Author Topic: I know you're not supposed to burn bridges, but.... UPDATE p.2 post #26  (Read 7144 times)

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EllenS

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Re: I know you're not supposed to burn bridges, but....
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2013, 05:49:27 PM »
I agree that email is forever.  Your employer personally may not have any influence in your chosen career, but if your angry email gets posted on social media, your name will be "out there" forever, google-able, with all your negative comments.

Future employers in any field will be less likely to hire someone whose name pops up on google looking angry, bitter, vengeful or possibly litigious.

Auntie Mame

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Re: I know you're not supposed to burn bridges, but....
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2013, 06:55:53 PM »
I know it's super tempting to tell them off, but just imagine that email splashed all over Google for future employers to find.  It's really not worth the few moments of satisfaction.

Honestly, type up everything you want to say.  make it as angry, curse ridden and as insulting as you like.  Then destroy it!   I know that advice is really cliche but I have done it in the past and felt so much better.
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JenJay

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Re: I know you're not supposed to burn bridges, but....
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2013, 08:10:33 PM »
Yes, it would be burning bridges, and I would probably go with something a little less confrontational, but no less direct. CC your personal address as well as sending yourself any damning corrospondence he's sent you. You may have to go to the labor commision for help getting your last paycheck.

"Boss,

When I accepted this position, I was told, explicitly, that my duties would be x, and that my salary would be y, paid bi-weekly via check. (or whatever) Now, without my input or consent you are expecting me to do a, b, and c, for salary d, which I have no reason to believe would be paid in a timely manner because of e, f, and g (instances where you had to fight to be paid. Be specific).

Accordingly, please consider this my formal resignation, effective immediately.

-SingMeAway"

I like this. It allows you to quit while highlighting the fact that they've been jerking you around without actually saying that. It sounds very professional and nobody could fault you for quitting under these circumstances.

sweetonsno

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Re: I know you're not supposed to burn bridges, but....
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2013, 04:28:39 AM »
I hope this doesn't stray too far into legal/career advice. I think it matters from an etiquette perspective as well, though.

Reflection5 already brought up considering your goals. Explaining to your boss all of the things that he has done wrong isn't going to serve any real purpose. If he's at the top of the totem pole, he won't care. If he's further down, then he likely won't pass your feedback on to the people who can make a difference.

An important thing to consider when making a complaint is your audience. In terms of etiquette, you should not only pay attention to your tone, but also your audience. It is not productive, helpful, or polite to complain to the grocery store cashier when your favorite flavor of potato chip is discontinued, or when you realize that something has been mispackaged at the plant and the tub of chocolate ice cream is actually full of bubblegum-coffee. In the latter instance, they can probably give you a refund, but they aren't going to go directly to the source.

In this case, I suggest going to HR (if it exists) with your concerns, particularly issues that could have legal consequences for the company. Moray has some good suggestions for wording it in an objective manner. Your boss only needs to know that you are resigning.

I also agree that you should contact the Department of Labor and/or the BBB. Sounds very shady.

Last_Dance

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Re: I know you're not supposed to burn bridges, but....
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2013, 08:59:01 AM »
Send reflection5 or Ginger G's version, then at home write the angriest letter you can think of on a piece of paper or type it in a word document - where it can be easily destroyed and there's no risk of accidentally sending it. 
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LazyDaisy

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Re: I know you're not supposed to burn bridges, but....
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2013, 01:31:31 PM »
First, just be aware that anything you do at this point other than meekly go along with whatever they dish out sounds like it will burn the bridge. If you press to get paid when they don't want to, that will burn the bridge. The key going forward is to have a short, mature response if ever asked about it from anyone else -- "The job requirements fundamentally changed after I was hired and the position was no longer a good fit for me. My strengths are x, y, z. I have a degree/training in..." This answers the question without pointing fingers or calling names and segues quickly into your qualifications.

I wouldn't send an electronic resignation simply because it can be altered and forwarded/printed while still having your name attached to it, or the old "I never got it". I would mail a hard copy letter, preferably return receipt so you are notified they got it (in the US that usually costs about $5.00), with wording similar to what other posters have indicated but include that they are 3 weeks past due on your paycheck, copy of unpaid invoice attached, and they need to pay immediately. This way they can't claim they weren't informed you hadn't been paid or "their records show they don't owe you" etc. This is typically the way a business goes after someone to pay an outstanding bill because it demonstrates notice of the problem was given, and a good faith effort to remedy the situation was already tried. Then you also have some hard evidence if you need to file a complaint with a Labor Board.
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CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: I know you're not supposed to burn bridges, but....
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2013, 02:02:34 PM »
I've quit a couple of jobs where I very much wanted to vent my anger when I turned in my resignation.  I didn't do it.  As soon as I walked out the door, my anger was gone.  All I felt was relief and euphoria that it was over.

