Conflict Averse

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I was very unhappy with my last performance review and want to quit
my job. I have money in savings and can live for a year or so while I
look for something else. The problem is that I don’t want to give
notice, I just want to leave. Would it be tacky for me to go in on the
weekend when nobody is there to collect my things, then send an “I
quit” email? I really don’t want to see anyone in that company ever
Conflict Averse

Dear Conflict Averse:
It’s tempting to fantasize stealing away in the night and never seeing
any of those folks again. And virtually everyone who’s ever had a bad
boss, bad colleagues, bad review, or any other form of bad job has
had the same fantasy. There’s a great classic song entitled Take This
Job and Shove It! That conjures your sentiments. Certainly there have
been people who have stalked out, happily tossing their keys over
their shoulder.

But let me tell you why it’s a bad idea: You may never think you’ll
need a reference from these folks. But by walking out in the dark of
night you’re virtually ensuring they will give you a bad one. I’d
recommend you give notice, giving as a reason some pablum like I
need to evolve in a different direction, or I don’t think this is a good fit
any longer. You might get lucky. They may just walk you to the door
that day, and give you two weeks severance. Or you might have to put
in some face time for a while, finishing up projects and lokking at the
employment ads. I appreciate that you’re not hanging around for the
money, but I’d like to think your reputation is worth it.


If there are extreme issues like a sexually harassing boss, or issues of
impropriety around dishonesty in which you could be implicated, that
puts a different spin on things. Though again I’d counsel a course to
protect yourself from downside risks like being blamed. But if this is
really just being done and fed up, or being conflict averse, my advice
is to be a grown-up, suck it in, and practice a mature exit strategy.