How do I quit w/o feeling guilty about it?

I’m in a strange situation. Well, maybe not that strange- I’m in the process of applying for a job. The job I’m applying for has a very drawn-out recruiting process- You apply, wait a few weeks, get notified of an exam date, wait a few weeks, take the exam, wait a few weeks, get your results, and if you pass (I did :smiley: ) wait a few weeks, and you get interviewed. Win them over in the interview and you start the 8-week long training. I had applied back in mid-June and currently am waiting to go in for an interview.

The problem is my current job. I work at a tutoring company, and while I enjoy the job in some respects, I’m kind of fed up with the working situation. The pay, raises, and way they handle instructor absences (you have to call to find a substitute or you get written up) is no longer worth it. This summer, since I wasn’t substitute teaching, I worked as close to full-time as they’d let me (the position isn’t full-time, but they were willing to let me work 39.99999 hours if I really wanted to.) I realized that even working that job 39 hours a week, 6 days a week, I’d only be earning the princely sum of $24,000- in fact last year I only earned $15,000 from it.

Suffice to say I’m looking forward to a job offering comparable weekly hours, two consecutive days off, awesome health benefits, retirement/pension, sick/vacation time, the whole nine yards. I guess the problem is that in some respects, I have no spine in situations. Right now I’ve kept my mouth shut about my new job, because there’s still no guarantee I’ll get it or when I would start. If I told them I was working another job soon, they’d likely cut my hours, and if the new job fell through, I’d be kind of screwed. I do intend on giving at least a two-week notice, but for this company, they often want more notice than that. I got kind of nervous because another instructor gave her two-week notice, yet was told on her last day she had to find substitutes to fill in her hours the following week because two weeks wasn’t long enough to hire someone new/rearrange the schedule. *They actually sat her down in the office and made her call people *. :eek:

If I’m quitting, I should feel no further obligation to the company, but I’m afraid the confrontation is going to stress me out to the point ‘worrying’ about what’ll happen if I can’t find subs when I put in my two-week notice. I know its totally irrational. If I knew definitively that I was going to start my new job and when I’d tell them.

Here’s the thing, what can they do to do other than fire you if you don’t comply?

As you said, they won’t give you a full schedule so they don’t have to pay benefits. Make you find a sub if you are sick and they don’t handle promotions and raises well. What loyalty have they shown you?

Exactly. Give your notice and it’s then THEIR problem to replace you. They can WANT more than 2 weeks, but that doesn’t mean they’ll GET it. If they try to “sit you down and make you call people,” say “Screw this” and walk out the door. After all, you have a new job to go to. I do understand the feeling of not wanting to leave on a bad note, but honestly, at some point you have to set a limit and move on.

Get stinking drunk later in the day?

More seriously, you are moving on to a better situation. You owe them nothing at all. Give your two weeks notice and work it. If they try and pull that last day ‘Get a sub for us’ crap on you, WALK OUT. I would however wait until your new job is a certainty before breathing a word of it to anyone in your workplace.

I agree. Give them as much notice as you reasonably can, then refuse to worry about it any more. They cannot literally force you to stay longer than you want or to call replacements, the worst they can do is fire you, and obviously if they cannot find a replacement then they won’t do that either. I have had jobs where the last 2 weeks was hell, but it was only 2 weeks. Don’t try to screw them over, but don’t let them walk all over you either.

You get better at this with practice. Expecting more than 2 week notice for this type of position is delusional. However, if they want you to spend some of your last week (on the clock) filling the following 2 weeks’ schedule or posting recruitment flyers, I don’t really see anything wrong with that. Delusional, disorganized, yes, but not inherently wrong.

Rest assured that all over the US, every day, people are leaving positions of much greater responsibility with 2 weeks’ notice.

Timing may be in your favor if you leave soon. Fall brings a lot of college students to campus, and they would be a good recruiting pool for your job. Maybe people who leave right before Christmas or summer put your employer in more of a lurch.

Would your new job allow you to work a few nights tutoring to transition out of the job? Not that you owe this, but if you want to make nice you could offer to do this for up to 2 more weeks. If they can’t replace a tutor in a month, though, they are further behind the curve than you need to help them out with.

When the time comes, be matter of fact about it, don’t slack off during the two weeks, offer what you can reasonably offer to help with the transition, but don’t get sucked into any drama.

Some good advice above.

Once you put in your notice, you’re telling them that your responsibilities are coming to an end and that it’s their duty to find your replacement and manage the transition. Oh sure, they can ask you for the Sun and Moon, but you are under no obligation to give them anything but two weeks of your usual workload.

There is no need for Guilt. You don’t owe them anything more than you are doing. You’re not held in slavery or bondage, you’re not oath-sworn to the job or to anyone there. It is a job, nothing more.

On the other side of the coin, do you honestly think that they would show you the kind of loyalty and respect that you think they’re demanding of you? Doesn’t happen.

A former boss once asked me “Where is your loyalty to the company?” I responded with “Where is the company’s loyalty to me?”. He was smart enough to see my point.

There Is No Confrontation Here. Don’t allow there to be one. Your boss may get angry when you quit, but that’s because they’re now upset about how much work they’re going to have to do to replace you. It’s only tangientially about YOU. Keep that in mind and don’t allow it to be put on your shoulders, don’t accept any guilt trip.

