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Lying Is The Lazy Way Out

, , , , , | Working | January 14, 2022

Out of the blue, one of my team members (rather dramatically) announces to me that she is leaving. 

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. Any particular reason you want to talk about?”

Employee #1: “I’m just not progressing. I’ve been here two years and I don’t see any way forward.”

Me: “Oh, really? You never said that you would like to progress. You’ve never applied for any other positions that I’m aware of.”

Employee #1: “Well, yes, but sometimes you expect a bit of help from… people.”

I’m guessing she means me, but I am always really open about helping anyone who wants to progress. I’ve never stood in anyone’s way, and I’ve helped arrange training, etc. [Employee #1] has regularly said she didn’t need anything when we’ve talked about her development.

Me: “Well, I am sorry you feel that way. How much notice are you giving?”

Employee #1: “I want to leave as soon as possible. I’ve told them I could start next week.”

Me: “I don’t think I can allow that. You have a notice period for a reason. We need time to find a replacement and train them.”

Employee #1: “But I’ve already told them!”

Me: “I’ll do what I can, but next week leaves us in a massive hole.”

She stomps off angrily. I get it, but this isn’t a new thing. Everyone has the same thing in their contract. A month’s notice is pretty typical.

I ask around and see if anyone is looking for a change in role, anyone who could pick up the job at least for the short term, but I get nothing.

I ask [Employee #1] to spend the rest of the week detailing her role and to share what training notes she has. It takes several attempts to get anything from her.

The next week:

Me: “Has anyone seen [Employee #1]?.”

Employee #2: “No. She left, didn’t she?”

Me: “No, she has three more weeks.”

Employee #2: “Are you sure? She was telling everyone that she starts her new job today.”

I get Human Resources to call and call and email, but they get no response. At the end of the day, [Employee #1] replies that she has started her new job today, so she won’t be back.

This is annoying. Everyone has to pitch in, and we scramble to get a new member of staff up and running. It takes a few weeks, but we seem to level out.

I’m in Human Resources talking about how the new starter is settling in.

Human Resources: “Oh, [Employee #1] called asking for you.”

Me: “She can have the basic job reference, I guess.”

Human Resources: “No, she was asking if we were still struggling for staff, and she said could come back if we discussed her pay.”

Me: “How much does she want?”

Human Resources: “Well, let’s just say I think she is after your job.”

Me: “Wow. Tell her thanks, but we are okay, and good luck with the new job.”

[Employee #1] eventually applied back at our company and got a similar job to her old one. Someone told me that she had lied a bit to get a more senior job and then couldn’t do it. Again, I sat with her to help her train, but she just wouldn’t commit to anything.