New Job/Quitting Etiquette. Also, I'm Kinda Crazy.
January 18, 2012 12:11 PM   Subscribe

I've been working a shitty shitastic part-time job (somewhat in my field) for the past four months, and today I've received a job offer for an awesome full-time position in entertainment! I'm super excited. Here's the thing: I'm bipolar/ADHD, and I'm not sure how to handle the new job or the job-quitting.

I took the shitty job because I needed to gain more experience (I'm not that far out of college) and I've used the skills to pad my resume. However, the job is low-paying, the environment is toxic, and my boss is crazy insane and has me doing about eighty other things that aren't part of my job description.

Today, I got publicly reprimanded for not doing something that isn't my responsibility AT ALL. I was also reprimanded for taking days off work (to go to the multiple job interviews for the new position....yeah, juggling that was pretty rough.) Anyway, I was going to give two weeks notice but I'm thinking it's pointless now. (And I know my boss would make the next two weeks a living hell, because she is like that and has done that to other people.)

I'm so riled up right now that I'm just thinking about sending an email tonight and telling her I quit and I'm not coming in, but that sounds amateur. I don't want to do the next two weeks, and the new employer wants me to start as soon as possible. What's the best way to handle this? Give her 2 or 3 days' notice? I'm 99% sure this job isn't going on my resume after this; should I worry about background checks if I decide to just fuck off without notice? Where do I put the skills at on my resume?

Also: I've recently been diagnosed as Bipolar II/ADHD. This has been a huge revelation to me, and it makes me nervous as hell. It certainly explains a lot. I'm eager to combat the hell out of this thing because 2011 nearly destroyed me (really, this new job is like a second chance that I can't blow after I quit my first creative position earlier due to emotional turmoil and etc.), but I'm a little frightened that I won't be able to handle the pressure of being a junior creative in a 24/7 entertainment role while dealing with experimenting with medications, more therapy, etc.

I also worry that I'm going to be less creative on a mood stabilizer. (I really think I got the job because I was totally hypomanic and crazy energetic during my job interview.)

Um. I know this is a lot. Does anyone have any advice or experience with either scenario? Thanks!

(I'm in Los Angeles, if it helps for Bipolar/ADHD resources.)
posted by themaskedwonder to Work & Money (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Have a face-to-face meeting with your boss and tell her that you're giving notice. Tell her that you would like to finish out the week, and will be available to consult with anyone via phone/e-mail about anything relevant to you thereafter.

Most likely, if your boss is as hellish as you describe, she'll tell you to get out immediately and you can clear your desk and walk away.
posted by xingcat at 12:17 PM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]

I'm assuming that your new job offer is signed, sealed and delivered. Don't quit anything until the new job is officially official.

It sounds like you don't have any personal effects/electronic files to clean out. Do that first if you have to.

Once that is set, simply go in tomorrow morning and hand in your resignation later. It should read simply "Effective immediately, I resign my position at Company X" Signed, You. No sense hanging around a couple of days in a toxic environment.

If they try to badger you to do more work simply state, "I'm sorry that won't be possible". If it explodes into a drama situation, just say "I wish you all well" and exit stage left.

Quitting by email is not really ideal, but if your boss in truly "crazy insane" I wouldn't fault you for it.
posted by mikepop at 12:20 PM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]

dude I'm doing this RIGHT NOW! As in, I literally today received a finalized offer letter and forms, filled them out and brought them over in person during my not-very-covert extended lunch break, sent an email to my manager asking if we can meet this afternoon and have my resignation letter printed out and ready to hand over after I tell 'em what's up. It's been painful and stressful to do, and I still have slight doubts about leaving but it sounds like you will have zero doubts about getting the eff out.

I got a ton of good advice in the question I asked about it so you should check it out!

I almost wish my current place was toxic and insane so I would have more reason to bounce with far less notice than 2 weeks. It sounds like you have good reason to bounce with far less notice than 2 weeks!

I will also be watching this thread closely for medication experimentation + new job advice because I will most likely be doing that too. I pushed my start date forward a week so my first psych appointment will be before I start my new work.

As far as medication + life/creativity - I had listed all the reasons to my therapist about why I don't want to start meds again, and she pretty much said "well then the doctor will help you find the right medication for you so you won't have all those problems, or if that doesn't work you'll figure out an alternative treatment" - if you find a good doctor they will listen to your concerns and adjust. If you don't find a good doctor, find another doctor! I am very nervous about doing new meds + a new job concurrently but that advice plus the extra time has made me feel a little better.

Best of luck!
posted by sarahj at 12:32 PM on January 18, 2012

Don't burn bridges if you can avoid it.
posted by entropone at 12:39 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm always confused on why this is hard for folks. Here's what you need to do ASAP.

