Author Topic: HRLady from hell/Honesty in exit interview - Update #31, 39  (Read 10402 times)

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lorelai

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HRLady from hell/Honesty in exit interview - Update #31, 39
« on: April 14, 2014, 04:22:49 PM »
I'm going on maternity leave pretty soon, and have some big decisions to make before I come back to work. Due to job dissatisfaction I applied to grad school and found out recently I got in, yay! Another option I'm thinking about is not coming back to work at all and just staying home with the baby (taking on freelance work here and there). The last option can go one of two ways: I either come back to work as a perm employee or I do contract work for my boss as a freelancer.

The main reason why I'm thinking about leaving is that our HR person is inept, unprofessional and immature, and has taken the cake over the years in treating some of our employees pretty terribly, and most recently tried to botch my maternity leave, causing me quite a bit of distress during this trying time. I'm so exhausted now, physically from the pregnancy and can't seem to stomach coming back and forcing myself to deal with her.

Our senior staff have had their heads in the sand when it comes to HRlady, so prior attempts to address her incompetence have not gone in our (regular staff's) favor. They're crossing their fingers for her retirement. Now we just try to handle things on our own.

I'm just wondering how honest to be in the end, if I do decide to leave. We have exit interviews (with HRlady) and no matter what I'm going to ask that mine not be with her, but in addition, I have to think about how honest to be. Have you ever left a job and been honest about your negative experiences?

I see differing advice online about this issue, but I'm seeking this answer from a community who cares about professional etiquette.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2014, 03:59:34 PM by lorelai »

shhh its me

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Re: HRLady from hell/Honesty in exit interview
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2014, 04:33:21 PM »
  How does one "try to botch" a leave?  I'm trying to get a sense if she's just incompetent or a bit malicious too. 

I never had a horrible HR person but I've had terrible bosses.  I left it unsaid and every company I've worked for has at one point in time made me offers.  One specifically included "She's gone " 

GreenBird

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Re: HRLady from hell/Honesty in exit interview
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2014, 04:38:56 PM »
Given that HRLady seems to be an immovable object at the company, and you are wanting to preserve the options of contract work/perm employee, I wouldn't say anything negative at an exit interview.  I think if you give negative feedback about HRLady, you run the risk of burning the bridge of working there.  She's not going anywhere, she will know what you said, and she could probably block your return.  I'd focus completely on how you've appreciated working there, but you need to try a different path for now (grad school, etc.).  (and congrats on the baby!)

Deetee

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Re: HRLady from hell/Honesty in exit interview
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2014, 04:55:30 PM »
From what you've told us, I don't see any way that it could help for you to bring this up. You don't want to burn bridges and the upper levels are selectively blind.

turnip

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Re: HRLady from hell/Honesty in exit interview
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2014, 04:57:16 PM »
Never say anything negative in an exit interview.

No good can come to you of it.  They aren't paying you anymore, you don't 'owe' them any feedback for their improvement.  Say "Thank you very much for all you've done!  Perhaps our paths will cross again!" Give you biggest, brightest smile, and leave. 

bah12

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Re: HRLady from hell/Honesty in exit interview
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2014, 05:05:25 PM »
You can be honest without being negative and pointed.

I believe that HR does the exit interviews, correct? And even if they didn't, they would get the results.  Anytime you leave a job, but especially when you already know you want to leave the door open for future employment, it's important not to burn bridges.  You can say something like: "I recently got into Grad school and just had a baby.  With two major life events happening at the same time, I feel it would be better for me concentrate on those and move into freelance work for the time being. Moving to freelance allows me to keep up with the industry while allowing me the time I need to obtain my graduate degree and care for my young child."

This is being honest, without saying "I could probably stay and do grad school and raise the baby, but HR stresses me out and I think they are incompetent."

Also, do you think she was malicious in messing up your maternity leave or maybe just isn't that good at her job?

lorelai

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Re: HRLady from hell/Honesty in exit interview
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2014, 05:19:13 PM »
She's on a power trip. She's a combo of clueless incompetence (really just lacks common sense but likes to exert authority, and policies doesn't always back her up) AND malicious when she wants to be (if she has a personality conflict with you or if you question her, she'll lash out and try to sabotage you in some way).

