I'm currently working as a barista at Starbucks. I've only worked there for a week.

The manager made me cry yesterday after yelling at me when I messed up an order. I have no prior experience in this field but feel like I'm being expected to have everything memorized after only working three days. I also end up working an extra hour everyday and am not paid for it.

I feel that this line of work is not for me and I would like to resign.

How do I go about quitting properly, in a professional manner where this won't leave a bad mark on my employment history?

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    Why are you working ANY time unpaid? Your manager might in fact be breaking the law if he/she is asking you to do this. What country are you working in? Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 12:17
  • I echo @maple_shaft. Walk to the nearest labour/employment office. Tell your story. You might get compensated.
    – pyfork
    Commented Jan 24, 2015 at 3:05

5 Answers 5


How do I go about quitting properly, in a professional manner where this won't leave a bad mark on my employment history?

Leaving a bad job after only a week will not leave a bad mark on your employment history no matter how you leave.

Unless you 1) believe the manager will actually be interesting in changing their management style or 2) are willing to fight to be paid those unpaid hours then there is no reason to bring those bad aspects of the job up.

Type or write up a letter of resignation. It doesn't need to be anything fancy or official, but it needs to clearly state your last day of work:

Manager [name],

This serves notice that I'm resigning my position as [cashier/etc] with [company name]. My last day will be [date].


You don't need to provide an explanation, but if they ask simply say, "I discovered that the position doesn't align with my current goals." Don't attempt an explanation in the letter.

The paper is important as it sets the date in a way that they can't forget or deceptively claim you didn't give them notice. Since it's only been a week you can be nice and give them a few days notice, but honestly I'd use today's date, hand it in at the end of your shift, and leave. Please do not resign at the start of your shift - give them at least enough notice so they can get someone else in to replace you if you can't work your last shift. Don't hand it in before your shift and try to work that shift - I'd do that for a company I cared about, but this isn't a situation where you should be nice. Professional, yes, but nice, no.

Don't worry about adding them to your resume, or using them as a reference. A week gap can be ignored easily - and if you worry about it, just use month/year in the resume, and don't put exact dates for work periods. If you feel the need to explain the job and why you left, a simple, "While I'm reluctant to badmouth former employers, let's just say that management had difficulty paying employees for all hours worked."

Don't feel bad about leaving them. The manager has created a caustic environment, you should not be treated this way and you deserve a lot better. They will likely curse at you when you resign, and treat you worse than they already have. Ignore it, don't be tempted to give in to their verbal assault. If anything, being calm, collected, professional, and refusing to react to their idiocy will anger them more - which is always fun to watch. Even better, they may fire you on the spot.

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    +1 I think this answer is pretty much spot on. As an aside, I've spent 10 years in the professional work place and never once have I seen justification for yelling or verbal abuse. Any manager that has to resort to that outside of life and death jobs has no business managing.
    – Dan
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 19:20

If you have only worked there for a week, you are probably still in a trial period which is designed to find these things out early.

I would suggest going to your manager and state that you have found that this is not the right job for you at this time, and that you would like to resign. The professional part is to avoid complaining and blaming. Just resign.

That said, learning a new job is hard and you might want to consider the extra time spent at the beginning an investment in keeping the job.


I'm going to take a different tack (as is my thing) as no doubt most people answering are in the "you've only been there for a week, just leave" mindset.

Let me go through this by point:

I've only worked there for a week

No matter what job I've worked in (from burger chains to senior management) have I ever gone into a new role thinking "I am an expert at this", even if you have experience you still need to learn about how the job works, and that takes time, so 1 week is nothing.

The manager made me cry yesterday after yelling at me when I messed up an order

This is wrong, and it can be difficult in any service industry with peaks and lulls, however it could be that the manager has been watching too much Gordon Ramsey and thinking this is how to drive you on (not realising it's Ramsey's passion that drives his frustrations, it's not just shouting).

Having said that, what have you done to pick up the job, have you just relied on what they've given you training wise, or have you tried approaching the same manager for mentoring? You'd be surprised how asking someone for their advice can change their attitude.

In a place like Starbucks, there's a good chance the manager worked their way up, rather than being recruited in, so they may be a font of good tricks for the job.

