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Is it okay to quit a job with no notice?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Pete_S, May 30, 2002.

  1. Pete_S

    Pete_S Stunt Coordinator

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    First things first, I'm a 17 year old (just graduated from high school two weeks ago) who's been employed at Kmart for 21 months. Kmart was/is my first job. I work 5-6 days a week, and in the whole time I've been employed there, I've called in sick once. I'm going to college next fall, so I've never planned on having Kmart be a part of my longterm future.

    I've put up with what I believe to be are terrible working conditions for quite some time now. I'm a part-time worker who comes very close to working full-time hours on a weekly basis. I'm one of the best workers in the store, and I'm not trying to brag (who would brag about this kind of thing?) I'm able to work in nearly every department in the store (checkouts, self-scan, layaway, electronics, sporting goods, hardware, toys, housewares, health and beauty, pantry, garden shop, etc.), and it isn't uncommon for me to work four or five different departments in a given week. When several of the managers see that I'm working, they give me extra things to do that other part-timers like myself wouldn't be given to do. Coworkers jokingly call me "Kmart's bitch."

    The fact that I work so many different places makes me seem quite replaceable - if I were to cease working there, it wouldn't be hard to replace me; five different people might pick up an extra day of work per week, and that's it. There would be no gaping hole if I left.

    Anyway, why am I in such a hurry to get out of the place? Well, not only do I absolutely abhor going in to work these past couple of months (I used to not hate the place), but on a solid 75% of my days off, I'm asked to come in and work for people who have called in sick or requested days off after schedules have been posted. Now, when I started working at Kmart I made the mistake of saying yes most of the time they called and asked me to come in. But now, even though I routinely say no, they continue calling me. Today they've called and left messages on my machine twice, just asking me to "call back when you get this message."

    What's worse, sometimes I'm asked point-blank if I "have any plans" for such and such a day, and if I could work for a "few hours." After I agree to work for a "few hours," I'm told that I can come in for a full eight hour day. Yeah, okay, great.

    Oh, and get this: On numerous occasions where I've said that I couldn't come in on a day off, or I couldn't stay late for someone who called in (ie. I'm already scheduled 2-6, but they want me to stay until 10), the managers get mad at me! Hello, I'm not the person who called in!

    Most recently, after agreeing to work for a "few hours" one Friday a couple weeks ago, I've ended up doing all sorts of painting that the district manager requested be done. It's all touching up doors, walls, etc., and I've already worked three eight-hour days (that I was scheduled to have off) doing it. For some reason, my managers have come to the conclusion that it is my responsibility to get it done. (This is probably why they've already called twice today.)

    I understand that I'm partially to blame for not standing up to these people, but with this still being my first and only "real world" job, and still being only 17, I guess I'm still a bit afraid to stand up for myself. I really can't believe that these managers feel it's okay to pull this kind of crap. From talking to coworkers (the ones too old to call me "Kmart's bitch"), I'm not the only one who feels that I'm being taken advantage of.

    So, back to my question. Is it okay to walk in tonight and leave my stupid red vest in front of the personnel door? It wouldn't be the first time a worker there has quit without notice (just about a month ago four people quit or were fired in the same week), and you know, I can really see why. Kmart is a terrible place to work!

    I've got three grand in the bank and only $150/month car payments to make, so I've got the time to find another job... I don't know. I just really don't think I could handle another two weeks of this nonsense. Help!
     
  2. Daniel Swartz

    Daniel Swartz Second Unit

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    This isn't the answer you want to hear, but I think that notice is definitely required ... perhaps contractually so. At the very least, it makes them think that you are acting responsibly and professionally. Who knows... perhaps they will offer you a higher salary or more flexible hours in order to keep you.

    Also, an angry manager might ruin a future job for you with a poor recommendation. Even if you don't list Kmart on your resume, a simple background check will pull it up (most corporations now run them) and could potentially harm your chances at a position after college.

    Two weeks isn't that bad.... Just grit your teeth and tough it out content with the knowledge that you acted professionally.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Tony_Faville

    Tony_Faville Supporting Actor

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    From a personal viewpoint, no, it's not okay to just walk off a job. Even if it doesn't affect you getting a job elsewhere in the future, it is not how a responsible or mature person acts.

    The fact you asked the question in the first place shows that you already knew the answer. You were just hoping someone would say "heck yeah! walk off!".

