How much feedback should I give this company I just quit?

As a supervisor, I can see where the information would be useful, but the tone and methods used to solicit it border on threatening and aren’t conducive to honesty. That’s what I’d tell her, too.

If you care to: Offer to speak to her on your last day (only if you think she has potential to really listen) in an official exit interview, but not before then.

If you don’t care to: Say you wish her the best with her next candidate, but nothing would be achieved by entering into detail about your specific experience.

That’s when you’re fired or leave on bad terms. In an amicable situation, you can ride out the two weeks to give the supervisor time to staff your position. I wouldn’t give a decent reference to anyone who gave me less than two weeks, but then again chances are they wouldn’t ask me to.

It is customary, in as far as I’m aware anyway, to offer to work for two weeks after the day you tender your resignation. This is probably intended to serve as a period for you to wrap up any loose ends to the best of your ability, possibly train someone other than you in any aspect of your job that wasn’t already cross-trained to someone else, and generally make sure the transition from you to the next person is as smooth as possible.

In reality, a large number of employers would rather (for security and possibly morale reasons) you just left immediately. In essence, they’d rather deal with the potential hassle of having unexpected loose ends bite them than the potential hassle of having an outbound employee hanging around for two weeks. In my experience, even those that would rather you left immediately are still all pissy if you fail to make the offer of two weeks’ notice.

featherlou is posting from Canada - our employment laws are different. Notice is still an important part of our labour standards.

If the employer wants to fire someone, even an employee with an open-ended unwritten contract, they have to give notice based on the amount of time that the employee has been with that employer. If the employer wants the employee out right away, the employer has to pay the employee the salary equivalent of the notice period.

It’s a bit different for employees. An employee can always just walk out, but salary ceases immediately. Giving notice entitles the employee to continue working for the notice period and get paid for that period. Depending on the employee’s personal situation, that may be an attractive option, allowing the employee to try to line up a new job, while still getting paid for the old one. Some employers will offer to pay out the employee instead of having them work for the notice period - depends on their own employment policies, nature of the work (e.g. - concerns about confidentiality). But they can’t just kick out the employee who has given notice without paying out the employee.

This is all just general discussion, of course. The exact way it works in a particular setting will depend on the labour standards act of that province, the employee’s contract of employment, and so on.

It is customary in Alberta, where the OP is located, for an employee to give notice. Whether the employer chooses to let the employee work it or not is up to them–but if the employer does not, it is still liable to the employee for the pay that the employee would have earned had he or she worked during the legal notice period. From the Alberta Employment Standards Code:

Many employers would prefer to get the notice period’s work out of the employee (and pay them for it), rather than have to pay them for not working.

Note, however, that technically, featherlou did not have to give any notice at all. Again, from the Employment Standards Code, linked to above (ellipsis indicates irrelevant material edited out):

And to featherlou herself: I’d suggest just leaving–you don’t owe anybody an explanation. If you like, shake hands all round (yes, even the supervisor you don’t like), tell everybody it’s been nice to work with them, and don’t burn any bridges. Good luck!

Say nothing or risk that person badmouthing you during any subsequent calls to check on or verify your employment there. Legal or not. Or during any future employment searches where that person works for the company you’re looking for a job with.

Short answer - yes. But I think you already knew that, and were just making a point.

I’m not too worried about future references or anything - this job will never show up on my resume.

Thank you for this perspective - something (other than the interrogation) felt wrong in our conversation, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, and I think this is it. It is indeed not my job to fix all of HER problems.

I guess I’m in the minority here but I would provide honest, constructive feedback, and specific details to back up what I’m saying. It’s possible that she’ll actually read the thing, take it to heart and maybe the next person she hires won’t have such a miserable experience - that’s a win for both of those people.

I have had to give honest feedback regarding an extremely incompetent manager before and I was careful to only put in writing things that I would be comfortable defending in front of her or her boss. As it happened this person got such a torrent of negative feedback that they were let go. If people had not been honest about the facts she’d probably still be around, destroying morale, doing a lousy job and costing the firm quality employees.

Just to add to what **Northern Piper **said, it is fairly common here for employees who have found a new job, but who are leaving their current employers while still on good terms, to give at least two weeks notice to allow for a transition period. Notice given may be even longer, depending on circumstances.

To featherlou, in the circumstances you’ve described, I can’t see any upside in you disclosing any more to your manager. From what you’ve described, it doesn’t sound like her personality is given to enlightened self-awareness, or a willingness to accept criticism, so what good would it do, other than ending up in a “did not - did too” situation.

I think that if the next two weeks are going to be hellish, having Featherlou “make a stand” and tell the supervisor things like “it’s not my job to make you a better manager”, or “I am not answering your questions” are going to make things horribly worse. The tension and stress on Featherlou will be awful.

