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I recently handed my notice in at my current employer. My company notice period in my contract is 3 months.

I have a fair bit of work to do before I leave, which is alright, and this workload goes overdue from time to time. In the past I have justified this by pointing out the big numbers of people I have to speak to in order to have things actioned, and that none of these people are obliged to do anything for me, therefore sometimes I am at the mercy of their whims and no amount of persuasion will change their priorities. My other reason is that I work with a lot of incomplete or poor quality data - it's a large organisation and stuff can be referred to in 6 or 7 different inconsistent and confused ways. My manager has always been OK with this.

Today suddenly this has no longer became acceptable and my manager has sent me an email about many "business as usual" activities going overdue. I also found WhatsApp messages at 7pm today from my manager outlining a number of things I have apparently done wrong today that we need to discuss tomorrow.

Without going into specific details, I have made mistakes and got things wrong before (who hasn't?) but normally my boss is quite flexible and accommodating, so I suspect this has something to do with the fact I've handed my notice is.

How should I handle this?

I am quite anxious because I live in a very rural and isolated community with few other jobs. Although I am moving to another employer, it is entirely foreseeable that in the future I could return to my current employer; HR sent a form to me that I have to fill out with my manager that ultimately scores my performance and includes a tick box for my manager to say if he thinks the company should consider rehiring me in the future. I don't want to end on a bad note and risk getting a bad score.

My thoughts are to just say "yep sure, you're right" to whatever my manager wants to bring up, however I do not want to be left culpable for things that I really don't think are my fault, and I don't need any more work, since I am already working longer hours than I am paid for.

It might be worth nothing that after conversations with my union in (vain) attempts to negotiate a pay rise, they commented that my workload was very high, and that I would leave a large hole in my department if I left.

My company's policy is to only put out an ad after I leave (yes, I know this is stupid - we all know it's stupid), and many people have outright refused to do some of the work I do because it's considered boring and unsexy, so I can't see many people stepping up to the plate to do it.

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  • Yes I do - but like I said I live in a very parochial area and it wouldn't surprise me if any future potential managers in the area know my boss and informally ask his opinion of me. I already lost one job that way, because somebody didn't want to upset my boss by "poaching" staff. – rvukwdvypd Dec 10 '20 at 11:38
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A usual playbook for situations with very long notice periods like this is that the company will

  1. Immediately start looking for a replacement
  2. Try to gin up a case against you so they can dismiss you without any notice when they have someone ready to fill it.

Because if they find someone to replace you a month in to your notice period they want to get them in and get out of paying you! So what you do is:

  1. You have a union, which is an asset most people don't, enlist them.
  2. Don't do anything that will enable them to terminate you for cause - don't freak out, don't do anything unusual. Get and respond to complaints in writing and detail calmly your customary workload and that it's the same now and keep details.

They don't care about the rehire thing, they are just making moves that benefit them the most in the tactical short term. It's crappy, but it's not personal.

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  • Thanks for the reply. Your response had outlined something I should explain! My company's policy is to only put out an ad after I leave (yes, I know this is stupid - we all know it's stupid), and many people have outright refused to do some of the work I do because it's considered boring and unsexy, so I can't see many people stepping up to the plate to do it. – rvukwdvypd Dec 9 '20 at 23:31
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How should I handle this?

Talk with your boss, learn his concerns, then do your best through your notice period. Speak with your union rep to get their input and advice and follow that advice closely.

Then when your notice period is complete, leave, and put this job behind you.

There's really nothing else to be done here.

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  • So how does that ensure he doesn't give me an awful review? – rvukwdvypd Dec 10 '20 at 11:39

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