Days after announcing his Sept. 30 resignation, news spread that Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, was reconsidering his decision after his arrest in a Minnesota airport sex sting, and may still fight for his Senate seat.
“It’s not such a foregone conclusion anymore, that the only thing he could do was resign,” Sidney Smith, Craig’s spokesman in Boise, Idaho, told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
With this announcement, politics has thrust yet another phrase-du-jour into weary public consciousness, moving thankfully beyond “wide stances” to “un-resigning.”
But can one actually un-resign from a job? eWEEK asks a couple of workplace experts to weigh in.
“You bet you can un-resign, and it happens all the time,” said Brendan Courtney, senior vice president of Spherion, a recruiting firm.
“A lot of times people do resign and their employer makes a counter-offer, or they realize that the job they had wasn’t as bad as they thought. If you stayed professional, you always have the opportunity to go back in a day or a year,” said Courtney.
Others agreed that “alumni employees,” as returning ones are called, are very common.
“People leave jobs to go somewhere else and the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the septic tank. Often it’s the same stuff in a different place. They get to thinking that maybe the earlier problems weren’t so bad,” Jim Lanzalotto, vice president of strategy and marketing at Yoh Services, a recruiting company, told eWEEK.
While this is good news for a worker who might want to hit the “Undo!” button on their last job change, is it good news for Senator Craig?
“I’ve seen far too many people make comments on their way out that made it difficult for them to return down the road,” said Courtney, diplomatically.
Lanzalotto felt that whether a worker can un-resign had more to do with the value their company placed on them.
“There’s such a concept as regretted turnover, someone a company was bummed to see go. That person will always be welcome back,” he said.
So, is Senator Craig’s “company” sad to see him go? Will they be relieved to hear that he wants to come back? Did he leave on a good note?
“When the leader of your party, the Commander in Chief, the President of the United States, tells you he thinks you made the right choice to resign, a return is not looking very hopeful,” joked Lanzalotto.