I have been working as a graphic/web designer at a small company (there are 6 people who work at the head office including myself) for three months. Due to its size, the company has no HR department.

It's my first full-time job out of school and I was really excited about it at first. Then, I had to learn the hard way that my boss is most likely bipolar and has serious control issues. He has mood swings and can be a mean bully.

The pay is poor and it is VERY difficult for me to muster the strength to come in to work everyday as my boss 1) micromanages the hell out of people 2) blames everyone for everything but himself 3) lectures people like there's no tomorrow and 4) has terrible design ideas but forces me to implement them with almost no creative control. Needless to say, there is a high turnover rate. The last designer left within a few weeks.

I spoke in confidence to the marketing girl (who is also planning to quit soon, though she will have to give her notice as she has a contract) and she told me that in the past, every single time (with one exception) an employee handed in their 2 weeks notice, they were dismissed the next day. She has also promised to be my reference should I need one for future employment purposes.

I am not on contract. I invoice my boss for the hours I work since I'm a "creative" and legally I can leave whenever I want. I am technically still under probation and my boss still hasn't even given me a key or a passcode for the office.

My dilemma is, should I just quit at the end of the month and give him no notice other than to say that I am leaving? Apparently one girl who was also not on contract like me has done this before and he didn't/couldn't do anything about it.

OR

Should I give him one week notice at least, to maintain some semblance of professionalism? I am starting full-time art school in Feb and I have already worked a few days this week so one week notice is the most I can give. I am pretty positive he will be the biggest [Expletive Deleted] to me or will fire me as soon as I give my notice so I likely won't be permitted to finish out the week. I don't think I would be screwing them over that much. As long as he finds another person who can work with Joomla (since I redid the company website using Joomla as the CMS) the company will be fine.

I wanted the final paycheque but I am willing to forgo it if giving a week's notice is the right thing to do.

closed as off-topic by Telastyn, Philipp, Garrison Neely, gnat, Jim G. Jan 14 '15 at 21:00

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  • "Questions asking for advice on what to do are not practical answerable questions (e.g. "what job should I take?", or "what skills should I learn?"). Questions should get answers explaining why and how to make a decision, not advice on what to do. For more information, click here." – Telastyn, Philipp, Garrison Neely, Jim G.
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  • 6
    Always give two weeks' notice, to do otherwise is unprofessional. Given the situation, though, be prepared to miss those last two weeks. – Dave Johnson Jan 14 '15 at 17:07
  • 1
    Giving two weeks notice is definitely safer, but it's not as bad to not if you've been working there for only a short period of time, like a month or less. I would give the one week that you can. – Kai Jan 14 '15 at 17:14
  • 2
    Advise for the future: Never again work a single day without a written and signed contract. There is too much which can go wrong with a purely verbal work agreement. – Philipp Jan 14 '15 at 17:25
  • 4
    Give him your two-week notice so that he can dismiss you the next day. The madder he gets, the faster he dismisses you. – Vietnhi Phuvan Jan 14 '15 at 18:11
  • 1
    You do not need to use him as a reference, but as a previous employer any prospective employers may contact him. If he can say that you quit without notice, it looks bad. If you give notice and he dismisses you, you still gave notice. If you really absolutely cannot give two weeks notice than, give the one that you can give. – Dave Johnson Jan 14 '15 at 18:49
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Two weeks is the general rule of thumb. More is better, but some is better than none. Given the prior track record, I don't see that it will matter one way or the other. Try to maintain a professional attitude about it. I would type up a resignation letter, print it out, and hand it to him. And, like Dave mentioned in his comment, be prepared to miss the last week.

  • 1
    +1 I think in this situation where it doesn't matter one way or the other, you behave professionally for yourself. Also, you never know who will hear about how you exited that bad situation. Sounds like there is a lot of turn over so it's entirely possible that one of your coworkers might be asked their opinion of you sometime in the future when you're being considered for a different position. – ColleenV Jan 14 '15 at 18:51
  • 1
    One approach you might take: When you present your resignation, ask your boss if he would like you to work out your two weeks notice. If he say no you are free to walk out. If he says yes and then fires you, he makes himself look even more of a d***head than he already has (which may or may not be a deterrent). Write up whatever he says and communicate it to him in written or email form. – DJClayworth Jan 14 '15 at 20:30
  • 1
    DJClayworth, I will take this route of action (though with one week notice, not two. I might make an offer to work a day here and there as a free agent for another week's worth of time but trust me, he's going to refuse). I'm sure he'll flip out and just tell me to GTFO as he has a terrible temper and is quite power crazy. But I will stay professional till the end. I am going to write a letter of resignation too of course. – CuriousGeorge Jan 14 '15 at 20:55

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