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 (6 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]

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