My gut feel is that you don't want to just jack this in. I'd say this by the fact you're asking this question here. It's easy enough to quit in the first couple of weeks, you'd never need to mention it in a CV, and as long as you do it professionally, it'll be unlikely to ever come back to haunt you.

I'd however do what I can to make it better, and also be seen by the manager to be keen to improve, and you will likely find you'll get more support.

You'll still be able to quickly judge this, and if it doesn't work out, can then professionally leave safe in the knowledge that you tried your best, and have something positive to talk about in your next interview if asked.

I also end up working an extra hour everyday and am not paid for it

I'd also talk to your manager about this, likely someone is making a mistake, and you can get that worked out.

  • I did talk to her about this, she stated that I need to "work faster" next time.
    – Margaret
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 18:25
  • Yes, but ask her what you can, in her opnion, do to speed up, ask her how she remembers the orfers etc Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 18:37
  • There is a grain of truth in that Gordon Ramsey reality show. Working in food service really does require thick skin. It is totally NOT surprising that the Boss' advice goes no deeper than "work faster". I agree that one week is too short of a time period to judge anything. The OP should give it at least another week or two before starting to look for something else.
    – Angelo
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 22:34
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    "Work faster"? If you are in the US you can complain to your state labor board about being asked to work without compensation. After being made to cry, I would tell them to stick it, quit on the spot and demand your pay for every minute you were there. As for your work history, that is whatever you make it, don't put that job on your resume.
    – JoeT
    Commented Jul 4, 2014 at 2:18

Some of the other answers will tell you what you asked, but let me put the other side of this to you.

If you have only worked there a week, you really don't know what the job is supposed to be like. You said yourself that one of the main troubles is that you are expected to memorize everything after three days. OK, so it will probably take you longer than 3 days, but when you've done that, and can make up orders without thinking about it, the job is going to be completely different. You might get to relax and enjoy the experience.

Your boss does sound like a bit of a jerk - nobody should be made to cry in their first week - and if you are really convinced this is not for you then just quit, but bosses sometimes make a point of giving newbies a hard time - or sometimes they just have a bad day themselves. Plenty of people hate their job the first week, and then go on to love it.

As for the unpaid extra hour - that shouldn't be happening unless you need it to learn the ropes, or unless its common in the industry (some have 'cleanup' time at the end of a shift). If its learning the ropes it'll go away eventually.

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    +1 This is also a very fair answer - the added stress of simply being somewhere new can make you feel exposed and very vulnerable. This subsides quickly once you get to know the place.
    – Dan
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 19:22
  • I'd consider giving it more time to see if it improves and you start to settle in. It could be that your manager had a bad day too, so see if that's the norm before making a rash decision. Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 8:12

It's good that you are taking the initiative and asking for advice!

It sounds like in this case, you're pretty justified in wanting to leave you work.

  • You should not work unpaid hours for anyone, especially a multinational like Starbucks
  • No one should ever yell at you at work
  • There should be like, no times when conditions make you cry

It's important to realize that you do not owe this employer anything. You could simply march into the office and quit, and they would still have to pay you for the time you've worked.

However, if you don't want to offend your boss, say something like this,

"This job has been really good, and I've learned a lot from it. But I've also found that, personally, I'm not as able to keep up my studies while working a job like this as I thought I would be. So, Friday will be my last day. But I appreciate the work you've done!"

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    @JoeStrazzere OR family life OR side project OR social life OR health OR new puppy OR ailing ficus OR whatever it is you think will best spare the feelings of the employer you are trying to ditch Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 14:29
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    Never give a lie as an excuse, it WILL come back to haunt you, esp when the current manager finds out granny number 5 has just died. If you need to go be honest, but professional. No-one expects a job to be filled by anyone, and admitting honestly why you don't think you are a good fit will get you respect, just do it without being accusatory. Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 14:46
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    No it is, if it's not the reason you are leaving, you're telling yourself that the reasons for leaving are not actually important enough so you need to make up something (even if it has a basis in reality), and it'll be easier to tell yourself the lie next time, and just do the same at the first sign of trouble. Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 15:05
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    No, that's not professional. To say "I found it hard to get to grips with the job, and I don't feel I've had the level of support I would reasonably have expected so I've decided the job isn't for me" is honest without being a name calling exercise. Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 16:00
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    Well, you don't quit because you hate the boss, you quit because of what the situation does to you, otherwise you'd leave every job sometime Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 18:39

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