Sometimes I like getting a few different perspectives on a situation. Thanks in advance for the TGP wisdom. Summary: I quit a toxic environment where my boss is a friend. Should I be brutally honest? I think I should probably just walk away and not worry about it; it's not my problem any more. The Situation: I've been working in an industry that has really taken off in the last 5-8 years, especially in the last 2. I am one of the few in Australia with a significant background in the industry both from an academic and professional perspective. I have known a couple for a long time (15 years?) that 13 years ago started up a small consultancy in the field. This has now grown to 3 offices and about 75 people. About 40 people in my office. Mid-last year, the boss (let's call her 'boss lady') asked me to join them as they were now 'big enough' to use people like me (I took that to mean, they needed some mentorship for staff, skills in related areas that I had (and no one else had) and process improvement in some areas. I followed this through and left previous employment to pursue a bit more of a challenge. I should add that I went into this relationship eyes wide open: a former staff member of mine from way back had worked for them and had a terrible experience, a number of colleagues also had worked for them and left, my wife had worked for the in 2008 for 3 months and this ended in tears, etc. Terrible reputation as an employer, and, while now a big name in the field, rumours of 'short cuts' and difficult relationships abounded amongst my networks. I had a discussion with boss lady about these concerns: "Yes, I admit we had issues, but we've been working hard on sorting them out. Now is the right time for you to join." Note that this business has, apart from the founders, only 3 employees out of 70 that have been there 4 years, the rest sit at about 8 months to 2 years. So I joined at the end of November. Two senior people resigned before Christmas. (I am in the head office of 40). After Christmas, up until about 3 weeks ago when I decided to get another job, another 10 people have resigned included 2 directors that I had worked on a project with. In fact, including me, all people involved on the project have quit. This turn over (25% in 6 months) freaked me out, plus all the toxicity I noticed at the level above me (level below CEO/Boss). A number of my colleagues were routinely in tears. The problem: the boss does not listen to her senior management, and, while touting 'excellence', seems to be keen on running a body shop and continuing with the approach her head sales guy has: sell low, sell a lot, and blame delivery (the consultants) for not being able to deliver on time or budget, or even to his notion of scope. The head of sales is known for throwing people 'under the bus' as well. I decided to bail from what I see as potentially a sinking ship--and have landed a job that pays more, has less hours, and is probably a better fit (more engineering oriented, rarer to find, growth area, and better longevity for someone who is hitting mid to late 40s). Needless to say, my boss was pissed at my resignation email to her and the director I report in to. She mumbled some nasty stuff under her breath. (I should also add that I was one of two people to resign that day--I did not know about the other one). I think the crux of the matter is the boss "knows better than all the people she has ever hired." Respect where respect is due--they built up a business that makes enough money to see them through a recent sale of the business and perhaps an early retirement. Still, they just can't retain talent and burn through a huge amount of people. I certainly didn't trust the boss lady to tell her what was going on as I saw how other people were treated and lived in fear. The question: Do I bother being brutally honest in my exit interview/with exit interview form? Part of me has this 'die on my sword' feeling--be honest, and walk away, perhaps burning out a friendship (that ultimately has little consequence for me (I might see them once per year, they live 3 days drive away) apart from history and that I don't mind them as friends). Another part of me: "Meh. Whatever. Not my business any more. Good luck." Here is an excerpt from what I wrote last week when I resigned and received 'the form'. It's probably not too constructive at the moment, but was rather a private vent. If I do go forward with leaving something, I'll probably tone it down. "I’ll list out some of the factors leading to my decision: - A pattern of sales proposals (not all, but some) that under scope and under resource, leading to frustration and stress on the part of staff involved in the execution of this work. - Lack of director time factored in to large projects when needed. Directors end up being involved because they have to, and costs exceed targets. - Volume selling approach—get a lot of jobs at a cheap rate, while the firm internally talks about itself as a center of excellence, the quality suffers. - Some sales proposals that are so detailed and filled with buzzwords prior to commencement of a project as to confuse the practitioners and leave them wondering what they should actually be delivering. - Senior salesperson increasingly standoffish and petty, building frustration and mistrust in the organisation. - Some shared experiences of people being ‘thrown under the bus’ (and being afraid of this) if work doesn’t go to plan—certainly I had no confidence that a blame game would not emerge in one of the projects that I have worked on. This leads to increasing fear and frustration on the part of practitioners, and is anathema to a collaborative work environment. - 94% utilisation targets and the talk of a 50 hour work week in contracts seems indicative of a body shop consulting model, seems reactive to an underlying structural issue in the business, and likely a consequence of pressures from the parent company and a narrow view of management accounting. - A lack of dedicated project managers on larger projects (say 3 month+). - A significant diaspora of staff over the 5 month period I have worked here: o ¾ people involved in my interviews when I was joining have left o 2 of the directors on the largest project I was working on have left o approximately 25% turn over (at least 10 staff out of about 40) in the 5 month period o probably indicative of significant issues in the organisation - a low morale and low trust environment that leaves a number of people biding their time to find something else more constructive."