I gave two weeks notice but got told to leave immediately

A reader writes:

I quit my first job out of college yesterday. I really liked that job, I was great at it, and I was on good terms with my coworkers and boss. So when I got a job offer I wanted to take, I thought it would be the professional thing to give a standard two weeks, finish off my existing projects, and write a thorough set of transfer documents.

Well. I told my boss I was accepting another job, and he immediately told me that would be my last day, to pack up my things and make a list of projects I was working on, and that someone would reach out to me about benefits. So 10 minutes later, I left, and I’m still pretty stunned and sad.

This happened at the end of the workday, so few people were around. I feel so guilty — I hate that all of my work is getting dumped on other people without warning or explanation from me. Part of me wants to reach out to my coworkers and tell them what happened and how sorry I am, and another part of me wants to not look back.

Emotions are running high for me because I’m going through a lot of personal stuff in addition to this, so I don’t trust my gut to assess this from a purely professional perspective. What’s the right move?

I’m sorry this happened! Your boss is most likely a jerk.

There are some fields where resigning employees are asked to leave immediately (while still being paid for their notice period) as a security measure or if you’re going to a competitor, but you usually know if you’re in one of them so I’m guessing you’re not. (It’s always struck me as kind of a weird policy since if you were going to steal trade secrets, you could just do that before you resigned. But if they pay out your notice period — and that part is a crucial item on the “not a jerk” checklist — then so be it.)

But you have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about. You did the professional thing and gave two weeks notice. If your work is dumped on other people without warning, that’s on your boss, not on you. Your boss had the opportunity to have a smoother transition and decided not to. There’s nothing for you to apologize for!

I do think it’s worth contacting your coworkers to say goodbye, at least the ones you were closest to. First, you’re entitled to say goodbye to people you worked with and give them your contact info so you can stay in touch in the future. Second, there’s a chance your boss is misrepresenting what happened — saying you left without notice or even implying he fired you — and you have the chance to say what really happened.

Don’t make it a gossipy or dramatic thing in your email, but make sure you clearly say you tried to give notice. For example, you could write something like: “I wanted to let you know that Tuesday was my last day at (company). I’ve accepted another job, and when I resigned to Cecil and offered two weeks notice, he told me I should leave immediately. So I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye or tell you how much I’ve enjoyed working with you. (You could insert some personal details here about why you liked working with them if you want.) I hope we can stay in touch and my contact info is below.”

In other words, straightforward, factual, and relatively unemotional.

This is also worth doing because people should know that their manager operates this way. They need to be able to take it into account when the time comes from them to resign — it’s useful for them to know they might be walked out that same day, so they can factor that into their own timing.

{ 170 comments… read them below }

  1. learnedthehardway*

    Did you go to a direct competitor or did your work involve super secret intellectual capital? If not, then it was lousy (and rather stupid) of your manager to tell you to leave immediately. There ARE some times when it’s important to not keep employees around when they have given notice to leave, but that’s rarely a first job out of school.

    Do reach out to your team mates to let them know that you’ve left and the situation. You’ll be doing them a favour, by giving them the heads up that your manager acts this way. They will also likely want to stay in touch with you, on at least a professional level.

    All the best in your new position!

    1. sundae funday*

      Yes, I totally agree with reaching out to her former colleagues. A lot of people would end up in really bad shape if they had to take 2 weeks unpaid!

      1. CarlDean*

        Yes, and it’s increasingly short sighted of boss to do this. It’s the sort of trick that only works once. Next time, jokes on him when employees leave with no notice.

    2. Escapee from Corporate Management*

      And even in those fields where it is standard to leave immediately, it doesn’t need to be done coldly. Many bosses will thank you for the work you did and wish you good luck. Sounds like OP got neither out of her boss.

  2. Zombeyonce*

    It’s also good to reach out to former coworkers because they could be references for future jobs as some hiring managers want to talk to people from more than just your last job. This is such unexpected and jerkish behavior that I wouldn’t trust a boss that did something like this to give a good reference in the future no matter how good of an employee you were.

    1. Hlao-roo*

      If you haven’t already connected with your former coworkers on LinkedIn, I recommend that. It’s a good way to keep in touch even when those former coworkers also leave that company (assuming you only have their company email addresses/phone numbers and not their personal contact info).

    2. El l*

      Yes, and yes. Plus, it’s just good practice to keep in touch with people who you worked well with. Never know when they’ll need a name.

  3. Pickaduck*

    I have definitely been in a position to accept someone’s resignation immediately,(paying them for the notice period,) because we were very glad to see them go, and knew they would cause nothing but drama for 2 weeks. I am certainly not saying this is the case here, but there are reasons that it happens sometimes.

    1. NYC Taxi*

      In my current industry people are let go immediately because of the type of work we do. But in my last job I saw firsthand why you accept a resignation immediately as I watched one of my coworkers who gave notice go from person to person trying to poison them against the company and our boss. It was a great place to work but he was angry because he didn’t get a promotion that went to one of my direct reports. He was stressing everyone out. Couldn’t wait for the two weeks to be over. I will never let anyone work out their notice period.

      1. Fluffy Fish*

        Given your current industry its not applicable but I’d caution letting one bad apple poison the bunch.

        There’s lots of very good reasons to let someone work their notice period, the least of which is transitioning their workload and documenting processes.

        1. Some words*

          “There’s lots of very good reasons to let someone work their notice period”, the primary one being that most of us try to leave on neutral to good terms from our former employers and aren’t jerks.

          Coordination and timing of health insurance benefits makes changing jobs a bit of an ordeal for some of us.

        2. MCMonkeyBean*

          Yeah, that was definitely not the right takeaway from that situation! And frankly–making blanket rules like that instead of handling outliers individually is a sign of poor management imo.

        3. Nlaw92*

          I’m actually working my two weeks right now, and I’d encourage you to let folks do it. I’m leaving on good terms, to follow a very exciting opportunity, but wish my old team the very best.

          During this time I’m finishing out any dangling projects that can close before I leave, I’m writing notes on all the processes I’ve developed over the years, writing briefs and notes about all the client relationships I held, and just generally organizing files and records for the next person in my shoes…

          Most professionals will welcome the opportunity to leave on a high note, and make there transition smooth for everyone involved!

