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I'm leaving because:

  1. My desk is far too high, nearly at shoulder height. I go home every day with wrist, elbow, shoulder, and back pain. I'm 30 and this has never happened before in previous offices or when I worked from home in my last job. The monitors have built in, non-adjustable stands, so they sit another 6 inches above the desk so the bottom bezel of the monitor is pretty much at eye level. This causes neck strain because I'm looking up all day.

  2. The office is very poorly lit with no windows and almost no indoor lighting.

The company has immediately shut down any suggestion I've provided, like a lamp for my desk area, a higher office chair, a cushion for my chair, etc. and would not let me bring in a cushion because they said it's a "safety hazard" because I could fall off the chair. They said I could purchase my own office chair and they would "test" and approve it downstairs, then I could bring it in. I thought that was fine. (I'm also not allowed to work from anywhere but my desk.)

Then I looked at the price of an office chair. Then I started looking for a new job. 3 weeks later, I've accepted an offer and will give notice tomorrow (Friday). It's been 5 months. This will be my first short stay in my career.

Except for these issues, the work is fine, the people are great, my boss is fantastic, etc. and I wouldn't be leaving. But this isn't sustainable. I'm resigning for ergonomic reasons and ideally I want to explain this at the exit interview, so they know it's nothing personal, and hopefully they will take action for others if they see that someone is actually leaving over it. Since it's nothing personal, is it professionally safe to explain my ergonomic reasons or should I just keep it vague like "it's not a good fit"?

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Neo Jan 10 at 16:16
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I'm resigning for ergonomic reasons and ideally I want to explain this at the exit interview, so they know it's nothing personal, and hopefully they will take action for others if they see that someone is actually leaving over it. Since it's nothing personal, is it professionally safe to explain my ergonomic reasons or should I just keep it vague like "it's not a good fit"?

Why would it not be professional to tell them the reasons you're leaving?

Yes, tell them.

There's nothing to gain by not being straightfoward with them.

There's nothing to lose by being straightforward with them.

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    @Krishna That's all more reason to resign, if HR is angry with for letting them know about a genuine problem you have and can be solved with minimal effort - you really need to think whether you want to continue being a part of that organization? What happens when you actually have a tricky problem? – Sourav Ghosh Jan 9 at 17:24
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    You're leaving, why does it matter how they take it? You're being honest about why you're leaving, if they don't like it that's their problem. – joeqwerty Jan 9 at 17:28
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    @souravghosh did you read the question? I'm leaving the organization. This is about an exit interview – Krishna Jan 9 at 17:32
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    If you're worried that your honesty with them would negatively affect your reference from them then perhaps you shouldn't use them as a reference. Everything you've stated seems perfectly reasonable to me. If they take umbrage with it then I'd be inclined to not use them as a reference. – joeqwerty Jan 9 at 17:37
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    @souravghosh because your questions at the end make absolutely no sense if you read the question. I don't think you misread it. I think you didn't read it at all. – Krishna Jan 9 at 17:38
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The moment you decide to leave a job, their problems stop being your problems.

If they ask "what can we do in future to make life easier for other people who work here?" that's an opening to give them some feedback about problems in their building.

But you cannot fix their problems. So you have nothing to gain from offering unsolicited advice. They've already proven to you they have no interest in that kind of advice.

Avoid saying anything negative. Instead of saying, "not a good fit," say "I have an opportunity that's too good to pass up" and let it go at that. You don't want the HR person conducting the exit interview to check the [] do not rehire box on the exit form. Leave 'em smiling, not frowning.

Good luck.

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    And how would you reprazed "My basic setup is making my back/shoulder hurt and when I bring such issues to HR, people get angry" to something positive? Unless you're saying "say a generic thing", this answer isnt very helpful for the case of OP :) – Martijn Jan 10 at 8:46
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    @Martijn that's exactly what he's saying with "I have an opportunity that's too good to pass up". I disagree about the last argument of this answer though, because the HR person of OP's company is a big part of the problem, so it's OP who wouldn't rehire them. – Pierre Arlaud Jan 10 at 9:16
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    Honestly, it sounds like OP should be ticking his own [✓] do not reapply box here :·) – Will Crawford Jan 10 at 11:49
  • @WillCrawford I honestly wouldn't tick that box. But, If I ever was in the position of wanting to reapply for whatever reason, my first question in the interview would be "Would you have any problem in buying new furnitures in case the provided ones turn out uncomfortable?" – bracco23 Jan 10 at 15:26
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    Its not unsolicited advice. This is literally the purpose of an exit interview. How is this a positively voted answer when you fundamentally don't understand the question? – Josh Jan 10 at 21:28
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I'd still say - do not go into details, give them a very generalized reason and move on.