So for example, I questioned her creation of a policy awhile ago that affected my department's ability to have contractors work on-site [really don't want to get into the legalities here please] and then after that she bullied me into apologizing to her for questioning her judgment, and then immediately did a few things related to my maternity leave that caused me a lot of stress:
- for example, tried to bully me into changing my maternity leave start date, and sent confidential emails about my benefits to other people on staff
- insisted that I wasn't entitled to the leave time period I was asking for, but that because it was written into our staff handbook, I'd still get it, just not the full amount
- instituted another policy which forced me to move back up to working 5 days a week (from 4) and then told me that since it was my choice to move back up to 5, that senior staff would not approve any more schedule changes and I was eating into my work-life balance brownie points. Basically telling a pregnant mom that as a working mother, coming back from leave, I'd have no flexibility

I am still so angry when thinking about some of these details. She's said and done some other terrible things to other people, and I know for sure it's not my place to fight their fights, but I'm just wondering about the people I leave behind who want to get pregnant and will be forced to deal with her too. Maybe that's not my battle either.

I'm also questioning whether or not I can continue to consciously work for an org that allows someone like her to walk all over its staff. I'm losing respect for the powers that be. But I love my boss and want to continue a professional relationship with him (with some contract work if possible).

bah12

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Re: HRLady from hell/Honesty in exit interview
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2014, 05:34:41 PM »
She's on a power trip. She's a combo of clueless incompetence (really just lacks common sense but likes to exert authority, and policies doesn't always back her up) AND malicious when she wants to be (if she has a personality conflict with you or if you question her, she'll lash out and try to sabotage you in some way).

So for example, I questioned her creation of a policy awhile ago that affected my department's ability to have contractors work on-site [really don't want to get into the legalities here please] and then after that she bullied me into apologizing to her for questioning her judgment, and then immediately did a few things related to my maternity leave that caused me a lot of stress:
- for example, tried to bully me into changing my maternity leave start date, and sent confidential emails about my benefits to other people on staff
- insisted that I wasn't entitled to the leave time period I was asking for, but that because it was written into our staff handbook, I'd still get it, just not the full amount
- instituted another policy which forced me to move back up to working 5 days a week (from 4) and then told me that since it was my choice to move back up to 5, that senior staff would not approve any more schedule changes and I was eating into my work-life balance brownie points. Basically telling a pregnant mom that as a working mother, coming back from leave, I'd have no flexibility

I am still so angry when thinking about some of these details. She's said and done some other terrible things to other people, and I know for sure it's not my place to fight their fights, but I'm just wondering about the people I leave behind who want to get pregnant and will be forced to deal with her too. Maybe that's not my battle either.

I'm also questioning whether or not I can continue to consciously work for an org that allows someone like her to walk all over its staff. I'm losing respect for the powers that be. But I love my boss and want to continue a professional relationship with him (with some contract work if possible).

I would advise you not to say anything overly negative about her even if not for the bolded.  But the fact that the bolded is something you desire, then absolutely say nothing. Nothing.  It will do you no good to do so.

postalslave

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Re: HRLady from hell/Honesty in exit interview
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2014, 05:42:47 PM »
She's on a power trip. She's a combo of clueless incompetence (really just lacks common sense but likes to exert authority, and policies doesn't always back her up) AND malicious when she wants to be (if she has a personality conflict with you or if you question her, she'll lash out and try to sabotage you in some way).

So for example, I questioned her creation of a policy awhile ago that affected my department's ability to have contractors work on-site [really don't want to get into the legalities here please] and then after that she bullied me into apologizing to her for questioning her judgment, and then immediately did a few things related to my maternity leave that caused me a lot of stress:
- for example, tried to bully me into changing my maternity leave start date, and sent confidential emails about my benefits to other people on staff
- insisted that I wasn't entitled to the leave time period I was asking for, but that because it was written into our staff handbook, I'd still get it, just not the full amount
- instituted another policy which forced me to move back up to working 5 days a week (from 4) and then told me that since it was my choice to move back up to 5, that senior staff would not approve any more schedule changes and I was eating into my work-life balance brownie points. Basically telling a pregnant mom that as a working mother, coming back from leave, I'd have no flexibility

I am still so angry when thinking about some of these details. She's said and done some other terrible things to other people, and I know for sure it's not my place to fight their fights, but I'm just wondering about the people I leave behind who want to get pregnant and will be forced to deal with her too. Maybe that's not my battle either.

I'm also questioning whether or not I can continue to consciously work for an org that allows someone like her to walk all over its staff. I'm losing respect for the powers that be. But I love my boss and want to continue a professional relationship with him (with some contract work if possible).

If you don't know if you want to go back then I would advise not saying anything and just remain calm and professional during the EI. Heck, even if you knew you never wanted to go back I'd advise saying nothing. Your relationship with this woman sounds strained enough already, the value of your feedback would most likely be lost on her.