      2. Pomegranate*

        That sounds like a knee jerk reaction, NYC Taxi. This person clearly didn’t use their two weeks wisely or in the company’s benefit. But most people will. If you see someone being destructive during their notice period, you can shorten it then. Why rob your company of a possibility of a smooth transition and good reputation?

      3. Cheshire Cat*

        My last job after I gave notice, my interim supervisor (my supervisor had already quit), asked me why I kept having “secretive meetings with my coworkers.”

        I told him I was just answering last minute questions and making sure everyone was as prepared as possible.

        He told me to stop and two days later had me walked out anyway, leaving me with 6 days of gardening leave. All he did was make everyone left behind really angry.

      4. Michelle Smith*

        Wait, you’ll never let anyone work out their notice period because one person was a jerk? Respectfully, that seems like a dramatic overreaction. If you’re ever in an industry again where immediate departure is not the norm, I would urge you to consider a more measured approach in which you simply take corrective action if and only if it’s warranted. If one of your other employees or you directly see this happening, then you approach Fergus and tell him that day is his last and you’ll no longer need him for the remainder of the notice period. There is no reason to punish reasonable people (the vast majority) over one person’s rude behavior.

      5. Gerry Keay*

        I mean, I’ve also seen people give two weeks notice and do an incredible job of transitioning their projects, making sure their institutional knowledge is available, and sending well wishes to colleagues — all of which has been markedly easier on the rest of us than when someone is fired or quits with no notice. Sorry you got burned, but that doesn’t mean every surface is a stove.

      6. Critical Rolls*

        As it isn’t your industry’s standard to work out a notice, no one should be surprised by that. But if you changed over to a setting where people expected to work out the notice period, it would be a jerk move to surprise someone with two weeks of lost income, deny the team an opportunity for a transition, and treat a person as though they’ve suddenly become untrustworthy or useless — especially if it’s all because of a single instance, a long time ago, at a different company, of a completely different person behaving badly.

        1. Rebecca*

          It’s only really crappy if you don’t pay them. I had a boss do this, but they paid me for the full 2 weeks and didn’t dock my PTO payout. I was entirely fine with that; I left the job for a reason, and I suspected it might happen so told my coworkers before I walked into her office to quit. I still speak to 2 of those coworkers on a professional level over a decade later. Frankly, it was nice to have a free 2 week vacation to reset.

          1. Claire*

            I gave my last job four weeks notice and almost didn’t get everything transitioned in even that amount of time. By the time I was out, as much as I liked my old job, I was secretly wishing my manager had chosen to pay me off instead of having to work out that month.

      7. MigraineMonth*

        It seems like that person should have been fired for their behavior, in which case a notice period doesn’t apply. People who are causing drama during their notice period should be quietly pushed out the door (but it would still be best for the company to pay the notice period or provide severance).

        Not letting people work their notice period is a great way to ensure your employees stop giving you any advance notice that they’re leaving and let all their projects drop rather than trying to transition them to other people.

      8. Kyrielle*

        At my last job, when I left for my current job, I worked out my two weeks transferring knowledge and making sure that as much of what could be passed on, was. (I’d been working on that for some time before, too – I like not getting calls when on vacation! – but really that was the entire focus of my two weeks.) For some positions it doesn’t matter – there’s not much knowledge (if any) needing to be transferred. But where it does matter, maybe rethink and go off what you know of the person and situation.

        Someone who’s leaving because they didn’t get the promotion they wanted, maybe not, and honestly once they started trying to poison coworkers, I’d have agreed wholeheartedly with cutting his notice short right then.

        But someone who’s been reliable, a good performer, and is just moving on without ill will and not going to a competitor? You probably lose more than you gain by not letting them work it out.

      9. Autumn*

        While I understand your frustration, unless someone is being a boor it would be better to let them work their last two weeks. If someone turns into a boor you can let them go the minute you catch wind. But why penalize teams and people because one person choose to be a jerk?

    2. never mind who I am*

      I once gave two weeks notice and was told to leave immediately. Slightly different circumstances: it was at a university, and my department had been shedding employees since the new dean came in. Rumor had it (and I tend to believe it) that one temp agency wouldn’t send her any more people because she was so awful to work for. I made it clear that I was leaving because I couldn’t trust her and she was not a good dean. Several faculty told me that I just said what everyone else was thinking. The faculty had a farewell party for me off site. She’s gone now, so I think the shoot-on-site edict has been rescinded.

      I thought I had another job lined up, but that’s a story for a different day.

    3. Bad Penny, Bad Thoughts*

      Seconding Pickaduck to say that this isn’t necessarily OP’s situation—they’re going out of their way to be conscientious, and I really appreciate how much effort they’re putting into identifying which emotions are at play for them and which ones they should act on. (Would that more of my own coworkers spent time on this!) But the combination of “relatively new to the work world” and “personal drama going on behind the scenes” can sometimes be a rough one. Check out any AAM humorous thread in the “what I thought was appropriate at my first job” vein, and there’s a lot of gray area where someone could be in OP’s shoes and have been both intelligent and a good person doing their best, but also the manager is glad to see them go.

      That said, the poor way this manager handled this departure really makes it feel like a company problem rather than an employee problem.

    4. Claire*

      Same. And honestly, while it might not have occurred to him to steal any confidential material or sabotage anything *before* he was quitfired, I didn’t want him to have two weeks of stewing in which the idea could have occurred to him.

  4. not neurotypical myself*

    OP, you have my empathy! This happened to me in my 20s, at a workplace where I didn’t realize that this was the industry norm, and while they weren’t mean about it, it hurt so much to not be able to say goodbye to people I had known for four years.

  5. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

    … and quite often that happens when a departing employee is going to join a competitor. It happens VERY often in sales.

    Also, a management might not want you hanging around. They may fear that you’ll take some of the staff with you– you are, after all, leaving for a better position. There is also a fright that the current staff may find out that there’s a better world out there.

    News to managers = they’re gonna find out anyway!