As you mentioned in another comment that when you wanted to discuss / report this issue, HR folks got angry, so most likely citing the same reason for leaving is not going to be taken positively and appreciated.

There'e nothing for you to gain by providing any feedback at this point. Most likely it'll be taken as a rant and the interview report will go to bin.

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    In this case, there is something to gain, and the OP should be able to avoid making it a rant. The OP might be interested in returning to the old employer at some time in the future. If they just have a general "bad fit" reason for leaving after only 5 months they may not want to risk that happening again. If they know that the OP is leaving because of ergonomics, they know what has to change to keep the OP as a long term employee. – Patricia Shanahan Jan 9 at 17:36
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    @PatriciaShanahan I don't necessarily disagree with you, but there's no guarantee that the working condition will change / improve, so maybe it'll not a good choice to return, after all. – Sourav Ghosh Jan 9 at 17:45
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    Who else is free to explain those conditions are bad enough to leave, than someone who leaves for these reasons? OP should be honest and do all remaining employees a favour, while OP has nothing to lose anymore. – puck Jan 9 at 18:10
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    I agree with the all three above comments. I once had a chance to tell an employer why I was leaving, but instead gave a generic remark about finding a physically closer job. I should have instead said "If you don't already know, there's nothing I can say now that would make a difference." Whether that would have changed anything, it doesn't matter, I would have felt better for it and maybe they would have changed. Instead, they still probably see themselves as not having done anything wrong. – computercarguy Jan 9 at 23:13
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Tell them the reason you're leaving; it's a solid reason, and that knowledge may help them prevent future employees from leaving.

However - don't leave it at that. If you're going to be honest and deliver some bad news to them, you should also deliver good news. Make sure they know that you enjoyed everything else about the job, and single some items and people out for special mentions.

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    and that knowledge may help them prevent future employees from leaving. if they'd paid attention, the might just had retained OP. – Sourav Ghosh Jan 9 at 18:05
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    "you should also deliver good news" - The infamous "crap sandwich" ... – Fildor Jan 10 at 10:01
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it was not a good fit, as I mentioned earlier. My body does not fit the workstation, I was going home with a lot of pain, and my doctor told me to stop immediately.

It's too bad. I liked everything else about the company.

That's what you say.

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The monitors have built in, non-adjustable stands, so they sit another 6 inches above the desk so the bottom bezel of the monitor is pretty much at eye level. This causes neck strain because I'm looking up all day.

This looks like an OSHA violation. If I'm reading [the OSHA documentation] right, the top bezel should be at eye level, not the bottom one.


I'm resigning for ergonomic reasons.

No, you're not. You're leaving because your employer refuses to make reasonable accommodations for you.

Going by you explanation, you didn't ask for anything unreasonable, just for a comfortable working position, to prevent strain and pain. Even it isn't an OSHA violation, your employer has shown a stubborn unwillingness to accommodate you.

There is a balance to be found between pampering and tormenting one's employees. Your current employer seems to be leaning towards the latter.

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It really comes down to the kind of relationship you have with whoever is doing the exit interview or the company. If you think they would be positively receptive to your comments and that it might help them improve themselves and maybe even be reflected positively in their future dealings with you, then tell them. If you think they'll feel like you're just blaming them to get a dig in before you leave or don't think they're at all likely to even try to make improvements, then don't tell them.

It comes down to whether you are reasonably confident they'll view you telling them the truth as an attempt to help them. If not, don't take the risk, and tell them something safe about new challenges, new opportunities, job growth, or whatever.

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Tell them for the benefit of others.

They are unlikely to do anything about it, but there may be future similar complaints that force them to fix things. Do it for future employees; nobody should have to suffer in an unsuitable office environment.

It won't really affect you as you are leaving (as others have noted), but it may help others.

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