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By Alison Doyle, About.com GuideApril 18, 2012
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My initial reaction was “I’d never quit without notice, that’s way too inconsiderate.”
Then I remembered that I once did.
It’s the only job I’ve ever quit without two weeks notice and without leaving on good terms.
But the working conditions were pretty unprofessional (the owner was a eavy drinker who routinely slammed doors until the walls shook and I was asked frequently to do damage control on clients he’d alienated by yelling at them and hanging up on them).
To me, it was better to leave without notice than get fired, which is where things were headed.
Taking the job was a panic decision to begin with, a hurried move after my company was sold and all employees were laid off. I didn’t realize when I was hired that my boss at the new company (a competitor to my old company) was threatened by me and looking to get me fired.
I don’t normally whine about an employer but my boss finally got a pseudo-complaint from me (after I’d pulled an all-nighter to meet a deadline and had a nauseating headache from fumes that came from a business in the same building, run by the owner’s wife).
Within minutes of admitting to my boss that I was exhausted and nauseated, the owner called me into his office and raked me over the coals. Obviously my boss had run straight to him. And even though the company had only one computer with an Internet connection and no individual e-mail addresses for employees who regularly corresponded with the public (it was normal for me to work at home in the evenings too), I was told I could no longer use my own e-mail address for working.
My boss was getting ready to leave for a week’s vacation but it was clear that I was in line to get fired as soon as he returned (after I did two people’s work that week for one paycheck–and a tiny one at that).
So I left as usual that Friday after getting my mileage reimbursement check, then worked over the weekend so I didn’t leave the company shorthanded the next week. I called in sick Monday and went to the doctor while I still had health insurance (good thing, too, because I found out I had a thyroid condition). Tuesday morning I e-mailed in the work I’d completed over the weekend, then sent an e-mail notifying the company that it was my last day.
Yep, I know it seems cowardly. I know I left the company in a bit of a lurch by not covering while the boss was on vacation. I tried to offset it by that extra work over the weekend so my own job was covered for that week, knowing that I wouldn’t be compensated for all those extra weekend hours I worked (and I was right, they never paid me for that).
I left feeling my conscience was as clear as possible under the circumstances, but hopefully it’s a choice I’ll never be faced with again.
I think it’s much smarter to avoid burning bridges, when possible. After I left that job (I’d lost my unemployment benefits because I tried working with an unsuitable company for too long) I called up a former boss and asked if they would hire me on a freelance basis–which was only possible because I hadn’t burned that bridge.
Good thing, too. Freelancing is how I scraped by until I got into another permanent job.
I’ve always given at least a 2-weeks notice. But I had a company close its doors with less than 24 hours warning -no one saw it coming. I have a great deal of empathy, now, for those whose employment is terminated with no recourse, no warning. I live in an “at will” employment state – so it happens often.
for some cases I probably would since they probably treated with equal comtempt, and only for those cases. Also, especially since now a days, for liability reasons, most companies won’t give out any reference data aside from confirming your dates of employment – so what difference would it make anyway. So, before you consider it check out your company policy on refernces before you finally decide.
As a workshop facilitator for job seekers, I stress rising above the situation and recommend giving the two-weeks’ notice. I encourage job seekers and employees to maintain integrity and goodwill as they exit employment, as their professional behavior, or lack thereof, does follow them through employment verifications.
Never. Two weeks notice is an old concept that has gone the way of expecting your company to offer you a nice fat pension for your “loyalty”, until you die.
Now, I’ve always worked in sales, in highly technical markets; time and again I have seen other employees give their honorable 2 weeks, and the company showed them the door 5 minutes later, or had a guard escort them to their office with a big box to watch them pack up their belongings, and then show them the door in 10 minutes.
Why? because as far as they’re concerned you’ll spend two weeks gathering up your leads, deals, and anything proprietary to the company to use against them in your next company.
As far as “leaving a good impression”, that’s an old concept, too. Companies are not allowed by law to give any information out to a prospective employer other than to confirm that yes, you worked there from one date to another. It’s a question of liability – companies have been sued and lost almost every time for saying, “We let him or her go because of (name your issue)”. The issue was it was shown in court that was a subjective opinion, not fact. For liability reasons, they will rarely say your were good or bad.
It’s never hurt me in the 25 years I’ve had this policy, and I’ve had more than 5 jobs in that time. It may be different for salaried positions, I realize. But even managers who I was great friends with felt some measure of rejection when I left; it’s human nature to feel that way.
I would never quit without a two weeks notice because I would want to leave on a good note. You never know when you may need that job as a reference for someplace else.
My questions to you is, is it right for an employer to just let you go after 17 years of service without any reason, and more then ten minuets before you are ready to go for the day?
You were always told that you are doing a great job and would always stand behind you, and then this happens.
What would you do in this case?
I was left go from a position that I worked my way up, always received the highest salary increase given and was told you are doing a superior job! “Better than I ever thought you would do.” (Had never been in that field of work before). My employer’s wife came in. — left whole staff go, saying we were all being paid too much. Had a new staff waiting in the wings! So you betcha I would leave without giving notice. I wasn’t given two weeks Notice I was being left go and no severence pay.
I would give a typical notice if the employer treated me nice as an employee. That being said there is no reason to obsequiously butt kiss an employer as a deity just because they may be in a position of preponderance. These days especially there are way too many creepy employers that think they are somebody because of a their position.
I bailed on a job once. Supervisor told me to increase revenues on weekly forecast. At month end he’d expect you to defend to him why you did not make the infalted number.
