August 1, 2008 10:26 AM   Subscribe

Should I quit my job?

I've been working at an IT Help Desk/Computer Lab type job for the last three years. It is pretty boring aside from refreshing AskMeFi relationship questions and fixing printers and software. Since I graduated from college, I am only allowed to keep working there until August 20. I really want to just quit after next week because I've come to dread having to sit at a computer for nine hours a day with not much else to do.

The thing is, if I didn't quit, I would make ~$400 in the extra two weeks I'd be working. That's not a trivial amount of money for me but I don't necessarily need it. Additionally, the job is slightly changing management at the end of this week so the future seems annoying at best.

So, metafilter, how much is $400 really worth? Should I quit my job or just stick it out for an extra two weeks?
posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel to Work & Money (35 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would stick with it, so instead of having to explain why you quit your job two weeks before it was due to end to a future employer, you can just say that you worked as long as you could or whatever. And put the $400 away in savings or something as a future vacation fund, or buy yourself something you normally wouldn't buy with it at the end of the two weeks as a reward.
posted by Grither at 10:33 AM on August 1, 2008

What will you do (for money, work) if you quit?

Assuming you're going to need another job, it's always been my experience that you don't quit until you have the next position lined up.
posted by JaredSeth at 10:34 AM on August 1, 2008

Stick it out. It's just two weeks. Bring a book or something of the like, or start writing to occupy yourself.

Unless you have the money to travel or do something you've always wanted to do. Don't quit just to sit on the couch though.
posted by craven_morhead at 10:36 AM on August 1, 2008

Response by poster: Ok, additional info - I already have employment lined up. New job is in France and starts in October. I was planning to just be unemployed from August 20 to when that job starts because right now I have no expenses (lease ran out, living with friends and family) other than food.
posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel at 10:38 AM on August 1, 2008

If you're dreading going to work and have a new gig lined up, why not quit? The only cons might be:
- the possibility of burning bridges at the former employer (you're not leaving anyone in a lurch, are you?)
- for paycheck, which you seem ready to forfeit (but what if you have unexpected expenses?)
- two more weeks of being unemployed may not be as fun as they sound (do you have plans, or will you just bum around?)

If the answers to all those questions are satisfactory, quit politely and enjoy the free time.
posted by Mr Bunnsy at 10:41 AM on August 1, 2008

On your deathbed, do you want to look back and think "at least I never did what I wanted and quit a shitty job because there was a minuscule chance some soulless corporation might have later found out and used it against me when applying for another shitty job?"

I already have employment lined up
Quit (your current job). You're young, enjoy your life.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:42 AM on August 1, 2008 [3 favorites]

Best answer: You and I are in pretty much the exact same situation. I'm moving in a month and I've decided to leave my job about three weeks before schedule because I absolutely cannot stand it here anymore. I'll be somewhat broke when I move but now I can spend a lot of time with one of my best friends who will be moving overseas.

Quit. Don't look back.
posted by Diskeater at 10:48 AM on August 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

Deathbed? I guarantee you. On your deathbed the very last thing you will be worried about is whether or not you stuck out this job for two weeks.

If you have something else to do, that you can afford to do, do it. Otherwise, making a little extra money will not kill a recent college grad.
posted by sageleaf at 10:54 AM on August 1, 2008

I would stick with it, so instead of having to explain why you quit your job two weeks before it was due to end to a future employer

I wonder if there is some sort of difference between applying for a job in the US versus applying for a job in Canada (where I live):

Due to the fact that your current position can be described as entry-level, no potential future employer is going to seriously care if you quit two weeks early. Your technical skills and how you interview matter more.