    1. Antilles*

      I don’t get this mindset at all. The whole process of looking around, scheduling interviews, getting an offer, then deciding to take it takes at least a couple weeks. If you were really going to keep some clients with you, wouldn’t you take a few minutes to write down their phone numbers / memorize their emails / whatever before you left?
      Same with bringing staff with you – if you’re close enough that you could convince someone to look around and jump ship alongside you, presumably you’re close enough to have literally any other means of contact (LinkedIn, cell phone number, etc). Conversely, if you don’t have any way of contact outside of stopping by their office, the other person isn’t going to uproot their career; they’ll give you some vague well wishes and you’ll fade from their life.

      1. hbc*

        Seriously, if you’re too dumb to grab the client list after you get the offer but before you let your current boss know you’re leaving, the idea that you’ll be an asset to the competition is madness. I’ve never been impressed with any manager who cites this as a reason.

      2. turquoisecow*

        Yeah I worked at a place where the SOP was if you left for a competitor you were walked out same day. Never made sense to me either – if you were going to share secrets you would obviously do so before you gave notice to your boss.

        1. Just Another Cog*

          This happened to me when I gave two week’s notice to go to the competition, though I wasn’t paid for the notice period. Luckily, new employer wanted me NOW so I was able to start there after a long weekend. Still, I have enough integrity to not steal company secrets for the new one. And, new company didn’t expect that from me. Old company would have, which is why I left.

        2. miss_chevious*

          We do that at my place of employment: if you’re at a certain level (roughly mid-manager) and going to a competitor, you are terminated immediately (with payment in lieu of notice for your notice period). The idea is that we would like to get the person out of the information flow as soon as possible, and handle internal transitions, etc., without their input. The expectation is that everyone will behave professionally and not share secrets regardless, but there is no point providing additional details to the departing employee about strategic projects or other information. Those not going to competitors are allowed to work out their notice unless they are disruptive, abusive, or otherwise causing problems.

          It’s handled professionally, though — the departing employee’s manager sends out an email letting everyone know, the employee is paid for their notice period, the exchange of equipment is done calmly (e.g. usually without Security looming over the employee) — and several people who have left this way have come back after several years.

          1. kendall^2*

            How do they know whether the leaving employee is going to a competitor or not? It’s not required to tell SoonToBeExEmployer what NewEmployer is….

    2. Miette*

      I worked at a software company where this was the true reason behind their notice-day’s-your-last-day policy. They were so shitty that they didn’t want escaping prisoners – er, departing employees – to foment further rebellion. Ostensibly it was because they wanted to protect work product and/or data but for real it was about keeping the rest of us schmoes from realizing there was a better place we could be.

      1. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

        That’s part of it. But your colleagues will find out, anyway. Some are going to be curious and call you. You’re probably going to maintain contact with some of your now-former co-workers.

      2. There You Are*

        I wonder if we worked for the same software company. People who gave notice were perp-walked immediately. A manager would follow them to their desk while they grabbed whatever personal items they could carry in their hands, then walked out the door and told that the rest of their personal items would be boxed up an sent to them.

        Management would then tell everyone else that the person was fired, as a way to “motivate” them to work harder so they wouldn’t be next.

        Of course, we eventually figured it out (this was before LinkedIn so reaching out and asking what happened was more difficult), and would slowly and quietly clean our desks before giving notice. Unfortunately, the place was toxic enough that you didn’t dare tell a co-worker before telling your manager — unless it was by mere minutes — because there was a high likelihood that they’d tell your manager for you

        That place was a shitshow.

    3. Chilipepper Attitude*

      I literally spent a week BEFORE giving notice going around and closing up projects, saying goodbyes, etc. I did not come out and say it, but I did sort everything out in those last few days before I gave notice. I also took home everything I could without making my desk obviously empty.

      If I had wanted to foment any rebellion or steal employees or clients contact info, I could have!

  6. SimpleAutie*

    OP I feel you! I was working for a small company and offered two weeks notice only to attempt to login to wrap up a project and find out my logins had been deactivated. It’s unsettling!

    But here’s where you are: you did the right thing and you can hold your head high about it! Even dealing with life stuff and it being only your first post-college job, you nailed the professional expectation… I think that deserves celebrating! Go you!

    Best of luck in your new job, too. You got this

    1. Sito Jaxa*

      The IT staff are often the first to know when someone has been made gone. That request to delete/disable the email account comes down FAST.

      1. Gritter*

        Oh yes, I’ve had to do this. In fact on one occasion I had to disable a user account after receiving an emergency ticket which was raised before the user was even told what was happening. They came up asking why their account had stopped working and I could say nothing other than to tell them that they should talk to their manager.

        Not a pleasant experience.

    2. MigraineMonth*

      Indeed, OP, you handled everything in a very professional way. I hope your new job treats you better!

    3. Reality.Bites*

      I once had a situation where an employee said his last day would be June 15th… and IT cut off all his access the morning of the 15th. He was a customer service agent, so he didn’t have anything much to wrap up. He just wanted to give proper notice and work it.

  7. A CAD Monkey*

    Had this happen to me at ToxicOldJob. Gave my 2 weeks notice at around 10am and was told to leave a few minutes later. Couldn’t pack anything up, told it would be packed up for me. Took until 2pm or so until i got my belongings. Luckily, I had packed most of my stuff a few weeks earlier, but there were things that never got back to me.

    1. Peanut Hamper*

      Yeah, at my ToxicOldJob, I moved everything out gradually over a period of months so that nobody would really notice.

      1. BostonANONian*

        I did this too. I work in law, though, so it is truly BIZARRE not to utilize at least a 2 week notice period (often more to appropriately transition cases). But I knew my boss was absolutely nuts, and knew when I gave notice she would just tell me to leave. That did allow me to take home my things in advance, give my coworkers a head’s up, and wrap up my work as much as possible.
        Totally agree that following up with your coworkers is helpful. I knew how things would go down because I had coworkers who left and followed up with me! Made a world of difference.

  8. Observer*

    OP, Allison is on the money. Listen to her advice.

    You have ZERO to feel guilty about. But do reach out to your former co-workers and let them know what happened. Again, Allison’s language is really good here.

