Such a Hard Thing To Do

Every which way I look at this situation I don’t see myself as being in the wrong, but one thing I can say for sure that I’m guilty of is not keeping record. Over a month ago, I had a verbal conversation with the billing office manager, who also happens to be over us front desk receptionists. I’m blessed to work for a company that does monthly work schedules as opposed to the standard two week work schedule. Because I know I’ll be leaving soon, I was really eager to get my leaving date all situated so that I’d have ample amount of time to rest and get my affairs in order before I left, but not go broke in the process. I also wanted to not leave my place of employment hanging so I wanted to get their say in it as well.

The topic was brought up on the manager’s end in a very casual way- through Facebook of all things- just simply asking me if I was still going. I took this as a great opportunity to tackle the topic of my leaving date, so the next day at work I messaged her saying that I was still going, then paged her office to have a verbal conversation with her. I asked her when she would be starting the hiring process and if it was even worth it to for me to be put on the May schedule. She was very polite in the matter and told me that whatever day I wanted to leave would be the last day that I was on the schedule and that nobody would fire me or show any bias toward my scheduling, because they knew I was leaving soon. That made me really happy to hear and confident in the security of my job these last few months I’d still be here. She asked if I knew what day I wanted to leave and I said I’d like my last day to be May 16th. I followed up by asking if I needed to submit a formal resignation letter or if this verbal resignation was enough. She told me if I wanted to I could, but that it wasn’t a necessity now that she had all the information she needed. Now, mind you this was over a month ago and I still have a month left until my stated end day. Submitting a resignation letter at that time would have been dramatically premature, but I fully intended to hand in my resignation letter two weeks before the 16th. After the events of today I’ll be handing in my letter tomorrow.

What exactly happened today? So today, maybe about an hour after I got into work I received a message from the manager asking why I haven’t handed in my availability for June. That was really weird to me so I reminded her that I’m leaving the 16th of May so there was no need to answer the June availability email that had been sent out recently. No sooner had I sent that, did my coworker call to me and say, “I didn’t know you were working til to end of May”. I reply back negating his statement, but he answered back with, “But you’re on the schedule til the end of May?” Really!? Sure enough, I check the company wide email with the schedule attached and there I am on the schedule until the end of May. I go back to my messages and the replies from the manager are both shocked and accusatory, but at the same time needy, asking if I can finish out the month of May. I’m leaving on the 6th of June, so that’s just not an option. At this point, I really want to be accusatory right back, but I get my mom involved (bless her heart) by asking her advice and she says that being accusatory is not the way to go. Instead I reply back with a simple, “May 16th is the latest I can work. After that I have to start preparing to leave”.

To my shock, even more accusatory messages pile on and I’m busy trying to find proof of our past conversations until I remember that they were just that, conversations. I have absolutely no proof that these conversations have transpired between us already, except for my own word, but yet I feel really upset that my manager would accuse me of not caring about my job and putting her in a difficult situation. I remind her of the conversation and that’s when- just like I had been searching for for my own piece of mind- proof that this conversation did in fact happen. Well, of course you can’t prove a verbal conversation happened. unless of course you’re dictating the whole thing, which I wasn’t.

I’m not mad about the ordeal anymore, not even numb to the accusations. like I was awhile ago. It doesn’t bother me in the sense that, “Man, I can’t believe I was attacked like that at work”, but in the sense that “Man, if only I had proof to cover myself this would have been avoided”. I feel no malice toward the manager or the company, because in a month I’m done. If they do or don’t have coverage after my leave is none of my concern. I gave ample warning of my impending leave date, even if the manager doesn’t recall, but even if you take that bit of information out of the equation, I’m still not at fault. Conventional courtesy states that it’s best to give an employer a two week notice before you decide to leave. That in itself is not required. It helps to keep you in good standing with the company you leave in case you ever need to return or need them to submit a good referral to a potential employer, but it’s only a courtesy. Like I stated, I fully intend to extend that courtesy, tomorrow, an entire month in advance.

This situation has become one big lesson for me. The lesson learned: when it comes to business, document everything. Having proof is the best way to protect yourself. Save, save, save. Document important conversations and inversely if you don’t want something you said to come back to you don’t email, text, Facebook, instant message or leave voice mails that could be considered incriminating. I would love to leave my place of work on good terms. I came back once after China. Who knows between returning from Peace Corps service and trying to find another job or apply to graduate school, or whatever it is I decide to do with my life, I might actually need to come back. I’d like not to have to come back, but I’d be glad if it was a viable option. On the same note, the though after being burned like this so close to my departure, I’m a bit weary toward the way middle management handles things. I am not even kidding when I say that I was hire with management knowing that I would leave for the Peace Corps. I’ve been saying that I’m leaving early June since forever and going over and over in my mind if I’ve done enough professionally to make that clear. There was certainly a disconnect in communication and in the future I’ll remember to keep record to cover myself.

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