Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Stage Left - Scripting the exit interview

Countdown to 50 Reasons why I need to leave this job: 33

HR Representative: As part of normal company procedure, I'd like to ask you why you've decided to leave our family?
Me: You're asking me why I no longer want to work here? How long do we have?
HR Representative: As long as you'd like
Me: Well, okay....

  1. I no longer want to have to justify my existence or praise of other with a list of percentages, how many hours saved, how many meetings attended, pie charts, or ROI (Return on Investment) estimates
  2. I am wary of this culture which seems to be in denial half the time of reality as a result people tend to over-extend themselves mainly out of fear that they will loose their job (remember Rutger Hauer's line in Blade Runner: Do you know what it's like to live in fear? That's what it's like to be a slave. I may be misquoting)
  3. I don't trust a company that does not consider the moral, ethical and scientific implications of some of their health related technology
  4. I am tired of the dominant Christo-facist culture that is growing around me (how people can shamelessly bring their religion into the workplace and openly proselytize and influence others*)
  5. I am tired of being punished or chided (urged to "disagree and commit"**) for questioning why we're doing things the way we're doing them.
  6. I am tired of berated for taking the time to make something work 'right' or look 'right' because the time spent is not justified in a GANTT or ROI worksheet
  7. I am tired of jumping to satisfy the whim of upper management who decides to follow a direction in management/indicators without considering (the long-term impact on the staff or even the success of the business)
  8. While I appreciate the importance of managing one's business with metrics and benchmarking, I don't believe that we need to take up the bulk of our time doing these activities.
  9. I don't feel that the environment here fosters a healthy atmosphere of constructive self-criticism. People follow management leadership blindly.
  10. I'm weary of any cycle of change that sprouts up as part of a managment initiative to 're-energize' their staff and business processes (without evaluation of what happened with the last cycle...need I say post-mortem - Oh shit, now I'm talking like them too.

HR Representative: Well, it certainly looks like you've taken some time to think about this. You've come up with an incredibly descriptive and comprehensive list.
Me: But wait, I've just started...

  1. I would like to work in an environment where we are given the time and resources to think of solutions which adequately fit our problems rather than for times' sake try to pound ill-fitting solutions from previously known methods or formulas
  2. I'm tired of working for dorks
  3. I'm tired of listening to hours after hours of biz-U speak (it's starting to sound like duckspeak from 1984)
  4. I don't get why or how people can justify speaking in sentences made up almost entirely out of acronyms
  5. I want to go home at 5.00 PM. I'm tired of working 60 and sometimes 70 hour weeks
  6. I want to see my family for more than 2 hours before I go to bed at night
  7. I don't want to hear the phrase 'flawless execution' in a sentence that does not have to deal with capital punishment
  8. I want to weed my garden
  9. I don't want to wake up with a numbness shrouding every muscle in my body
  10. I want to get rid of the tick I get in my eye
  11. I don't want to get old and fat before my time
  12. I want to be able to have the time to go to the gym
  13. I want to have the same lifestyle of leisure that my parents did in the 60's and 70's
  14. I don't want to cry or break down into tears when my vacation is over
  15. I want to live and regain control over my life
  16. I'm tired of tools, building tools for the sake of populating a list on a brag sheet during review time. I'm tired of hearing the word re-tooling. I'm tired of working with tools who won't get a clue.
  17. I don't understand why projects would not spends some time investigating, testing, designing 'tools' that take usability into consideration. Is it all about speed and time, getting something out as quickly as possible?
  18. I like living my life relatively migraine free.
  19. Because if I continue to live my life thinking that there isn't anything better out there, I will become a prisoner of my own inability to dream and desire more for myself. I will become nothing more than a rung in a caste ladder.
  20. Because I believe that this company has become top heavy with a bunch of B and C level managers (mediocre managers) who continue to hire B and C level people.
  21. Because I believe that I can no longer work in an organization that has become so large that it cannot truly evaluate it and change itself without resorting to conducting layoffs. Because after all, it's easier to get rid of your experienced folks and hire a bunch of green individuals who will require millions of dollars in training and the experience of many failed or mediocre projects to get to the point where they can actually function.
  22. Do we really have a vision anymore? Or is that just the crap that's printed on the ugly posters in the hallways?
  23. and while we're on the topic of the company vision posters... For chrissakes, hire decent graphic artists to design your logos and print for you.


If I can come up with more than fifty reasons. I will increase my resume submission rate to 5 job apps a day. I'm already at 1 so far. Hell, I'll just pack my one cardboard box, pick up my purse, and walk out the building.

I mentioned earlier that I've been writing my exit interview, at least mentally. The biggest challenge I'm facing right now is not leaking any hints that I'm thinking of defecting.

Do you have any reasons why you want to leave your job? Do you feel guilty because you even have these thoughts?

*Example of publicizing religious organizations - I came into work and found an article on our intranet about a professionial lecture on Business Ethics. Basically the speaker's main point is that corporate leaders need to base their decisions on absolute moral code. While I agree with the basic tenet's of the guy's thought about honesty and corporate behavior (somehow, after witnessing the example of the janus-faced lives of so many public religious figures in this country I really can't see how openly professing one's faith in Jesus is going to convince the world that corporations can do no wrong.

**Normally, I'd like to say in these conversations "I disagree. You should be committed."


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