  9. Aggretsuko*

    Sounds like the OP had no idea this would happen. I wonder if anyone else at this job has been ejected in the same way and if that’s standard with that boss.

  10. CM*

    I really like Alison’s script, and I’d recommend adding a touch of passive voice — “I tried to give two weeks’ notice, but was asked to leave immediately, so I’m sorry I didn’t get to say goodbye.” Everybody will know it was Cecil, and you have the safety of not mentioning him by name.

    1. Fluffy Fish*

      Maybe nitpicky but I personally would skip the tried to and just say you gave 2 weeks notice. OP did give the notice.

      I’ve put a lot of effort out over the years to stop softening messages where its not necessary. Softening can be helpful sometimes, but a lot of times it undermines your message especially if you are a woman (I am).

      1. Gato Blanco*

        Agreed! “I tried” sounds sort of passive-aggressive or whiny. OP did give 2 weeks notice, full stop.

  11. Tuesday*

    OP, I just want to say that this kind of thing happens to a lot of people. Don’t let it scare you! Leaving a job is a normal part of anyone’s career, and the way your boss handled it does not mean you did anything wrong (and does not mean that this will necessarily happen again next time, although it might! It’s good to be prepared just in case!)

  12. RJ*

    Regardless of how good they may be to work for, there are some managers (more and more these days) that are doing this. I’m so sorry this happened to you, OP, but best of luck with the new job and staying in touch with the colleagues you reach out from your old job. This sucks and shouldn’t happen.

  13. I Work for Cats*

    This has been said before. Sadly, it’s true. Your company is not your family. Your boss is not your friend. You owe them a day’s work for a day’s pay. If they perp walk you out the door immediately after you give 2 weeks notice, that’s on them.

  14. Pink Candyfloss*

    I’m in an industry where people who resign are often walked out immediately that day, but there’s always still an exit interview with HR to sign paperwork and document the termination of employment. LW, I hope that you were able to talk to HR (if you have any) and I hope you get whatever benefits (pay, COBRA, transfer of 401K, etc) is owed to you properly. I hope your boss wasn’t being shady and taking advantage of your inexperience to hustle you out the door without having to give what you are owed.

    1. Keeley Jones, The Independent Woman*

      And usually if you are in that industry, you are well aware the day you give notice is your last day and plan accordingly.

      Don’t let this discourage you from giving two weeks in the future, most of the time that is the expectation. And yes, it’s a crappy double standard that employees should give notice but employers can say “leave now” at any time. But that’s the game, especially if you’re going to need a reference.

      All the best at your new job!

  15. JP*

    It’s also a good idea to reach out to your coworkers to prevent negative gossip about YOU – if your former boss just tells everyone “effective immediately Jane no longer works here” people will probably assume you were fired. This happened recently at my job and the rumors immediately started up about why the guy left so abruptly.

  16. Database Developer Dude*

    This is why if you know you’re going to resign, you must do the following BEFORE turning in your resignation

    D-5: Start taking personal belongings home, but not too much at once
    D-4: Continue, while emailing yourself at a personal email address with any information (not company information) that you wish to keep, including emails and contact information
    D-3: Continue taking personal belongings home, document projects that need documenting
    D-2: Finish taking personal belongings home, continue documenting
    D-1: Write up resignation, continue documenting
    D-0: Turn in resignation. This way, if you’re told you can go now, you tried to document stuff. If they let you serve your notice out, you can finish documenting everything that needs to be documented.

    1. Tuesday*

      To be honest I wouldn’t bother documenting in advance. If they want documentation, they shouldn’t make people leave immediately!

      1. ThursdaysGeek*

        This is why it’s important to always be documenting as you go. You never know when you’ll be hit by a bus or win the lottery, and sometimes a quick departure isn’t because your company is bad.

        1. DEJ*

          Similarly, if you are the one who has to pick up the pieces from whoever got hit by the bus, what would you hope that person had done in advance?

        2. Pudding*

          Yep! I had an employee whose husband passed away unexpectedly. She left one day, he died the next morning, she went on leave immediately, and after a couple of weeks of leave, called me to let me know she wasn’t returning. They’d moved to the area for his job, and she had no one else nearby, and she moved to be closer to family. Her work was pretty fast and transactional so anything she left open was handled by someone else within a day or two, and luckily we were good at keeping processes documented, so it was an easy transition for the company. Her loss was heartbreaking though, and it was a difficult way to lose a good employee.

        3. BitterGravity*

          That’s why it’s on management to give people time to be documenting as you go.

          The bus problem isn’t an issue employees should be worried about (outside of being denied promotions because of it).

      2. Grumpy Elder Millennial*

        Agreed! If you’ve got time, there’s no harm in doing documentation. But if there’s other stuff on your plate, it’d be low on my priority list.

    2. Pink Candyfloss*

      Be careful with emailing yourself things from work. It can look like stealing information and can raise red flags or lead to issues one may not be prepared for. Some IT monitors this closely and as soon as a person gives notice, they start going back through and looking for any indication that company IP may be leaving with you.

      1. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

        Seriously – I had a large number of documents and Powerpoints that I used in my job. I had NO interest in taking them to my next job but I did back them up to a memory stick, in case someone went in to destroy them before I left.

        I handed them off to my colleague that was staying behind. I would not snivel confidential documentation out the door. I gave it to him on my last day, just in case.

      2. Artemesia*

        It is why they invented thumb drives. Any documentation you will need personally should be moved off side — printed emails if there might be issues around unemployment or a law suit, any personal items (which you want to get off your work computer anyway) etc. You can write down contact information for those you want to be able to keep in touch with in a notebook you use to close things out.

        1. There You Are*

          And that’s why IT invented “block employees’ computers from recognizing outside drives.” I can’t copy anything to thumb drive.

          I can, however, upload stuff to Dropbox, so maybe my IT is more worried about people introducing malware to the network than it is employees misusing proprietary information.

