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So a little backstory to this (little personal but I'll spare most of the details). I just graduated high school and I work at McDonalds (This is my first job). At home, it's just me, my dad, and my little sister. I have to babysit my sister as my dad works 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. With that being said, I have to work first shift. I work from 4:45am-2pm which is super overwhelming for me because I have really bad insomnia.

Before I started working, I'd stay up until I needed to sleep and then sleep until my sister got home from school. So I'd fall asleep around 6am and wake up around 3pm. That means I'm trying to fall asleep around 9pm (which doesn't happen) and wake up at 4:45am. I normally fall asleep around 3am so I go to work on 1 hour of sleep and work 8-9 hours. This whole ordeal is really messing with me and I decided that I want to quit so I don't keep messing my "life"? up. I've only been working around 2 weeks.

Another thing: I currently ride my bike to and from work. It has started getting cold where I live (around 30-40 degrees outside when I leave for work) so its difficult to get to and from work now. I don't have my drivers license and won't be able to for another month or two from now.

Do I need to give a two weeks notice or can I tell my manager about the situation I'm in and quit?

Edit: When I quit, I'm going to wait until I get my license to find another job. I plan on finding an overnight job that works with my insomnia.

Edit 2: I apologize if this post is jumpy and has grammatical/spelling mistakes. I'm currently really tired haha

  • @JoeStrazzere It sounds as though the OP has from the sister's bed time, presumably early evening, to when she gets home from school around 3 p.m. for some combination of work and sleep. The OP could work from e.g. 9:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. and sleep at the OP's preferred time of 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Patricia Shanahan Oct 18 at 22:38
  • @JoeStrazzere I've tried sleep medications. I don't use them because they "kill" me the next day. The last time I tried sleep meds, I couldn't function the next day. I was way too tired and felt super weak. It would definitely fit into my home schedule. My dad gets home at around 9pm which means I could start work around 10pm and I could get off around 5am. I'm not looking for a full time job (like McDonalds thinks I am) – Monchao Oct 18 at 22:45
  • Roughly, how old is your sister? Is she a toddler? or a teenager? – Stephan Branczyk Oct 19 at 5:02
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    Honestly, it sounds more like your sleeping schedule is off more than it is insomnia. If you force yourself up at that time for a long period of time, I believe that your body will adjust itself over time. Trying to force yourself to sleep at 9pm when you are used to going to sleep at 6am is not something that is easy to do. Time is needed to adjust. – さりげない告白 Oct 21 at 4:07
  • From the degrees, I assume you're in the US, can you confirm it? Resignation and notice also depends on the country – Juliana Karasawa Souza Oct 21 at 6:55
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Do I need to give a two weeks notice or can I tell my manager about the situation I'm in and quit?

Just quit. There is no need to give two weeks notice (unless McDonalds is the only employer where you're located, which you make it sound like it isn't). And even if you give two weeks notice, your duration at McDonalds will be too short to put on your resume anyway.

There is no need to explain anything. But if you explain things, the manager may be able to find you a different shift.

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    “your duration at McDonalds will be too short to put on your resume anyway.” Unless you’re applying for a job that requires a security clearance application that obligates you to list literally every workplace you’ve worked at for the last 10 or so years. – nick012000 Oct 19 at 8:41
  • @nick012000, Sure. – Stephan Branczyk Oct 19 at 8:58
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    Not that it is not an option, but I would like to highlight that just no showing up for work is an extremely hostile action that affects not only management but others employees as well, with possible later effects as a sort of "negative networking" (the OP applies for a job and someone else there happens to be a current McDonald's employee who remembers that the OP is the kind of guy who may just not show up for work...). It has to be used exclusively as a last resource. – SJuan76 Oct 19 at 9:58
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    No no no no, NO. This is a terrible answer. It's not the employer's fault that OP can't deal with the shift schedule, and they haven't done anything wrong. Quitting on the spot isn't great, but just not showing up gives your manager a really crappy day for no reason at all that they don't deserve. Be a decent human being and treat people fairly. – Tom W Oct 20 at 15:25
  • @TomW, I've removed the part about not showing up entirely. But just to be clear, I was only suggesting that as a last resort in case he felt the manager was a bully and was going to intimidate him. – Stephan Branczyk Oct 21 at 0:12
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To your direct question: you could probably just walk out ( or be a no-show). You might not be able to work at McDonald's again, but if you think you can find other work easily enough, then that's up to you.

However, I don't think you should - because I don't think any job is something to just give up:

A few years ago I found myself having a small career break (for a couple of reasons - one of which being to move to another country).

Over that break, my daily rhythm shifted to going to sleep about 3 or 4 am and waking up at 10 am. (I'd had a similar pattern as a university student - luckily I didn't have many 9 am lectures over those 3 years)

After I moved to Australia and began a new job search I shifted my clock back a couple of hours - and then a couple more when I'd got a new job so that I'd be able to get up at 6 am to start work.

It wasn't easy - it took more than a couple of weeks to get used to the new rhythm, but I managed it after while. I even ended up going further so I would sleep from about 11 pm to 5 am so I could get a run in the morning.

Your time-shift is more significant and more drastic - however, since most of the world works around "core" hours, it would probably be a good idea to try and stick it out a bit longer than the two weeks you already have.

I strongly recommended turning off all screens (TV, computer, and phone) at least an hour or so before your planned bedtime. I'd also avoid caffeine for about 8 hours before bedtime.

Make a ritual of your bedtime - mine is pretty simple: turn on a low powered bedside lamp, get ready for bed, and then read (paper book, not screen) a little. Sometimes I don't get through more than a page, sometimes I have to put the book down after a chapter. But the point is the ritual - it signals your brain that it should be getting ready to sleep.

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    Thanks for your response. I personally can find work around me fairly easy. Theres tons of businesses around me including fast food and other jobs that have graveyard shifts (which is what I'm going to switch to). I'd do that with McDonalds but the one I work at closes at 12am. I've tried going to bed earlier and earlier but it hasn't been working well. I literally can't fall asleep even though I feel tired, if you know what I mean. I've laid there for four hours just tossing and turning trying to fall asleep. I've also tried no electronics and caffeine but that has little effect either – Monchao Oct 19 at 1:22
  • Yeah, it isn't easy to shift - and it will take more than the couple of weeks you've been working - but it's worth sticking it out. – HorusKol Oct 19 at 2:09
  • Reading in bed is not advisable when you have insomnia or sleeping problems. The bed should only be used for sleeping, and nothing else, that way bed will subconsciously be associated with sleep. – Mark Rotteveel Oct 19 at 14:05
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    @MarkRotteveel Fair enough - but it doesn't sound like the OP has insomnia - they seem to be able to get a solid block of sleep in and on a regular cycle, it's just at a different time off day to "normal". – HorusKol Oct 19 at 23:04
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If you are sure you are going to quit, I suggest discussing the matter with your manager. Hanging on for even a day or two might make the manager's job a lot easier than if you walk out immediately, and keep the possibility of working there again in the future.

The question suggests that you attempted to shift 6 hours earlier in one jump. That is not likely to work well. It is much easier to get to sleep a little earlier each night, until you are getting a full night's sleep.

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    Thats honestly what I've been trying to do but it just hasn't been working out for me for whatever reason. The insomnia started back when I first started middle school so its kind of like an internal clock type of thing? I don't know what to put what I'm thinking into words. – Monchao Oct 19 at 1:17

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