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"Am I putting my desire to leave an unpleasant work environment too far ahead of loyalty to the school?"
I don't have an offer yet, but many opportunities, and spoke with my supervisor about the possibility of my leaving, as some of the prospective employers wanted to speak with her. She has since become verbally abusive at times, though I am in effect giving over 3 months notice, and have offered to help in any way I can with transitioning.
I have a second interview scheduled that conflicts with part of my workday.
If I leave for only part of the day, I am required to discuss the reason
with my supervisor, which I know will not be a pleasant discussion.
Should I be honest? Call in sick? How do I handle my last few months
at this school? Am I putting my desire to leave an unpleasant work environment
too far ahead of loyalty to the school?
Dear Special Ed therapist,
Working out the notice period when one has decided to leave a position is one of the more difficult workplace situations to endure. This is particularly so when, as in your case, the employer you are leaving seems to be resentful and is making things unpleasant.
The specific question you raise, about taking part of a day off in order to attend an interview, feels like a 'no-win' situation. Honesty invites a difficult confrontation, while a 'white lie' would compromise your commitment to the value of being truthful. While it is tempting to try to avoid such a confrontation, this may be an opportunity to face the larger issue that you will be working with this person for another three months. If your supervisor is being abusive, you have a right to have that behaviour stopped, even if you are about to leave. You also have a right to reasonable accommodation in order to attend job interviews.
My suggestion is that you make an appointment with your supervisor to talk about your working relationship during these final months. Include as an agenda item the need to take time off occasionally to attend interviews and this one specifically, and offer to adjust your work schedule to make up the time, if that is possible. If you feel that the relationship is such that you cannot comfortably hold such a meeting with your supervisor, then you need to approach the person to whom she or he reports and ask that they facilitate such a meeting.
The larger question that you ask, about loyalty to the school, is a difficult issue as well. Employees often develop feelings of attachment to the organizations they work for, and the people they work with. Employees also need to look after their own needs, however. In this case it sounds like there are a number of factors that support your decision to leave. You have shown loyalty to the school by giving lengthy notice and offering to help in the transition.
Your ability to perform effectively would be compromised if you continued to work for an organization when the only motivation for doing so was a sense of loyalty. Eventually we human beings find ways to create reasons to leave if we are not happy where we are. That is an unhealthy process. It is better to do the sort of evaluation you have done and find a place where we thrive.
I wish you well over the next three months, and in the job search that lies ahead.
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