You were just called into your supervisor’s office. Human Resources was there, so you knew it wasn’t going to be anything good. They asked you to have a seat and then proceeded to tell you that you’ve been fired – for cause. They ask you to pack your things and leave immediately. What should you do?
1. Refuse to leave
Make it clear that if you resigned, the company would expect you to give them two week’s notice. You should receive that same courtesy. Offer to follow-up with an email confirming your last day of work – two weeks from today.
2. Ask for a letter of recommendation
Wait until HR leaves and you’re alone with your supervisor. It may sound odd to ask for a recommendation since you’re being fired for cause, but your supervisor may feel bad enough to honor your request. See if you can get the letter electronically so you can take it with you. A word document is better than a pdf because you can change it. Also, try to get the supervisor to insert an electronic signature; that way you can write anything you want and have it signed without bothering him/her. It’s really for their convenience.
3. Demand a severance package
Make severance a condition of your two-week’s notice. You’d receive severance if you were being laid off; it’s not your fault they fired you for cause.
If you want to have a little fun during your last two weeks, draft an email to Human Resources thanking them for the promotion and 35% pay increase. State that the new job doesn’t meet your long-term career goals and you’ve decided to resign. When you send the email, “accidentally” send it to the entire company. When people ask you about it, say “no comment”.
On your way out don’t forget to pack a supply of pens, paper and post-it notes. Stealing may be against company policy but what are they going to do? Fire you?