I started a new job two months ago, and it went very badly so I quit yesterday (within the three month probation period all jobs here have in which the employer or the employee can call it off for any or no reason). My supervisor, the main reason I’m quitting, is demanding that I tell her all the things she’s done that are making me quit because people keep quitting on her and she needs to know why. I am not really comfortable giving her a laundry list of all her failures as a supervisor because:
It all sounds petty taken one by one, but they add up to “I can’t work with this person.”
I just want out - I don’t want to get involved in some histrionic, emotional scene with her denying that she did these things or that they weren’t so bad after all.
I think she’s a little buckeyed crazy.
What do you guys think? Should I participate in her game (I gave two weeks notice, so she’ll have two more weeks to bug me)? Oh yeah, one of the major reasons for me leaving is that she’s a micro-managing, control-freak power-tripper - NO, you say! Yes, indeed! I say.
Is there a person other than your supervisor to whom you could write a letter which says (in a polite and professional manner) I quit because I can’t work with this person because of a laundry list of petty failures as a supervisor?
I don’t know that there is any reason to specify that laundry list-- I believe that individually the items are petty but taken in sum make your life miserable. And I believe that this supervisor has behaved the same way with your predecessors, and will behave the same way with your successors (whether or not you give her your reaons for quitting). But at the same time, I feel like maybe you should give someone a heads up.
Of course, maybe someone already knows, and that’s why you got stuck dealing with her.
If she’s a nutjob and you think it will cause issues, I would just tell her “it’s a lot of little things that may just be my issue” verbally and leave it at that. If you think she may actually be looking for feedback, be honest, but only verbally. Never write anything down that can come back to bite you in the ass. That’s my motto, anyway
Whatever you do, don’t burn any bridges. I suggest a polite refusal. There is no win for you here; the best you can do is not lose. If she were the sort of person that would take on board and act on your criticisms, you would not be having this conflict with her in the first place.
I should have been more specific in the OP - she has already demanded that I tell her exactly why I’m quitting (as a closed-door, “I’m not letting you out of here” interrogation when I gave her my resignation letter) - my concern is for working out the last two weeks, and if I should tell her even more than what she forced out of me yesterday. The only thing that got me out of that room was telling her that on top of any personality conflicts, the commute was not working for me - she had a hard time arguing with that. Telling her that it just wasn’t working out was nowhere near good enough.
Re: HR and higher-ups - she runs the office and all of the accounting side of things - her bosses are the owners of the company, which is in turn a subsidiary of a much larger, but somewhat distanced company. Does anyone think giving her bosses a laundry list of her failures would be a good idea (seriously asking, not snark)? I do think she is over her head in a position where she has to manage other people, but I also don’t really care - it isn’t my problem. ETA: Any longer.
You just repeat what you’ve already said. One of the most effective interrogation tactics is to keep asking the same question, framed differently. The best response is to give the same answer over and over again, framed in the same way. On about the third go-round, you just say, “I’ve already answered your question and I need to get back to work.”
That would explain why I felt like I had been beaten up when I left yesterday. It’s another one of those life experiences that I didn’t expect to happen, and wasn’t prepared for when it did. All in all, I think I did handle a rotten situation fairly well - I basically repeated the same things, and didn’t get angry or yell or anything. I did tell her that I couldn’t work with HER when she pushed far enough, but I didn’t say much else (well, I also told her that her problems with being too busy to hire someone else wasn’t my problem).
That’s good. Your response is also good, Northern Piper. Had I known how she would react, I would have gotten advice from you guys BEFORE I bearded the lion in its den. Hell, I would have quit by phone and hung up on her.
Um…how about “I have given you my notice and I don’t feel like discussing this with you anymore. Goodbye.” and then you get up and leave?
Do people have such a hard time standing up to other people? I mean what do you think is going to happen to you? This nobody middle manager from some nothing company is somehow going to derail your career? I mean it’s not like she was going to sing your praises anyway.
Thirded - or whatever we are up to now. “Something else came up” or “I decided to go in another direction/pursue other alternatives” are perfectly adequate non-answers.
A sidenote - I’m curious about the “2-week” notice aspect. I was discussing this with someone quite recently who was adamant that this was a thing of the past, and that these days when you quit a job you were most often escorted and banned from the building.