What's Your Problem?

I am ecstatic to be leaving my job. For four years I was very happy at work, but the past year has been one of redundancies, salary freezes and general bad management.

by Jeremy Bullmore
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

My soon-to-be ex-boss is a cack-handed, bullying idiot and I can't wait to see the back of him. I want to tell him exactly what I think of him in my exit interview. Everyone here is unhappy and it would be great to tell him so. Can I use my exit interview to (justifiably) let rip, or will my words come back to haunt me?

A You know the old trick? When you're really, thoroughly pissed-off with someone, you sit down at your computer and rattle out exactly what you think of them: page after page, no holds barred, with at least one paragraph starting 'And another thing' and probably at least three 'finallys'. You then read it through several times and go to bed. In the morning, you read it through again, add one last shaft of invective - and press the delete button. You'll now be in the right frame of mind to make sensible decisions.

I can understand absolutely your excitement at the prospect of a let-rip final interview, but I've a couple of doubts about its wisdom. Boring though it sounds, I think you need to give a little more thought to those you leave behind. Not all your colleagues will be lucky enough to have another job to go to, so be careful not to enrage your boss so much that he takes it out on those who remain.

Presumably, this cack-handed, bullying boss of yours has a boss of his own. Your decision to leave means that you're free, with no fear of reprisals, to tell your boss's boss the truth. In the interests of the whole company, you should do so. Don't make it a rant. Put it in writing, keep it cool and short, and stick to facts. At your exit interview, all you need do is shake your boss's hand - and leave him with a copy of the note you've already delivered to his superior. You'll find this just as satisfying as the interview you're contemplating - and it will greatly protect your abandoned colleagues.


Jeremy Bullmore has been creative director and chairman of J Walter Thompson London and a non-executive director of the Guardian Media Group; he is a non-executive director of WPP. Address your problems to Jeremy Bullmore at: editorial@mtmagazine.co.uk. Regrettably, no correspondence can be entered into.

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