Keep The Raise; I Quit!

Question:

I work for a very small office. There are 4 full time employees and 2 part time employees. The workload and demand for performance in extremely high and always time sensitive. It is clear that almost all the employees are burned out. One is leaving, one has left and came back (she is a family member of the manager) and 2 more are looking for employment elsewhere.

There is a complete lack of management and organization, and the pay is very low compared to the starting wage for the same position in our county at this time. The manager gets away with this by lying during the interview or hiring people under qualified for the position (she has lied to them as well) and allowing them to rise to the occasion, then riding the employee until the employee finally catches on that the situation only benefits her and the company, and not the employee since raises are practically unheard of, as well as evaluations or any other sort of incentive. Miraculously, we were recently offered raises. One of the employees nearly fainted since she has not had a raise since she was hired at minimum wage about 4 years ago. We were not sure whether to believe it since the manager is notorious for telling people what they want to here to keep them around. We were glad to be offered a raise though, and felt we have earned it. The day after we were informed that the office will be “restructured”. This is a ridiculous term for the changes since we were told that the workload will increase for everyone and be shared by all, no assignment plan or delegation structure was offered.

The manager stated she would not be delegating anything. The workload has been thrown up into the air and we are told to make it work, but we will not be allowed to separate duties. When I voiced my desire for even a minimum structural out line for a plan at success in the new “restructuring” I was told that she does not have time to baby-sit us, and that is why she gives raises. I was also informed that I would be responsible for training the 2 new people. I’m pretty confused as well as irritated.

The delivery of the whole thing was terrible, I am pretty sure we have no real manager on site, given her attitude toward input on things, and I am pissed off that a raise I was offered the day before for “being over worked and underpaid” as she put it was thrown up in my face in the middle of a staff meeting.

I have decided to leave. That part is final. We have a 30-day notice policy and I will be giving notice in two weeks. My question is do I decline this raise? I know that sounds stupid, who would say no to more money, but I am leaving, I don’t want it brought up against me again. I felt a very strong urge to tell the manager to keep the raise if it means she will be able to throw it up in my face and use it to expect more, which I can’t deliver. Had I known more work would be demanded, with no plan, I would have declined the raise when it was offered. Many people have left, and are leaving, this office due to unreasonable workload and unmeet able demands and poor management.

Also, how do I issue a complaint letter when I do finally get out of here, the manager states “there is no other management outside of me!”? I’ve been looking in to it and she may be right. A president yes, but no other managing position is above her.

Signed,

Leaving, That’s Final


Answer:

Dear┬áLeaving, That’s Final:

Should you accept or have you accepted a raise and now are determined to leave? Or should I assume that you are waiting until you have another job in hand and then will give the 30-day notice? The answer to those two questions will help you decide whether to accept or decline a raise. I can understand why you accepted the raise in light of your workload and perception that your office manager misleads, if not outright lies to job recruits. Should you have given or plan to give a notice you quit; I expect you would feel freer to leave if you refused the raise. Also you ask about to whom to give an exit letter of complaint? The question also is when should you submit such a letter. Usually in a larger work organization you can voice “why” in an exit interview. It is in your interest to have another job and not to badmouth anyone.

Address it to the president. State appreciation for what you can in good conscience and firmly say why you are leaving along with the hope that your remarks might help those who stay or who are hired to replace you. I wish you might find an employer-employee friendly job. Scan our archives. They are like taking a course in what help shape the kind of workplace to which you are eager to go to work. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.

William Gorden