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My boss is not a good supervisor. Even though I am the manager in the practice, she treats me like a servant- from typing all her emails daily, calling her phone carrier to demand waiving of additional charges from her personal cell phone bills, to calling the doctor's office to get her son's reports, I do it all. Once I delegated such task to one of my employees, and she scolded me over it saying she gave the task to me so I should do it myself. In addition to her tasks, I handle the workload of 5 different practices. Whenever there is an issue in the office (even when I am not at fault), she throws me under the bus to maintain her clean image in front of senior management. When I tried to speak up about it in the past, she made my life worse. She is extremely dependent on me day-in and day-out, and since we both speak the same foreign language, she has a very comfortable relationship with me that exceeds the professional boundary. She almost feels like she owns me and news of my resignation will come as a pure shock to her.

I am already looking for a job and have almost landed another job in a competitor organization. My dilemma is-

  1. How do I resign in the best possible manner?
  2. I only want to give her a 2 week notice (I want to get out ASAP), but I know she will demand that I wait for a month to hire and train my replacement completely. How can I avoid this?

PS- her department has the highest turnover rate. Every 2 months staff is leaving and I have to start the hiring process all over again.

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    How much notice period does your contract require ? – the_reluctant_tester Apr 3 '14 at 1:21
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    In my experience (as a 40 year old person), it's never a good idea to give an boss like that any notice. I found it's always best, in that specific situation, to get another job and quit that one without any notice and get on with your life. 2nd, don't resign to her, resign to HR directly, or her boss and explain the situation. Be very apologetic. If she ever gets fired for her social issues and incompetence, the HR person (or her boss) may remember your words want to hire you back in her place. – MikeM Oct 30 '15 at 18:52
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Unless your current manager is realistically able to sabotage your next role or you've developed some form of Stockholm syndrome or you're afraid of your boss, a vanilla resignation that stays true to the terms contract should suffice. No games, no tactics, just turn in your average resignation.

From the situation you've painted, there's no real need to pussyfoot around your resignation:

  • You have no real sentimental attachment to your position
  • You're not particularly chummy with your boss
  • Your current department has a high rate of turnover, so no one will be surprised by your resignation

Given the state of things, I'll recommend a plain resignation letter/email with the standard niceties : "I've learnt a lot working here", "Thank you for the opportunity" etc.

Stick to the notice period stipulated in whatever hiring contract you signed and steel your mind to resist any bullying from your boss. If the notice period is two weeks, you're giving two weeks, not an hour more. What's she going to do about it?

Your exit interview (if there is one) however is where the difference should count. You should have coherent, constructive feedback to give about your manager's style and the working environment she creates. Even in the less than cordial parting, you're still better off not burning any bridges. Bow out with class

  • Thanks kolossus. My biggest concern is her ADHD and her networks. I've seen her as she almost destroyed another employee's career because that employee called HR to complaint that the boss was threatening the employee's job (boss was politely asking her to resign). When she found out, she not only made the HR fire her instantaneously, she also called up a few places asking not to hire her. – HSMPXB Apr 7 '14 at 23:49
  • @HSMPXB - Tough spot there. You can only make sure you have a solid offer in hand before turning in your resignation – kolossus Apr 13 '14 at 19:08
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Take a hint from the staff whose departure you supervised: my best guess is that they simply gave her notice and departed on the day they said they would depart.

Having said that, I once worked for a firm whose CEO was so despised that departing staff would line up a job, use up whatever vacation time they had accumulated, collect their last Friday paycheck without telling anyone that the paycheck they had collected was their last one, show up at the new employer the following Monday, and then called Personnel to say that they had resigned.

I lined up a job, and gave the two weeks' notice. That got me cheated out of two week's worth of salary plus two and a half weeks' worth of vacation pay - I think I was ethically entitled to it since the office manager told me that this vacation pay was coming my way and given that I had put in 60 hours a week during my tenure at the firm. Everyone including my subordinates who were also resigning called me a fool for giving the two weeks' notice, and I did not dispute their assessment. That was the year 2001.

My advice to you is this: have your job lined up to the point were you know when your first day on the new job is going to be. Review your employment contract to make sure that you won't be penalized financially for leaving without giving two weeks' notice. Use up your vacation time if any, and hand in your resignation whenever it's convenient to you - preferably after your last paycheck is in the bank. You don't need to say in person that you are resigning. You can call, or email. Whichever way you prefer. I am tempted to say, don't bother with the two weeks' notice if you know that the next two weeks will be two weeks' worth of torture for you. I'd tell her that I'd stay on for the next two weeks on the condition that she does NOTHING to harass me or annoy me and the minute she does that, I am out the door as in "immediately out the door". If your firm have a functioning HR - and from the tenor of your post, it doesn't like like your firm has a functioning HR, have HR tell her to stay off your back for the next two weeks.

Even if you gave her a proper two-weeks' notice, getting a reference from her is a moonshot. And even if you got that moonshot, it would probably most unwise of you to use as reference someone who throws you under a bus every chance she gets. If you need references, try contacting the MD's, former customers and even former subordinates. Anyone but your soon-to-be former boss.

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    Breaking contractual arrangements by not giving due notice is poor advice. Just because you experienced unethical/illegal behaviour in the past, that does not mean you should propagate it everywhere. – MrFox Apr 3 '14 at 15:40
  • @MrFox: Reread my post. I advised the OP to reread her employment contract to make sure that she would be penalized for not giving due notice. – Vietnhi Phuvan Apr 3 '14 at 15:53
  • I checked my current position's offer letter- it does not say anything about terms of ending the employment. However I did my admin fellowship (right after my Master's) in the same organization. That offer letter did mention "at will employment" which means neither parties have to give any prior notice. – HSMPXB Apr 7 '14 at 23:25
  • Regarding "reference", unfortunately I cannot dodge this boulder. HR in the new organization (a major hospital) demanded that I HAVE TO state her as one of my references (because the position is managerial). Not even the physicians from my current job will qualify as reference. So I had to give her information to the HR, but I mentioned my current boss is not aware of my job seeking status. To this, the HR lady put a comment in my application "contact supervisor after finalizing the candidate". This is another concern now :) – HSMPXB Apr 7 '14 at 23:32
  • Now that I realize, out of all the previous employees, majority left with 15 days notice. My office's previous supervisor gave in 15 days notice but my boss asked her to make it 1 month so that I could hire her replacement and she could stay and train her completely (so we do not have to suffer the loss). Another employee (Financial Analyst) also turned in 15 days notice and she made him work on nights and weekends, because he declined to extend his notice. I remember, after 1 week of leaving and being on the PRN status, he texted her saying he cannot work PRN anymore, very busy in new job. – HSMPXB Apr 7 '14 at 23:42

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