    Good luck in whatever you do.
     
  4. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    I walked out of a job once. Burger King, when I was 16. Came in 10 minutes early and the manager (who lovingly referred to the counter girls as "counter bitches") said something to the effect of, "About fu**ing time you got here." I just turned around and left. Finally got tired of his attitude.
    When he was fired for selling drugs right there in the store a few months later, the district manager called and re-hired me. [​IMG] Worked there for about another year and gave two weeks notice when I left.
    As for you: Do whatever you want. At your age, it doesn't really matter. If you walk out, however, don't plan to use anyone there as a reference.
     
  5. Pete_S

    Pete_S Stunt Coordinator

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    Sigh, you guys are right. I guess I'd never be able to justify just up and quitting to myself. I'll go in tonight and put in my two week's notice, though. Thanks for keeping my feet on the ground.
     
  6. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    Well, I'm obviously in the minority here, but I don't think a 17 year old walking out on a job at K-Mart is going to have any severe long term repercussions.
    When I was 17, I did exactly the same thing at 7-11.
    Two weeks later, I had a new job--at double the pay. [​IMG]
     
  7. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Definitely hand in your two-weeks notice.
     
  8. BrettB

    BrettB Producer

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    You've come to the right conclusion. I had to get onto my daughter last week for quiting a job without giving notice.

    While it does sound as if you're taken advantage of to some degree, it doesn't sound bad enough to not do the right thing.
     
  9. Bill_D

    Bill_D Supporting Actor

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    Pete,

    Hang in there and give the two week notice.

    The store obviously depends on you a great deal. The
    recognition and respect is totally lacking but, believe
    me, they are quite aware of your contributions. This
    will become quite evident to you in his/her/their facial
    expressions when you give your notice.

    And, I totally disagree with your statement concerning
    the ease of finding your replacement.

    Give your notice and don't burn any bridges. You never
    know who you will run into in the future.

    Keep the Blue Light Specials coming!
     
  10. Jeff Pryor

    Jeff Pryor Supporting Actor

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    Pete, I've quit jobs by just walking out at the end of the day and never coming back, and I've NEVER had trouble finding another job. When I was 17, I was in a very similiar situation, only I worked at a grocery store and my supervisor was giving new-hires more hours than me. He was always hounding me about every little thing but being buddy-buddy with all the other stock-boys and even giving them beer during nights when we worked and the store was closed. I was just as good and just as fast as everyone else, but I really got tired of him ceaselessly being on my case so I quit that job with no worries whatsoever and went back to school. Personally, I wouldn't put up with the BS you're going through. People need days off and places like KMart and such don't work that way, they want you to have no life and be their robot bitch 24/7, which is why I've never worked in situations like that since. That 2-week notice thing is all just a bunch of baloney. Do you think you would get a notice to be fired?? No. And I'm sure there is no contractual obligation to give anything, it probably states you can be terminated without prior notice and can quit without notice as well. I mean, c'mon, what is KMart gonna do, sue you? I don't think so. Sounds to me like you've got a good chunk in the bank, and I think quitting this shit job wouldn't hurt you at all. Don't you think it's time to say goodbye to the bastards who like to use you, and do your own thing? Trust me, you'll be a lot happier, and you have your whole life in front of you. Regardless of what some people say, you'll be just fine. Of course, this is all your decision to make.
     
  11. Bill Cowmeadow

    Bill Cowmeadow Second Unit

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    Giving notice is the polite thing to do. But if you're subject to constant ridicule at the hands of older, more seasoned employees/supervisors, and you have made your concerns known to no avail, then by all means, walk off the job and leave them in a bind. They deserve it.
     
  12. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    Even more important, briefly explain in your letter why you're quitting. HR personnel are usually clueless as for the reasons why many of their employees quit their jobs. Just be diplomatic and don't be rude. They might even let you leave right away and just pay you the two weeks.
     
  13. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    I walked out of a job at Carl's Jr when I was in high school. But then I already had another job and never planned to use a fast food joint as a reference. None of the jobs I applied for after finishing grad school wanted to know anything about what I did during high school.

    But it's up to you. However, if I may give some advice about another topic. There are two ways to look at what K-mart has been doing to you. You can look at it, quite rightly, that they are taking advantage of you. However, no one can take advantage of you without your allowing it to happen. No means no regardless of how much they whine. Once you say no then go back on it, it gets harder to do in the future, but it can still be done. "I'm not coming in" means exactly that and not "If you bug me enough I'll come in."