          1. amoeba*

            We cannot use our own thumb drives but the company provides us with one – so that could work, as long as it’s not too much data (it’s not a huge drive and it’s not super fast as all the data has to be encrypted…)

        2. Parenthesis Guy*

          You have to be careful about thumb drives. In some places, they won’t care about you sending emails to yourself to get personal information off your work computer, but they sure will care if you connect a thumb drive to your computer. This is because there are usually limits on how much data you can attach to an email, but a thumb drive can be used to take huge amounts of data off your computer.

      3. Michelle Smith*

        Presumably if IT is looking that closely, they can see that you emailed yourself benefits information and a message from Fergus that says “I loved working with you, please stay in touch. This is my personal email and phone number.” Right?

      4. Database Developer Dude*

        This is why you only email yourself YOUR stuff from work. You can do this without coming to the attention of IT folks easily, by not emailing company information, and using personal email. Outside of certain specific industries, we don’t check that closely to what people are doing, unless you’re watching porn on your work computer.

      5. Lurker*

        You could save attachments, etc. in a draft work email. Then *if* you can log into your work email from a personal laptop just open the draft email, download the attachments, voila. No emails sent, no USB drives.

    3. BTDT*

      I think it’s also important to write down or make copies of any benefits contact information you signed up for, if you don’t have it at hand: health insurance info, etc. It may not be terminated right away.

    4. Thin Mints didn't make me thin*

      Do not forget to make copies of any work product you are particularly proud of, to include in your portfolio of samples for future job-hunting. You can remove identifying information and company secrets while still demonstrating your skills.

  17. Bookworm*

    I’m sympathetic, OP. I quit a job 3 weeks in (it was a bad fit) and I went home that night. I had told the direct supervisor and offered 2 weeks. She didn’t have an answer for me then so I went home, assuming I’d have to go in and do the 2 weeks as usual. She called/emailed (can’t remember) and told me not to come in. I said I had left some stuff and they said they’d mail it back to me. Didn’t know anyone very well but I did keep in touch with someone after I left.

    My situation is a little different but it still sucked. I’m sorry that happened to you and agree with Alison–it’s probably not you.

    1. I should really pick a name*

      I can understand why it would hurt, but at three weeks it makes sense. Most hires haven’t done enough at that point that it would be useful to keep them around.

      1. mlem*

        Yeah, anywhere with a functional probation period — 90 days, six months, whatever — is probably just going to figure they’re cutting their losses.

  18. Been there*

    +1 to “This is also worth doing because people should know that their manager operates this way.”

    I had a boss that started doing this but “covertly” aka lying about it. People just stopped showing up and we had no idea why. One of them eventually did the same thing Alison is suggesting, and that really gave the rest of us a heads up. When I finally found a new job, I told the new place about my boss’ habit, and they were ready to have me start right away if I didn’t need the two weeks. I was able to stay late the night before (not unusual for me) and pack up my office quietly and go through all my stuff and leave notes on everything without anxiety, and then gave my notice the next morning and was promptly walked out as expected. Turned around and called the new boss and he had me start the next week. Having that heads up made all the difference for my anxiety over leaving my coworkers in the lurch, so I was truely grateful to the coworker who told us

    1. Artemesia*

      This is something for the OP to think about. It may be worth being unpaid for two weeks to just have a break — but if the lack of salary is very painful, see if you can start early at the new place. Low key — not a demand. Just ‘my old boss, it turns out, walks people when they give their two week notice, so if it would be helpful for you for me to start earlier I would be happy to do that. If not I will see you on March 1.’

  19. Lacey*

    Don’t feel bad. Do contact your former coworkers.

    I’ve always wanted to know what happened in those situations and it’s nice to stay connected to people, even if it’s just on linked in.

  20. Sparkles McFadden*

    Sorry this happened to you, LW. It’s not as uncommon as it should be.

    Write an email to your coworkers and provide them with whatever contact information you’d like them to have. This truly is good for them too, as it’s really disturbing when someone just disappears.

    Make sure you get what’s due to you and good luck in your new workplace!

  21. Peanut Hamper*

    In some states, you may qualify for unemployment benefits for the two weeks. Not all states, but some. I would look into it.

    1. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

      Yes, that’s true – and a lot of companies will be scared off on contesting a claim. If they contest claims like that as a matter of course, it will bite them because the people listening to the contested claims will come to say , “Oh yeah that’s Toxic Company, they do it to EVERYONE over there”…

    2. Self-Appointed Bear Safety Trainer*

      Yeah, I came to mention that too: I had a former coworker, for a short time, who seemed to have been making a career out of getting hired, being outrageously useless and annoying for just long enough to qualify for unemployment, then giving his 2 weeks notice knowing he’d be told to leave immediately instead: and then collecting unemployment for several months.

  22. Paris Geller*

    OP didn’t really touch on this in their letter, but I also wanted to say that they could reach out to the new job and see if they could move their start date up (if the OP wants/needs to). Sometimes it’s nice to have a break in between jobs but it’s not always financially feasible. New job might not be ready for you to start right away depending on what needs to happen on their end, but they might be able to set an earlier start date and many places would be happy to have a new employee starting sooner than they anticipated!

  23. southern gal*

    I would 1000% appreciate knowing this happened to a coworker so that I can know I should feel free to quit with no notice. I’m sorry this happened.

  24. Qwerty*

    You did the right thing! You just didn’t have all the info to know they treat a resignation as a last day. If its an in-person job, you can usually ask for time to go around and say goodbyes when they try to rush you out the door. I’ve seen a couple scenarios where this sort of thing happens, but none of it is a reflection on you!

    1. This is a team that doesn’t do two-weeks notice. I ran into that when I was in finance but it took me close to two years to realize that was the case, so its totally understandable to not have known. Managers in that kind of environment can sometimes be really abrupt when you give notice – it’s like they don’t know what to do and feel like the conversation must end immediately. (Maybe they think it’s like how a cop can’t interrogate you after invoking a lawyer?)

    2. Your boss doesn’t think there will be a workload issue with distributing your projects. I’ve seen this sometimes where the cost-benefit analysis on having someone around to only wrap up work and not take on future tasks results in the person only having a 1-2 day notice period. More common with junior level roles. I’m not a fan of it, but I’ve also seen the other side where someone wraps up early, doesn’t have anything to do, and then ends up becoming a major distraction for the last 1.5weeks, so I can see where the idea sprouted from.

