Quitting your job is awkward and stressful. It becomes even more so when you are afraid your boss is a psychopath. Abusive relationships can be hard to get away from, whether in your personal life or at work. I was in an abusive relationship with my boss and was forced to stay in it until I found a new job.
I was verbally abused, kidnapped against my will in his car while he drove like a maniac, stalked online, and perpetually threatened with my job.
Then there was the time he told me a story about how he got in a bar fight, crushed someone's eye socket with a beer bottle, and got away before the cops arrived! It was at that moment that I realized he could be dangerous.
Today, I am going to tell the story of how I quit the company and went face to face with the man I feared. I will include a few suggestions in case you find yourself in a similar situation of having to hand in your resignation to a boss who is a psychopath.
Make Sure There's a Witness
I alerted one of my co-workers of my intention to quit and asked him to be there in the morning when I resigned. I wanted an extra set of eyes and ears there, just in case.
Do Not Say Anything to Escalate the Situation
When I quit, it sent my boss into a rage. He started peppering me with insults. My blood began to boil as well! There were so many things that I wanted to say to him at that moment. However, had I done so, there would have been a major confrontation that would not have ended well.
Have a Clear Path to the Exit
My boss cornered me in my office as I was packing up my stuff. I wanted to have everything ready to go before resigning. He wasn't willing to let me get out the door without stomping on my dignity. Needless to say, having to walk around him to get out the door was more than a bit awkward.
Knowing his violent past and seeing the reaction he had when I told him I was quitting, I'm just glad he didn't sucker-punch me or gouge me with the stapler on my way out the door.
Record the Conversation on Your Mobile
There are several mobile apps that will record a live conversation. U.S. federal law allows you to record an in-person conversation without the other party knowing per the "one-party consent" law.
I recorded the conversation I had with my ex-boss just in case I ever needed it as evidence.
Consider Resigning Directly to HR
If you want to avoid the type of confrontation I had, consider submitting your resignation directly to HR. If the office you work at does not have an HR representative present, call them over the phone. There is no rule that says you owe your abusive boss an explanation in person. Then, arrange to pick up your stuff when your boss is not there.
My exit from this company was not classy or professional, and it was far from my normal way of conducting business. However, when you're submitting your resignation to a boss that you think may be a psychopath, getting out of the office unscathed becomes your No. 1 priority.
Speaking from experience, the feeling of getting out an abusive relationship with your boss is truly liberating. I can honestly say that driving out of the parking lot that day for the last time, knowing I was moving on, was one of the most gratifying moments in my career.