in reply to OT: memory to share available
After 8 years of not being seen really, being handed around, trying in vain to get a peer programmer at the site, mobbing, bossing, you name it, it is good to depart.
... the TCO, having the psychological sensibility of a tank (not talking about technical skills, at all).
A few years ago, I was in a similar situation. Companies merged, people had to go, old boss was a retard, new boss was a smart asshole. He said that there were two ways I could leave. Either accept a "buy out" of my contract (i.e. stop working, get payed for the next three months, common practice in Germany) or any dirty legal trick he could think of, with no extra money.
So, after a discussion with an expert from my trade union, I decided to accept the "offer" and quit. The next day, I made sure I had documened every loose end and copied all relevant data on my workstation to the servers, I wrote a good-bye mail, cleaned my desk, zeroed the disk of my workstation ("F*CK YOU!" written in 1011 zeros ...), stuffed all of my private equipment into my car and left.
There's crucial code I wrote (a pile of, er...) living there which drives part of the business, and there has been no chance for handover. Go figure.
I still feel responsible ...
I felt the same, for a very long time before leaving. But the job and the working conditions became more and more unacceptable. I had stopped working even a second longer than required by my contract and lazily started searching for a new jobs almost two years before that "we'll get you out anyway". It was just the final straw.
Looing back, I should have cancelled my contract two years earlier. Yes, I felt a little bit guilty that my ex-colleges now had even more work to do, and it would be harder for them than for me (because I tend to automate boring tasks, they don't). On the other hand, they could have searched for a new job, too.
After all, the evening that I left the building for the last time felt strangely good. It was a relief, I had sufficient money for the next months, and I would also get unemployment money - either now or after a penalty time for accepting the buy-out. The next day at the unemployment office, I could convince the agent that buy-out is usual for IT and engineering contracts, and so I got around the penalty and was sure to have enough money for at least a year.
I got a new job way before I ran out of money. And yes, I had months of free time. You can't write job applications 40 hours a week. I had a good time cleaning up my basement, explored some areas of my home city that I did not know, enjoyed a few warm summer days, and did not worry about what problems would pop up at the old job. After all, it was no longer my problem. They fired me. It was their decision. They will have to live with the consequences.
Today I will gladly share my knowledge and experience, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so". ;-)