Your Workplace Is Not Your Family. You Will Be Replaced Immediately. (Why F- You Money is Awesome)

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and may receive a commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on this site are from advertisers and may impact how and where card products appear on the site. does not include all card companies or all available card offers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone.

A big takeaway from my time on the Early Retirement Forums is that while many posters struggle with the decision to leave their jobs, those that have done so rarely look back. If you are a hard-working, competent employee, it’s very likely your boss will be highly reluctant for you to leave. Employers may demand a full year of notice before leaving (only to let you go early once a replacement was found), plead and guilt you about abandoning your “family”, or simply abuse you until you break.

My wife used to be a very loyal employee that genuinely enjoyed going to work. However, over the years, that changed. The COVID pandemic only accelerated the problem. If you read this NYT article about how “non-profit” hospitals actually make huge profits (gift article), you can get an idea of what happened:

More than half the nation’s roughly 5,000 hospitals are nonprofits like Providence. They enjoy lucrative tax exemptions; Providence avoids more than $1 billion a year in taxes. In exchange, the Internal Revenue Service requires them to provide services, such as free care for the poor, that benefit the communities in which they operate.

But in recent decades, many of the hospitals have become virtually indistinguishable from for-profit companies, adopting an unrelenting focus on the bottom line and straying from their traditional charitable missions.

She didn’t want to leave. She wanted to feel like a valued worker in a safe environment that actually followed their claimed “mission statement”. When that failed, she just wanted an unpaid leave of absence. They denied her that too. The best way to tell this story is through a role play:

Worker: I need to voice my concern that the recent policy changes are detrimental to employee safety and patient care, even though you say that patients are your top priority.

Employer: No, of course not! You are a greatly valued employee. Have a company-branded mug!

[months pass]

Worker: Why did all the lower level staff receive a pay cut when none of the executive team received a pay cut?

Employer: We hear your concerns and will take them into consideration in the future! Would you like a company-branded backpack?

[months pass]

Worker: Dear Management, I am burned out.

Employer: Everyone is burned out! We are a team! Let’s go team!

[months pass]

Worker: It’s been several months. I feel worse. I request an unpaid leave of absence.

Employer: You are a critical part of our team. You will hurt the rest of your team if you quit. We need you!

[two weeks pass]

Worker: I am still very burned out. I am concerned about my physical and mental wellbeing. I officially request an unpaid leave of absence. I don’t want benefits. I just need a break. Please.

Employer: We officially deny your request. Please read this glossy pamphlet on how much we value “Employee Mental Wellness”. See you at work on Monday!

Worker: Okay. Well, I quit. Here is my official letter of resignation.

Employer: What?!? Really? Okay, okay, you can have the leave of absence. Sheesh.

Worker: Too late. I quit.

Employer: Wait, wait, wait. You win! We will give you a 3 month paid leave of absence! With benefits! Stay! Please? Pretty please?

Worker: I decline your offer. You already showed your true colors.

Employer: This is outrageous! You are just being unreasonable!

[a week passes]

Employer: We already hired someone to replace you. We had to pay them double what we paid you. Don’t forget to turn in your name badge.

(I tried to add some humor, but all this stuff actually happened. I can show you the backpack.)

Many co-workers and friends advised her to just take the three months of “free” money and then quit again afterward. But things had changed. She wanted a leave of absence to take a break and re-assess. She was unsure. When she was denied that simple and reasonable request, she no longer had to re-assess. She now knew that she would never go back to work for this current management team. Perhaps they should have read this Linkedin article Don’t beg employees to stay as they leave:

It’s disrespectful to the employee. When employers don’t consider an employee’s request for something to change to make their work environment better, the employee feels devalued. I’m speaking, of course, about high performers. You may not ever be able to make everyone happy but the worst thing you can do to your highest performers is to make them feel less than what they really are to you. Waiting until they threaten to leave to make a change doesn’t help. It takes a lot of energy for them to look for another job and go through interviewing processes. It is completely disrespectful to them when you make them an offer to stay only when you realize they can go somewhere else. […]

I’m not suggesting you give employees everything they want, not even your highest performers. The point is you need to take off the blurry glasses and at least take a hard look at what’s going on in your workplaces, how you are treating your best employees and consider making meaningful changes before you lose them.

The power of having F— You Money the ability to jump ship when you know it’s sinking, as you know you’ll be okay no matter what. She could explore her options, and already has a new position lined up. Otherwise, you may have to start your search while still working. But don’t let your employer convince you to stay longer with guilt trips and meaningless words. If your company treats workers like cogs in a machine, something to be constantly tracked and monitored, then they won’t hesitate to find replacement parts (even if those replacement parts cost them double due to their short-sightedness).

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and may receive a commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on this site are from advertisers and may impact how and where card products appear on the site. does not include all card companies or all available card offers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

User Generated Content Disclosure: Comments and/or responses are not provided or commissioned by any advertiser. Comments and/or responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser. It is not any advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. So sorry to learn about this. How disheartening and also likely all too common. Also, thanks for the reminder on who really is family and the importance and power of financial independence.

  2. I’m glad she can move on in peace now 🙂

  3. It sucks she had to endure that. It’s always fascinating to see people who behave that way also complain about how there’s no “loyalty” – it cuts both ways. Still stinks.

  4. Sadly, have seen this play out a couple times. Squeezing every ounce out of the doers in your ‘family’ while mgmt does little and takes the rewards.

    • Everyone who works for a nonprofit should look up the Form 990 and see the executive compensation. I’m sure many executives work very hard, but hard to swallow when they cut staffing and salaries while their own salaries go up up up.

  5. A sad story, but apparently common. They did the same thing to me. Burnt me out and didn’t care.

  6. 31 years in not for profit healthcare and my take is this is a business model to max tax advantages.

    Healthcare has been through a lot since the early days of pandemic…

    We lost many good and experienced people either by early retirement of termination due to medical waivers not granted…

    Your onsite is always spot on…

    • I was surprised by the NYT article that only 1% of their expenses go to charitable causes, yet Providence gets to call themselves a non-profit and savings billions as a tax-exempt business.

      More than 1% of my expenses go to charity, and I’m definitely not tax exempt!

  7. Yes, very common and sympathize. My wife is going through similar situation, high-performer, hard-worker, with constant promises of promotion, but management has been dragging feet since pandemic.

    As noted a lot of time/energy in finding new job. She would have loved to stay but now looking forward to giving the finger when she finds something. Sad to say they will likely replace her and end up paying more than she would have gotten with any promotion.

  8. It took me several years and missed opportunities to learn this myself. Everyone needs to hear this truth.

  9. Loyal employees always get hosed, i know because i was one of them. Showed up to work every day, went above and beyond. Company got bought out, new management came in and deemed everyone ‘replaceable’. It just goes to show you that NO ONE is irreplaceable.

  10. This is terrible to see and I wish I was a little surprised that it happened. My wife went through a lot of that, but in a different way.

    I would be tempted to take the 3 months of paid leave and then quit – not to reassess, but just view it as a severance. It’s easy for me to say, but if I’m really in that situation, I think I would want to just cut all ties and move on like your wife did.

    • I would have definitely taken the 3 months myself, but I think my wife was genuinely hurt and didn’t want to let them “buy” her forgiveness. Personally, I don’t think MegaCorp cares either way. The culture is gone, only to be replaced by metrics.

  11. Longtime reader, first time post-er. 🙂

    Am I the only curious one regarding this infamous backpack that they so callously offered?? Please post a pic.

    Thank you for being so open not only financially but also with personal stories such as this.

Speak Your Mind