Tomorrow is my last day at work. And I would say I’m sorry, but I’m not. Not even close. This week has just been completely illustrative of all the reasons I am leaving, including: ridiculous amount of last minute jobs (four major print runs given to me on Monday, due Friday, only two of which I knew would be coming); the photocopier completely borking; the photocopier service people mucking us around, not answering calls and losing jobs; junior members of staff being rude to managers and then insisting that said manager was yelling at them when in fact manager was only being a bit terse, since junior staff was walking away from them while manager was requesting assistance; said junior member of staff collapsing in tears; two newsletters requiring start to finish proofreading (written by and for ESL speakers, too), laying out and editing, plus shipping off to the printers, all in one week; another magazine requiring much politicing, and having to get off to the printers; hub meeting from hell; and more politicing.
To top it all, HR sent me a form, which they call my ‘exit interview’. Not really the same thing, but since I do not with to submit to an exit interview, both because it would be painful and it would be hard to be polite while still making my point, I didn’t argue. Except that said form includes a large portion about my manager and what I think of how she is doing her job – not great, actually. I mean, she’s fine. But she sort of tries to keep out of things. Which I can’t blame her for, but frankly, I don’t get paid enough to deal with crying junior staff. That would be the manager’s job. Actually, I feel that it would be the manager’s job to do something about the levels of tension there have been in the admin team lately, before anyone ends up in tears.
Anyway, I was polite but honest on the form, and then at the end of the form was a consent bit. The consent bit at the start of the form said ‘Your answers will be kept confidential and used only for informational purposes unless you specifically consent to allowing your information to be shared with others (see ‘consent statement’ at end of form). This form will not be kept in your personnel file.’
I’m not really sure what ‘informational purposes’ are. Anyone? I also snorted at the checkboxes for ‘type of separation: resignation; retirement; expiration of contract; involuntary’. (Involuntary separation, aka, we fired your butt.) But that is not the point of this.
The point is, the ‘consent statement’ at the end of the form says ‘I agree for [organisation] to use the information that I have shared in this Exit Interview. (NOTE: It is the practice of the Human Resource Manager to share exit interview information with my manager upon receiving this consent.)’
Hmm, I thought. I’m not sure about that. I like G. She’s a good person, and a good line manager – but she’s been ‘promoted’ to a job that she doesn’t really want and doesn’t really have the skills for, and has been given zero support, and expected to be a perfect replacement for C, who essentially fixed everything that ever went wrong in our building. I don’t really think I want HR to ring her up and say ‘so, Kate marked you ‘strongly disagree’ for ‘provides adequate supervision’. Which I only did because she has no idea at all what I do all day, and therefore would have trouble supervising me.
So I thought about it, and I called my friend who used to work there and asked her if I should not provide consent, or if I should lie about how I felt my manager was doing at her job. And midway through the conversation I just had a rush of pure rage. THIS IS WHY I AM LEAVING.
I want to be a good employee. I WANT to participate, and to be engaged and helpful. Even as I am leaving. And you are essentially giving me three choices: be hurtful and rude to your manager, with whom you are also encouraged, btw, to have a personal relationship; give useful information but not allow it to be used; allow the information to be used but give false, incomplete, useless information.
OK, I realise it’s not a big deal. But it’s just… I’m tired of people asking me to be involved, and then making it impossible for me to engage. I am tired of being told where I work is special, and loving, and engaging, and then being reminded that actually, I’m ‘just’ support staff, and have no say in any important decisions. I am TIRED of being asked my opinion and then ignored. If it’s just a job, that’s fine. But if you’re going to insist that it’s ok that they pay like crap, then you need to provide interactions that make that worthwhile rather than making my life harder and more stressful.
Phew. I didn’t mean to pour all that out. And I try not to bitch about work as a general policy. But I was just so… disappointed. I don’t know why I should be. I mean, I should know better by now – I do know better, that’s why I quit. But… fuck.
I suppose I should be grateful that I’m not leaving sad. Tomorrow I have to scramble to get a couple of the print jobs off to the printer, finish laying another out, sort all my files, electronic and physical, and write some decent procedures, since no one seems to know what my job actually is. Oh, and attend my own tearoom farewell afternoon tea and admin dinner. There are a few people I will miss a lot. Everyone else… well, I am looking forward to forgetting them. Which would make me sad, if I weren’t already so tired and angry.
No, I am sad. I remember loving working there. And I still believe in the things to organisation is doing. But I just feel like it thinks it’s still a small org, and it’s not anymore. It can’t work that way anymore. It’s just so frustrating. I kept trying and trying… and in the end I just gave up and barely put any effort into my job at all. Which makes me so, so sad. That’s not the employee I want to be. It’s not the person I want to be. I didn’t realise how bad it had gotton until I quit.
On the plus side, I quit! And I asked for a Stephanie Alexander book for my farewell gift.
And then on the weekend, I am going to sleep a lot, and get out in the garden, and maybe paint the kitchen cupboards if I’m feeling adventurous, and pack craft projects and maybe even some clothes. And then on Tuesday I fly out to Melbourne. I am looking forward to wandering around the city by myself the most right now, because I need the destress time. I did one of those highly scientific ‘how autistic are you’ tests on facebook. I scored really high on imagination, really low on obsession with dates and numbers, middling on social ability, and WAY LOW in comfort in social situations. Which is pretty much an indication of how little just decompressing time I’ve managed to squeeze out, and how much I need it. and the lack of good sleep, from all the teeth clenching.
I am also pretty pumped about meeting up with crafty friends, and looking at crafty materials, and doing crafty things! It is going to be so ace.
And in other random news, facebook just recommended that I friend my counsellor. Damned social networks…