As for $400, how much is that money going to matter to you six months from now? Carpe diem and all that - enjoy life and prepare for your next adventure.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:55 AM on August 1, 2008

Is there anything great you could do (like maybe in France) with that extra $400? I'm all for quitting a soul-sucking job, but if it enables a truly amazing experience it might be worth sticking it out. I would not give that advice if you had the chance to accidentally stick it out for the next 5 years/decades, because people often get stuck that way. You've got a hard deadline to end this job, so the risk of that happening is nonexistent. On the other hand, could you do something amazing with the next couple weeks of your life that you'll be getting back? Weigh your opportunity costs and see what wins.
posted by vytae at 10:56 AM on August 1, 2008

Quit, and try to make it as politely as possible.....even though you hate the job probably you wouldnt have the other job lined up if u didnt have to leave before Aug. 20 so it is in way their fault.
posted by The1andonly at 10:56 AM on August 1, 2008

Stick with it, but instead of doing nothing, use all that forced internet time to learn something useful. Then use the $400 bucks to buy yourself something fun. Or a lot of beer. Whatever floats your boat. What else would you being doing with those two weeks anyway? If you'd really have a worthwhile experience, then by all means, go for it. If you're going to waste it away on the couch or playing video games, then you might as well work and get paid for your time.
posted by cgg at 11:06 AM on August 1, 2008

Don't quit, resign. Give some notice. It really sucks to be left short-handed with no notice, but it is a really good idea to have some time off - at least a week - between jobs.
posted by Cranialtorque at 11:11 AM on August 1, 2008

Response by poster: If I didn't quit, the $400 would go directly into my savings account, I would not spend it on anything fun or exciting because I don't think I would be able to justify that.

If I quit, I would spend the time with friends, staying out all night, swimming, and other tomfoolery.
posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel at 11:12 AM on August 1, 2008

Doesn't matter. Quitting is very unlikely to hurt you, and you're very unlikely to regret two lousy weeks later, anyway. And they're already expecting to be without you Aug 20. Aug 4 doesn't make it much different. Nobody loses.
posted by rokusan at 11:19 AM on August 1, 2008

Stick it out. You may not be able to refresh AskMe on you're next gig. Getting paid to surf the net rocks.
posted by danOstuporStar at 11:19 AM on August 1, 2008

If you saved the $400, at 6% interest, for the next 40 years, does it then look like a fair trade for working a few weeks surfing the web?
posted by Houstonian at 11:23 AM on August 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

France is expensive coming from the States, even if work is paying for things: if you're getting paid in dollars instead of euros while you're over there, you might feel quite a crunch. Stick it out at this current place, and before you go to France, try and earn as much as you can: have a garage sale, put your surfboard on Craigslist, sell your car. Every bit helps!
posted by mdonley at 11:28 AM on August 1, 2008

Will they care if you quit? Is there someone else to fix the printers? Will their HR Department have a hissy fit and mark you as not eligible for rehire?

If not, quit.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:33 AM on August 1, 2008

I've come to dread having to sit at a computer for nine hours a day with not much else to do.

That's my job, albeit in a different field. Teach yourself something new, maybe a programming language if you're into IT. Make a website. Learn how to knit. It really doesn't matter. What are they gonna do, fire you? If you don't need the reference, then just use the downtime however you please. Plan fun things to do in France. Plan your next night out with your friends. Improve skills that will be useful at your new job.
posted by desjardins at 11:39 AM on August 1, 2008

You mean quit today, like walk out with no notice, possibly leaving them shorthanded?

No. That's crappy karma, no matter how young you are.

Resign today, giving them the standard two weeks notice. That makes your last day the 15th, giving you a few days for tomfoolery, plus $400 to do it with.

You can certainly ask whether they need you during these two weeks. If you're as underutilized as you say, maybe they'll say no. In which case, bonus!
posted by ottereroticist at 11:42 AM on August 1, 2008

Response by poster: To address what comments have said: that just the thing - I can do whatever I want with my downtime. I can read, and I can knit and I can make a webpage. But I don't do those things because sitting in a room surrounded by computers does not inspire creativity and I can never get into a book because of interruptions and harsh lights. I always feel my mind dulled to the point where after refreshing some websites and my RSS feed a few times I have just stared at a wall for 30 minutes out of boredom. It was better during the school year because I would be able to do homework at my job and use superfast internet.

