no notice resignation
April 14, 2020 11:08 PM   Subscribe

I need some advice on navigating a very likely exit from my current job. I received some verbal abuse today that was startling and demeaning from my supervisor, and I can't see myself (in any respect) continuing with the company, even for another day.

I was a few minutes late for a standing meeting because I was talking to a client, and it was meant to put me in my place. I've been working there for one month. Some of this was triggered in my boss, I think, by me not performing at the level they were hoping by now.

I called my parents and cried. I took some time off this afternoon and tomorrow to process this, but I think I'm in a position that I need to give a "no notice" letter on Thursday and walk away from the job.

I have no energy to fight this. I have no real desire to make a big deal about this, although if anyone asks (which I'm assuming HR might), I would tell them. I have no desire to have a conversation with my supervisor about this, except in the vaguest of terms. I have no desire to seek out this conversation.

How do I manage this on Thursday? I'm feeling some weird internal conflict, as I feel guilty about not performing up to par, which prompted the verbal lashing, and knowing in my bones that what I experienced was so inappropriate I wouldn't have come within a mile of the job in the first place.

I worry about triggering some sort of "they move first" to dismiss me sort of response. It feels like there have been pieces put in place for me to be on a correctional track with my performance, and any sort of push-back on my part on this issue will likely be perceived as disagreeing with needing to improve, which I do not dispute. It was entirely the way I was talked to. I feel like I'm worrying about their possible preemptive move a lot, and I don't know if I need to. I won't be seeking them for a reference.

In terms of the state of the world, I know that trying to find a new job might be crazy, but I'm not interested in figuring out that detail right now. I just need to know best how to do this, and who all I need to communicate with, to make a clean break. Thanks so much.
posted by SpacemanStix to Work & Money (19 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Email HR, cc the shitty boss.

"I hereby resign from my post as Widget Washer at Widgets Inc, effective immediately."

posted by DarlingBri at 11:35 PM on April 14, 2020 [22 favorites]

That sucks that your boss treated you that way.

+1 to emailing HR; cc’ing the boss is optional IMHO.

I’ve figured that the point of giving notice is to allow time to gracefully wrap up projects or train colleagues on your work.

Since you’ve only been there a month, it’s unlikely that the biz has any need or expectation of notice. Rather, it’s obviously not the right fit for you. Better to make a clean break quickly than drag it out.
posted by ktheory at 12:04 AM on April 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

If you quit then you may not be able to collect unemployment. So financially, it may be better for them to fire you.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:04 AM on April 15, 2020 [32 favorites]

I'm so sorry this has happened to you. I don't know if this applies to your company, but quitting with no notice may make you ineligible for a severance package. I know this was the case for the company I just quit from (which required one week notice). Since you've only been there a month, you may not qualify anyway, but maybe worth checking.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 12:34 AM on April 15, 2020 [3 favorites]

In terms of the state of the world, I know that trying to find a new job might be crazy

That is the understatement of the century. Also, you may not be able to collect unemployment. Stick it out until you get fired; best case scenario, you may over time become inured to the abuse. That's honestly a bit of a marketable skill.
posted by blerghamot at 2:47 AM on April 15, 2020 [19 favorites]

If you did not think the job was a good fit, or you were not happy with your own level of performance it would be a easier breakup is that what I'm hearing? I would try this: Dear HR I made a slight time miscalculation entering a recent meeting and I was verbally attacked for it by my superior. I have not worked here very long and I have always made good use of my time however I'm still getting used to the procedures. I had no idea that a minute or two would create such a hostile work environment as this and for that reason I am tendering my resignation effective immediately and seeking legal counsel for the abusive behavior I suffered. I apologize that this was done in short notice but I have to believe this behavior is frequent and have no interest in continuing with a company that allows such disrespect for minor infractions.
This might be seen as a threat or your actual intentions either way the issue will be addressed by the headquarters. No one should be made to feel belittled over such a minor thing.
posted by The_imp_inimpossible at 3:30 AM on April 15, 2020

In case you get tempted by language like "hostile work environment", bear in mind that this term has a specific legal meaning that is significantly more nuanced than the perception that you've been treated poorly or in a hostile way while at work.
posted by terretu at 3:42 AM on April 15, 2020 [30 favorites]

