That's all, folks. I couldn't take it anymore. I've decided to leave OAO Commercial Limited Partnership "FinanceBankProm-InvestGazEnergoTRAST" Corporation Group of "Companies," Closed Open Joint "Stock" Mutual Liability Company "BANK," and I've set out for something new. And because the departure process was not at all what I expected, I feel it is my duty to share the details of the Russian corporate send-off process with my fellow expats, and any Russians who aren't too "Nashi" in the brain to read this.
My advice: Be prepared. Plan ahead. Wear protective gear.
Tip 1: Give as much advance-notice as possible, way more than two weeks. (And If you can afford it, plan to give yourself four weeks off before starting your new job. Because it won't work out that way, anyway.)
Here is how the departure dialogue goes:
"Listen, Kolya, this is really hard for me to say, but I've received an offer from another company, and I've accepted it."
"Yeah, Nancy, sure. Listen, did you send me that memo yet?"
"Yes, Kolya, this morning. So, you know, I guess I need to let you know what my last day will be."
"The meeting is on Thursday."
"Yeah I know that, Kolya. But I... need you to..."
"Great because Mr. Important is coming Thursday and I need that memo for the meeting."
"What is it now, Nancy?"
"No you don't."
"Yes, I do."
"Well... No, you can't."
"Actually, I think I can. It's in that federal law on joint-stock companies or something."
"It is? Damn. When are you planning to leave?"
"On the 26th."
"But the next meeting is on the 29th!"
"Yeah, I know. But that's my last day. The 26th."
"You know, Nancy, I'm not sure I can get this authorized. I mean, I'll try, but... can't make any promises."
"You're the head of the department, who else has to authorize it?"
"Can't you just go to the meeting on the 29th and do all of the paperwork that week, and then go to the meeting the next week and then do all the paperwork for that and then the next one after that?"
"Let's talk about this later. I can't deal with this now."
I had to repeat this conversation and variations thereof three times before getting Kolya to agree on the 26th as my last day. And then do you know what happened?
Tip 2: Make sure HR receives your notice the same day your boss signs off on it.
Kolya sat on my notice for a week. Legally, your two weeks notice begins when HR gets the paper signed by your boss. Do not make the same mistake. You do not want to spend that extra week at OAO Commercial Limited Partnership "FinanceBankProm-InvestGazEnergoTRAST" Corporation Group of "Companies," Closed Open Joint "Stock" Mutual Liability Company "BANK." You really do not want to have to postpone your first day of unique and effective cooperation at OOO VESTYORN KOMPANIYA.
Tip 3: Get a head start on the departure clearance.
Picture it: It's 3 p.m. on your last day of work. People are coming for the inevitable cake you had to bring, they're drinking tea and trying to get you to tell them what company you're going to next. You imagine going home a little early and getting a head start on the weekend and celebrating your short-lived freedom before your new gig starts--which, by the way, is going to be SO much better, right?! So anyway, you're thinking of packing up, and suddenly, Little Elena says: "Nancy, have you finished your obkhodnoi list yet?"