Posted by: Gregoryno6 | March 6, 2014

My most interesting resignation ever.

When you label the top man a dangerous idiot and his senior managers gutless, you can’t expect a completely friendly response.

Part 1: I declare my position. The other side responds.

The other side’s position had been clear from the day the Dangerous Idiot took control two years ago. His first visit to every branch and division had been the same: walk in, ask a few cursory questions, find an issue. Issue found, he could then berate the manager in front of his staff. It was embarrassing to witness. A less than ideal start to the relationship, and it was not destined to improve much.

Some of DI’s moves made sense. The company as a whole had grown complacent about workplace safety; he tightened up procedures. And management in the uppermost ranks was carrying a lot of dead wood. Very expensive dead wood. Unfortunately DI had the people skills of a housebrick to the cranium. His management style was pure I Know I’m Right, Don’t Argue. He beat down disagreement through sheer force and the company began losing competent people – the sort of people who were ready to raise questions.

As the first-raters disappeared the second-raters moved up. Their talent lay in following orders, not giving them, which suited the Dangerous Idiot. For the rest of the company it created hell. By late 2013 there was practically nobody left in senior management who was prepared to say ‘Hey, wait a minute – let’s just think this over.’ Stupid decisions got through unchallenged. The fallout landed heaviest on the people at the bottom.

We had enough to struggle with. The Dangerous Idiot had cut our numbers to the point where we simply couldn’t do what had to be done. There were times when the phone was left to ring for half an hour because there was nobody free to answer it. The customers were generally understanding – but the DI was giving them the treatment too. Pricing became a common complaint. Familiar faces became less familiar. I worked with a good team at my branch, and many customers said they’d rather drive across town to use us rather than other branches… but we were being stretched too thin.

Finally, just before Christmas, the Dangerous Idiot’s latest grand strategy was unveiled. A company name change.
New name. New colours. New signage. New uniforms. New stationery. New paintwork for the company cars. Money for all of this and God knows what else. I couldn’t imagine a more contemptuous signal to the staff. Hell no, we WON’T hire. There’s no money for that. We can finance a heap of cosmetic changes, though, you betcha!

Change everything on the outside. Change nothing on the inside.

I was not impressed.

-0O0-

The corporate facelift was a surprise but it didn’t alter my thinking. As far back as August last year I had advised the company of my general plans. The annual review form asked ‘What are your career aspirations?”To not be here for much longer,’ I replied.

With Christmas gone and the new year begun I set my exit date. I didn’t spare feelings in my resignation; I was prepared for trouble, and I certainly got some. Just not the trouble I expected.

A couple of days after I submitted notice my boss came to me. The personnel officer had called to offer two possible courses of action: I could work out my obligatory four weeks, and be paid for that – or I could leave on the spot and get nothing. Except the holiday pay I was owed.

I asked my boss ‘Are you sure you got that right?’ He agreed that it was crazy; he’d asked the HR officer to repeat it too, just to be sure he was hearing her correctly. I said I’d work the four weeks.

We talked about it later, shaking our heads in disbelief. The holiday pay aspect made the deal even more offensive. To keep in line with the DI’s new leave policy, I’d had to go into deficit over January. I’d LOST a piece of my first 2014 pay to cover that. My manager was as shocked as I was that anyone would suggest such a cockamamie plan – he hasn’t fallen prey to the company’s toxic culture. When the last customer was served we closed up and went home. We probably cracked a joke or two about what they’d try next.

Nothing happened for a couple of weeks. It seemed that the Dangerous Idiot had had his one brilliant idea and given up. And then my boss’s boss dropped by for a chat. He was one of the managers I’d had in mind when I used the word ‘gutless’, and by God he knew it. ‘Hey, Greg,’ he said, ‘Got a moment? Your gutless manager wants to talk to you!’

‘Those are fighting words,’ he said when we were alone in the warehouse. ‘Do you want to have a go? Do you?’

I brushed him off, replying that I’d said my piece in the letter. I thought that sounded weak and I expected him to come back with a sneer. ‘You’re all talk, you pansy.’ He was angry. He just wasn’t angry enough to throw the first punch himself. Nothing more was said about fisticuffs. Instead he gave me what he thought was a brutal dressing down. I was only a mediocre employee, I’d had conflicts with all my managers, made lots of mistakes – Gutless didn’t say outright that he’d been protecting me all along but he came damn close.

I let him roll. At the end of it I said, ‘Problem solved – I’m leaving!’

‘You’re leaving,’ Gutless agreed – but not with any relief. His shoulders fell. The steam went out of him.

I could guess his situation. Just as the Dangerous Idiot would have given the HR lady her script, he had now ordered Gutless to provoke me into a mistake. He wanted me to either to take a swing – instant dismissal for misconduct – or to just walk out. Fuck you, I quit! The Idiot didn’t want to pay me a cent.

Gutless had failed in his mission. Master would not be pleased.

Read on here…

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