Why are you so worried about a preemptive move? Given the state of things, this might be advantageous for you, since you’d likely be eligible for unemployment. (You probably wouldn’t be if you left voluntarily.) Unless you have another job lined up, this might be the best way to ensure you have at least some income after leaving.
posted by kevinbelt at 3:58 AM on April 15, 2020 [10 favorites]

This may not be up your alley, and no problem if it isn't, but I'd take an entirely different tack here. You said you were talking to a client? In my company, that's pretty much a get out of jail free card. In some sort of public manner, state "I was with a client. Next time, I will cut the conversation short and let them know that my boss's time is more valuable than theirs".

Now, there will be two outcomes: 1. the boss backs off and never does it again; 2. you are fired. But the latter outcome is where you were headed (unemployment). The former outcome defends your turf and your dignity.
posted by scolbath at 5:17 AM on April 15, 2020 [44 favorites]

You can, without a doubt, send the email that DarlingBri wrote up. Totally works - a month in, you found out the boss is an asshole, so you bounced. Don't put it on your resume and its fine.

But also consider some of the other advice about waiting a bit... being terminated would make it much easier to collect unemployment. You don't have to "fight it", but maybe think Bartleby the Scrivener? Next time your jerk boss says anything, respond with a "I would prefer not to", don't engage the histronics. Likely you'll get terminated soon enough, but then you don't have to engage emotionally.
posted by RajahKing at 5:20 AM on April 15, 2020 [5 favorites]

If you truly just want out, then the simple email at the top of the responses is best.

I did peek at your history and I see you have a daughter. In that case I might rather initiate a conversation like this "Hey boss, I'd like to discuss something with you. Yesterday I was with Client A and so I was late for our meeting. I was taken aback when you said ABC. Normally I would always prioritize finishing up with a client for a standing meeting. It's raised concerns for me regarding my future in this position. Can you let me know how you would like me to handle similar scheduling issues in the future, and could you also shed some light on whether you have concerns about my performance?"

Then _follow up_ that conversation in email: Dear boss, thanks for talking with me today. I understand that you want me to X when we have a standing meeting. I also understand that you have ABC concerns with my performance. I will address them in the following ways: (be brief)."

The advantage to doing this is that if you're correct that this is "not a good match" this will either precipitate that discussion or give you something concrete, and position you for unemployment.

Right now the script in your head is providing a lot of information which very well may be correct. In normal times I would support you just walking out, but these aren't normal times and I think it might be worth one more round. If your boss speaks to you that way a second time, you always have the option to quit, or even if it just keeps feeling this awful. I would put a note in your calendar for three weeks' time from today to assess whether it's still this bad or not.

Good luck!
posted by warriorqueen at 5:26 AM on April 15, 2020 [34 favorites]

In terms of the state of the world...

You don't mention if you like your job or how it advances the trajectory of your career. Given that you started a month ago, just as the world was going to hell, both your early missteps and your boss's impatience with them could be ascribed to the fact that no one is operating on all cylinders. As for the awful things that were said to you, without knowing what they are, it's hard to recommend a course of action. But if you like your job and want to keep it, you can use the pandemic to both confront the boss and give her a way to apologize while keeping your dignity. You may still want to leave the company, but the ensuing peace might make it possible to wait until you're fired or the timing is better.

"Boss, the other day at [place] you said [awful thing] in front of [witnesses] when I was late to the standup because I was talking to client X about [business matter]. I hope you'll agree that remark was utterly inappropriate. It was also hurtful because I'm new on the job and bound to make minor missteps like that. Probably my other missteps like A, B and C fall into that category too. However, we're all under tremendous strain due to the pandemic and not at our best. I'd like to channel this event into a productive conversation about how to improve the way we work together going forward. So for the future, how do you want me to handle similar situations?"

Then document all of it including the ensuing discussion. Your HR story, should you need it, is now Awful Thing + Effort to Remedy. If you think a veiled threat is needed, you could add something like "Rather than take this matter to HR, I'd like to channel..." Good luck!
posted by carmicha at 5:55 AM on April 15, 2020 [5 favorites]

Yikes, well, the way I did this (after two months of less aggressive abuse) was literally send an email to my direct supervisor that I am resigning effectively immediately and then forgot about it.