I feel stupid complaining about the job or thinking about quitting because it is laughable to despise a job which is basically surfing the internet peppered with printer, computer, and authentication questions. I hope that using answers from this question will help convince me to either stay and not complain or to leave and not regret.

Also, if I quit I really doubt that anyone would care.
posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel at 11:48 AM on August 1, 2008

Response by poster: I do not mean quit today. As I wrote in the question, I would quit after next week. I am already on the schedule for next week. I would work next week no matter what. They would have notice. They do not exactly need two week notice. I just need to give notice before the next schedule comes out.
posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel at 11:50 AM on August 1, 2008

dollars are worth like 0 euros anyway.
posted by speef at 11:59 AM on August 1, 2008

Stick it out and buy yourself something super-extra nice with that $400.
posted by GilloD at 12:25 PM on August 1, 2008

if you don't quit, I will personally go out and find you and drag you from your desk and to a park/mountain/beach/trail/bookstore/ lake/forest/bar/museum/swimming pool/club/movie theater/record store or.... somewhere else!!
posted by mrmarley at 12:45 PM on August 1, 2008

Stick it out and buy yourself something super nice with that $400 dollars, like 2 weeks of having fun, seeing friends before leaving the country, getting sunlight, experiencing summer.... oh wait. you can't buy that with 400 dollars
posted by speef at 1:03 PM on August 1, 2008

Stick it out. You might not need the money, but you can always use the good karma.

You'll never know when you'll need references in the future, or if any future employers will contact your current boss. It's best if you leave on the best note possible. No matter how awesome you are, if you quit two weeks early, that's all that anyone's going to remember and it's not going to be something a future employer will want to hear.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 1:16 PM on August 1, 2008

Also, as a bit of unsolicited advice, you may want to re-examine how tough you really have it there. You can't get into a book because of interruptions and harsh lights?
posted by craven_morhead at 2:17 PM on August 1, 2008

Quit. Quit. Quit. You don't owe them anything. Make up an excuse, but it would be perfectly reasonable to quit simply because you can make more elsewhere. The agreement that you were going to stay doesn't really hold water.
posted by xammerboy at 2:22 PM on August 1, 2008

You know my current, mature, responsible 33 year old self tells you to stay and earn the extra money because it's the right thing to do and the cash will always be useful. But my much younger, just out of college in first job that sucks self? She calculated the exact day which we could afford for me to leave then quit about five weeks early (I was going back to Uni to finish my MSc) despite that it put us basically on the poverty line for six months afterwards. And I never once regretted it.

Quit. Don't waste this time, you may not get another chance for random tomfoolery. It's not a deal breaking amount of money and your future responsible self will understand.
posted by shelleycat at 2:30 PM on August 1, 2008

If youre not going on a trip or something, then youre just going to sleep all day and watch TV. Might as well go to work and make 400 watching youtube. Unless you have a trip planned or something of interest going on that week. One day you'll have a real busy job and wish you still had a boring job that paid. I know I do.
posted by damn dirty ape at 2:32 PM on August 1, 2008

You sound like you already know the answer.

posted by Kafkaesque at 5:50 PM on August 1, 2008

You're sure you can't bring yourself to do anything interesting and useful with your internet time? There's no France-related stuff you'll need to look up later that you could just get paid for now? There's nothing fun and interesting to read or watch or play or do online despite being in a room full of computers with bright lights?

Are your friends actually available during your work hours? Would you end up spending more time with them if you quit, or would it just be more time lounging at home?

If you're really miserable, then $400 is not really enough to be worth being miserable (although if you're really just going to save it, that simple $400 deposit would be worth over $12,000 in forty years if you get an average 9% return on the stock market.) But you might be better served in the long run by figuring out how you can push yourself to be productive or at least non-miserable in a job like that seems so generally unobjectionable.
posted by EmilyClimbs at 7:25 PM on August 1, 2008

What do you *want* to do?

Do that.
posted by freya_lamb at 3:15 AM on August 4, 2008

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