I work as a temp in an office Mondays through Fridays. However, I was briefly considering going to cosmetology school, so I got an evenings/weekends job as a receptionist in a salon.

I've worked there one weekend so far, and it was miserable. So, I'm not going to cosmetology school and would like to quit the job ASAP because I hate it. Normally, I'd just stop showing up, especially since the nature of the job is such that I'm really not letting anyone down by not showing up. The stylists don't depend on me, and I have the full time temp job for money. This salon job is actually a newly created position to see how the salon ran with a receptionist checking people in/out instead of the stylists doing it themselves; I'm totally non-essential.

Here's the problem: the salon leader who hired me and is my boss, and all the stylists, are so nice. I can't stand it. They tell me all the time when I'm there how awesome I'm doing and how they're glad to have a friendly face at the door for clients. I was immediately accepted as part of the 'family,' no transition time needed. Also, the nature of the salon is such that my boss doesn't have an office, she's out on the floor with the other girls and clients, and she doesn't even have a private office, so I can't really ask her to speak privately and have a good place or time for that. Also, I'm super non-confrontational and am uncomfortable asking her to make time for me to talk to her. Plus I'd be saying this in front of the other stylists, which makes me uncomfortable.

So basically, I really, really, really, don't want to go back there this weekend, but I also can't stand to quit. What can I do to quit a job where the coworkers are very friendly and I don't have a good place to talk with my manager in private?

  • 8
    I formatted this a bit and removed some extra information - I think this is actually a great question, welcome to The Workplace!
    – enderland
    Feb 21, 2014 at 19:36
  • 3
    Can you call the boss on the phone and ask to speak privately? Can you email her? Perhaps you can discreetly ask to have lunch with her and broach the subject there?
    – Superbest
    Feb 21, 2014 at 21:10
  • I would love have such bosses... they are so rare these days.
    – lambdapool
    May 9, 2016 at 9:21

3 Answers 3


It is generally quite unprofessional to quit a job by just not showing up. Yes, it can be done, but you're best to avoid this as no good can come from it. It would be nice to give them some time to replace you there, even just another week.

You said it was miserable though and going back for even one more weekend is off the table. What I would do is call your manager there or person that hired you and have a very polite conversation that you can't work there anymore. The phone will give you some privacy that you can't get there. Don't tell them it's miserable, maybe just that you've decided to change field of study, or some other commitment came up for your weekends, and you no longer wish to work there. Be nice about it. You could express this with the tone that it's effective immediately, and you won't be able to come in for the weekend. If they're as nice as you say, they'll probably say no big deal and manage for the weekend. Be prepared that they'll ask you to work one last weekend though, and if you really must, come up a reason why you can't ahead of time.

Also, if this is a paying job, make sure you confirm or know how you'll be paid for the time you did work. You may need to stop in to collect a check or have it mailed, etc.

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    I strongly suggest not lying about the reason you are leaving. If you don't think the job is a good fit, tell your boss that you like everyone there, but the job isn't a good fit for you. Everyone understands that not every job is a good fit for every worker
    – jmac
    Feb 24, 2014 at 4:41
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    That's true jmac, but at the same time you can be honest about the reasons why it's miserable (not enough to do, not stimulating enough, etc) without explicitly saying "it's miserable".
    – corsiKa
    Jun 14, 2014 at 1:26
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    Yes -- underscore the positive, and simply say it's not working out for you personally (you're changing your career path, so that's a perfectly valid reason). After you've let your manager know, you should come in at least one more day if you can, and say goodbye to the stylists and your other coworkers... it's just the decent thing to do, especially if as you've said, they immediately accepted you into their "family".
    – Doktor J
    Mar 27, 2017 at 20:52

First thing to say is that if you've only worked at this job for one weekend, then you haven't given it a chance. Although you say you hate it, you've given no reason why you hate it, and everything else you've said makes it sound like a nice place to work. I strongly recommend giving the job a few weeks. Plenty of people hate their first few weeks at a job, and then go on to love it. Sometimes it's nothing to do with the job itself. It can be stress, or anxiety, or separation from people you spent time with before. If you still hate it at the end of two weeks, sit down and really, seriously think about what it is you hate about the job. And have a word with your boss before you finally decide to quit. Tell her what it is you don't like. maybe there is something that can be done about it.

As for how you go about quitting in a case like this, the best thing to do is simply say to your boss "Can I have a word with you in private, please?". It's up to the boss to work out how to achieve this. You may be able to wait until everyone has gone home, or there may be a back room you can go to, or maybe go out to a coffee shop nearby for a break. It's really your boss's problem to make this happen. Practice doing this by asking to talk to your boss about your situation before you decide to quit.


It is possible that the place you work at just isn't for you, no matter how nice everyone is. However, nice people are something to cherish, especially in a work environment!

Not showing up anymore is not something people that have welcomed you should deserve. That will disrupt their schedule and possibly that apparently positive atmosphere on the work floor. Keep in mind that everyone you meet might be useful for your career in the future.

Think about the fact that they've let you know how happy they are with you, and how they've accepted you as part of their "family", and how things could turn out when you just stop showing up. Doing this might restrain them from being so welcoming to new employees in the future.

Ask your boss to have a chat in private. If there's no privacy on the work floor, maybe you can call/text/email your boss, or even leave a note. Employees that are so happy throughout the day, generally have a nice boss who understands their problems.

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