I know it can be a hard concept to grasp for some people, especially those who have worked in a lifelong unionized environment, but it IS possible for someone to leave the government without being fired. Really it is!
Additionally, it IS possible that people give up the relaxed work environment, the slower pace of work and the pension plus all those benefits in order to seek a more challenging situation… Without being fired.
Again, I can confirm this is true.
It should come as no surprise to anyone who reads my posts about the government that it is not easy working in an organization where a group of “adults” can behave so horribly.
So as I write this post, early February 2009 and 6-months into a parental leave from the CRA (6 glorious months with my wife and children) I have found that my brain has turned back on. I feel like I’m 24 years old again trying to try and learn new things.
I resigned my job – no fanfare, no threats of leaving or meltdowns at my desk, but because of a desire to see what life is like in the private sector – managing staff, using my brain and my managerial skills, and my MBA to make a difference in an organization.
I just completed my first set of performance appraisals for my staff and I thought the process was fascinating. Odd, eh?
I was thrilled to have put all my issues with the government behind me, but I have not been successful at doing that… yet.
Let me re-cap.
When I took my leave, which I am entitled to through the CRA’s collective agreement, I checked with the union and management to fid out what I could and could not do while on this leave. I was told, and confirmed that I could work so long as my role was not in conflict of interest with my role at the CRA.
So I accepted a senior tax manager role with the world’s largest transfer agent doing things I would never have had the opportunity to do at the CRA, even if I worked there until I was 65-years-old. No such role exists, and no additional education could get me there.
Even when the CRA came calling to me because a former colleague of mine googled me and found that I was working – not a surprise, mind you – and forwarded that to management with anonymous printing detailing my new position, and that I was on leave.
I offered to cut my leave short and resign.
But they wanted to see me, and suddenly they wanted my to come back?!? Or more likely they wanted to figure out why I left, and how I managed to get such a great job after working in the CRA for almost 11-years…
(3-years of accounting plus a MBA helped)
Long story short… I still work there and am still on leave. I want to resign. They want to talk.
While all of this is going on in “absolute secrecy”, the rumour mill is in high season and my leave has become me doing illegal work and getting fired.
I confronted the section manager who promised me that in our private meeting nobody would have said anything to anyone, so I am supposed to believe that in a room full of 4 adults, me, a union representative who was supposed to be on my side but was asked prior to the meeting to just listen and not speak, and 2 senior managers, that nobody leaked the details of this meeting?!?
Yet, today, as I am standing in a post office way north of the city when I used to work, I was approached by a former CRA client of mine who tells me that “someone there told her” that I was fired for wrongdoings and much more horrible lies that one should never tell a member of the public.
So this former client proceeds to tell me details of the tax troubles that she continues to struggle to fix, and that nobody at the CRA is helping her, and I give her the same advice that I would have when she was a client of mine, but she insists that I help her further.
That’s not going to happen!
Although she did provide me with the name and phone number of the “team leader” who was talking about me and tomorrow I will proceed to call my former group manager to once again ask (should I have to?) that they use some common sense and keep their mouths shut.
It really is not going to make a difference to me. I really could care less what someone there thinks about me. They don’t know me. Nor do they know how I live or what I do in my spare time, nor should they want to… But they want to… That’s just creepy.
So as the news circles back that I left… really left, I suspect people will quickly move on to the next story, but I have a feeling that deep down inside, it’s going to be an issue trying to explain to people that people really do voluntarily leave the CRA and give up all that… For the right reasons.