Thursday, 25 October 2007

Goodbye and Good Riddance

At my company, my team is made up of contractors/vendors/non employees-call us what you will, our team is the red-headed step child. No offence to red-headed stepchildren, as I know first hand. I have a red headed brother who was a stepchild, and yes, sometimes they are treated differently, and, often unfairly.
So we stick together. The Team and I.

Anyhoo, as I’m one of three team leaders in the group, when Linda’s quitting day arrived, I rallied the team to sign a nice goodbye card. Linda and her boyfriend were trading in 9-5 jobs for a travelling schedule that was due to begin in London the next week.

We had arranged a lunch out in her honor. It was a nice gesture.

By mid day, the card I had circulated earlier that morning in a plain folder had found its way back round to my desk, only this time in a large envelope. When I opened the envelope out fell 11 Euro (about 15 bucks). Something told me this wasn’t compensation to me for organizing the card.

Back in June the larger department said goodbye to a senior manager who was leaving after working with us for six months. Then, too, someone, somewhere, decided to take up a collection for his leaving card.

I have so many fundamental problems with this, I don’t know where to start.

1. This man probably earned 2x to 3x more than the average well wisher of the card. He was given what we call “garden retirement”. He was leaving to work for a competitor, and as such, he was immediately relieved of his duties and paid out a lavish severance amount, in jest coined ‘garden retirement’.

2. This man decided to leave the company of his own accord, and thus the decision being his to walk away from a paying job.

3. This money collection was just this. A. Money. Collection. No one was going to take it a step farther and buy him a gold watch or mantle clock. It was cold cash that was to be given with the bon voyage card. Except that the sum collected was mere 6 Euro($4.20).

Are you beginning to see my point?

Am I just a stingy penny-pincher, or is it ridiculous to throw cold cash at someone who has the wherewithal, the courage, and/or the luxury to walk away from a paying job? Not to mention the measly amount scavenged…how do you gift too little money to someone?

So when Linda’s coin-jangling card fell upon me, I discreetly sent an email to the gang sans Linda, and asked that the person who kindly started the contributions, to please be welcome in presenting Linda with the money, since I was unsure of the intent.

In the end, a few additionally embarrassed people tossed in some cash and she was presented with 50Euro. Yeesh! You would've thought it was a collection for the needy...these folks would go poor walking along the homeless in San Francisco the way they are easily shamed into handing over money!

Oh, have I told you? I’ve given my 30–day notice to resign! Yep.

Now that little group of red-haired kiddies have 28 days to rattle their piggybanks before my goodbye card begins its circulation!


Megan (FriedOkra) said...

That's just SAD! The good thing is, though, your leaving will be fresh on the heels of you making a point about this whole cash-gift thing, so I bet they'll all ante-up plenty of dough for you. Hee hee.
Congrats though, on the handing in of your notice. I've done it a couple of times and it is surely liberating (although in my case also sorta scary.)

sMC said...

as Freddie (Mercury) sings...Life's a Bitch.
Are you going to another job, or be a mum @ home and make quilts to sell.