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Old 12-26-2007, 07:13 PM   #21
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I am with Martha on this. Most companies are just going through the motions with exit interviews but some take it seriously. Believe it or not some managers care when people start leaving. Behavior like you have described is toxic to a work place. If your managers choose to investigate, complainants will probably come out of the wood work and the toxic boss will be toast. That would be the best favor you could do for those who you leave behind. If management does nothing, you are no worse off than if you said nothing.
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Old 12-26-2007, 07:30 PM   #22
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Two thoughts: First, if you report it to HR, the same issues as the last guy, even if he was enraged and you are calm, hopefully someone will start to see a pattern here. HR may continue to try to deny until the next person, or the one after that, but the groundwork is there.

Second, is it possible to schedule a meeting with your boss's boss? You might consider giving him/her the whole story, as a confidente, without rancor or ill will. Simply say, I am FI, but I want you to know what is happening, before {my current boss} gets the whole company in trouble....

My experience, however, is that often HR and upper management know and don't care...

You will have to do what feels right to you, and you might not decide until you are in the moment, based on how the person you are talking with seems to respond. Regardless, you seem to be someone who tries to do what you beleive is right. You will have to live with your actions or inactions, so one month or one year from now, how will you think you will feel about your actions? That may be your best guide on how to proceed. Best of luck and congrats for getting out of a bad situation. I am sure you will enjoy ER.
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:00 PM   #23
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OK. I did say it wouldn't do any good and the record shows that it won't.

Just get out of the exit interview as fast as you can. Tell them you have nothing to say. Except maybe how happy you are to be leaving. Cut the whole experience short if you can.

I once quit a job working for an offensive moron who made public weight jokes about me, too, among other things. Nothing happened to him, of course. When the parent company took over the Canadian operation and dissolved it, he lost a bundle in stock options (along with everyone else), so I got a few grins in the end.
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:14 PM   #24
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As I have said, every workplace is different, but my experience with doing exit interviews is that you get valuable information that people are otherwise reluctant to share. I believe that I could generally tell if people were lashing out (generally those who quit rather than getting fired) and people with important and valid information to share. If I had the OP's information, at the very least I would keep an eye out for potential problems with that particular boss. I believe the OP can report the issues and still leave with grace and dignity. Especially as he is making no demands.
Yes, I see your points. My experience is that a) the exit interviewer may not be as insightful or sophisticated as you are (more likely a midlevel HR employee), and b) exit interview information is to serve the employer, not the exiting employee nor the greater good. The tendency to have one last shot can lead to intemperance in some cases. Unless one is willing to go to the mat in the case of gross improprieties (not an appealing early retirement pursuit) I see the harm as outweighing the risks.

I concur that every work place is different. Only the OP can decide how these factors shake out. If delayed whistle-blowing will help others great, but it might also undermine the legacy of the whistle-blower, with nothing for either side to show for it but a bitter taste.
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:40 PM   #25
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I am with Martha. You should share your concerns with HR because
A. It is bothering you
B. It could help your friends
C. It is the right thing to do.

Absolutely worse case, the person doing the exit interview disagrees with you, marks you down as a disgruntedly lousy employee and tells your old boss. Result you old boss doesn't use you as personal reference for his next job application and doesn't call you for consulting work.
Best case: The HR says wow that is pretty much the same story the other 5 people in the department who quit told me. I think Joe Boss needs to find a new job.

Here is the rub if the other 4 people in the deptartment remained silent, HR will have no clue and the situation won't change.

I promoted a very sharp, but somewhat overbearing guy to a supervisor position. When one of the hardest working employees transfered to another job, I heard via HR that part of her reasons for leaving was his personality. After investigating I found that all of the people who worked for him shared her opinion. He was fairly quickly moved to an individual contributor position. If it wasn't for her comments during the exit interview, I don't think I would have acted as quickly. I was aware of the problems before hand, but there is something about having HR tell you that Joe isn't really cutting it as supervisor to spur action.
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:44 PM   #26
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First, let me say I'm sorry for your loss. I'm glad you don't have to put up with that oaf much longer. I've had a little success in dealing with such insensitive comments by opening my eyes a little wider and speaking in a somewhat hushed tone "I've always been afraid of making that kind of comment for fear someone would file a harrassement suit against me." That has always changed the subject quickly...usually killed the conversation altogether.