That's all you have to do if you don't care about burning bridges or collecting unemployment (although honestly I quit/ghosted a job once completely and they still wanted to hire me back a year later so who knows). You could CC HR and ask them when/where your final paycheck will be sent but I am sure they deal with people quitting abruptly all the time so that would be a professional kindness rather than an obligation.

I will say this sounds a lot like a lack of leadership and training on your part than your fault. I experienced the same sort of "well why don't you now this stuff, idiot?" attitude in my current job by a supervisor who didn't train me. I usually just fired back with "I've been here a month. Where can I receive training to get me up to speed? How do you recommend I get up to speed?"
It's most likely not your fault.

People are recommending that you speak to your boss about this and I would probably do so in a private meeting.
posted by Young Kullervo at 5:58 AM on April 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

In some ways you are fortunate. You don't have that much to lose right now. (I agree with playing the game to get whatever severance or employment is available and not having to do a job search in this difficult moment.)

Is there possibly someone else in the organization who would be a sympathetic ear? Normally you should avoid this; it just makes you look like a gossip. But the thing is, your supervisor fucked up by reprimanding you when you had good reason to be late, and in a pressured situation where you were not going to be able to lay out a reasoned response. No feeling of inadequacy on your part changes that. And no, you didn't trigger that behavior. They are a supervisor and their job is to supervise and they did not do it very well. I think you should tell someone or, failing that, your supervisor that you were reprimanded for being late when you were talking to a client. If the language was abusive in a way that quoting it would demonstrate, quote it. But the language is not the important part and people who use language to intimidate their employees actually like to hear that you object to how you are talked to; they can mentally dismiss you as someone who is too sensitive, and they can describe it that way to other people too.

Please stop kicking yourself though. What your boss did is not your fault, period. And not too far down the road, a job that you started a month ago is going to seem like an incidental issue and ancient history.
posted by BibiRose at 6:11 AM on April 15, 2020 [3 favorites]

Best answer: In terms of the state of the world, I know that trying to find a new job might be crazy, but I'm not interested in figuring out that detail right now. I just need to know best how to do this, and who all I need to communicate with, to make a clean break.

So in terms of making the cleanest break, the advice to send a one-sentence email saying that you are resigning immediately is correct. Don't give any explanations about why, just say you are quitting and that is it. You've only been there a month so it's not like you even would need to list this on a resume in the future.

But -- it's also good to think through the practicalities. Do you have the savings or the family support to ride out a potentially long period of unemployment until the economy starts functioning again? If so, quit today and don't look back. But if losing the income (and benefits?) is a big deal, then I would strongly suggest following the advice people have given about being strategic, having a conversation with your boss about expectations, etc., with the goal of either making the job into something you can live with for a while, albeit painfully (and while looking for a new job at the same time), or they can lay you off, likely leaving you eligible for unemployment benefits.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:12 AM on April 15, 2020 [5 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you, everyone. I really appreciate it.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:10 AM on April 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

"best case scenario, you may over time become inured to the abuse. That's honestly a bit of a marketable skill."

This is not a marketable skill and regardless of the state of the world or the situation or anything nobody should ever, ever have to do this if they have another option. Please don't believe this. Abuse is never a best case scenario.
posted by colorblock sock at 11:48 AM on April 15, 2020 [9 favorites]

Response by poster: One quick follow-up question: does it matter if I send from my work or personal email to HR/boss? I'm reluctant to log back into my work inbox if I don't have to, but if it's a matter of a quick log-in and send (and cc my own personal email for a record), that's not too big of an issue. I think I don't want them to say that they didn't get it (via my personal email), but I also get anxious thinking about engaging my work stuff any more.
posted by SpacemanStix at 12:21 PM on April 15, 2020

Best answer: Send all correspondence from a personal email account.

You want the written history of this to be in your hands - not on the company's servers where it can disappear at any point or you get locked out of the account.
posted by JoeZydeco at 12:42 PM on April 15, 2020 [5 favorites]

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