A reader writes:
A few months ago, I was the only person in the office over a holiday. Lucky me, the office got broken into. I noticed the thieves before they noticed me, and I barricaded myself in my office and called 911.
But instead of being hailed as a hero, I was surprised by the treatment I got from my boss, the big boss, and HR. First, they told me that I should tell the police that I had not been authorized to work that day, which isn't true! I was scheduled to work that day. I told the police the truth, and when I was subpoenaed to testify at the robbery trial, I told the truth there, too.
Since the robbery, everyone has been treating me terribly. I'm being given bizarre administrative tasks to complete (I do not have an administrative role) and am regularly dumped on by my boss. It feels as though they are trying to get me to quit since they knew they can't fire me. Obviously, time for a new job, and I've been conducting a job search on my own time. I have a third-round interview this week and I feel it's likely I'll be offered the job, but what do I tell them when they ask why I'm leaving my current one? I know my current one won't give a reference, and it's clear they feel disinclined to help me out in any circumstance.
For what it's worth, I'm actually considering litigation against my current job for failing to protect me while I worked alone in an office that has a history of break-ins, and I've got a good case for negligence.
What the hell?!
Seriously, what the hell?
I'm not a lawyer so I don't know if you have a legal case, but what I do know is that your employer is handling this very, very weirdly. You survived a scary and dangerous situation on the job, and now they're telling you to lie and treating you badly? A good manager would have told you to tell the truth, given you a few days off, and been extra nice to you when you came back. I'm glad you're getting out of there.
If you're already on your third-round interview and haven't yet been asked why you're leaving your current job, you may never be asked. But if you are, it's fine to say that you work alone in an office that has had a series of break-in's and after being there for the last one, you've decided to move on. That's reasonable. You don't need to get into your office's weird behavior toward you, since you're able to offer an honest explanation without having to badmouth anyone.
But jeez. Your office sucks.