I'd like to say that your exit comments would make a difference, but I think they would fall on deaf ears. Years ago, I was a witness in a sexual harrassment case...I worked with both and never saw him harrass her...I heard about a lot of stuff, but could only testify as to what I saw. In the end, she left and he (the harrasser) suffered no career set back. I've even seen known harrassers transferred from one location to another. Not fair, just not fair. But look on the brigh side...you don't have to put up with it much longer.
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:57 PM   #27
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i think you can make your points without "going off" on how awful the person was.

just make the point it was inappropriate and you wanted it noted, and have a nice day!

You took some awful behavior - totally unacceptable! is this what is going on in megacorp? hehe
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Old 12-26-2007, 09:20 PM   #28
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Depends on the quality of your HR person (assuming he/she is the one performing exit interview). A good HR person can insure that info is passed along in useful manner. I say be honest and then skip out the door with a huge smile!
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Old 12-26-2007, 09:43 PM   #29
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I don't think whether HR "does something about it or not" should be the driving force in your decision. I think the real question is how will you feel 6 months and/or 6 years after you retire. Will you regret not saying anything?

I would (regret not saying anything). This guy is a lawsuit waiting to happen and you have friends still working there. Maybe HR will do something, maybe they won't - but I would want to know I tried to make a difference.
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Old 12-26-2007, 09:47 PM   #30
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I would also like to add that you must be a very patient, forgiving person. No parent should have to go through what you went through. You have my sympathies. You certainly should not have had to listen to this guy's insensitive comment.
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:10 PM   #31
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I'm currently in a position working for someone not as bad as your boss, but someone who has driven close to 40% of the department to quit in the last six months, including over 50% of his direct reports. Quite a few of those departing have reported detailed incidents in their exit interviews. HR routinely takes these reports to the offending manager. He discounts the worst or spins so the departing person is somewhat discredited (making it much less likely they will ever be offered another position here if they ever wanted to come back).

The purpose of the exit interview is primarily to gather info for the company's benefit. This could include a pattern of employees leaving, but mostly seems to be finding an "acceptable" category to put the departure in that avoids upsetting the power balance at the company, including both HR and the manager in question.

Now, you may have a more enlightened and proactive HR at your company. But given the egregious offenses of your boss that have not yet been addressed, it seems unlikely.
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:16 PM   #32
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Im not sure if I would let anyone grab my stomach without grabbing them by the throat. Anyways in a workplace that is a real big no no that he did that. Ive never seen that go on in my line of work without some kind of violence or repercussions.

I guess the topic of hand is what you would do on the interview. Give them a big screw you and nice knowing you I guess.
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:18 PM   #33
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do you have your boss' address? lets egg his house.

my employer would only put his hand on me if he wanted it broken or if he was planning to buy me dinner, depending on my mood.

i see no difference between talking someone out of or proselytizing for any particular religion. i certainly try not to practice and i wouldn't put up with it either.

there is one thing about all this i'd question as you seem to describe yourself a bit timid. not to take away from the other guys responsibility but i can't help but wonder if you do not maybe bring some of this upon yourself.

i'm not saying that you are responsible for some bully taking advantage of you but they do smell fear. they also have pretty good eye sight even if you are sitting still with your back turned in a corner of the room. i would learn how to defend myself and then, just for grins, paint upon my character a few colorful streaks and spots to warn them that i am poisonous to the bite.
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:45 PM   #34
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Thank you to all for the condolences about my daughter. It was a tremendous blow however DW and I are trying to grow in character from the experience. I really found out who our true friends were after that and hopefully I am putting more important things first now. DW and I set a goal to RE when we first married 21 plus years ago. She SERd two years ago and we both are very thankful that our financial plan worked out to allow us both to SER as we planned. We have a small business on the side that we enjoy doing and some rental property so we are not technically completely retired but soon I will join my wife in being free from Mega Corp.

