I went to the HR person's office. It started out innocently enough. We shook hands. I handed him some of their belongings (badge, cell phone, VPN hardware key). I sat down.

Then it started to go downhill quick. He made quick mention that I am leaving at just over a year of being hired (3 days to be exact). He wondered why. I told him it was for mainly personal reasons, primarily that the 115 mile round trip commute was not sustainable, and we are not moving back to where the company was located. I said we are going to stay put where we are, or maybe even move back West.

Then he starting questioning me saying things like 'Well you just moved to your current location that is 115 miles away, and now you may be considering moving again. I am confused. What is going on with you?' I told him that it was personal and family related. 

He then went on to say that they did not even recoup the cost of relocating me and hiring me for the year since I am leaving so quickly -- that they obviously made a mistake with the whole hire. I felt like I was getting the 3rd degree here when I thought an exit interview was to discuss what I thought of my management and company. I was getting angry inside -- basically I was thinking, it is your damn policy that a new hire work a year at the company after being relocated and, after that, there is no further obligation. I fulfilled my obligation! I even did quite well at work over the year. My manager said I would have fell in the successful part of the bell curve for my review, maybe even almost in the above successful category. I would have gotten a raise.

It even says in the handbook that employment is "at will". I mean they can lay me off / fire me without cause, and I can leave without cause. Me doing the exit interview was a courtesy to them; and here I am feeling like I am on trial.

I kept my anger bottled up and acted professional. He apologized and said he didn't mean to make me feel uncomfortable and make me feel like I was getting an inquisition. I said OK, and we moved on to the "normal" exit interview questions. I didn't throw anyone nor the company under the bus; I just answered the questions and left.

Not fun at all; not a pleasant experience :-(

But that is the past and now it is time to look to the future, which I am looking forward to :-)

T Minus 0.5 days

Well, it is about 12 hours until my exit interview (10 AM Friday morning). There they will surely ask me why I decided to leave, what I liked and disliked about the company and rip what is really their possessions away from me (laptop, phone, etc.) I have submitted my last work related stuff to my manager and team. I have nearly made my laptop ready for use by the next person. So tomorrow when I get to work, I will walk around saying goodbye to the 2 or 3 people to whom I regularly talked -- yeah, kind of sad; I really had hardly no interaction with anyone over the past year at work.

I am getting more excited and nervous as the hour of enlightenment draws near.

The Mobile Phone Shuffle Sucks

Leaving a company is stressful for many obvious reasons. But one that adds to the stress level quite a bit is around the mobile phone. My company gave me a mobile phone and plan when I joined. And, like most everyone else, the phone became a business/personal phone. Thus, my family, friends, acquaintances call me on this line -- more than any co-workers do, for sure.

When I leave, I have to give the phone, phone number and plan back. Man, I can't even transfer to another plan and keep the phone number!!!

So, now I am put in the position of trying to find a new phone and plan in the most seamless way possible. Seamless, yeah right -- gotta find the right plan, the right phone, tell all of my contacts, update my resume, update my bank information and other on-line sources, etc. :-(

The mobile phone shuffle sucks! If I ever work for a company again, and not for myself, I believe I will have a clear separation of personal and business mobile phones. I don't want to go through this again.

Well, I need to have all this straightened out by next Friday. Wish me luck :-)

 (btw, I know there are worse atrocities in the world -- I am just trying to make a point even on a relatively trivial situation such as this)