Can I quit a job right after signing the contract?
March 15, 2017 4:51 AM   Subscribe

I'm having bad feelings about a new job, and am thinking about quitting.

It is part-time work working with families. Couple of red flags I noticed:

1) I was signed up for hours that I explicitly said I was not free for during my interview.
2) I am not adequately trained for the job, and said so during my interview (that I have no prior experience). They need employees, though, and given my prior experience with children they decided to offer me the job. The problem is, now that I am hired, I am expected to work with families right away. I'm not comfortable doing so, and don't feel confident. I need more time to take the relevant courses, so I said I wanted to start on Date X (2 weeks from now). They said that that was not possible. [note that the 1/2 of the hours I was signed up for would not work for me any way due to my schedule, so not being accommodated is doubly frustrating]
3) One of the families commented about how new workers are coming into her home, and they are not giving her child enough time to transition. That she is not informed or kept up to date.
4) My colleagues and boss do not see each other (or me). All communication happens over e-mail.

I used to work at a job where miscommunication made it hell, and it was a he said/she said type of scenario. I don't want to go through that again. Am I overreacting, is this grounds for trying to quit a new job right away? I also don't know how to go about it, and how not to burn bridges along the way.
posted by raintree to Work & Money (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I should also mention that we are supposed to buy materials for the job out-of-pocket without being reimbursed.
posted by raintree at 4:55 AM on March 15, 2017

It all sounds like a disorganized, unprofessional mess. If you can afford to quit, I would. I have no clue what is normal for that type of work, but this all sounds so ridiculous that I wouldn't be overly concerned over burning this bridge.

However, if you want you could first maybe ask to meet with the boss and explain your concerns, and see if they can do anything to address them.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 5:10 AM on March 15, 2017 [10 favorites]

How closely to this field have you worked before? There are definitely some warning signs here, but it may be that some of the things you suggest are just par for the course for this type of job e.g. teachers usually have to buy at least some classroom supplies out of pocket. So if this is the type of job you want, then you might find similar circumstances with other employers. Do you know anyone more experienced in this type of job who you can ask?
posted by une_heure_pleine at 5:26 AM on March 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

"I have re-evaluated whether I would be a good fit for this job, and I don't believe I will. Thank you for this opportunity."
posted by Etrigan at 6:01 AM on March 15, 2017 [25 favorites]

This will not get better. This sounds very much like a company where I worked that later ended up sued by the employees for not paying overtime, not providing breaks, and requiring employees to purchase their own materials, which was illegal in our state. Complaints like these are rampant in companies that provide in-home services to children; many companies are interested in providing bodies rather than services and that works about as well as you think it does.

Etrigan has a great script for getting out of this situation. I'd run.
posted by corey flood at 6:28 AM on March 15, 2017 [9 favorites]

Trust your instincts. Any good company whould be falling all over themselves to make you feel comfortable in your first couple of weeks at least. This doesn't sound like a good company.
posted by vignettist at 7:45 AM on March 15, 2017

Also, aside from the many other red flags, it's perfectly reasonable for the schedule stuff to be a dealbreaker. You can't work those hours! So it really shouldn't be a problem to say, "If you need me to work these hours, I can't take the job; if you need me to start right now instead of two weeks from now, I can't take the job. Thank you for the offer, but given your scheduling requirements I'm not the right person for this job."
posted by mskyle at 7:48 AM on March 15, 2017 [16 favorites]

Make sure you review the contract and understand any ramifications from quitting now, such as having to reimburse them for some kind of expenses they've incurred (e.g. I've had to agree to reimbursing the company for relocation expenses if I quit within a certain timeframe).
posted by jshort at 9:42 AM on March 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you're OK quitting anyway, you could try putting your boundaries in writing, getting someone you really respect (someone with a decent amount of experience as a manager) to read over this document, and then presenting it as gently as you can.

After all, as you said, They need employees. If you can work with them to figure out how to make this work for you, you could end up managing others -- if not here, then somewhere else.
posted by amtho at 10:58 AM on March 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

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