I really appreciate all the suggestions. It is a lot of good food for thought that will lead me to the right action.

Thank you.
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Old 12-27-2007, 01:06 AM   #35
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Fisherman,
I too am sorry about your loss. I lost a wife a few years ago and my current wife lost a grandchild so I am close to how this affects a family.

First, your boss was WAY OUT OF LINE in many respects.
* Touching an employee is a major No No and he could be fired for it if done repeatedly after being told not to do so.
* Making comments about your religion is also a major issue.

His comments to your wife at your daughters service was terrible and just shows his poor social skills and lack of good judgement.

HR may or may not discuss Exit Interview information with your boss. Some do some don't. Ask them what they do with the information BEFORE you tell them anything. Even then, they still could do nothing with it.

HR may or may not be of any help with your boss. Don't count on them to do much unless like Rich said, you have a documented trail of items along the way and not just as you are getting ready to leave. Even a prior employee's comments may not be enough to get much action. They don't want to rock the boat unless there is a clear risk to the company from a legal perspective. In your case, there may or may not be since there may not be any prior history of actions until now. Most HR folks will not stick out their necks without a TON of documenation to back them up.

My suggestion is to mention the fat and religious comments as if they happened to someone else. If pushed, you can volunteer they also happened to you. Don't expect much action. Without a documentation trail your comments will be interesting but not taken too seriously.

If you really want some action...compose a very well written letter with your story and send it to the CEO, COO, President of HR, Division Pres., and your local HR person. That works wonders.
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Old 12-27-2007, 01:59 AM   #36
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Christians, it is true, are told to turn the other cheek. But given your statements that you will be able to let go of these matters *personally* indicates you will have no problem with this part.

Christians also have a responsibility to speak up and let others know when the others' actions are harmful and wrong. If you let pass the opportunity at the exit interview to speak up, you may regret it later.

In my opinion, given the very recent repetitions of offensive behavior, and given it is at Megcorp's initiative to conduct exit interviews, it is your responsibility to yourself as a Christian, your co-workers, your boss, and to Megacorp to be frank as to the issues in the exit interview. Just present the info calmly and without rancor.

Others have pointed out no one knows whether or not your exit info will change anything or not. But you can be 100% sure if you say *nothing*, then it will not change anything. A "wrong" left unchallenged can soon enough become the norm.

I think for your longterm healing and for the sake of your own conscience, you should be frank and truthful at the exit interview. A weight will lift off your shoulders and you will sail into your well-deserved ER with peace.

But these are all my opinions. You are the one in the middle of it all.

Ultimately, I suggest you pray about your decision.
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:06 AM   #37
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I think for your longterm healing and for the sake of your own conscience, you should be frank and truthful at the exit interview. A weight will lift off your shoulders and you will sail into your well-deserved ER with peace.
Use the exit interview as catharsis and psychotherapy? If it's that deep and troubling, then real counselling with someone other than an HR functionary (quite possibly someone 20 years his junior) might be a better choice.
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:03 AM   #38
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I would simply shove a fist down the sob's throat on the way out the door.
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:07 AM   #39
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The purpose of the exit interview is primarily to gather info for the company's benefit. This could include a pattern of employees leaving, but mostly seems to be finding an "acceptable" category to put the departure in that avoids upsetting the power balance at the company, including both HR and the manager in question.

Now, you may have a more enlightened and proactive HR at your company. But given the egregious offenses of your boss that have not yet been addressed, it seems unlikely.
Well said...I think the OP even cemented this by further explaining what happened when another coworker left...
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:14 AM   #40
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Fisherman...

First off, let me say congratulations on your retirement! You made it! Despite the roadblocks along the way. And, I am sorry about the passing of your daughter. A terrible thing.

Now, for the problem at hand...
I would just do the exit interview with a smile on my face, and not say anything about the beast. Just let it go. You are at a new beginning in life! The purpose of HR is not for you...but to help and support management. If anything was going to be done, it would have been a long time ago.

Once more...Congratulations!
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