How to gracefully resign from a job when the boss is self-quarantined?
March 23, 2020 3:10 PM   Subscribe

This is a question from a friend who came to me for advice. He's been negotiating a position at a new firm, better benefits, salary, etc, since early January. He cleared background checks & got an offer letter today. Happy times! BUT

His boss is isolating himself because he has covid-19 symptoms. I suggested having a video call as the best way to deliver the news face-to-face, with an electronic resignation letter to follow. Friend is concerned about whether this meets social norms for resignation. My thought is "Covid-19 overrules those nicities".

Is there a better way to do this? If you were the boss or HR in this situation, what would be acceptable? Friend is in Denver, Colorado.
posted by boo_radley to Work & Money (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
There's a lot of new social norms being formed right now, many of them involving doing over video conferencing what was previously done in person. This seems like a natural extension.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 3:15 PM on March 23 [14 favorites]


Yes, video call is the way to go. Deliver in person only applies if you would see them in person anyway. For now, however you would have a 1-on-1 with your boss is the right way to speak to them.

Also, just to be sure - a resignation letter is max 2 sentences, and for record-keeping reasons only, after the conversation. Example below, the second sentence is optional:
Per our conversation, I am resigning. My last day will be [date]. Thank you for everything. -ResigningPerson
posted by brainmouse at 3:15 PM on March 23 [15 favorites]


My boss and I mostly communicate over regular phone calls, that would be fine too. You want synchronous and reasonably expecting their full attention.
posted by momus_window at 3:27 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]


I would just call on the phone, no video required.
posted by pinochiette at 3:45 PM on March 23 [17 favorites]


Also, earlier today Denver's mayor issued a shelter-in-place order, which goes into effect at 5pm local time. It doesn't seem like resigning in person meets the criteria for leaving home under the guidelines.
posted by danielleh at 3:57 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]


A phone call has been the standard way to do this in remote work situations for years. No video required and honestly if the boss is sick, a phone call is less intrusive.
posted by fingersandtoes at 4:20 PM on March 23 [6 favorites]


I've given notice while my team was on mandatory work-from-home for a couple weeks (due to renovations of office space). It's not ideal, but circumstances are what they are. I scheduled a one-on-one call with my manager and broke the news, and we figured out a way to serve out the notice period in a reasonable manner. (I continued to WFH as scheduled for the first couple days of the 2-week period, then when the office was open again, I went in, so I could do knowledge transfer and wrap things up, say goodbyes, etc.) In your situation, I would just ensure that you have documented all your current responsibilities, set up video calls with the team members who'll take over your work, and maybe set up a virtual happy hour so your coworkers can say goodbye.
posted by devrim at 4:35 PM on March 23


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