They did this so their time would be respected after they leave but the boss found their rates 'outrageous' and called it 'extortion.'
Editor's note: This article was originally published on January 28, 2023. It has since been updated.
Leaving a long-time job can be tough for employees and pretty challenging for the employer. It is a common practice that coworkers often call the person who quit with questions to better understand the things they were working on before they left. One person on Reddit, u/antiworkthrowaway234, was also asked to take these calls after they left the job but they decided to charge them for it.
The Reddit user shared, "I was the only one who knew about tons of our IT infrastructure, and I anticipated that I was going to get tons of texts and phone calls from former coworkers." They set up a "formal contracting" while leaving to tackle these questions. On top of that, they scaled up their hourly rate to be three times their former salary. This did not sit right with the old boss, who was highly displeased and thought their rates were "outrageous." The ex-employee found out about this from coworkers in their previous workplace. "I'm the first person who's left the company who hasn't just provided this sort of help for free indefinitely," they said.
The boss feels like the ex-employee is "extorting" them "by charging for occasional 20-minute phone calls" during their lunch break. "He thinks my rate is outrageously high, even though he was underpaying me so badly that my new salary is much closer to my contracting rate than it was to what I was making there," they shared. Moreover, the boss told everyone not to contact them until it was absolutely necessary, which is why they set up the contract in the first place. They added, "I saw management encourage people to pester former employees constantly in my years working there. It was practically a standard way of debugging unfamiliar systems."
The person mentioned that it has all been accounted for only eight billable hours until now, so it isn't really about the money. "He's just offended that I have the audacity to demand payment for my work, or he wishes he could contact me much more often but isn't willing to pay," they added. This post resonated with several Reddit users, who thought the boss was pissed because it set an example for everyone else in the workplace. u/takemyderivative commented, "This! It sets precedent for other employees who leave in the future."
Another person, u/IntelligentLake said, "I'm also upset by what you charge. I think it's ridiculous! Really, who does that? You're supposed to charge much more, so you can use that money to pay for the liability insurance you're supposed to have as a contractor and other costs you have now because of them." There were several other people who did the same thing when they left their jobs. u/Aromatic_Quit_6946 commented, "I did this and set my rate insanely high in the hopes they wouldn’t call since they laid me off. They had to call me so much that they tried to rehire me. Said nope, but for $10,000 I will train someone (never expected a yes). I had a really good vacation that year."