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Help me resign with dignity

(18 Posts)
AgentProvocateur Sun 05-Jun-11 16:17:54

Have posted before about being unhappy at work. I have worked at a charity for the past three months, and I am going to resign tomorrow. I went the CAB for advice about getting a reference etc, and when I told the advisor there about the problem within the charity, he was able to guess exactly where I worked.

Staff turnover is huge and there is a bullying culture from the top down. I know that previous people have formally complained to the board of trustees when they left, and nothing has changed. It's been the same for years, apparently.

The whole situation is making me miserable and also making me doubt my abilities. My manager will not answer emails, and I have not had any support and supervision at all. She will ask me to do something, then deny it the next day, and also bitches about other staff behind their back, so is no doubt doing the same about me. She is also asking staff to lie when compiling reports.

Sorry for the moan - my question is this; given that the problems are well documented and are known about within the wider voluntary sector, I don't feel that reiterating the issues would do any good. I'm not interested in starting a grievance. I just want to get out and get my sanity back.

Do I need to give a reason for leaving? I will be looking for another job, so don't want to lie and say that I have family issues or anything that would ring alarm bells with a future employer. Is it OK just to say that it's not working out, and refuse to go into detail?

Also, would you recommend contacting my funders to let them know what's happening?

tribpot Sun 05-Jun-11 16:27:20

You don't need to give your employers a reason for resigning, although you will at least need to have a reason you can present in your next interview when the question arises. Three months is a short period of employment and may raise questions depending on what the rest of your employment history looks like (although it sounds like it wouldn't if you stay within the voluntary sector!).

I would just keep it completely factual and say you tender your resignation with immediate effect. You calculate your final day in the office will be [x] and (if different) your final day of employment will be [y] (i.e. if you've got leave outstanding). Please confirm that your calculations are correct - and leave it at that.

Good luck with the job hunt!

AMumInScotland Sun 05-Jun-11 16:27:33

You don't have to give a reason if you don't want to - simply write them a letter saying that you are resigning your post with effect from x date. As you say, if the problems have been raised before, you're probably not going to be achieving anything by reiterating them.

Not sure who you mean by your funders - are these people connected to the charity, or to you personally?

tribpot Sun 05-Jun-11 16:35:36

Yes sorry, I meant to ask the same question as AMumInScotland, do the funders fund you or the charity? If the charity, I wouldn't tell them anything other than unfortunately you will be leaving on x date and wish them well.

IvorHughJarrs Sun 05-Jun-11 16:39:33

I left a job with a large, well known company, that was making me miserable a while back.

I sent a very brief and to the point letter of resignation as tribpot suggested but I did ring HR towards the end of my notice period and tell them I was leaving because of x,y and z, saw little point in trying to solve it via grievance procedure, etc as they were aware of the situation and had not acted on previous complaints from others but I would be lodging a letter detailing my experiences with the staff representative body which I would give them permission to use in support of others in the future.

It did rattle them and made me feel better.

AgentProvocateur Sun 05-Jun-11 16:56:43

My post at the charity is funded by an outside organisation (eg, The Big Lottery or Children in Need - trying not to be too specific).

I have a solid employment history - I've not been in a job for less than three years before - and glowing references from previous employers, so I'm not worried about discussing this post in an interview.

Thank you for the advice. I will keep it brief and to the point. I would like to document my concerns somewhere, but there's no HR person, there's no union representation and there's no mechanism for the staff to find out who is on the board of trustees, far less contact them!

I already feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

3littlefrogs Sun 05-Jun-11 17:03:58

The charities commission would be interested in the fact that people are bullied into lying when compiling reports, I am sure.

AMumInScotland Sun 05-Jun-11 17:04:15

I'd be tempted to write to the funding organisation to explain the issues - they could perhaps choose to fund a post in a different organisation, if their money is constantly being wasted in filling and refilling the same post, when there are fundamental problems in this organisation which make it impossible for the post to really work.

As someone who has gone through CVs and applications, I'd certainly not hold a single "failed" job against someone, if their overall employment history was fine. In fact I'd sooner they had left after 3 months and could explain why it hadn't worked out, rather than stick it out for a year and been ground down by the experience.

tribpot Sun 05-Jun-11 17:14:43

Yup, I agree with AMumInScotland. Sounds like the funders might like to audit this particular charity to ensure their funds are being appropriately spent.

AgentProvocateur Sun 05-Jun-11 17:18:41

AMumInScotland - you're making me paranoid that you know the organisation, because you've hit the nail on the head - the postholder is destined to fail from the outset because of the organisational issues.

3littlefrogs, I got in touch with a previous employee through Facebook because I know that she is doing a similar job elsewhere, and I wanted to know if she had similar issues to me. She had got in touch with the Scottish equivalent of the Charities Commission, but they seem to be more concerned with the governance of charities - making sure that trustees are acting properly.

AMumInScotland Sun 05-Jun-11 20:42:23

grin don't worry, I'm just going by what you've said here, I don't know you or the organisation!

AgentProvocateur Sun 05-Jun-11 21:09:35

Phew! Although you probably will know the organisation.

thebunnies Sun 05-Jun-11 21:20:22

I think it would be helpful to alert the trustees to the org issues. If the charity produces an annual report, they should be listed in there I think. Otherwise, could the charities commission (or equivalent) give you the info?

Scuttlebutter Sun 05-Jun-11 23:55:46

Trustees are listed on the CC website - you can look up each charity and see things like annual income, trustees etc. A letter to them should raise your concerns.

StillSquiffy Mon 06-Jun-11 14:35:23

As a trustee of a charity myself, I would beg you to not go straight to the funding organisation with your concerns, but to send a letter to either the chairman of the trustees or any of the individual trustees first, and only then to send it to the funding organisation if you are ignored.

At the charity I'm involved with, our head of fundraising works her socks off to attract funding, and to have her lines cut off through something which indicates an issue with the Chief Executive (and not with the fundraising side) would devastate her. Trustees may not be aware of what is going on, particularly when much of the info they receive is directed by the Chief Exec himself. Please give them a chance to look into it first.

MeantToStopAtTwo Wed 08-Jun-11 21:50:49

No advice but just wanted to say, I feel for you. I'm in a similar position, in an organisation with a bullying culture where people are dropping like flies. I can't afford to leave without having another job lined-up unfortunately but also just want out now and have been interviewing like crazy.

teenyshoes Sun 12-Jun-11 10:07:11

I have a similar problem in my workplace. I started my present job 2 months ago and hate it. The job is fine but there is constant bitchiness, bullying and harassment. Today, I have decided to look for another job but cannot afford to leave this one so am stuck at present. I feel sick on the way to work and cry on the way home. I've never experienced this before.

vmcd28 Tue 21-Jun-11 23:27:26

Did you get this sorted, op?
I have a friend in Glasgow who is in a similar situation at a charity (are they all like this?!)

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