How should I quit my new job?
September 3, 2016 5:51 AM   Subscribe

After working at a job I have come to loathe for <2 months, I have accepted a much, much better opportunity. How should I quit? Blizzard within.

I will try to be chronological, in hopes it helps! In June, I applied to a flurry of jobs that are performed remotely. I am moving cross-country soon, and the job market in my destination city is pretty tight so I figured I'd do better to secure a job and then move. My dream job, (hereafter known as DJ), sent me what I thought was a kind rejection, stating that I didn't match any openings and they'd keep me on file.

I ended up getting an okay job offer that would allow me to work remotely, and I started on July 11. I quickly realized the job pretty much sucks. The product I'm supporting most of the time is very outdated, difficult to use, and holds no appeal for me. I feel a bit misled, but I also think I should have researched more. I definitely took the job because it would help me move, not because it was an exciting opportunity. I tried to negotiate salary before starting and they turned me down, and I have grown to resent that. I don't like the training or supervisory style, and I have cried during work multiple times because I dislike it so, so much.

The first week of August, DJ emailed me saying an opening matched my profile and asked if I wanted to interview. I very nearly told them, "Oh no thank you, I have a new job already, best of luck!" But I looked up the job ad, and the job really did look amazing. The benefits are great, the pay was A LOT more, and it overall looked like a much better fit. I replied and said yes to the interview.

After a series of interviews, I finally was offered (and accepted) the job from DJ today. I can't tell you how freakin' excited I am--this job will truly change my life. But now, for the tough part! How do I break this news to my current job?

Here are the additional wrinkles:

-I need to send the computer and telephone back to the company. I have never met anyone in person from this job--we are across the country from each other.
-I definitely don't want to work out 2 weeks--I need to pack my entire house as the closing date for the sale of it is 9/15 (and then I hit the road!)
-Initially the job was going to give me a paid week off to drive across the country, which would have started 9/15
-The job is trying to get set up in my new/future home state, but has been denied (so far I have been paid, but have not received any stubs). They are not set up in my current state.
-The start date for the new job is 9/26

Questions:

Could I tell them to just pay me the taxes they've withheld and give me a 1099?

What is the best way to provide notice, and ideally convey that I would prefer not to continue working? Not only do I not want to do this anymore, but I don't think it's great for me to keep working for them when they're not going to ever have my payroll stuff settled.

Should I tell them I got a new job, or should I say that the move and house sale are too overwhelming and I apologize but I can't give the job and customers the attention I need?

Should I offer to reimburse them for any money they've put out trying to establish a business in my new state?

I have googled this a ton and people seem to say that you're garbage for quitting a new job, and that you have to be honest about why you're leaving. I gotta tell ya, I don't think the honesty will help in this case. I would rather blame it on my mental state than have to tell them, "Yeah I got offered $20k more." I think they may have a bit of a turnover issue--someone who interviewed me was gone by the time I started, and I was not their replacement (I asked), and someone else quit last month who had only been on board 2 months (he cited his parents' failing health, which I also considered doing..heh). Additionally, this company has a bit of a religious bent to it, so it is very tempting to gush about how it's clear they mean so much to their customers and I'd be doing them a disservice to stay on any longer. I think they will also take it very personally that I'm leaving--it's about a 10-person operation (though to be fair, my part of the job is very slow). I really want to avoid any exit interview-type shenanigans, and I do not want to have to announce to the whole company over Skype why I'm leaving (which the last guy had to do).

It's super tempting to just overnight them their computer and phone with a note saying thanks for the opportunity, it's not working out, but I guess that would be a little too cold-hearted. Please believe me when I say this job has been very very not good.

So out with it, MeFi, what would you do?

Thank you!
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
2 weeks notice is a courtesy, not a legal requirement. Keep in mind, you may be burning bridges if you resign without notice, but in this case it sounds like those bridges may be worth burning.

"I resign my position effective immediately. Please advise as to the best way to return the company computer and phone." I think that's all that's needed.

You don't have to give a reason at all, and in this case I wouldn't. If you feel you must, there's always the vague "to explore other opportunities." Don't get pulled into any longer discussion.

Should I offer to reimburse them for any money they've put out trying to establish a business in my new state?

Absolutely not. That's a normal business expense, to be borne by the company. It's unfortunate for them that they're losing the employee they hoped would establish that business, but that risk is an ordinary part of doing business.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:02 AM on September 3, 2016 [17 favorites]


Should I tell them I got a new job, or should I say that the move and house sale are too overwhelming and I apologize but I can't give the job and customers the attention I need?

Say you got a new job if you want to. This kind of thing does happen.

Should I offer to reimburse them for any money they've put out trying to establish a business in my new state?

Hell no.

I have googled this a ton and people seem to say that you're garbage for quitting a new job, and that you have to be honest about why you're leaving. I gotta tell ya, I don't think the honesty will help in this case. I would rather blame it on my mental state than have to tell them, "Yeah I got offered $20k more."

