Capitalism’s A Bitch

Note to all capitalists: When you hire someone as a temporary contractor, not only can you let them go at any time, but they can leave after fulfilling the terms of their contract. See, this contractor thing works both ways. If there is sufficient competition for employees that they can get a better job, they will. That’s how capitalism works – competition is what drives business forward; survival of the fittest.

So, don’t be surprised when I tell you I’m leaving six weeks into a 12 week project because another employer is offering me a full-time position with significantly greater pay and with benefits. Our contact says I can leave with two weeks notice. I’m fulfilling the terms of the contact. If the situation were reversed and the project funding was eliminated, you would have no issue letting me go immediately – never mind two weeks notice.

Don’t yell at me about how hard it will be to replace me. Tough shit. I got a better offer and I’m taking it. That’s how capitalism works. If you want loyalty, hire permanent employees, not contractors.

Huh? I thought capitalism meant I get some gimmic rolling, then let the peons with no initiative do all the scut work while I go home to a big house full of big toys and a wife with big tits. Oh wait - that’s consumerism.

On behalf of capitalists everywhere, I approve of your decision to take a higher paying job.

I would say if they want loyalty then offer top positions, wages, conditions and benefits. My state is right to work, so even as a full time employee, if I get a better offer, I’m gone.

So, your current boss thinks “Please save me some hassle by giving up your chance at a full time position to work for us for less money until we cut you loose in a month and a half” is some kind of convincing argument to stay? Excuse me while I snicker.


Doesn’t seem like it would be hard. Just offer you a permanent position at a higher wage than your job offer. That might be expensive, but it’s not hard.

I dunno. Contract or not, quitting in the middle of a project is a bit of a dick move. It certainly won’t help your reputation.

I’m sure it’s going on his permanent record,:rolleyes:

Good for you, you did the right thing, I think. Especially in this economy, especially if you have a family counting on you.

And don’t think, for even one second, that he wasn’t trying to play you and intimidate you into staying, entirely for his benefit and regardless of the cost to you. I’m glad you didn’t go for it, keep up the good work!

I think it depends on the circumstances. Personally, I would probably see if I could negotiate with my new bosses to start after the current project was done-- ideally, they would admire the fact that I wanted to finish rather than quit. But if the relationship with the current employer was already shaky, then fuck 'em. Capitalism, like life, is a bitch. Or so I hear. :slight_smile:

Reality bites. Life’s a bitch, and then you die. Sometimes, the dick move is the smart move.

Concur. Bullying is not just a middle-school thing. Good for you for not bowing to his intimidation.

ETA: congrats on the new job! :slight_smile:


I guess me getting laid off in the middle of a contract could be considered a dick move too and it probably didn’t help the reputation of the company I was working for (at least with me), but they didn’t seem to care and the investors were happy the program was cut. In fact, analysts far and wide lauded the company for trimming waste and not one person outside the company commented on it being a dick move…

This stuff goes both ways and loyalty to a company or project is misplaced these days. Companies are only “loyal” to a project, employee, or contract as long as they are making some minimum level of profit, and sometimes not even then. Employees, contractors or otherwise, should use the same calculus to determine whether they stay in position or not. If Bag of Mostly Water can make more profit elsewhere and can improve his/her lot in life, leaving in the middle of a contact is the smart thing to do and NOT a dick move. It’s business, not personal, just business.

Good for you, OP. I quit in the middle of a really bad office assignment once, to go to a once in a lifetime opportunity job. The temp agency actually threatened to sue me! Holy God, where do you get balls that big? Like all temp work isn’t exactly as you stated, they kick me out with zero notice for no reason at all if they feel like it, and I also have the right to walk away if I feel like it. Employers, man. {Shakes head wonderingly.}

Unless you are supremely talented and well educated the employer is in the driver’s seat. Once I had to sign an agreement not to accept a job with a competitor of my employer for six months after leaving the company. Who would hire me? A competitor of my employer. That is where my experience was.

There is a significant subsection of the American population who seem to believe that companies and corporations are justified in making rational business decisions based on issues of profitability and economic gain, but that individuals should disregard those issues in favor of moral calculations about “right” and “wrong” or “good” and “bad.”

For these folks, a company laying off people when times are tough demonstrates sound business practice; a person leaving a job in the middle of a project demonstrates selfishness and a poor work ethic.

There has been similar thinking in evidence during the mortgage crisis, where banks that foreclose on people who miss mortgage payments are just taking care of business, but people who walk away from underwater mortgages and leave the property to the bank (as provided for in the mortgage contract) are labelled irresponsible and selfish.

In some cases, yeah, but if this were the kind of project where the OP quitting in the middle would be a dick move, why’d they give him a contract that allows him to quit with two weeks’ notice?

A contract is a contract. If you are following the terms laid out in it then fuck’em.

If they wanted you there they should have locked you into the term of the project. They didn’t do that as they wanted to give themselves an out.

Congrats on the new job.

I’d go even further and argue that, where two parties engage in a contract to do business like this, using the term “dick move” is not only inappropriate, it is completely irrelevant, because it injects into this business arrangement a presumption that the parties can and should be held up to conditions that are not explicitly set out in the contract.

If your contract allows for termination on two weeks’ notice, then terminating on two weeks’ notice is neither a dick move nor an admirable move. It is simply abiding by the terms of the contract; nothing more, nothing less. It’s not like terminating the relationship is some minor, nebulous issue that might have been forgotten when the contract was negotiated; it is a condition central to the relationship, and the conditions of termination were clearly laid out in the document.

Don’t ask someone to sign one set of conditions and then expect to guilt them into doing the exact opposite of what you’ve spelled out in the contract.


I’d be interested to know what other types of conditions Alessan believes should be implicit in contracts, even if they are not actually spelled out. What magical formula should we use to calculate whether conforming to the terms of the contract is a “dick move” or not?

The best you can do is leave things in as good of shape as you’d like if you inherited the job. Don’t burn your bridges.

If you want people to finish out your projects, you should hire them for the duration of the projects. The OP’s prior employer has nobody to blame but itself; I doubt the OP demanded that the contract include an opt-out clause.

Every contract includes some implied terms. It’s a firmly accepted principle of contract law.