    Another way to look at this is it might be a chance at a shot at a managerial position. It could be the opening up of opportunities beyond the normal high school job. Or maybe not. Maybe they'll just continue to work you too much without recognizing how valuable you are. You pay your money and roll the dice. Only you can figure out if the benefits are worth the risks.
     
  14. MikePeroni

    MikePeroni Stunt Coordinator

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    Politely explain your side of things, ask for a nice raise of 2 bucks or more per hour. If they dont comply, be prepared to give your 2 week notice. Remember, keep your head up, and dont let ANYONE take advantage of you or intimidate you.

    Good luck, Mike
     
  15. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Legally, you could just leave, but morally, it isn't nice!

    At any rate, if you're doing close to but under 40 hours a week they have this thing planned out. It would be fun to get together with another employee and set it up so that they should call you in to replace an absent worker, but if they do it would put you over 40, and possibly get you more benefits.

    If they don't call you, you are being used. However, if you want to quit now you may as well have some fun with it. When they give you another 'project' just blow up and yell out, "Forget it, I quit!"

    No notice, no problem!

    Glenn
     
  16. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    honestly it's Kmart, nothing personal but the way they're staffed they probably wouldn't be in a spot if you did. I would leave what notice you could and not worry about it, but that's just me.
    I don't know how they schedule but you could change you avalability to one day a week just an hour or two a day so they can't schedule you, then give your notice [​IMG] would produce the same effect as just walking out..
     
  17. Paul O

    Paul O Stunt Coordinator

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    Giving notice is the right thing to do as a responsible adult - kmart won't miss you though - unfortunately they and wal-mart and most other low-wage chain jobs assume the worst about you anyway given their employment tests (Q. Is it ever appropriate to steal? A. hmmm..only when your sure you won't get caught), drug-tests, etc.
     
  18. Danny R

    Danny R Supporting Actor

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    I'd just walk out myself. This isn't a job offering "real" benefits (retirement/health/paid vacation, etc). Advanced notice is polite, but it won't hurt you any if you don't. (and things could certainly grow even more uncomfortable during the two weeks if you do stay).

    Companies like K-mart, and fast food companies are another example, often treat their teens just the way you were treated. They call them in at all hours, and expect you to do whatever they say. The idea is that they know you are not going to be a "permanent" employee, and they actually expect you to quit at any moment. Thus rather than take the time to culture you, they rather take the approach that they will get whatever work they can from you. Basically you are expendable, so they prefer to run you at high gear until you burn out, and then they just pop in a replacement.

    Have you ever told your boss you would NOT come in to work, even when it was your day off? I have a friend who did just that this past month, and found himself fired.

    These places know there are tons of teens out there who want jobs, and they can always replace you. Don't give it a second thought.
     
  19. Hugh M

    Hugh M Second Unit

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    if there is a reason you really don't want to work there, and you think its ok for you to just stop going, then leave. Not to mention the fact that it is usually important when in customer service related jobs to like your job, or do an excellent job of hiding the fact that you don't. but it is good advice to have a job secured elsewhere before or shortly after you leave this one.

    many companies don't mind sending workers home with their last checks, without notice. Or cutting or adding hours without notice. cutting pay without prior notice, or changing job titles without notice.

    When you work for someone who deserves a two week notice, you should give it to them.

    When you are in a role that would greatly affect the employer if you were to leave without notice, and they have kept their part of the deal in the past, then it is recommended that you give them that courtesy.

    But do call and tell them you won't be coming to work. No shows really get under my skin.
     
  20. Allen W

    Allen W Stunt Coordinator

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    I would say absolutely give the 2 weeks notice. Not because K-Mart deserves it in this situation, just because it is the professional thing to do. You might not think so now, but this job might lead to bigger and better things down the road (and I don't just mean working up the chain within K-Mart.

    It is a small world and you never know when you might meet someone who was impressed with your work or professionalism that can connect you up with something better down the road. I started a min. wage job in college and two years later was managing the fifty person department. I just treated what other people thought was a crappy job as a professional. When I was ready to leave on my terms for something better I had management experience, $5 million dollar budget responsibility and the references to back it up. Lots of people wanted to talk to me then, and I had several offers to pick from.
     

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