Today was my last day at work. At least I thought so.

A few weeks ago I officially quit my job and told my bosses that I have remaining vacation days and will thus leave in early October with my contract running out in November.

However, we never discussed specific dates. We have a holiday calendar which gets updated every now and then but was broken and not visible to me for the last few weeks (we are a small startup so things are not that organized).

Based on my memory and, assuming that I have 19 days remaining holiday, I just set a date for my last day at work by myself, based on which I though was correct.

Today my boss asked me about my official leaving date (according to my contract and not my last day at work, he knew that that was today) and my remaining holidays. A bit surprised I replied that I checked it myself and that it should be okay. He replied that he will check it and write me an email the next days.

Today after work I double checked, just to be sure, and noticed that I wrongly assumed that one day is public holiday, plus I may be out by one day in my calculations (not quite sure). So instead of 19 days it may just be, 19 - 1 (due to miscalculation) - 1 (due to wrongly assumed public holiday) = 17 days.

It actually does not make that much sense to come in again for work, since I said goodbye to everyone and finished the project. I left with a good relationship and do not want to appear as if I want to sneak some extra holiday. Should I just wait and hope they do not notice or write an email apologizing and informing them they can discount the additional hours from my last paycheck?

  • Take it as unpaid leave. Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 16:17

2 Answers 2


If you want to leave a very strong lasting impression (which will turn into good referrals in the future), you will email and let them know that you think you miscalculated and only had 17 days instead of 19 days.

As you say, it doesn't make sense to go in and work when the work is already wrapped up. But it does make a lot of sense to leave the impression of being super honest, even at the cost of a couple of days pay.

Since you are saying your think you miscalculated, they may ask for more information on why, or they make adjust your last paycheck down, or they may leave your last paycheck as it is. The ball is in their court at that point.

  • 8
    I agree totally with this. Good one. Keep the email very low key. "Hi Dave, say I believe I may have miscalculated one holiday day when I left, i forgot about the public holiday. What to do?" DON'T go on and on about it, phrase it all in one short sentence.
    – Fattie
    Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 22:32
  • 4
    @Fattie - very good advice. Keep it simple and generic, and let them figure it out if they wish. Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 22:35
  • 4
    this will have you leaving free and clear with no ethical issues..
    – Kilisi
    Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 6:21
  • @Kilisi well, not free. Actually it will leave him clear, but in the negative. Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 18:18
  • 1
    Are referrals from startups a thing? Like if you wanted to move from one startup to another, is getting a referral from the previous startup a thing that actually happens in the startup world? In my experience, referrals largely don't exist in tech. Only relationships. Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 18:19

Estimating that you probably are going to lose about $1k or so if you give the money back. Why would you lose so much money just to avoid 2 days of work? Because you already said goodbye? No one will think twice about it, go spend 2 days working and don't throw away so much money.

  • 1
    1k$ per day?! Not everyone has that salary... Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 18:48
  • 2 days. That is average pay, before taxes, for a bay area dev who is neither senior nor junior. Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 18:50
  • Where does OP say that they are a bay area dev? OP doesn't mention money, so that may or may not be a concern for them. Seems to me that OP already does not plan on returning to the job unless forced to. Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 19:12
  • Well, no matter what, they are throwing away a big chunk of change. Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 19:15
  • It means around 360 k$ per year before taxes...faaar away from what we see in the old Europe Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 21:25

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