I worked at a Wendy’s Restaurant.. Working the grill cooking the burgers. The cash registers went crashed, the cashiers used calculators to figure out the orders, and the assistant manager started calling the orders on the microphone. I had a migraine headache when I started work , and when he started to deep throat the microphone to call out the orders, I stopped what I was doing and told him that he was talking too loud in the mic and that he had to back off. and talk softer. Went back to flipping burgers, but it continued.
I went back to him 5 minutes later as the headache was getting worse , and told him again. This time I told him if he continued, there would be consequences. Went back to flipping burgers.
The third time I yelled, “HEY!!!!!! I am not deaf, I have a head ache, so STFU!”
He glared at me as if this was the first time he was being told, and intentionally spoke even louder. This time I walked up to him with the burger flipper in my hand, and in front of a crowd of guests at the front counter, I said, “I told you three times that I have a head ache and asked for you to stop yelling the orders. You didn’t. You obviously have no respect for your employees, and I have none for you. I quit. Go f*(% yourself!” I turned, threw the burger flipper into the cooking basket of fries, and left. (That thrashed the boiler of fries as it was now contaminated. It would need to be completely cleaned.)
The next day, when I dropped of the freshly laundered uniform, I told the manager what had happened, and explained myself. I told him how his assistant manager was an idiot with several different examples, and told him that the wrong person was leaving. He was sorry I was leaving,as we got along well, but nothing would be done. The assistant manager did not even get a talk about it, they just replaced me and on they went.
We’re supposed to give our loyalty, our hard work and 2 weeks notice. What are they supposed to give? They don’t give loyalty. Too many of them treat you like dirt. And then they don’t give the worker 2 weeks notice. Why is the situation only one way? Are we going to have to fight for worker’s rights ALL OVER AGAIN? Didn’t we do that a century or 2 ago? Wasn’t it hailed as one of our country’s biggest achievements? Many people died in the first fight for worker’s rights. Many of the rich owners have no qualms about that. It seems to me another fight is on the horizon!
The rich want to screw people. Very few owners care for people. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that they care. They don’t!
I think “Two Week Notices” are a dinosaur relic of the past. Now granted, you don’t want to “burn a bridge” by throwing your computer on the Ground, destroying stuff
but to expect someone to work out “two weeks” (after they already have somewhere else to be–and quit for a “reason”—the majority of people say they quit a “boss” (not a company)—I just turn them loose. Let them go.
I think the only “expected” time would be if you are on a Project Based Deadline, and common courtesy to your teammates would be to transition someone in. But, even then, doubt they’d want you to.
I’m guessing this “Relic” was from the 1950′s/60′s where people worked 30+ years at a job, so if they ever quit–they’d *HAVE TO HAVE* the former employer say good things about them.
Now THE AVERAGE Tenure of an employee is 18-months at a job. Hardly the commitment necessary for a 2-week notice. Besides, “checking references” is nonsense-The only references someone is gonna give a new employer is those that of course will say glowing things about them.
I think a much better judge is how “New companies” Interview–Logic Puzzle Based (to see how you think)–Group Interviews (to get different perspectives/Vibes from your potential Co-workers)–and hard skills based interviewing. (oh, so you sold so and so before, tell me about your largest client, how did you get in the door, tell me about the sales cycle, etc.etc.)
And all these scenarios can be interchange with Technical Worker Questions, most employees.
The entire “Interview Process” I think is HOGWASH anyway–I think everyone should be a “Contract Employee” for X-Period—to see if it works out—with a back end buyout if it does not work out. (figure out whatever your Cost to Hire is, 1/2 and give that as the “buy out clause”.
Friend did that at his current company—6-month “trial” (didn’t work–but had negotiated a $25,000 buy out, and even negotiated to work out, get paid for his final months). So was good all around.
As the owner of a small business, each employee counts. So when one of my “best” employee (so I thought) quit without any notice, I was stunned. He said that his new company demanded he start right away, or he would lose the position. The company is a multi-national, so I find the story implausible that they could not even allow one-week notice. I could have used even one week from him, as he quit when I already had a few people on vacation and short staffed. In any case, what goes around comes around. I live in an at-will employment state also, but I feel that it is a common courtesy.
Most states are employment at will. Employer can terminate employee without notice and without reason.
Also, when a notice is given of up to 2 weeks, employer can dismiss employee and not honor the notice.
Quiting a job without significant cause and verifiable facts in most cases means one cannot collect unemployment.
I never quit without notice, however my current situation is going to change my position on the subject. I’ve been employed at this place for 5 months, and in the past 2.5 months have barely had any work at all. In January alone I was only scheduled for 3 days! Yes 3 days out of a month, not weekly! I found new employment, but my old job never had that delayed paycheck and the new 1 did. That means that I would have to struggle through a 2 week period without any money if I gave notice and instead was fired. A small problem that would have gone unnoticed if I was actually making money prior. I barely can afford my bills as it is and am lucky to have my Grandma allow me to stay with her for now. Of it wasn’t for that I’d be screwed.
I’m 20 years old and i was employed as an apprentice in a local cafe. I completed my trial period before my boss told me he was looking to open a second cafe. I then found out he was looking to sell the business that i was employed under and He was using me to make his business profitable. No paperwork in my apprenticeship was ever submitted and the only time i existed on any paperwork was on my weekly payslip. If I didn’t walk out I’d probably be fired in a few weeks (the business didn’t sell)
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