Set a start date with your new job and ensure you're good to go there. Once clear on the new gig walk over and tell your manager you quit effective as soon as you feel comfortable with. Then go back to your desk and send an email to your manager and HR re-iterating that fact. (Letters are a bit old school). Unless you're sticking it out then pack up and leave Face to face is optional but the professional thing to do.

Here's your options depending on how much you'd like to try to maintain a reference and not bomb the bridge on the way out (it sounds like not much).

1. Give 2 weeks.
2. Give until the end of week.
3. Allow for an exit interview (a lot of companies do this these days, not sure if yours does).
4. Offer some transition assistance.

New jobs can't do a "background check" with previous employers if you don't mention them. They can't even really check references you don't provide.
posted by bitdamaged at 12:40 PM on January 18, 2012

I'd definitely avoid the bridge-burning angry email. While tempting, the satisfaction will be short-lived and there is always the possibility of bad consequences down the road. Essentially, it is something that brings you down to the level of your toxic and dysfunctional office. Instead, take the high road, follow the excellent advice above (clean out your desk, office, computer, locker, etc), write a polite but firm letter, and offer to be available by email for the transition if necessary.

For your letter, thank them for giving you the opportunity to work there and say you've learned a lot (it sounds like you have, just not the things you planned on) and go out shining and looking good.

Even though this might take incredible power of will, when you look back on it in a year or ten, you can always remember that you behaved like a mature, responsible adult, and acted in a professional manner. Please don't stoop to their level.
posted by lulu68 at 2:26 PM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]

Tell her that you would like to finish out the week, and will be available to consult with anyone via phone/e-mail about anything relevant to you thereafter.

The first part of this is good. The second part should be accompanied by "at a consulting rate of $x/hr", an end date, or both. In my experience, the crazier and more toxic a workplace is, the more frequently you will be bothered after you leave (provided you don't burn those bridges--and I agree with entropone and lulu68 that you shouldn't).
posted by AkzidenzGrotesk at 2:42 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

A resignation letter should never be more than something like "While I have appreciated the opportunity to work at CrazyTrain, Inc., I am tenuring my resignation, [effective immediately, with two weeks notice, etc.].". Do not engage beyond that. That "screw you" email might be tempting, but consider what might happen if a vengeful boss decides to forward it to your new employer, post it on Facebook, etc.
posted by kjs3 at 2:47 PM on January 18, 2012

If you have an official offer letter and an official start date, you can quit immediately. If not, and you need this job, I'd stick it out.

Coming from someone who quit a job on the spot and didn't give notice AND still listed it on her resume (and apparently didn't get dinged for it) I believe that you could quit via email and do it respectfully and not very bridge-burn-y. For me, the situation was untenable and I didn't even have another job lined up - scariest thing I've ever done but I have no regrets. If you really truly feel that you can't do two weeks there, then give as few days as you feel comfortable with/as close to starting the new job.

As to your resume, I left my toxic job on mine because I learned valuable skills, but didn't use the employer as a specific reference. You could just list them on the skills part of your resume. Yes, the job could come up in a background check but the fact that you were only there for four months and it was a poor fit as well as somewhat outside of your targeted employment field would probably mitigate any damage it might cause.

As for your bipolar/ADHD issues, you are going to want to get into dealing with that right away, before you get too overwhelmed with the new job and too reliant on your hypo-mania for creativity. Most people that I know (including myself) aren't terribly less creative when hypo-manic so much as more focused. It is not going to be easy finding the right medications and all of that, but the best time is now when you're just getting your feet into the job and not 6 months from now when you're falling apart and about to be canned. It's going to be up to your and your doctors/therapist how fast-track you want to be with medications and the like, but you are far from the last creative in LA with those kinds of issues who is actually dealing with it and I'm sure there are resources for you.

posted by sm1tten at 4:21 PM on January 18, 2012

And I know my boss would make the next two weeks a living hell, because she is like that and has done that to other people.

What is she going to do? Fire you? Take away you're birthday?

The more she decides to be a screaming child, the more you should be an adult about things. The nice thing about this is that if she really behaves badly it will really make her look bad more than any trivial sabotage you might commit would and will likely convince others to get the hell out far better than anything else you could do. (And if she takes the high road, you just come out of the situation looking professional.)

I don't know about medication for bipolar issues, but I know treatment for my own ADD issues made me feel ever so slightly less creative or insightful (and that, of course, may just be in my head) but made up for that in a massively decreased desire to scream at my coworkers for loud phone conversations, noisily shuffling papers and generally creating an environment that felt like working is a bus depot on the day before Thanksgiving. (No longer feeling the need to self-medicate by drinking a half gallon of coffee a day was just a fringe benefit.)
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 3:14 AM on January 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

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