  25. Khatul Madame*

    I am sorry this happened to you. As others have said, this is far from abnormal.
    You are in the early stage of your career, so let this be a lesson on what may happen when you give notice. So the next time, before you resign, you should at least purge any personal files from your work computer; get contact information for people you’ll want to contact after you are gone; and gradually take home any personal items accumulated in your office. Above all, you will be mentally prepared for the worst-case scenario.

    1. oranges*

      Yeah, depending on the work you do, even under great circumstances, I’d say immediate escort out is often the norm.

      My partner worked in insurance claims, and when he formally resigned, he was locked out of everything before he got off the elevator. It’s standard operating procedure in his company since they have access to all kinds of personal information. (SS numbers, credit scores, etc.)

      It’s worth looking into in future jobs so there aren’t any surprises.

      1. Hlao-roo*

        I have mostly worked places where people stay for the full two weeks notice period, and once I’m at a company long enough I know they’re one of those places because… people leave. They give their two weeks notice, word goes around, they wrap up their projects, say good-bye, and then leave.

        This is all to say I agree with oranges: pay attention at your future workplaces. Are they a “lock you out of the systems and escort you out of the building” place, or an “everyone who is not going to a competitor works out their two weeks” place? If you can pick up on the pattern before you leave, you won’t be blindsided by how it plays out.

      2. Khatul Madame*

        Sometimes this is hard to find out, especially with remote work arrangements. And I don’t really see the point, TBH.

        1. oranges*

          The point: By finding out if a company is a “leave immediately” kind of place, you won’t be surprised if/when it happens to you.

          LW noted they were “stunned, sad, guilty”, when if fact, it may have just been company policy.

          And regarding how to find out in a remote position, it’s not that difficult. “Suzy resigned today and she’s suddenly gone from the system” verses “Suzy resigned today and her last day will be in two weeks.”

  26. Kat*

    Don’t feel guilty about it. This is policy at some jobs for security reasons. Nothing to do with you personally. I do hope they paid you. Good luck in your new job and don’t get stuck on this. It’s not uncommon. Don’t say anything bad about the company. It can come back on you. Right now you presumably have a good reference.

  27. Lauren*

    Enjoy these two weeks off. Do not go to your new job early if you can stay home or go on a vacation.

    1. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

      Absolutely, Lauren – you’re telling it well. When I left a job at Toxic Industries to go to Nirvana, Inc. , I took a week off. That week was one of the most de-stressing, relaxing times of my life.

  28. Kindred Spirit*

    That was not unusual at the tech company I used to work for, but only if the employee was going to a company that operated in the same product categories or markets—not necessarily a direct competitor.

    Security would watch the resigning employee as they packed up their personal items (they had no more than 2 hours to this and only physical items could go, no digital files), and then they perp walked them out the door.

  29. Grumpy Elder Millennial*

    Heck, I’d want to know about my boss doing this to someone so I can evaluate how long to stay in that role. Knowing my boss was a jerk about this would be extremely useful information about how s/he operates.

  30. Pugetkayak*

    This is super common for my industry. Generally people know that you do what you need to do before leaving. But if it’s your first time quitting then, you didn’t know. But not weird at all. You generally get a 2 week paid interchange!

  31. Former Retail Lifer*

    OP, I’ve had this happen. I was a manager at a shoe store (so clearly not in possession of trade secrets or valuable knowledge!) and I was offered a position at another type of retail store. It’s retail, so I was only barely above paycheck-to-paycheck living back then and the new job paid more. Three days into my two weeks’ notice, my boss told me that HIS boss said I was no longer needed and this would be my last day. The boss’ boss said that when people put in their notice, they’re no longer motivated and would be likely to steal (!), so she always let people go before their notice was up. I was excited for the extra time off but I also knew several unplanned, unpaid days would financially kill me. They refused to pay me for the time, but they did pay me my unused vacation days even though state law didn’t require it, so it almost evened out. *Shrug* At least I knew that leaving was the right decision.

  32. City Planner*

    On feeling unsettled – I once, earlier in my career, gave my two weeks notice, worked about half of it, and then my boss said “how about we make tomorrow your last day?” My boss was honestly trying to be nice and give me a few (paid) days off before I started my next job — and I *still* felt weirdly depressed and unsettled during those in-between days. We spend so much time at work that transitions can be tough, even when they aren’t so unexpected and abrupt. Just a note to be kind to yourself and good luck with the next opportunity!

  33. scurvycapn*

    I hope the OP didn’t make that list of projects. I know I wouldn’t have.

    “I just tried to give you the courtesy of a two weeks notice. Why would I extend another courtesy to you based on how the first one turned out? Get bent.”

    1. allathian*

      If the boss was otherwise an okay manager and could be reasonably expected to give a decent reference, and only reacted negatively to the resignation, I don’t think being that petty would do any good.

  34. BasketcaseNZ*

    One of the c-suite staff at a company I worked for resigned to go and work for someone in a decidedly different industry and he was put on immediate gardening leave – to the extent of he was walked to the IT helpdesk to return his company property and ID and then walked off site.

    BUT, we also still had a farewell celebration for him – on the company dime, while he was on gardening leave. He was warmly farewelled by everyone, up to the CEO and the head of the board.
    This was simply a case of at that level, in that company, departures were instant on notification of resignation to move to another company. He knew that. (I didn’t at the time, so it surprised me).

  35. BellyButton*

    Ugh that sucks. The worst one of these I ever saw was with a colleague. She had just returned from medical leave after having a double mastectomy. She wasn’t even cleared to drive or lift anything yet. She gave her two weeks notice, and the director told her to pack her stuff and get out. She literally physically couldn’t. I ran over to pack her things, called someone from facilities to help us, while she went to the bathroom and cried. She had to call her husband to come pick her up, which took 90 minutes. I stood outside with her for that whole time with all her things on a cart waiting for him.

    There was no reason our director did that, other than to be an d*ck having a temper tantrum.

    1. Michelle Smith*

      Horrible story, wow. I’m glad that person had you there supporting her. Truly appalling behavior by that company.