Don't think honesty will help with what? You do not need to persuade them of anything. You are presenting them with facts. I don't see an issue with telling them that you've accepted a position for a job that pays better and has more opportunities. Based on what you've said, it can't be news to them that they have an issue with retention.
posted by bunderful at 6:05 AM on September 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


I would honestly rather have my new hire quit after two weeks than after three months, if it was clear they were not going to work out. And it's clear that you are not going to work out there -- you've given it a shot for two weeks and it's a nope for you. It would be better if you could give two weeks' notice, but if you can't, you can't.

Keep it simple. "I regret to say that I am resigning as of [date] to pursue other opportunities. I'll be mailing the company computer and phone back to you as of [date]."
posted by ourobouros at 6:06 AM on September 3, 2016 [8 favorites]


Be cold hearted. They'd do the same to you.
posted by Erroneous at 6:10 AM on September 3, 2016 [12 favorites]


I'm not sure why this is such a gigantic deal; you've been there less than two months. Resign, effective immediately, ask how to return their equipment, end of story.

I'm slightly concerned that you've got so much invested in a dream job, a job you think is going to change your life. I think you may be better served by recognizing that a job is a job is a job. Some really suck, some are better, but they're all still jobs. Maybe reign in your expectations before starting this new job.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 6:14 AM on September 3, 2016 [28 favorites]


It's super tempting to just overnight them their computer and phone with a note saying thanks for the opportunity, it's not working out, but I guess that would be a little too cold-hearted. Please believe me when I say this job has been very very not good.

Do exactly this.

Your bosses are not your friends, and if their business fails because you quit (which it likely wont), then that's their fault. Drop it like it's hot and move on. You owe them nothing.
posted by dis_integration at 6:42 AM on September 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


Yes, just quit, effective immediately or as of the end of the week, ship them their stuff, and never look back. (Hopefully the payroll stuff gets figured out before tax time, but put that on them -- don't offer to change status or otherwise put yourself out.) And don't offer to reimburse for anything, that is all on them.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:17 AM on September 3, 2016 [6 favorites]


In your actual quitting note, provide no reasons. If they ask, the job has not turned out to be a good fit. Repeat as necessary.

There's a reason most companies have a 90 or 180 day probationary period, and that cuts both ways.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:32 AM on September 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


Quit effective immediately, politely and via email. Do not explain. EVER.

Mail the computer and phone with insurance and tracking.

Do NOT offer compensation!!!!! Do not offer compensation. Do not offer compensation. No. Never.

Do NOT tell them you have a new job. Expect the payroll stubs to arrive by January, or never. Expect you might have to contact them months from now to follow up on that.
posted by jbenben at 7:36 AM on September 3, 2016 [14 favorites]


I once left a much hated job just as the 3-month probation period ended, and I found it very useful to let them know that I had another job offer with better pay. I believe my initial phrasing was that I had been offered a job that was a better fit for me. Management did ask me what the salary of the new job was, I presume to see if they could counter offer, but I was luckily able to give a figure I knew they couldn't match. Everyone was very understanding of this reason for leaving, and I found it easier to talk about than saying "just not a good fit" because I had something to add in response to follow up questions.

Do not feel bad about leaving this job. They would not feel bad about letting you go. It's not personal, it's business.
posted by snorkmaiden at 8:34 AM on September 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


I would wait on sending the computer back until you hear how they'd like you to do so, and I would really think the shipping costs and such would be something they should pay. DevilsAdvocate's phrasing is perfect.
posted by lazuli at 9:15 AM on September 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


This is an employer that you are leaving, not a boyfriend you're breaking up with!

You don't need to 'let them down easy' or frame this as something that requires an explanation. You are not legally required to do an exit interview. If they try to push for an interview (with the whole company? what kind of weird unprofessional crap is that?), simply say, "I'm sorry, that will not be possible."

DO NOT REIMBURSE THEM. OMG NO.

You don't have to work there for another minute if you don't want to. Email them your resignation, ship back their stuff, and move on. I wouldn't push for a 1099 -- you'll have to pay extra tax (self employment tax, wheee) that your employer normally covers. If they do send you one, use Schedule SE at tax time for that amount.
posted by ananci at 9:19 AM on September 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


You're overthinking this. You don't have to work a two week notice period (whether you should is dependent on factors that I don't have details on, but as a manager I wouldn't expect it). You don't have to do all this explaining/announcing, etc. You don't have to reimburse or recompense them. I'm confused by why you'd want a 1099, but you should probably expect that you'll need to follow up with them at some point to get whatever you'll need for tax purposes.

I'm more than slightly concerned by this whole "dream job" business, but as that's not your actual question I will only say to be very careful about your expectations.
posted by sm1tten at 9:23 AM on September 3, 2016


Just quit. It's okay, it's just a job.
posted by so fucking future at 10:04 AM on September 3, 2016


People quit jobs all the time.

