I've been with this small company for only two months. I'm the only programmer in it and my boss is rather rude with me.

The company seems kinda unstructured and my boss haven't gone through half the formalities necessary for my assimilitaion by the company.

Though I haven't been searching for a new job, an opportunity fell from heaven, I went to the interview and they're going to hire me.

What's the best way to resign after such a short time without giving notice, knowing that he will be left without a programmer?

In such situations, is it dumb to be sincere, saying that I'm leaving because he belittles me and because I think the company is fated to failure?


5 Answers 5


Yes, it is unprofessional to leave without the standard 2 weeks notice but, as has been pointed out, you aren't far into the project and these are special circumstances.

If it were me, I'd confront the boss directly. Lay out, as unemotionally as possible, the incidents that cause problems. Try to use "I" language as much as possible. It may not make any changes in the boss but it's good practice. This isn't the first time you may run into this situation and the more practice you have dealing with personality issues the more successful you will be in your career.

If the boss is as impossible as you have described him (and I've met more than one that were pretty bad) he won't receive the talk well. At the point when it becomes certain that you are getting nowhere, you can tell him you've made the decision to leave the company, and this is his one week notice or however much you've decided to give him.

It is just barely possible that he is completely unaware of his behavior and will be open to making changes and then you have a more difficult situation. You may still decide to leave, but then at least you have left him with something helpful and not burned any bridges. You may think that it doesn't matter, you'll never see this guy again but you never know. People are very mobile, and they talk. Always conduct yourself with as much professionalism as possible.

If you are very uncomfortable with a face-to-face meeting, send him an email. As above, start with a frank discussion of what you are having problems with and give him the chance to respond. If you run into problems you will have a paper trail to cc his boss in on, should that become necessary.

If you are afraid of giving yourself a black mark with your new company, don't be. If they are a good company to work for they will be looking for someone who is both professional and loyal. You demonstrate both qualities by explaining that you need to give at least some notice. Tell them that your current company may not require you to work for the full time period because you had been with them such a short time, and leave yourself the option of maybe starting the new position right away if your boss gets POed and fires you.

As for not wanting to spend any more time in an unpleasant situation than you have to, I can certainly understand it. However, the fact that you know "it's only for another week" may make it easier, and once you start choosing the easy path over the professional one it makes more slippage likely in the future. For your own sake set your standards as high as you'd like to see in your coworkers. If you were a boss and one of your employees had a problem with you how would you like them to act?

  • I think that he knows that the way he treats people is wrong. And I am not making up problems, because the guy I replaced also took 2~3 months to leave. I will say it face to face, even though I am afraid he might be even more rude when he knows I'm leaving. ANd I don't need a paper trail to cc his boos because he is my boss AND the company's owner.
    – undefined
    Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 1:11
  • 8
    @GustavoMP I really don't see the purpose in telling your boss that he is the reason you are leaving. You have no obligation to tell him why you are leaving, except that 'a better opportunity came up.' It doesn't sound like he's going to change, so telling him that he is rude and a bad leader will just make matters worse in the event that you run into him in the future or he talks to future colleagues of yours.
    – David K
    Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 13:40
  • 2
    @FrancineDeGroodTaylor: None of us is in the business of changing people, except for you - Are you some kind of missionary do-gooder? The reality is that people don't just change their character. In fact, they'd rather change countries than change their character. I don't see any point in telling a bad boss that he has been had - Why should I get myself into a confrontation over telling him something that he already knows, assuming that he is not totally deluded? And if he is totally deluded, what's the point of getting into a confrontation over telling him something he doesn't want to hear? Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 15:22
  • 3
    @Vietnhi, it sounds like you have had some bad experiences and they have made you angry and bitter. Retreating from the world and just refusing to try, or developing the habit of running from unpleasant situations, is not good for your self esteem. I am far less concerned with changing the boss than I am with encouraging the poster to become a person who is willing to behave professionally even when it is difficult or unpleasant. When you do that you become a person with more self respect and a much happier one, IMO. Commented May 15, 2014 at 17:44

I don't know why you can't give any notice. Any company that wants to hire you and expects/forces you not to give notice isn't very "heavenly" IMHO. They're encouraging you to be unprofessional.

If this job is as bad as you say, I don't the boss will take any of your criticisms constructively, so there's really no reason to bother. if asked, just give some of the reasons why the other job is more preferable to you. You don't have to make it seem like this job is bad; it's just not as good as the other one.

Even if it is a typical 2-weeks (USA) notice, you've only been there a few months and can't be too deep into any project. They'll be about a quarter of the year behind. If they're that concerned about this project, they should push to either find out why you want to leave and possibly try to keep you. Otherwise, it's just business. They can hire someone else.

  • The new company isn't expecting/forcing me to do anything. It's me who doesn't want to spend more time here. Is it unprofessional to leave it out of the blue?
    – undefined
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 22:56
  • 4
    @GustavoMP Yes, it is unprofessional to not give notice. Sometimes a professional has to set aside their personal feelings and tolerate a situation for the good of the project. Two weeks isn't that long, and will give you the chance to get everything sorted and transitioned before you leave.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 20:59


It's unprofessional and uncivilized to abandon a job. If you walk away, you'll be remembered by your co-workers as being just as big a jerk as your boss.

Yes, your current boss is not a good man. Yes, you deserve, and now have, a better job. Yes, you should take that job, and soon. But don't abandon this job.

You aren't angling for a counteroffer: there's nothing the boss can say to persuade you to stay, so a conversation about his behavior can't benefit your immediate relationship with him very much. So, simply give notice, saying something like "Thanks for the opportunity to work with you. It's become clear to me that this isn't the right company for me. So, my last day with you will be April 25th (or whatever date)."

