Sour cream banana cake is a wonderful accompaniment to crazy behavior discussions in general, not just resignations gone awry. Bananas set the stage for the impending shenanigans and then a boozy brandy glaze and chocolate were added to make it even less business appropriate. It’s frosted with lightly sweetened whipped cream to make the cake look innocent of any wrongdoing but we all know better.
Cue Bon Jovi, ‘cause you’re going out in a blaze of glory.
You had a stellar run at your job, differentiated yourself in numerous ways, earned accolades, etc. but how you choose to exit could decimate your legacy. How can one letter or exit interview or any one thing make such a big impact on the way you are perceived washing away years of solid work like it never existed? I’m not certain why but I have seen this Universal Law in action and messing with one of those big laws will mess with you, having long-term consequences.
What happened? You got exasperated, tensions built and an indignant fracas ensued which fueled your creation of an epic saga that goes something like this. You are a stellar employee, perhaps the best the organization has ever had, and you have been wronged by a series of situations and can no longer abide by the incompetence and general nincompoopery that exists in your company a minute longer.
You are packing your bags having found another job where you will be loved, appreciated and probably worshipped as a god for your priceless skill set, good-bye unpleasant people!
But before you go, you stage a little Shakespearean, I will smite thee vengeance. In your imagination, your departure will cause the organization, or at least pieces of it, to crumble leaving Parthenon level detritus in your wake. Unfortunately, your payback fantasy and not so subtle malcontent does little to sate your eye-for-an-eye indignation so you determine that it is your moral obligation as a superior human to teach them all a lesson. Pause for malevolent crazy revenge laugh.
If you just stopped here, then everything would be fine, but you don’t. Doh! You actually write a letter narrating your epic saga of misfortune and indict the people that you feel have wronged poor, sweet, innocent, hard-working you. You fancy that once upper management reads your letter, your foes will be rounded up and locked in the Tower of London where they will ultimately perish in shame. You have had the last laugh, indeed, you tell yourself as you exit the building on your last day with it’s all going to blow up in their faces now swagger.
Then you start your new job and wonder how long it’s going to take before you get a phone call begging you to come back or maybe just a call from one of your fellow colleagues to report that the office has gone to hell in a hand basket and they were insane to let you go. That doesn’t happen. Strangely, no apology letters from The Tower of London arrive; however, your replacement is hired, trained and the company prospers, not a pebble of detritus in sight. Time goes by, you become immersed in your new job and don’t have time to think about your old story of woe and your hurt feelings heal leaving a new perspective and wisdom. Many months later a little voice in your head reminds you of your smashingly theatrical exit, which seems completely out of character for you now. You attempt to justify to yourself that departing during budget reviews giving everyone the clichéd middle finger isn’t that horrible, is it? Maybe only Human Resources saw it?
You need to know that everyone saw and it will be remembered forever.
You may not be eligible for rehire and all of the people that witnessed your smiting attempt will move to new organizations and when your name comes up, your notorious exit will be recounted with glee. Good work by you! The fact that you will be remembered less for the outstanding work that you did and more for the Shakespearean drama enacted on your way out the door is probably not fair, but perhaps it’s a karmic law of wishing harm on anyone that brings that same harm back to you in equal measure?
In the end, you did not teach anyone a lesson, except perhaps yourself, which is the person that needed to learn all along that maybe the slings and arrows that you faced were probably just de rigueur business lessons. Looking back with more wisdom, you wish that you had not taken things so personally and that you had not made a mess of your exit.
In a word, you smote yourself.
How to resign:
- Write a resignation letter to your direct boss that includes the facts only. The fact that you are resigning, with your notice period. Then thank your boss for the opportunity to work for the organization. That’s it.
- Skip the exit interview. If you have nothing nice to say, then don’t. Venting all your frustrations about the company, your boss, your owners, on the way out the door is a cowardly cheap shot that will not be respected. I’m talking about general complaints regarding situations that you don’t like, not legal and ethical issues, of course.
- If anyone attempts to entice you into gossiping, don’t take the bait. In your highly emotional state you are unlikely to see the ulterior motives staring you in the face.
- Stay focused and work diligently for your two weeks. Create a turnover checklist that will set up the next person in your role for success. Don’t leave a mess; it will haunt you.
- Don’t be tempted to tell your story to gain sympathy. Trust that your story will be retold in a less than flattering light to you, so it isn’t worth it nor is it changing anything. We all need to vent, so find a friend outside of the organization and grumble away.
Although you can’t imagine ever working for the company or those people again, you probably will, so just to be safe let’s keep you on the high road and the eligible for rehire list. By all means, write your epic drama, but please don’t send it to anyone, silly banana!
Gone Bananas Cake adapted from Janet Rich’s Banana Cake recipe.
½ cup melted butter
1 cup white sugar
Add 2 eggs
1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
Add dry ingredients to wet and lightly mix
Lightly mix in:
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup mini chocolate chips
2 bananas, sliced or mashed
Add batter to greased pans. Heat oven to 350 degrees. The recipe is for a 9X5” loaf pan, but I used two 4” cake rounds. Bake time varies depending upon the size of pan so use the toothpick method.
Make your favorite whipped cream frosting, sweetened to your taste. Add a stabilizer if you are planning to enjoy the cake for a couple of days.
Make your favorite caramel boozy glaze. Bourbon is usually my go-to in these situations, but I had a brandy glaze on hand from another cake and it worked beautifully.
Put in a saucepan and boil for a couple of minutes
½ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
pinch of salt
Remove from heat and add
1/3 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
2 Tablespoons of brandy
Let it cool a bit to use as a glaze for the top of each layered cake. Frost to your heart’s content.