Oddly, the worse I was treated, the more I was begged not to leave, which was the perfect opportunity for "That won't be possible".
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*inviteseller

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Re: I know you're not supposed to burn bridges, but....
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2013, 04:49:14 PM »
Are you working at my former job?  13 years of loyalty that if I listed what I did to help keep the business afloat, all you ehellions would slap me for my spinelessness.  It came to a head in August over me not getting paid and boss saying it was my fault and I would just have to deal with it.  I walked.  She tried to bad mouth me but people saw what I had gone through and the fact that I was not bad mouthing her, she ended up looking real bad, especially when she let it out she wasn't paying me.  I would not lay out why you are quitting simply because it does not sound like the boss would even listen. 

reflection5

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Re: I know you're not supposed to burn bridges, but....
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2013, 10:24:30 PM »
Quote
I also agree that you should contact the Department of Labor and/or the BBB. Sounds very shady.

BBB has no authority over wage issues (or anything alse).  All they do is start a file, put the complaint in it, and if they get a reply they send a copy to the person complaining.  So BBB will have a complaint on record that a former employee says XYZ didn't treat her fairly.   OTOH, Dept. of Labor DOES have authority.  As someone said, they have been known to storm into a business and confiscate records and even arrest people.

sweetonsno

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Re: I know you're not supposed to burn bridges, but....
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2013, 12:29:27 AM »
Quote
I also agree that you should contact the Department of Labor and/or the BBB. Sounds very shady.

BBB has no authority over wage issues (or anything alse).  All they do is start a file, put the complaint in it, and if they get a reply they send a copy to the person complaining.  So BBB will have a complaint on record that a former employee says XYZ didn't treat her fairly.   OTOH, Dept. of Labor DOES have authority.  As someone said, they have been known to storm into a business and confiscate records and even arrest people.

I suggested the BBB because it might help others who are considering working for the same company. If someone researches the company's reputation and find out that the head honchos aren't good about honoring employment contracts, it could save them a similar experience. Sure, someone who doesn't do research wouldn't get the benefit, but a person who cares enough to look into the business would probably like to have that information.

LazyDaisy

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Re: I know you're not supposed to burn bridges, but....
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2013, 11:41:09 AM »
Unfortunately, a little while ago there were a lot of reports of businesses paying for better ratings from the BBB. Since finding that out, I have never trusted the BBB again. I would trust a social networking site or consumer rating site like Yelp more than the BBB, but posting something on those websites has the potential to backfire on the OP.
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SingMeAway

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Re: I know you're not supposed to burn bridges, but....
« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2013, 01:56:54 PM »
OP here - just to give you a small update... I sent another email requesting payment 2 days ago. No doubt the owner is just stalling (probably hoping I'll go away), but they are telling me they're "checking" my files. I pointed out that the contract I signed stipulated that the files had to be received, not checked for payment to be made. They received the files x days ago, so write the cheque.

I'm fairly sure he's just ignoring me and quite honestly, I've just about given up getting the money, but I know he'd done this to at least two if not three other designers, so I am preparing for the nuclear option - the letter from the lawyer. I don't know that I'll accomplish much, but I think it's grotesquely unfair that he gets away with treating people like this.

I would love to put the word out for people to avoid working for this guy like the plague, but I really don't think I can post something like that online and not set myself up for some sort of slander accusation.

Thank you so much for all your replies. If anything new happens, I'll let you know.

reflection5

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Re: I know you're not supposed to burn bridges, but....
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2013, 02:21:33 PM »
OP here - just to give you a small update... I sent another email requesting payment 2 days ago. No doubt the owner is just stalling (probably hoping I'll go away), but they are telling me they're "checking" my files. I pointed out that the contract I signed stipulated that the files had to be received, not checked for payment to be made. They received the files x days ago, so write the cheque.

I'm fairly sure he's just ignoring me and quite honestly, I've just about given up getting the money, but I know he'd done this to at least two if not three other designers, so I am preparing for the nuclear option - the letter from the lawyer. I don't know that I'll accomplish much, but I think it's grotesquely unfair that he gets away with treating people like this.

I would love to put the word out for people to avoid working for this guy like the plague, but I really don't think I can post something like that online and not set myself up for some sort of slander accusation.

Thank you so much for all your replies. If anything new happens, I'll let you know.

There is nothing to "check". You should stop sending emails, and stop listening to their excuses.  Unless you're willing to let them get away with cheating you out of money, send a certified letter - return receipt requested, and make it clear that if they don't pay you IMMEDIATELY you will file a complaint with the Department of Labor.  They WILL conduct an investigation.  Then make good on your promise and file a complaint if you are not paid IMMEDIATELY.

Stop focusing on warning other people.  Focus on getting the money you are owed and washing your hands of this company.

jedikaiti

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Re: I know you're not supposed to burn bridges, but.... UPDATE p.2 post #26
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2013, 02:44:22 PM »
reflection5 is right on the money. The next contact you have with them should either be the delivery of your paycheck from them, a letter from your attorney, or you sending them a copy of your complaint to the DOL.
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Hillia

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Re: I know you're not supposed to burn bridges, but.... UPDATE p.2 post #26
« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2013, 02:50:20 PM »
The other fun thing about DOL and Wage and Hour is that once they receive a  complaint, they are not limited to investigating the single instance.  They can (and do, if they feel there's a pattern of violations) go through every single bit of payroll data on every single employee, conduct interviews, set up shop and  invite everyone in who has something to say...it can be very entertaining.

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