Hmmmmm

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Re: HRLady from hell/Honesty in exit interview
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2014, 05:56:54 PM »
I've never heard of an exit interview for maternity leave or other types of medical leave or educational sabbaticals. I've only known for them to occur when you are completely terminating your employment. Are you sure this planned meeting isn't a review of your benefits and options/rights for returning after your leave?

Since the business hasn't listened to active employee complaints about the woman in the past, I'd have no expectation they'd care anymore about complaints from someone leaving.

Vent to your husband and retain your good relationship with your boss to keep all your options available.

lorelai

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Re: HRLady from hell/Honesty in exit interview
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2014, 06:11:12 PM »
This exit interview would take place only if I decide to leave, and it'd then be after or during the maternity leave, depending on when I give notice.

mime

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Re: HRLady from hell/Honesty in exit interview
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2014, 06:44:28 PM »
Do you know if she has driven other people away from the company?

I ask this because at my last company, there was a VP who was a walking disaster. During his three years there, my entire department turned over. When people left, it was officially for reasons like "I found a new opportunity back in my home state", or "at my next company I'll be able to focus on XXX, which isn't a big product here.", etc.

The unofficial reason for everyone was "I can't tolerate this VP any longer!" We all knew it. It was almost a joke to ask "what reason did you give HR?"

In our case, the higher-up people also came to understand what a problem this was, and so he was fired. This understanding was crucial, but sadly it had to reach them in the form of rumors of "why so-and-so really left", but it was ultimately very effective.


GrammarNerd

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Re: HRLady from hell/Honesty in exit interview
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2014, 10:30:18 PM »
I say this not trying to put you off, but because I've been there.

Don't make any decisions now. 

You're having a baby! You get maternity leave!  You'll be gone for several weeks, away from her crapola, and you'll be getting to know your beautiful baby.  I know you're mad now, and you have every right to be, but you have a wonderful break coming up.

I really think that once you're away from the environment, you'll have some clarity as to what you want to do, and how you want to handle things.  You haven't quit yet, and in all likelihood, even if you do quit, it won't be for several weeks or a few months.  Don't stress about it now.  Have your baby, get to know your baby, and then figure out what you want to do, and if you want to go back.

Although, I do agree with really thinking about not burning those bridges.  If you feel like you have to say something, think about what you say, and try to phrase it in a way that says that YOU need something new (implied: that the company can't provide anymore).  I can't think of a good example for you right now, but I'll post one if I think of one.  Example from me: I worked my butt off for this one company.  With the work I'd done (seriously above and beyond my job description or what was expected), I thought I'd be a shoo-in for a promotion.  Mind you, it was a promotion in name only....level 1 to level 2.  BUT it had a (somewhat) significant pay increase associated with it, automatic b/c of the salary range for the new position.  And that was important, b/c this company was not known for paying competitive salaries.  No mention was made of any promotion at my review, so I asked about it right afterward.  My boss hemmed and hawed and it became very apparent that she FORGOT that I was eligible.  Then she blew me off, and told me that she'd reevaluate me in six months.  So that was six months that I would NOT be getting the new salary for the promotion that I felt I was entitled to, just because she forgot.  At that point, I started looking for another job.  I had one within two months.  My boss was SHOCKED when I resigned.  I SO wanted to tell her it was because she blew off my well-deserved promotion.  What I actually said to her was that after two years, I realized that my potential for advancement or new opportunities was pretty limited at that company, and I felt that I needed more so I needed to look elsewhere.  It was really the truth, but it was formulated like it was more of a problem with me than with them.  However, if she read between the lines, she could see it.  And of course, I knew that they just wanted to get the cheapest possible person to do the work.  I'd gotten some good experience, but I wasn't content being the cheapest person anymore.  So I left.

Sorry for the book, but seriously, really use that gift of your maternity leave.  Downtime often equals clarity.

MrTango

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Re: HRLady from hell/Honesty in exit interview
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2014, 10:34:51 PM »
You could just decline to do an exit interview entirely.  It's not like they can force you to come in to the office to undergo the interview.

veronaz

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Re: HRLady from hell/Honesty in exit interview
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2014, 10:55:19 PM »
Quote
Since the business hasn't listened to active employee complaints about the woman in the past, I'd have no expectation they'd care anymore about complaints from someone leaving.

This.

Quote
I'm also questioning whether or not I can continue to consciously work for an org that allows someone like her to walk all over its staff. I'm losing respect for the powers that be.

(bolded) Not uncommon.

« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 11:00:02 PM by veronaz »