Saturday, 19 June 2004

Resignation?

The subject of resignation
In continuation of the previous blog I have chosen this topic to illustrate an interesting event that occurred just over a week ago. You can first read my letter and then the commentary that follows.
Dated
Sir,
Notice of resignation
First of all, I want to thank you for the opportunity you gave me over 2 years ago to execute policies for Software Control and Deployment.
Those 2 years have been eventful, interesting, sometimes stressful but very rewarding; they would serve as hallmarks in my career as well as pleasant memories of the responsibilities, the challenges, the successes and the people without whom none of those milestones would have been achievable.
However, everyman eventually has to conduct a radical assessment of their career development and prospects from which decisions of great personal significance have to be made.
In that light, I regret to notify you of my decision to leave the company to seek other career opportunities that align with where I believe my career is directed.
I understand that I have to give a statutory notice of a calendar month bringing my last day of work to the end of next month.
However, I hope you would look favorably on negotiating either an earlier end date or some facility that would allow me to begin an internship with my new deployment as soon as possible.
Also, if by the end of my notice period, no replacement for my responsibilities has been recruited, I would be available to provide an introductory session to help that person settle into the job at no cost.
Once again, thank you very much for the opportunity to work for you and for the company.
Yours sincerely,
Signed
Commentary
During the job market depression of 2002, the only jobs available were in the long-term employee sector; having been a contractor/consultant for 7 years, one had resolved that a number of things would have to give; status, remuneration, and a possible decline in the standard of living one had always been accustomed to, by reason of reduced remuneration.
Just as the days of being paid appearance fees at my old contract waned, I was recommended for this role which offered a stipend, a promise of worthless stock options and a career opportunity of a lifetime. Even one can be forgiven the opportunity for being fooled.
My take home was halved in one stroke.
Wading into the political quagmire was an interesting experience, never had I seen more competition amongst the departments of a company, or rather the pettey tyrants that head these departments than with our competitors.
In fact, by some miracle the company has survived a huge debt burden and Chapter 11, if only the energy spent in useless politicking were pooled to take the company from average to outstanding - I have my hopes and it is possible, I believe in the product and principle, but I wonder about the middle layer that keeps thwarting every new opportunity for self-interest and self aggrandisement.
Anyway, the reasons for my resignation stem from the following events:
  1. Last August, I asked to attend a course to improve an area of skill I thought needed more development. It was immediately approved, but once the invoice landed on the manager’s desk, it vegetated, and despite every entreaty to move it on, it just did not happen. In the end, I could not go on the course. Question: How do you get a course approved and still not get to go on it? There were no urgent issues at hand to prevent my attending.
  2. Notification of the performance review was sent out by HR in November and this was to take place in mid-January, the seemingly lackadaisical attitude to career development was demonstrated in the fact that the manager as it were forgot to send out the preparatory notes till just 48 hours before the meeting with the lame apology of being busy. The meeting is covered in this Blog, the results would be discussed in a later blog.
  3. Having discussed elements of career development especially the fact that my role had settled into routine and the mundane, the boss was still of the inclination that my job provided amazing opportunities. However, I was interested in taking a Masters course in IT, to which he responded completely negatively, offering no support, no encouragement and a grudging recommendation that explicitly said the company was offering no financial assistance or time off for my study. Typically, the cult of the overbearing manager should at times read the policies that accompany statements that make. I was instead advised to take the short courses on Skillport rather than a Masters degree. Looks like this ia s dead-end job, for as long as I have this man as my manager.
  4. I made 3 attempts to demonstrate my vision of the Software Control & Deployment for my company which in fact has an enterprise environment. All were presented to my boss for his assessment and apart from minor modifications which he presented to the CIO in October 2002, the structure was distributed, modular and hierarchical. A meeting we had in early May challenged all those plans with a myopic centralisation idea which was completely contrary accepted business practice. One comment he made was I had said what Microsoft would do, hey! it is a Microsoft product. Basically, after a rapid torrent of expletives and threats to our jobs amongst other unpalatable statements of subjective analysis, with the fact that he was not listening to anything 3 consultants and the project manager was saying, my marketing literature was out on the job boards.
It was the very last straw.
In the end, a good opportunity came, wherein; I was interviewed for a senior support role and ended up offering advice on how to build up the team. I was offered the job at the interview, there and then.
Playing with irony, I asked for a meeting with my manager on the topic Career Development through his PA who found ample free time for this meeting, he however rescheduled it for the next week, probably because the career development of his staff is off no particular significance - that would make me rather overly cynical.
In the end, I put the letter on his table. For the first time, he had the initiative take from him and his reply was that he was not surprised that I decided to leave and he attributed it specially to points 3 and 4 of my reasons for resignation - how perceptive.
For once, I almost thought I was deliberately frustrated out of the job because of blatant indifference and a lack of candour. See my blog on respect.
Any other boss would say, they are sorry to see their staff go and wonder what could have been done to ameliorate the situation, I suppose, it would take all the man out of my boss to descend to that position of weakness.
He stuff is about slapping people down, superiority by deprecation, not borne out of earned respect, the vision thing or leadership - however, that is just one opinion, mine.
The offer I so clearly made to help my successor through an induction period at not cost was rebuffed as there is enough expertise to take over my role - that is spite, if I ever saw it.
So, whilst I have tendered my resignation, he is yet to get to the point of resignation understanding that I have resigned all because he could not be bothered to be my manager, or maybe I had set too high standards for the my expectation of my manager.
Even I am only human.

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