Heck, given your circumstances, my answer to any anger would be;

“Look, I got an offer for more money and better benefits. It isn’t about you. It’s about making MY life easier and more comfortable. That’s all there is to it. Now I’m sorry that this makes things a little difficult for you, but I’m sure that you understand that this is about my needs and my life.”

Echoing others, you have nothing to feel guilty for. Your current job sounds pretty crappy, actually, so they should be grateful they had you for as long as they did. Part-time jobs paying $12/hour with shitty schedules and no benefits don’t have a lot of leverage, especially in an expensive area like San Jose.

Personally, here’s how I’d have the conversation:

you: “I wanted to let you know that I’ll be leaving to start a new job in two weeks, so consider this my formal notice.”

them: “That’s not enough time! You have to help us find someone else!”

you: “Sorry, I don’t want to do that. I’m happy to continue tutoring for the next two weeks if you’d like, but part of the reason I’m leaving is so I don’t have to call people and try to get them to come work here. Let me know when/if you’d like me to come in and tutor.”

them: “We understand, please accept this solid gold medallion as a token of our esteem and deepest affection.”

If you don’t tell them off, you are probably ahead of the curve. Unless you’ve signed some sort of contract which specifies otherwise, two weeks notice is a courtesy.

FWIW, I have the same problem and posted here about it 4 months ago.

I’m having the same trouble again. I got this job barely after my old company shut down. Now my old company is back with new management. It would be more pay, less work, and better environment if I went back but so far I can’t work up the courage too. These guys gave me a job when I needed one and it just seems wrong to leave them hanging. I guess I choose to think of it as an unfortunate consequence of being a dedicated employee. :smack:

Good luck.

How much notice would they give you?

If it is a small family business, and you are like family, then sure, you owe them.

In this case, you only owe them a 2 week notice as it is bad form to burn bridges. Any company that won’t give their employees FT hours as they are too fucking cheap to give benefits deserves nothing but “bye”.

Do not give notice until you get a solid offer, however.

It’s not in your job description to hire a new tutor, right? You’re not getting paid the salary of a hiring person or recruiter, right? So, if they try to force you to find someone to fill your hours, use that phrase that’s getting ragged on in another forum on this very board: You don’t pay me enough to do that.


And about the bridges thing, is it always bad form to burn a bridge? Maybe it’s a bridge you’d never want to cross again. Burning it would reaffirm this. The only scenario I see is if you have to work for a old boss at another company, otherwise, burning a bridge to ACME Shit Hole might not be the worst thing in the world. Probably only works for fast food joints though.


As someone who just left a company in rather selfish circumstances (went on paid vacation, then worked one more day, then left) just repeat to yourself: it’s just business. This sort of thing happens all the time in every company. It’s what HR and recruitment departments are for. It’s no biggie.

Be as loyal to the company as you can, every minute you’re in its employ, but when the time comes to move on, you must look after yourself. If you can do this without dropping the company in the shit, well done you. But if you can’t, bad luck company.

Put it this way: if the company wanted to choose a new supplier for its stationery, it would, even if that meant putting a mom & pop stationery company out of business. Similarly, if the company had to lay you off to survive, it would drop you like you’re hot.

It’s just business.

I missed the edit window, but meant to say “As someone who’s been laid off four times…”

Also, despite your current employer’s past behavior, don’t be surprised if when you give your two weeks’ notice they terminate you immediately.

Somebody posts this on Ars every time one of these kind of threads come up, so I figured I’d do it here.

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.

No freaking way would I have stayed and made phone calls.

If it were me, I would leave a note on my desk on the last day explaining my regret at having to wave notice due to past corporate policies.

Cutting back hours and intimidating people into doing the manager’s job are not actions that would encourage 2 weeks notice.

While I’m thinking about it let me give an example of what CAN be done by management. In my office we had a guy put in his notice and his boss called him into his office to discuss how he should proceed in his new job. He gave him all kinds of pointers and good advise. He really wanted his employee to do well. In a round-about way he ended up talking the guy out of it. The new job was an opportunity that could have really messed this guy’s life up if it went south.

I really like everyone’s feedback on the issue- it makes me feel more confident.

My best guess is that since most part-time employees there are grad students (me and one other guy are the exception), they are already accustomed to having to work very hard. This could be a blatant generization about grad students, but I really see them as people who are taking their education quite seriously, and really embraced the ‘work hard now for a payoff X years later’ attitude. Unfortunately this seems to make them easy to take advantage of, since I have never witnessed an employee refusing to find subs on principle.

The rules are outrageous, but I know I’m not alone in having to deal with retarded policies, otherwise Scott Adams wouldn’t have been inspired to write Dilbert :o

It is no surprise they are always short on people, and act incredibly naive about ‘why there is such a shortage of qualified applicants’

Maybe because the guy that collects my garbage every week makes more money than we do…

And what would they have done on her last day if she hadn’t called people to fill her schedule? Fire her? :rolleyes:

You give them your two week’s notice, thank them for the opportunity, and let them deal with the fallout. It’s why you get paid $15,000 a year and they get paid (I assume) more than that.