Once I joined a software development team that was charged with launching a first-of-its-kind application for the government. Although I was one of the last developers to join, I was assigned more higher workload than most of the other developers and solved many of the hardest bugs and tasks early on.
Incomplete requirements, aggressive time estimates without any progress tracking and uneven distribution of tasks led to missed deadlines while bugs piled up. Managers added more people, but didn't follow government hiring practices as it only hired people they had worked with or who looked like them.
For 2 months straight, I did overtime during many evenings. Eventually, things got so out of control that 4 Fridays in a row , management had the gall to ask developers whether they wanted to do overtime: Saturday or Sunday. After still working harder than the others but getting less respect, I did as little work as possible on the weekends and pushed back on my workload. One day, my boss pulled me aside and insulted me in such an undeserved way. It was the straw that broke the camel's back.
The following week, I invited him to lunch at his favourite restaurant under the pretense that I wanted to form a better relationship with him. Just before our meals came, I gave him the news: I was leaving. After listening to his feedback, I delivered my own. I paid for lunch, but the cost was worth it to see his face turn white as ghost that the team would be short one good developer before an major milestone.
He tried to backtrack by saying that his insult was meant to motivate me. Yes, it did motivate me: to leave. The day that I left was not only the day before a long weekend, but also the day that I signed my next contract.
On my final day, I shook everyone's hands whether I liked them or not. I left with head held high and on a good note with many of my sympathizers whom I still remain friends with ever since.
The price of a cheap lunch was worth the lesson it taught my former manager about class and professional behaviour.
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