How to quit?
August 19, 2007 6:05 PM   Subscribe

Is it tacky to email a letter of resignation while you're on vacation?

Is this tacky:
1. Send in letter of resignation via email on Monday.
2. Return to work from vacation on Thursday.
3. Resignation effective exactly two weeks from date of email.

This way I can move into an apartment on the first of the month.

OR should I wait till I get back on Thursday so as to do this in person, giving them less notice?

Or should I do this on thursday, give them the full two weeks, and lose a week in my new apartment?

I would like to get a good reference if possible. I have previously mentioned to my boss that this was coming, i just didn't know when.
posted by amethysts to Work & Money (16 answers total)
If you want a reference, DO NOT email a resignation while on vacation. Notice that says, I"I hereby resign effective no later than 2 weeks from today."
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:15 PM on August 19, 2007

I would like to get a good reference if possible.

If this is true, then you need to weigh the convenience of moving into your new place versus the potential bad feelings you may incur with quitting via email while on vacation.

You don't provide enough information about your boss or your work for us to make a call one way or another.

However, are you even sure that your company will want you to work a notice? Most companies just want you out the door as soon as possible once you've expressed a desire to leave...
posted by wfrgms at 6:16 PM on August 19, 2007

The way your FPP reads, the answer seems a priori.

DO NOT email it. If you want a good reference, lose the week. If they're alright, leave earlier.
posted by coolhappysteve at 6:18 PM on August 19, 2007

Can you go in and resign in person and then continue your vacation?

Are you under some sort of contract that states you must two weeks? You won't get a great reference from them in the future, most likely, but there's no law that states you must give two weeks. It's a professional courtesy. Not very good form to resign via email. At the very least, call your boss and speak to him/her in person and then follow up with the email just to confirm the two weeks.
posted by archimago at 6:19 PM on August 19, 2007

I agree with those who think its tacky. At the very least, 11 days notice in person (with a cursory apology for not giving more notice) isn't ideal, but it's still better than emailing a notice of resignation, which strikes me as strange, at the very least.
posted by dhammond at 6:24 PM on August 19, 2007

I'm actually out of town until thursday but I want to give them as much notice as i can even though i'm not there. My boss did request that i give two weeks notice when i mentioned this to her a few weeks ago. I'm reasonably sure they are going to want me to continue working as long as possible.

I might just do the phone call thing.
posted by amethysts at 6:27 PM on August 19, 2007

If you've already warned your boss, they've had notice for a long time. You've already had the in-person discussion that you will (sometime soon) be leaving. This is just solidifying the actual date. If they've been seriously thinking about your departure, this shouldn't be a problem, and neither should your form of communication. [oh, on preview, did she want 2 weeks' notice so she could hire someone in time, or so you could finish something up?]

If I were a boss, I'd rather know sooner, even if it was via email. Since it sounds like you're flexible and willing to change your plans to stay on good terms with them, why not just let your boss know what's going on and what you want, and see if they're okay with you leaving by the first, and if they balk, give in then?

If you do email them, I'd refer back to your earlier discussion, say that things are suddenly moving really fast, and if it's okay with them, you'd like to leave in two weeks, and if not, you're willing to stay until that following Thursday because you really don't want to leave them in the lurch. I'd note that you think six working days will give you enough time to wrap up your work and train your successor (or write instructions for your successor). I'd also add that you're sorry about the email format and that you look forward to following up when you're back, and that they can call your cell to talk about it if they want to talk about it sooner. You might even call to check in later that day.

As the boss, the only way the email plan would annoy me would be if there were a lot for you to finish up before you left, in which case I might mind that you were only going to be around for 6 more business days rather than 10.
posted by salvia at 6:31 PM on August 19, 2007

If you're firm on the date, I think a phone call would definitely be better than an email (though you should follow it up with an email to confirm, as archimago suggested).
posted by dhammond at 6:35 PM on August 19, 2007

Since she already knows it's coming, why don't you email/call her with the information: "Hi Boss, I finally firmed up the date, it will be September X. I will follow up with an official resignation letter when I return to the office, but I wanted to make sure you had some additional days of advance notice."

If this were a surprise, I wouldn't recommend that strategy. But in this case, you're basically giving her the date, which is what she really needs since she already knows you're leaving, and the official paperwork can go in when you return on Thursday. Salvia raises the good point that if she needs you there for two weeks to finish stuff up, this is not really helpful to her. But if she just wants to know so she can start looking for a replacement, it might be okay. What does she want to use the two weeks for?

I think calling would be better than emailing, and she may ask you to email the info to her anyway ("in writing", etc.)

P.S. If you're talking about putting it in for two weeks from tomorrow, that's Labor Day. You probably can't do that.

Personally, I would either wait until Thursday and lose a few days in the apartment, OR I would say that Friday (a little more than 2 weeks) is my last day, and take off the Monday of that week to move into the new place. If you're talking about two weeks from tomorrow, you'd have that day off anyway.
posted by ml98tu at 7:16 PM on August 19, 2007

I'd say lose the week and count yourself lucky that you're not on three month's notice, like everyone I work with.
posted by bonaldi at 7:27 PM on August 19, 2007

You know your boss better than we do. If you think it will fly, call your boss, explain the situation briefly, and ask how much notice she needs.
posted by theora55 at 7:33 PM on August 19, 2007

It depends on your work environment. Some places will send security to help you pack your personal stuff and escort you out of the building the moment you give your 2 week notice (and they'll still pay for the 2 weeks)....

Where I work, we have had people give notice *before* going on vacation and it's just fine... they get the time they would be paid for anyways, and we get a few weeks to come up with a list of things about their job that they need to teach somebody or document during their "last 2 weeks".

If they know you're leaving someday soon, go ahead and email/call your boss and let them know. We had a similar situation recently where we knew somebody was definitely going to leave by September to move to another state to be near family. When they got a job that wanted them to start ASAP, it turned into a two week notice. No Big Deal.

Don't worry about a few days here or there. Offer a few weeks of email support if they bump into something that only you knew about. They knew you were looking to leave and scoping out other employment options... that you would get a "you're hired, show up 2 weeks from now" sometime during your vacation shouldn't make a bit of difference.
posted by zengargoyle at 7:50 PM on August 19, 2007

The fact that you are asking this question means you know that it is tacky. It would make you look like a chicken. Hand the letter to your boss personally, you'll feel better in the long run. Your new job should understand if you have to delay a few days because you were out of town.
posted by jockc at 8:31 PM on August 19, 2007

If you're trying not to burn bridges, interpret 2 weeks notice as closely as possible to '10 days in which I will actually be there to do my job or help train my replacement'. You've got a little leeway if one of the days in the two weeks happens to be a stat holiday or something, but if you're on vacation for half of the two weeks, that's not really giving them two weeks notice.

Legally speaking, you're no doubt fine with whatever you choose to do, but if you want to leave on good terms, return from your vacation and give two weeks notice at that time.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:46 PM on August 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

I did this once, but it had highly extenuating circumstances justifying my actions. I don't recommend it in a normal "two weeks notice" situation.

In my case, I went on vacation (to "think about it"), then came in over the weekend to clean out my desk and left my keys and badge with a coworker. I resigned via email the following Monday morning, effective immediately, and disconnected from my "dedicated" 128K ISDN dialup (this was an ISP).

They approached me with a job offer a couple of years later, but by then I was making almost 3x what they had been paying or were prepared to pay me.
posted by mrbill at 9:48 PM on August 19, 2007

What about cutting your vacation short? You're out of there soon anyhow.
posted by mendel at 3:23 AM on August 20, 2007

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