I knew a recruiter once who was representing a temp worker who quit by taking a crap in a desk drawer at the job. I wouldn't recommend that particular method, but I'm including it to give you some context. Quitting a job the regular way, by just announcing you're leaving, isn't a big deal. It's not like leaving your spouse.

NO, do not offer to recompense them. No, do not renegotiate your payroll status retroactively. Just call or email your manager, say "Phyllis, something's come up and I'm resigning effective today. (Nope, I can't stay, repeat as necessary.) Please advise best way to get the computer & phone back to the IT department." (if this is a big enough company that they might provide prepaid UPS labels or have some other specific process they use.) That's it.
posted by fingersandtoes at 10:36 AM on September 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Could I tell them to just pay me the taxes they've withheld and give me a 1099?

You are an employee and it's their responsibility to pay you like one. Their incompetence at actually having this all ready to handle you as of day 1 on the job is, to me, enough reason to move on. This is not a challenging process. You should have been paid appropriately from your very first check, including pay stubs. You are not obligated to pay more tax later--which is what happens with contractors--because your current employer has been completely incompetent about this.
posted by Sequence at 10:49 AM on September 3, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'd quit based on the pay situation.

In the future never start a job that doesn't know exactly how they are going to pay you and don't have it worked out from day 1.

Remember to give then a forwarding address for any paperwork.

It is a remote job, turnover is probobly high. Just quit, be polite return their stuff and move on.

Best of luck to you at your new job.
posted by AlexiaSky at 12:38 PM on September 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


I am an employer. I am not your employer. I manage remote employees, so I'm pretty familiar with the issues you're thinking through.

It's commendable to have some empathy for the employer, but I think you'd actually be creating troubles for them by trying to overthink issues that are for them to resolve. Short term hires happen all the time. I think as an employee it may not seem that way, because if you work for a company of any size (especially remotely) they don't always make much of an impression, but trust me, I'm pretty much always processing someone in or out. One more isn't that big a deal.

I think because you're embarrassed for some reason about quitting soon after being hired, you're considering doing a bit of a mic drop, which could be a costly and unnecessary mistake.

Some specifics:

1099 idea - normally I'd say not going to work. You were classed as a W2 employee and records and withholding should have been done in that way. The details you gave about their not being ready to go in the state you were going to are troubling, as others have said. Normal process is to go ahead and set up the employee in the state they currently live in, regardless of their plans. Once they move, then we set them up for the new state and locale. We may have to apply for a new state unemployment account, etc. if we haven't been there before, but we go ahead and get provisional rates and withhold right away.

Long story short - as an employee this isn't your problem to solve. If they balk about ever sending you stubs or otherwise seem to choke on this issue, at some point you may have to ask for a 1099, but I'd avoid that because it will complicate your tax filings slightly. This issue is a little troubling and puzzling, and you may need more advice on this than you can get from the internet. If they haven't provided a full set of pay stubs by year end, you may need to get advice from a CPA.

Giving notice - as others have indicated, not a legal requirement. They may not want you for 2 weeks, especially if you're new. Rather than delivering it as an ultimatum or back door play, why not explain your situation? Just tell them what's going on and ask what you can work out. You have a chance to leave under good terms, or at least better terms than if you just sent the equipment back. Even a few days notice is vastly more convenient for the company than just ghosting.

Returning equipment - really not that complicated, and should be done at the employer's expense. If I were doing it I'd send you a call tag and ask you to take it to a UPS or Fedex store. As with everything in this question - let them figure it out. Your responsibility is to tell them you're moving on in a clear and organized way; it's up to the employer to work out any details.
posted by randomkeystrike at 3:23 PM on September 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


I really want to avoid any exit interview-type shenanigans, and I do not want to have to announce to the whole company over Skype why I'm leaving (which the last guy had to do).
A cool thing about quitting a job is that for the most part, you don't *have* to do anything. Yes, you need to return the employer's property. But, beyond that, they want you to do something you don't want to do? Just say no. After all, what're they going to do, fire you?
posted by Juffo-Wup at 6:06 PM on September 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


People quit new jobs all the time. This is your life, not some random company's -- do what makes you happy. Add another one here for "two weeks is a courtesy, not a requirement." I had a guy (who I didn't hire but I managed) quit on his second day because he got offered his dream job. No notice, he just left and sent a rambling email to my boss about how bad he felt about it. Sure, you may burn a bridge or look like an ass, but it doesn't sound like you really care in this instance, right?

I wouldn't offer them solutions about how to do things, i.e. the 1099 or whatever. Just say, you need to resign and your last day will be X, thank them for everything, apologize for not being able to give them more notice if you want. The rest is up to them. They will take care of the stuff about you sending your laptop and all that.
posted by AppleTurnover at 12:29 AM on September 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


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