However, the HR staffer who was tasked with performing the exit interview managed to undo all of the good vibes in just under half an hour. I'm working on forgetting that whole part of the day, but it's going to take a few beers over at Mikey's later on tonight for sure.
So! Here's a brief list of things not to do when you are performing an exit interview:
1. Be on time. If you schedule an exit interview for 3:30pm, have the good taste to actually be in your office at that time. Don't make the departing employee sit down on the floor outside of your office to wait for you until you deign to show up without apologizing for your lateness. This isn't Taco Time - this is a Fortune 500 company.
2. Don't dismiss the exiting employee's reasons for leaving as stupid. If they say they're leaving because they just wanted the same job title as their peers, especially as they were far more experienced, talented, and capable, don't laugh. It's not funny. Words do matter, and pointing out that I could have worked overtime to earn more money isn't appropriate.
3. Don't contradict what HR and management said earlier on in the year during the review process. If the employee thinks that support engineering positions had less bonus money pooled to them than regular engineering positions, then find it in yourself not to say "well, you're wrong." Obviously, if the person's employment is ending in 15 minutes, you might as well say "I'm sorry you feel that way" or something noncommittal.
4. When the exiting employee points out that it's absurd for an exit form regarding at-home software use to say something like "Quality Cell has paid for your use of Netscape software, so please delete it from your home computer" because Netscape hasn't existed for some time, don't get hostile and point out that "a Netscape founder" now works at Quality Cell. It isn't true - at least not that I'm aware of - and you really should just be gracious and say "Wow, you're right, we really should fix that!" even if you don't give a shit and won't. It's just easier.
5. When asked why Quality Cell is so uptight about job titles - specifically, not being willing to call me Engineer when many larger and more prestigious companies had no problem calling me that - don't say that it's due to FLSA regulations (what?) or that they can't run the risk of lawsuits from secretaries improperly classified as exempt (double what?). Just say "I'm sorry you feel that way" and STFU. Seriously. I already decided to leave, so don't piss me off even more. If you're doing it to keep your fat pipe of H1-B visas flowing, that's cool - just have the guts to admit it.
So, I'm now at home having a Mexican Coke. Dan is installing a new cat scratching post, and Martin is assembling his wardrobe for the weekend. Sophie is outside on the prowl, Fred is sleeping in the cat tower, and I need to go find an envelope for my final paycheck. Life is in fact good. I start the new job Monday, and I'm glad that last one was over. In about a week, I'll hopefully have forgotten all about Insulting HR Lady and can only remember the good things about the place.