The Other Side Of Accepting ResignationsPosted: July 27, 2012
Now and again, I read a news story that involves a person voluntarily leaving their job. This sort of article typically contains a sentence like this one:
“Bob White submitted his resignation from his position as the company’s treasurer.”
The reason for the exit is typically left to speculation. Maybe he was offered a better job. Perhaps there was a boardroom disagreement and this is Bob’s graceful exit. It could be that Mr. White is leaving to join the circus. Whatever the reason, Bob White aims to be the company’s ex-treasurer.
If It Can Be Accepted, Then…
A sentence that often closely follows the submission of the resignation gives me reason for concern. That sentence usually says something like:
“CEO Ann Parker accepted White’s resignation.”
Now CEO Parker might have comments about Mr. White’s departure, or she might not. It is her “accepting” of the resignation that gives me pause.
By accepting Bob’s resignation, Ann implies that she could also refuse to accept the resignation. If that is true, then it seems to me that she can keep Bob as her treasurer for as long as she pleases.
Suppose we rewrite the story just a bit:
“Bob White submitted his resignation from his position as the company’s treasurer. CEO Ann Baker refused to accept White’s resignation saying “no way this company stays afloat without that guy tracking the money. I’m not accepting Bobby’s resignation.”
Reached for comment, White said “I guess I’m staying. Damn. I really wanted to be a lion tamer“.
If you aren’t concerned, you should be.
Perhaps We Aren’t As Wonderful As We Think
Civilized nations take pride in having eliminating forced labor. Our pride is misplaced. If employers can crush our lion taming dreams with a simple refusal, society hasn’t evolved to the point we think it has.
Don’t believe it is happening?
Name ten lion tamers.
The refused resignation scenario touches even those who’ve never been trapped in a job. An average job seeker can not compete with someone who can say “I was so good, they made me work another three years before I could resign”.
The Part Where It Becomes All About Me
My future employment endeavors are handicapped because I’ve never been turned down when I resigned any of the jobs I took while working my way through school – Ziggy’s Pizza, Harmony Hut, church grounds keeper, Capital Centre, Ivey’s. Two weeks notice, a handshake and I was out of there. I managed to latch on to my career and have been there for twenty seven years. No one has ever said I was so good I had to stay. I don’t have a marketable employment record because of that fact.
We must stop this right of refusal. While most managers accept resignations with encouraging grace, the few who entrap their employees make it difficult on us all.
Don’t wait until you’re refused. It is time to act; time to petition our elected leaders to resolve this now.
- Bolton Resigns In Executive Session (wibw.com)