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I agree with this answer about not telling the client directly about your resignation from a consulting company. However, I am now facing a peculiar situation related to this.

I work for a consulting company A, and have been deputed to work for their client company B. I offered my resignation to my manager in company A about a week ago, and assumed that, as per the protocol, they would communicate it to the powers-that-be in company B.

I am now noticing that my company A hasn't informed company B. Someone from company B has asked me for a meeting to plan how we would work on a milestone, which is due on a date X, one month after my resignation date Y.

This puts me in a dilemma. It would be unprofessional (and possibly, illegal) to commit my time until date X, when I already know that I am only available till date Y. However, I also cannot tell them that I am only available till date Y, without telling why.

Of course, the "obvious" approach is to ask my company A manager to deal with it, but he doesn't work on-site at this client office, and is unreachable. I have been able to procrastinate the meeting for a day, but obviously, I cannot keep stalling this forever.

What would be the most professional way to handle this kind of situation, without creating problems for either company A, B, or myself?

marked as duplicate by scaaahu, gnat, Garrison Neely, IDrinkandIKnowThings, Monica Cellio Dec 28 '14 at 4:10

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    If your company A manager is unreachable, just talk to their manager, same as with any other issue when your manager is unavailable and you need something. – Philip Kendall Dec 26 '14 at 8:46
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    I think this is a duplicate of the question you linked. I agree with @PhilipKendall that the solution is to talk to your manager's manager. After you leave company A, work on a milestone for company B is no longer your business. – scaaahu Dec 26 '14 at 8:51
  • @scaaahu I think I am not making it clear enough. Sure, as my opening statement shows, I agree with the other answer which says that working on their milestone after I leave is not my business. However, the issue here is when the client asks me for a plan on how to achieve the milestone, I want to know what I should tell them, while I am trying to get the issue resolved with my manager or his manager. I cannot say, "I will talk to my manager's manager about another issue, and only then I can give you the plan." – Masked Man Dec 26 '14 at 8:57
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    The last sentence of your previous comment sounds fine. I don't see any problem with it. You just let company A deal with it. – scaaahu Dec 26 '14 at 8:59
  • @scaaahu Hmm, you are right, maybe I am overanalysing this. Maybe my desire to make a clean exit without burning bridges or causing problems is making me over-defensive. That's also one of the reasons I want to avoid the manager's manager route, since no matter what the reason, it will be perceived as an escalation, and could create problems on the way to the exit. :-) – Masked Man Dec 26 '14 at 9:02
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Illegal? Commit your time? You're accepting a meeting request, not getting married. After you leave, you'll be replaced, and the replacement will come to the meeting. The client needs to be able to plan and have continuity. If you agree that the meeting is a good idea, accept it. Then forward it on to your Manager with a comment like "make sure my replacement knows about this meeting."

Separately, ask again when it's ok to tell the client you're leaving. It's quite common for that to wait until the replacement is found. This can leave you in a bit of an awkward position, but you have to just accept that discomfort and carry on. In your head, whenever they say "you" in reference to a time when you know you'll be gone, think "or my replacement" instead.

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Your manager is unreachable but by you. Get any superior you know at A and have that person get in touch with your manager. Get your own HR involved. Make sure that the HR of your company KNOWS that you are resigning because there is a possibility that your manager is sitting on your resignation notice and not passing the news to your HR. Do it pronto. Don't let the grass grow under your feet.

It's no use telling B that you are resigning if your manager has not notified your HR because as far as A is concerned, you never gave notice. You don't want to be in a situation where A expects you to show up onsite while B doesn't want you on its premises.

Update:

Based on your feedback that you have already contacted HR, I'd say that you've done pretty much everything that can be done at your end. Make it known to HR that your manager has not gone through the motions of notifying the client. Act with the client as if you are not resigning and agree to the meeting, as @KateGregory advises. Then update your manager on the fact that the client has set up an important milestones meeting and that you won't be around when the meeting takes place and that your manager will have to send someone else to stand in for you.

I believe that you have done and are doing whatever in your power to make the transition as smooth and painless as possible. If your manager is not being diligent, let him sort the consequences of his own actions with the client.

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    You are making too many unnecessary assumptions. 1. My resignation was sent to both manager and HR at the same time. 2. I already talked to my manager in person, and he agreed to tell the client of my resignation immediately. I couldn't pester him every few hours with, "Have you done it? When are you doing it?" 3. The only way it becomes "obvious" is when you can tell the client knows nothing. I can't ask the client, "Did my manager tell you of my resignation?" just to 'verify' the channel is working. – Masked Man Dec 26 '14 at 9:27
  • Every "assumption" I made was based on my reading of your post, so you might want to revisit your post. Your comment amounts to new information that is not in your original post. I can only work with what you disclose. Having said that, send a note to your manager and to HR reminding them that B is STILL unaware that you have resigned. Don't say anything to B. If there is a mess,let your manager, your HR and the client sort it out among themselves. – Vietnhi Phuvan Dec 26 '14 at 10:04
  • You are right, I wasn't clear enough I suppose, sorry about the previous comment. – Masked Man Dec 26 '14 at 10:44
  • No big deal. I'll edit my answer to reflect your comment. Just not at this minute :) – Vietnhi Phuvan Dec 26 '14 at 11:03

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