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Human Resources/Resigning Less Notice - Verbally Abusive Boss


Director of HR or HR Manager, MO, approximately 100, I am the employee

I work for an amazing nonprofit organization with a life-saving mission. I have never quit a job before after 17 years as a professional.  This week I resigned without two weeks notice. However, I had gone to HR and foreshadowed the grave possibility more than once if brow beating, public humiliation, yelling, name calling, threats and other forms of cruelty continued in my new role.  After 2.5 years with the company, I was promoted under this manager's command, huge salary increase, beautiful office, incredible opportunity.  My new boss is "connected" such that firing her would be very very difficult; yet, she has a reputation for running others off. So far, there is only one survivor, whom I saw in tears every week also... All my colleagues offered, "If anyone can work for her though, it is you--she loves and respects you!"  In fact, this manager sought me out for the new position prior to my advancement...  Five months after transition, I knew I would be in the hospital if I had to endure one more 60-70 hour work week with her which extended far beyond deliverables of high standards and inflexible expectations!  Instead, I felt very quickly when she realized we were more dissimilar than similar, her contempt toward me and personal dislike! This resulted in either ignoring me, giving me less desirable tasks, humiliating me with constant abuse: "you are a teenager!" "you're excitement is retarded" "you have a masters, act like it!"  "you are so unprofessional!" "you are not a child" "act like an adult" " colleague and her Obama vote makes me ill" "you are a socialist" "if you think planned parenthood is anything but a blah blah blah I think you're nuts..." "xyz colleague knows my expectations, and it's hard to believe your salary is higher than hers..." "your lack of confidence is a performance issue worthy of corrective action" "your bonus is gone if you don't fix this" "the CEO and COO dine with me, I can pretty much do what I want" "Did you notice xyz staff member and xyz staff member is not here anymore?--get on board..."  "I am overwhelmed by your questions, can't you think for yourself..."  

My HR director, without admitting guilt, was very apologetic, asked if someone was still driving me crazy, and she said with the softest reassurance that she did not even know what to say because she was so upset to be losing me...She was very complimentary in her familiarity with my work ethic, skill sets, and practices. She said she knew there were even better things for me on the horizon.  She expressed that, despite my effective-immediate exit, she would always be a solid reference.  

Question:  Now that I have terminated service, I realize I have several return items like keys, books, sensitive client documents, supplies, instructions and helpful resources to pass along to my replacement.  Would it be okay if I forwarded to my former boss with a carbon copy to HR these returns along with "helpful tips" in moving forward, including documentation of abusive language encountered to avoid using in the future.  My hope would be that this could help her next potential victim, maybe evidence and validate my inability to thrive there, and demonstrate her lack of competency so that they demand she get further training. The outpour of support from my co-workers has been amazing, and I doubt a solitary person internally will apply for my job, despite the enticing salary, because of this toxic and cancerous leader. Still, I want to ensure nobody has to go through this again!!  Thank you for your help!!!


There was a study done about the traits of psychopaths.  It turns out most of them become CEO's, Presidents or salespeople.   Anyhow, it sounds like you did what you could till now including enduring the hostile environment without pushing her down the stairs. For that, you get a star !

So, you say she is well connected and can't be fired?  That may be true.  Despite her poor leadership and control skills, some executives there-- or even the Board of Directors, may feel her benefits outweigh the risks.   There are reasons people like this seem to hand on and the reasons are not always evident.   So, you did the right thing to leave and others may know exactly how she is.   I'll take your opinion on how she was and assume it was a one way street as you suggested.

You could provide a box with your returned items in there, but would a letter really help ?   I'd imagine this HR person who seems so diminutive had a tiny spine and although complimentary and kind, has no teeth to apply any change in the organization.   Similarly, the Board must either have their heading the sand on this, or they are unwilling to do anything about it- as I suggested earlier. So, the dysfunction is at the top- and it is hard to chop off the head and keep the body alive.

So, although writing a page or two on helpful leadership tips would be a good pressure release and a twist of the knife, it is probably just a waste of time.   The best thing you can do, perhaps, is to request a meeting with the Board of Directors of this organization and ask to provide an update as to your reason for leaving.   If they KNOW you as wekk, maybe you will get HALF the members to agree to have you come in and talk about your experience.

You can let them know up front you are there to provide information and you expect nothing in return.  This can go in different ways,  but if you want to go down that road, be ready to walk to the end wherever it takes you.

I didn't bother discussing incident reports, or any reporting to HR since it is likely water under the bridge and I did not get the impression you wanted to go back or pursue legal action or fight unemployment.   These factors all lead into how I would answer you.   I hope this helps.

Good luck and you are better off working where you are appreciated.  Take your skills with you.

Brian Phillips

Human Resources

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Brian Phillips


Foreign and US university students -*PLEASE*- DO NOT waste your time asking for my opinions, comments or analysis of your homework questions. Homework questions are not answered and are rejected. I am happy to help answer questions asked by employees and employers regarding United States based state and Federal wage and hour, OT, Fair labor standards, FMLA, COBRA, Recruiting, Interviewing techniques, employee manuals, discipline, terminations/quits, unemployment, HRIS rollout, Employee Leasing or Staffing company cost analysis, day to day scenarios, work situations and more. Essentially a well rounded HR generalist who operates Harvis, Inc., a human resource consulting and service business based in Northeastern Pennsylvania "NEPA".


At Harvis, Inc., we provide Human Resource products, services and advice to small businesses that may not have the time or resources to hire a full time HR department. For larger companies with HR managers in place, we compliment their expertise to help with time consuming or time sensitive projects like updating policy manuals, screening and interviewing and more. We make workplaces better by becoming that 1/2 person they need to help handle HR responsibilities on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Formerly responsible for all Human Resource activity for a staffing agency with 2,500 annual employees as well as an employee leasing / PEO business with 1,500 annual employees. Designed and implemented the HR structure to support hundreds of clients in excess of $ 500 million in payroll volume over career in Human Resources.

* President 2006- Harvis Inc. HR Services * President 2010-13 Business Association of the Greater Shickshinny Area - Shickshinny PA * President 2013- ShickshinnyForward Not for Profit Community Long Term Revitalization Organization and former member of varios Chambers of Commerce and HR Taskforce, former President of NBC Business Club 2 years

Bloomsburg University - 1993 BS Marketing, Bloomsburg Pennsylvania and Luzerne County Community College - 1991 Business Administration, Nanticoke Pennsylvania

Awards and Honors
* Better than average - 20/10 vision * Bestowed with an occasional "Thank You" from clients and their employees.

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