    2. TootsNYC*

      I wonder if he did that as retaliation because he was annoyed at having “put up with” her medical leave for the surgery and all the lead-up appointments, and follow-up appointments still to come.
      So he thought that if she wasn’t going to be “loyal” to him in return for his “indulgence” of her medical issues, he was going to get rid of her.

  36. The OG Sleepless*

    This happened to me the first time I EVER resigned from a professional job, after *ten years.* It was a terribly toxic workplace that it took me years to fully get how bad it was. I knew my boss wasn’t going to take my resignation well, because he was one of those old-style “they should be grateful I gave them a job” types and he took it very personally when people resigned. I gave two months’ notice (1-2 months was standard in my position back then) and he called me at home the next day and told me not to come back.

    1. I went to school with only 1 Jennifer*

      Yeah, I had something similar. It was probably my first office-type job, and I gave them 2-3 months notice because I had been accepted to a college, and on the Friday of that same week they told me it was my last day. I was new at office-type jobs and was stunned.

      Then, because I “didn’t know any better”, I applied for unemployment. (I truly did not know that most people would assume I wouldn’t get it.) The stupid company tried to say that they’d fired me for cause, but, ummmm, hadn’t ever documented any warnings. Which there hadn’t been any warnings! I wasn’t great at my job but I wasn’t a problem employee either. So I got the unemployment benefits and didn’t have to find a part-time job for the first few months of school.

  37. Bess*

    Definitely contact your coworkers as Alison advises. I had a grandboss who resented that I left and forbade me to tell some coworkers, because they thought it reflected poorly on them. Based on some things people said to me afterwards as the news got out, it sounded like they were implying to others that I was forced out. I wish I had just sent an email on my own terms to get in front of that.

    1. Artemesia*

      You can assume that if the boss walks people when they give two weeks notice, he will also lie about it and try to control the narrative — either he fired you or you ‘walked off the job.’ Absolutely make sure your story is out there.

  38. AnonQuitter*

    When this happened to me I anticipated that my manager would ask me to leave right away. I wasn’t a good fit- I was kicking butt at the job, but my manager and team didn’t like that I was kicking butt. So in anticipation of this, slowly over the previous week I took all my personal items home. When I gave my notice she told me that I wasn’t needed for the two weeks, but she wanted me to finish out the day to conduct a client meeting that was scheduled. I told her that if I wasn’t needed for the two weeks then I wasn’t needed anymore at all. I tossed my bag and company cellphone on the table and walked out.

    It all around sucked, but honestly, that horrible manager and the way I was treated during my time there and quitting has helped me remember what my responsibility is to a company and what their responsibility is to me.

  39. Moonlight*

    I wonder if OP didn’t know she worked in a field where being told to leave right away is common? I had this happen to me where I worked as an administrator at a large corporation and found out when someone else quit that you basically get locked out of your lap top already and escorted out; to be fair, this was in finance and there were problems, not with the specific company but in the world, and I was shocked that this would even apply to administrators because it’s not like we were privy to secret info beyond some client data that we couldn’t really usably steal (it’s hard to explain) but to me it is concievable that someone could work in a field and not know it’s like that.

  40. Purple Jello*

    Congratulations on your new position! I hope it goes well for you.

    Leaving a job is a business decision for you. You have to do what’s best for you. It took me most of my career to really internalize that. Just remember that if a business needs to cut positions, they just do it, whether kindly or abruptly. It sounds like your boss took your notice personally.

    You have to not look at it that way, whether you’re the boss, or the person leaving. I highly recommend you follow Alison’s advice and reach out to your former colleagues to say your good byes, and let them know what happened and where you’re going. I also recommend you “take the high road”, acting professionally and keeping your communications with the former company and your former colleagues courteous and factual. This is your reputation on the line, and it will follow you for years. You don’t want to not get a future job because someone from this one erroneously thought you left this one without notice and left all your coworkers in the lurch because of something your ex-boss says. As much as possible, stay professional: it can pay off in the long run.

  41. Double Secret*

    My company used to be proud about holding this possibility over everyone’s heads — those who were “completely honest” with the company might be asked to stay, but for surprise resignations, apparently those traitors were considered not to have “taken the trouble, the initiative or even the common courtesy to let us know they were unhappy and looking elsewhere” such that these feckless formers had “created a situation where trust has broken down beyond repair” so the company could only heal its poor, broken heart by cutting ties as quickly as possible.

    That was their mindset a decade ago. It might still happen now, but if it does, they’re at least less open about it. And even then, it meant people knew to be even more circumspect, so … great job?

  42. Lily Potter*

    You’re young, and this is a good learning lesson.

    In the future, the time to start taking items home from the office is when you’re interviewing outside of the company. Not everything at once, of course (lest you arouse suspicion) but take home anything that you’d miss if the employer chose not to return it. I’m talking primarily about your personal items here. If there is any work product that you want to take with you (only you know the ethics/legality of your industry here), it’s smarter to print it off than to take it electronically.

    Another lesson – if you are ever laid off and are allowed to return to the office to clean out your desk, make sure someone stays right next to you as you box up your stuff. You don’t need the employer claiming that you took something that you shouldn’t have. Had this happen to me once – I came in after hours with my very sympathetic manager, who was supposed to supervise my packing. He knew I wasn’t of the mind to steal everything not nailed down, so he said “I’m going to go to my office; stop by when you’re all packed up.” I told him no, he needed to stay with me while I packed up, lest our stupid grandboss claim that I stole company pens or some other such nonsense.

    1. cncx*

      Yup, my old boss “implied” that I stole my company phone and I wish I had had a witness at my desk when I left. He didn’t file a police report or lock the phone down, he just wanted to “imply” I was the type of person to steal company property and have plausible deniability if he got called out.

  43. Heffalump*

    I once worked for a woman who could have been the prototype for Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada. I have quite a few war stories about that job. If someone gave notice, she’d usually fire them on the theory that otherwise they’d perform some sort of sabotage during their notice period. Regarding this behavior, a coworker once said she was judging others by herself. Seems plausible.

