Three weeks ago, after a not so happy meeting in my manager's office, where I tried to explain to him why a sincerely fucked up project a few of us peons had been thrust upon was fucked (and having him still not "get it"), I gave notice. I shut the door to his office and I suggested that my manager get ready for more bad news. "You're leaving?" he asked. "Yup" I said. "I figured this would happen sometime soon".
There was no moment of "why," "do you want to talk about it," or "what can we do to keep you". Instead there was simple resignation and slow planning for my eventual departure from my post of thirteen years. Even his manager merely said "Oh - sorry to see you go!"
Sure, maybe there's nothing that can really be said or done when someone gives notice after having accepted an offer from another company, but I would have liked some crocodile tears at the very least. But no - my manager of thirteen years, whom I had been bugging for a raise, a review, a something for about a year (and his old boss previously for an additional two years) just said "I figured this would happen."
I hadn't just asked him. I hadn't just asked his manager. I had asked him, his manager and the manager before him. I asked all of them because the only times I had been given a raise was when HR magically realized that I was no longer being paid an amount equal to the lowest market average for someone with my job title (There's a bell curve - I fell on the lower left slope. Hell - I turned down an offer for an entry level position making almost as much as I was making as a "senior UI designer! But that's a different story).
Last fall, when discussing how I might get bumped up a notch or two, my manager said that it'd be up to my manager and his boss to review and approve the request. "Isn't that manager you?" I asked. "Yeah - I guess it is," he said.
Motherfuckin', GEE, motherfucker.
It eventually came down to slowly surmounting frustration with management and the projects to which I was arbitrarily assigned. After knocking myself out for the past two years to cover for everyone's design asses on Big Monster Project With A Catchy Name, our design services were dropped in favor of more contracted developers who didn't give a single shit about quality. Follow that up with getting the run around from New And ImprovedTM management, who couldn't organize a distributed team around a simple process without completely undermining any trust that the grunts may have had... I was just ready for a way out. Things weren't going to change. I'd seen this pattern way too many times.
And it sucks. It sucks that it came to this after thirteen years. It sucks that I had to just shrug my shoulders and say "Oh well. I tried." In the end the slowly churning gears of the mediocrity machine that had no idea how to work with designers, or people for that matter, won.