Hooray! You’ve decided to quit your job.
Now all you have to do is march into your manager’s office and let them have it — the insults you’ve suffered, the unfair criticisms you’ve endured, the total lack of direction, encouragement and — most of all — appreciation when you’ve done something right. (Not that you’ve done a lot of things right, but let’s not be picky.)
Yes, it’s your “Take This Job and Shove It” moment. You’re ready, but are you prepared?
Alison Green would say no.
Green, the “Ask A Boss” columnist for New York magazine, recently published “Resignation Checklist: 10 Things to Do Before Quitting.” As your official “Ask A Jerk” columnist, here are 10 comments on her 10 comments. It’s all you need to go all “Brokeback Mountain” and tell your boss, “Guess what! I figured out how to quit you.”
No. 1: Do you know how your company will react?
Some companies want you out the same day your resignation goes in. This could be emotionally draining, especially if you planned to spend those two weeks enjoying farewell celebrations with free food and fulsome speeches about how the department will never the same without you. Also, determine what to expect from your manager. You could be walking into an emotional buzzsaw “if your manager is petty and takes resignations as a personal betrayal.” Which, of course, they are and yours is.
My advice is to tell your manager, “It’s not you; it’s me. You deserve a much better employee who will totally benefit from your genius.” (Note: This goes over better if you don’t giggle.)
No. 2: Take home copies of all your excellent performance reviews.
If you have one, do it. Otherwise, your time is better spent swiping office supplies. You won’t need a carton of printer cartridges or a case of rubber bands, but they do make excellent gifts.
No. 3: Take home contact info for anyone you want to stay in touch with.
You probably don’t have close friends at work, but there could be a few people who dislike you less than others. Make sure you have their email addresses, phone numbers and passwords to their bank accounts. These are the people who will lend you money to buy five-pound boxes of Russell Stover milk chocolate peanut clusters to send to the management team when you start begging to get your job back.
No. 4: Clean out your email.
Leave memories, not emails. Management is surely curious over who has been ordering a 20-gallon drum of recycled cooking oil delivered to the HR department every Monday. Your texts should also be erased, especially the ones you’ve exchanged with the CIA.
No. 5: Remove personal files.
And while you’re at it, be sure to leave extra food for the family of gerbils you’ve been raising in the bottom drawer of your file cabinet. On your last day, set them free.
No. 6: Check your benefits.
Will your health insurance cover your expenses when you’re not working? Will you be paid for the vacation time you accrued but were afraid to ask for? If you don’t like what’s coming when you’re going, do what any mature adult would do: threaten to hold your breath until you turn red. That will open the financial floodgates, guaranteed.
No. 7: Download your pay stubs.
You’ll need them for proving to people that a person of your abilities ever had a paying job.
No. 8: Turn in your expense account.
Be sure to include the expense of the therapy you’re going to need to manage the PTSD you suffered on the job, plus the cost of the new clothes, new haircut and all the plastic surgery that will be required to get your next job. The company will be happy to pay just to get rid of you if you can be sufficiently obnoxious, and I have faith that you can.
No. 9: Manage your subscriptions.
If you get renewals for magazines or newsletters at work, shift them to your home address. You really can’t afford to miss even one issue of Gerbils Digest.
No. 10: Plan what you will say.
Allot 30% for assigning blame, 30% for settling scores and 30% to threaten lawsuits. The remaining 10% is for extemporaneous yelling and screaming, just for the fun of it.
Alison Green recommends that before you resign you determine how you will react when receiving a counteroffer to stay with the company. Follow my advice, and that definitely will not be an issue.
Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at [email protected]. To find out more about Bob Goldman and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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