The Heated Discussion

Our company transfer policy states that the current department has the ability to hold an employee in their current role for UP TO 30 days. It further indicates that for payroll purposes, the transfer must be set for the beginning of a pay period.

Backing up a bit, I was offered my new position Monday 3/16. My boss was out sick, we were in the middle of a pay period, and I had some negotiating to do, so the offer was not officially accepted until Wednesday 3/18. 30 days would put my expected transition at 4/17, but the pay period starts Sunday 4/19. I made the assumption that my department would hold me for the full 30 days allowable and communicated this at the time the offer was accepted. I informed my boss less than 30 minutes after the offer was accepted and told her the recruiter would be looking for her to confirm the transfer date of 4/19. She said she would.

Thursday 3/19, I received another email from the recruiter asking if I had been able to confirm my transfer date with my current supervisor. I replied and copied her on the email stating that yes we had discussed and as suspected, she would need to hold me until 4/19. She replied stating that she could not commit to a transfer date until she spoke with some other folks and would respond Friday 3/20.

Excuse me? Ummmmm, uh-uh.

So at 5 minutes to 5:00 on Friday afternoon, she struts into my office saying, “Oh yeah, I know I should provide you with a status update on your transfer, and I am going to have to ask to hold you until May 3rd.”

I think she expected me to roll over, say how grateful I was that she was releasing me at all and that I would be happy to stay as long as she needed me. WRONG. I argued back.

I indicated that it was unfair treatment of an internal candidate to hold me longer than the policy requirement, that I was receiving a salary increase in this transition and felt punished for accepting an internal transfer. She argued back that she expected some professional courtesy (at 5 minutes to 5 on a Friday afternoon 2 full days after I had discussed the offer with her) and support for the team. That sometimes people need to negotiate longer transition periods based on the circumstances. I explained that 30 days is sufficient professional courtesy considering that if I had accepted the offer from an external company she would not have the same leeway to hold me any longer than 2 weeks! That there are already processes in place to support the recruitment of our divisions which is the primary function of my position, and that she has known about my pursuit of other opportunities (in fact encouraged it) for almost a year. She threw some other half-considered “justifications” at me which I was able to reasonably and legitimately defend against.

What she didn’t realize was that by copying me on her response email on Thursday afternoon, she had given me almost a full 24 hours to get hepped up and consider all the reasons she might want to hold me longer. I had secretly hoped she planned to release me earlier, but knowing that was unlikely, had already started forming arguments in my head. I had planned on this conversation. She had not.

She wilted in the end. She realized that her arguments were unfounded, that she felt personally frustrated by the situation and that her personal hurt wasn’t sufficient reason to hold me longer than policy dictates. We agreed on an official transfer date of 4/19, and if necessary, and if she was able to work it out with my new supervisor, I would remain behind to help an additional day or two before officially transitioning.

And so just to be weird about the whole situation, I am working Monday 4/20 in HR, working Tuesday 4/21 – Thursday 4/23 in my new role with Clinical Trials, and then going on a weekend vacation to the beach.

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One thought on “The Heated Discussion

  1. Pingback: Out With the Old | shemanda

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