If it were me, I’d smile and tell the supervisor that I’d be glad to have a chat about the whole thing, but say that I’d prefer to have it at the end of my last day on the job. That way, the last 2 weeks might be actually bearable and the supervisor might even be nice during that time since I have something she wants from me. Then, on the last day there, I’d either stand her up or just say “sorry, something came up, gotta go, sorry we never got a chance to have that chat”.

A minor warning: a lot of industries are small towns; even if you don’t list the job on your resume, people may learn of it.

RE: should you give feedback? Only if the person’s supervisor asks.

RE: badgering. If it happens again, insist the interview be conducted in front of two witnesses.


You shouldn’t waste any time worrying, of course. But you should still be careful. Aside from j666’s point that people may hear about it even if it isn’t on your resume, maybe someday five years from now, you will run into her at another company. There’s no guarantee SHE won’t leave (or be fired) and end up somewhere else.

We’re conditioned, to be “nice,” that we play by social rules. If someone asks you something, there’s a good deal on pressure to comply.

I have to deal with both a sister and a sister who don’t play by normal social rules. When that happens, you are freed from having to comply yourself.

The boss is far too over the top and her demainding that you tell her everything bad, in all the gory details, is too much. Especially since she’s refusing to really listen.

I agree with Valgard. This woman has a problem. People don’t want to work with her. She doesn’t know why. She has asked for feedback and it sounds like she’s really clueless.

I would tell her. But I would ask for a couple of days to frame my answers, I would come up with the behavior and some specific illustrations of it, and I damn sure wouldn’t put them on paper. She’s the one who should be taking notes.

Can you point out a couple of things? Just from your posts it sounds like the lady has some boundary issues, that is to say–she crosses your boundaries, and doesn’t realize she’s doing it.

Your situation was a bit different. You were staying at a job and had a vested interest in resolving the issue of your incompetent manager. Futhermore, it sounds like you had some support from the higher-ups – they recoginzed that there was an issue with the manager and respected you enough to ask for your input. In this situation, it makes sense to be constructively honest.

In the case of leaving a job and an incompetent manager, I really don’t think it does make sense. Sure, there is a slight possibility that your letter might be the one to break through to the manager, but the chance is tiny. A person that is so self-unaware is not likely to take constructive criticism to heart. On the flip-side, the chance that something you say will come back to bite you is much greater. Also, people that leave a job have no influence once they are gone. The manager can represent you, your work, and your feedback any way they want. I think it is best to minimize the chances that your manager will want to misrepresent you.

I just don’t think it makes sense from a risk-reward perspective.

Two answers that I have used when asked for feedback during an exit-interview are:

  1. “I’ve been pretty good about giving constructive feedback as things come up. I think everyone understands my ideas, so there is no need to rehash them.” Obviously this only works if you have been honest along the way.
  2. “I think it would make more sense to ask for feedback from the current employees since they have a vested interest in things running smoothly.” This might sound like a cop-out, but I think it is a better way to get feedback and improve things.

Clam up.

Featherlou, you are one of the more reasonable folks on the SDMB, so when you say that you think that “she’s a little buckeyed crazy” and that a further interview would result in “some histrionic, emotional scene with her denying that she did these things or that they weren’t so bad after all,” I take that at face value. Nothing good could come to you from such an interview.

There is nothing in law that requires you to participate in such an interview.

It is very important to keep good relations with previous employers, but from what you have said, a further interview with this particular person will not help with goodwill, and may harm it.

Since you simply wish to move on, rather than sue for constructive dismissal, do put any of your reasons for leaving into writing.

If she corners you, and won’t accept that you do not wish to be interviewed, just tell her that you are too embarassed to talk about it, and when she continues to press, tell her in the most sincere way you can, that it is her personal hygiene problem. The trick is to appear so earnest that she believes you.

As discussed in other threads;
“Am I free to go?”
“I’d like to speak with my lawyer”.

Then clam up!

Early on working with her, I got two strong clues that she wasn’t interested in feedback. Now she’s demanding I give her feedback, when she has already demonstrated she won’t take it. If she had approached me in a normal, calm, professional way, I might be more open to discussing things with her (but if she was normal, calm and professional, I probably wouldn’t be quitting). As it is, she has approached this as she has approached every conflict we’ve had - trying to control me and blowing up at me. She’s obviously her own worst enemy - nothing gets people to shut down faster than demanding (angrily) that they tell you things. Hey, maybe I can use that as an example - “Remember how you flew off the handle when I gave you my resignation letter? Yeah, that’s a good example of things to NOT do to people you’re supervising.”

She absolutely has boundary issues. I really don’t know if there’s any point discussing this with someone so lacking in self-awareness. I don’t think I can give her instructions on how to not step all over other people’s boundaries in every situation - she either needs to take some courses in how to manage people, or she needs to not manage other people.