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Fun with leaving - The tissue of the Tears of Zorro [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Fun with leaving [Aug. 30th, 2010|01:59 am]
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I may have mentioned that I'm leaving my current job soon, to move back to the group that I was an intern in. Despite being the first of the non-managers to state my intention to leave, I seem to be the last to be set free.

So far I have witnessed 3 sets of "leaving drinks", one being a manager, and 2 engineers. I think I'm beginning to get the idea of how to graciously leave work.

The manager did a very nice job when leaving; that's unsurprising, given that a manager's job generally involves discretion and tact. Basically, most of the night involved getting steadily drunker, talking about his home life, where he was going to work next, and generally nothing offensive. As the night went on, and the numbers whittled down, there was some gossip, but nothing majorly offensive or groundbreaking; it was just his chance to bitch when he couldn't do so as a manager, but still held his tongue, and only really covered ground that we had all figured out for ourselves anyway. It should also be said, it was very much at the prompting of the rest of us. At this point, there was only one person there who wasn't planning on leaving.

The next was an engineer who I've had very little dealing with, but his last action as an employee was to misquote Oscar Wilde on IRC (our internal chatroom): "Either these curtains go, or I do" (I can't find a definitive answer one way or the other). He exited with a certain class, and we just chatted. Nothing major was said by him about the job; it was all forward-looking towards the next one. So far, it's been the classiest exit...

...Shortly followed, one week later, by the least classy exit. You know what? Let's just make this clear, I am not emotionally neutral in this case. Basically, the next engineer (let's call him R) left the job last Friday to move within the company. I generally thought he was a nice guy, he tended to make time for you, and tended to talk and was generally nice enough. We went for drinks, but the people participating quickly dropped off. 5 people were left, and only 3 of us continued drinking in town. As time progressed, without prompting he proceeded to tell us exactly how much of a shambles that group is. Later, a team member who was laid off comes in to join us. Shortly after R decides to become even less diplomatic and tell me, "There are only 2 people in the group who I actually enjoyed working with, one is <ex-team member that just joined>, and the other is <other team member who's out drinking with us>." Cheers R. I know English isn't your first language, but I know damn well that you know enough to say something more diplomatic like, "the people in this team that I enjoyed working with most were...", rather than "the people I actually enjoyed working with". In other words, you don't pass Go, you don't get the benefit of the doubt. Screw you too, R.

He also slagged off pretty much the entirety of the system that our team developed. He specifically took time to slag off the software I was tasked with maintaining. We had to explain that developing that software always took second place to our actual paid job, which was to analyse problems. But he would not let the point go, and wanted to talk more about how the produce of the team was not well-designed etc. Yeah, those truthes are self-evident, but having actually worked in the conditions that force you to write something that works quickly, rather than plan these things for ages, you'd think he'd have had a bit more sympathy.

Being honest, if wasn't for the point that I was enjoying the company of the other 2 folks there, I would have left. Also, I developed a strange belief for the moment; in each of the cases, I stuck with the defector to the end. It just made some sort of sense in that, I'm one of those folks defecting, so I felt I should show a bit of solidarity. I just happen to feel it was wasted on R. Also, most of this didn't really sink in until the next morning, when I realised, "Yes, he basically did say, for all intents and purposes, 'I only liked 2 people, you weren't one of them'."

Yes, this is a rant about something trivial, but I think it's a lesson to me in being gracious when I leave... The advice of, "Don't follow R's example", would seem to be very good start.