If they escort you off the premises immediately, great. Be happy. If not, serve out your two weeks with a view towards helping your successor do a good job of serving your customers.

  • 7
    There's a time and a place for proper notice. But that does not include situations where an employee is being subject to abuse, illegal or unsafe working conditions, or other serious misconduct/malfeasance on behalf of the employer. It is neither unprofessional nor uncivilized to abandon a job that is damaging your mental or physical well-being. Being "rather rude" is not the same as being abusive, so your answer may be applicable in this specific case. But in general it's not appropriate to advocate that a person should continue subjecting themselves to abusive conditions.
    – aroth
    Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 3:44
  • 5
    You are right about refusing to to tolerate abuse. But you're also right that "rather rude" doesn't measure up to any standard of abuse. Two weeks is not a long time to make a graceful transition. Plus, this turkey will probably escort the original questioner out of the office when he gives notice.
    – O. Jones
    Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 10:44
  • 1
    "Employee leaves without two weeks of notice - ZOMG! UNPROFESSIONAL! UNCIVILIZED! Company lays off entire workforce/goes out of business/shuts down entire office - Well, that's business." If a company wants two weeks notice, it can be written into the employment contract and guarantee that both parties will notify the other X weeks before ending employment. Companies don't bother though, because they benefit from the social expectations/power imbalance.
    – Rob P.
    Commented May 27, 2017 at 16:59
  • i was working under an "at will" situation at my previous employer. i was in a strange situation where I was basically training up on company secrets. i was given the option of hanging on for the customary two weeks, but i negotiated with them to be out in one week. it was a little bit of a mistake because my health insurance terminated the night of my last day, and i had not re-filled my insulin. it took a while to get insured in the new plan (a startup), and spent months fighting between insurance, doctor, and pharmacy to get a refill. There are good reasons to leave ASAP.
    – Rob
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 0:34

If you are dealing with a boss who is abusive or creating a toxic work environment, it is best to simply leave immediately. Especially if your management has recently changed, you do not need to give notice.

Sometimes employers need to see that you are willing to vote with your feet, rather than hear complaints, in order to correct the situation. It may not help you but may help other employees.

I recently quit a job after only 2 days. I did not give any notice. I didn't walk off the job but rather slept on it after putting in a full day on my 2nd day. My reason for quitting? Out of the 3 foreman on the job site, I liked the boss and the other two foreman, and one foreman was riding me so hard and belittling me in front of the whole crew - and then they wanted me to do overtime - I left without doing the overtime and brought this up to the boss.

The bosses' answer was that that was the way things worked in this industry sometimes and that I shouldn't leave until the job was done. This bad foreman had me carrying 100 lbs of rebar by myself and refused to let anyone help me and was giving me the toughest jobs he could find; for 5 hours - all while berating me.

When I woke up (and very sore) I got ready for work and then just said screw it. I advised the boss (who is actually a really good guy) that I was quitting and explained why, apologized for letting him down but said that "We are adults, not children, I was always busy and always did what I was told, and I do not deserve to be treated this way". While he backed up his foreman, my turning down $30 an hour for overtime and quitting the whole job likely incited him to have a serious conversation with this bad foreman. While it likely won't help me (because I quit) you never know, they may call me back in the future if they get further complaints and demote or fire this guy, just because I was possibly the only guy to have the balls to bring it up and deal with it.

Its not that hard to find work. Ironically, less than 30 minutes after I quit, I was on my way to a different job where I was better treated. Always carry an ace up your sleeve - sign up with a bunch of temp agencies and do your best to get name requested when you do work for them. That way if you have to quit a toxic work environment you always know you can make one phone call and get working really fast until you find something more permanent that is not toxic.

Life is too short to have to deal with a jerk of a boss/foreman. I respect my old boss and the other foreman, they are great guys, but if they are going to let one guy grind a new guy into pieces they need to know it's going to cost them employees, time, and money.


The best way is to say "I Quit" and leave. Unless you need to train your successor or do some kind of knowledge transfer, don't worry about giving two weeks notice. It sounds like you would accomplish nothing during those two weeks, so if all you are going to do is sit there miserable for two weeks doing nothing, then leave. The two weeks is supposed to be so you can transition cleanly out of the company, but if there is no point, or if you can do that sooner, then there is no point to staying.

I had a job I absolutely hated. It didn't start out that way, but I quickly realized that the company was messed up, nobody knew what was going on, nobody would give me any direction, my boss was too busy to talk to me, etc. I tried to make it work, but after six weeks, I had had enough and I walked out. No notice, no anything. I was done. I had nothing I could offer them that would get me to stick it out for another two weeks simply because it was "customary." This had no effect on my career, as I never list the job on my resume or talk about it. I don't hide it if anyone really wants to know, but I don't count it as "experience" either.

Another time, I left a job and they wanted me to stay two weeks, but I wanted out as soon as possible. I said I would happily train my successor, document all my work, and do my best to make the transition simple and complete, but that was not going to take me two weeks. I said I could do it in one week, and I did. They were not happy about it, but I didn't care. I had recently acquired a new boss there that I didn't like and who didn't like me, and I knew that this boss was going to make life my as miserable as possible for the next two weeks, and I was not going to let that happen.

Every other job I left, I gave two weeks, except for the one time I got laid off. Big surprise, they didn't give me two weeks!

  • 2
    this reads more like a rant, see How to Answer. See also: Is 'Quit your job' an acceptable answer?
    – gnat
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 21:41
  • Sounds to me like giving two examples when leaving without notice is fine. Also listing pre-conditions to leave without notice. Where is the rant here? Commented May 29, 2017 at 10:03

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