  44. Urbanchic*

    This is policy in many industries, whether it be good or bad policy. Don’t take it personally. You did the right thing by giving two weeks notice, and you don’t need to feel bad about how the transition is being managed. Of course it would be lovely to stay in touch with your colleagues, but I wouldn’t apologize. Best wishes with your new role!

  45. Anonymous Consultant*

    This is very common in the field where I work (consulting) that if you are not actively billing a customer when you provide your notice (i.e., you are “on the bench”) that we pay you in lieu of you working your notice. Unfortunately, some of us are worse at messaging that to the people leaving than others and that’s resulted in former employees feeling like they got rushed out the door after providing years of service to the company.

    OP, I’m really sorry your boss handled it that way. Even if it is standard practice in your company, it sounds like the way it was messaged was really crappy–and it shouldn’t have been.

  46. Bryce*

    “It’s always struck me as kind of a weird policy since if you were going to steal trade secrets, you could just do that before you resigned.”

    I haven’t been on the side of things to make those calls, but my understanding is that it’s less about premeditated damage and more the temptation. In a perfect world everyone stays professional even when they’re not going to be the ones accountable for it later, but there are professions/situations where you don’t want even the appearance of doubt.

  47. HearTwoFour*

    We do this at my company. Once someone gives 2 weeks notice, they’ve essentially checked out, and there’s not much we can do to ensure their work gets done. It’s easier on our end (HR), and usually more efficient, to have an empty desk for a few days. And everyone knows that’s the policy, so it’s not really a big deal.

    1. Clisby*

      Do you pay them for the 2 weeks? As long as everyone knows that policy (whatever it is), no problem.

    2. ViewFromHere*

      I never “checked out” when I gave notice. I worked up until the last moment, and my bosses were happy for it. Is this really the case?

  48. Seriously?*

    We just had an employee offer 2 weeks, and they got upset when we declined. However. They had been on the job less than two weeks. They had only worked one full shift during that time. They told the trainer that they would not do essential parts of the job that had been discussed in the interview. We had already accommodated shift requests that they had made.

    It made no sense to waste the time of the trainer and staff on someone who didn’t like the job and was leaving. In this situation, the best solution is a quick goodbye.

  49. LaLa*

    Little taken aback by how many comments here stating this is common and not to worry about it. That’s a whole paycheck OP just lost. Unless there’s a good reason AND the company is transparent this is how they work, it’s not cool.

    1. All Het Up About It*

      I think also most of the commenters are working under the assumption that the individual is still paid for those two weeks. My understanding of industries where this is common is that is what happens most of the time.

      But they are also addressing the OP’s main concerns which were “stunned and sad” and “so guilty” not “I’m stressed about the loss of income.” So they are speaking to the fact that this is common and the OP should not feel guilty, it’s okay to feel sad, and giving guidance so in the future the OP won’t feel stunned.

      As there wasn’t concern about pay we have to assume that either a) the OP was paid for their two weeks or b) the OP was lucky enough that this element was only an annoyance/disappointment not severe financial strain.

  50. PassThePeasPlease*

    Sorry this happened to you OP! I was in a similar situation my first job out of college but knew that was the policy (everyone on the team was asked to leave immediately per agreement with the agency and the client). But even knowing this in advance didn’t make it much easier, I was able to plan a few things and draft a mass email goodbye to my team as was the tradition but it was still very jarring to watch others leave immediately (sometimes with security, sometimes not, this seemed arbitrary) and it definitely impacted morale. No one was ever upset with the leaving party though, we knew it was out of their control.

  51. KatEnigma*

    I suspect that unless LW is specifically the problem and they were eager to see the back of her, as someone who is in her first job after college, she didn’t recognize that this is standard in her office. Maybe turnover is really low there.

    The only place my husband or I have worked where it was standard (unofficial, but common) we didn’t tell a SOUL and then swore anyone we had to tell to secrecy (it involved relocation, so it was a longer lead time, and we couldn’t just tell no one and then “BTW, we’re moving out of State in 2 weeks” ) because even though it was a metro area and a huge fortune 500 company, it was sometimes an incredibly small world, and we didn’t want to risk going extra time without pay. We still don’t know if they pay severance or not, but when my husband gave notice, we were told that had he been going to a competitor or refused to disclose where he was going, he’d have been escorted to his desk to clean it out and then out the door.

    Why you wouldn’t just lie about your next job, as well as steal whatever you were going to steal before giving notice, if you were the type to be that dishonest anyway?

  52. Pdxer*

    Great advice. Probably the one thing I might word differently is instead of stating “I’ve accepted another job, and when I resigned to Cecil and offered two weeks notice, he told me I should leave immediately,” I’d write “when I submitted my two week notice, I was informed (date) would be my last day.” Not a big change, but it’s just a little more objective and less likely to set off a potentially unreasonable boss if it gets around to him (not that that’s really your problem even if it does). Best of luck in the new position!

  53. MisterForkbeard*

    I don’t know if this had been brought up already, but within the tech sector this isn’t uncommon IF during your job you have access to sensitive data. For example, our System Administrators frequently get walked out the door as soon as they give notice because they immediately become (on paper) a security risk, and this is something we talk about with auditors and is part of our public controls on data security.

    But then, they also (often) get paid for the remaining two weeks even if they’re not allowed to actually work. So this is something else. But still: There might be a reasonable explanation for this.

  54. Sophia Brooks*

    I would say this is marginally better than the job I left where I worked out my notice period, but was forbidden to tell my coworkers I was leaving or train them on anything. So I had to try and stealth train them in case I needed backup and the disappeared

    1. allathian*

      That’s odd… The whole point of giving notice is to hand over your tasks to someone else and document what you’re doing…

  55. Waving not Drowning*

    I’ve resigned from a few jobs over my working career – only one has made me leave immediately – a few of us were made redundant at the same time – they decided they didn’t want part timers any more, only full time staff. They waited until the end of the day, then pulled us into individual meetings and said that we were being let go (coworker finished earlier than me, so I had no idea she wasn’t returning). I was, ok, fine, when is my last date so I can wind up things, and was told no, leave now. The other part timers were told the same thing, so it wasn’t personal. Funnily enough, I wasn’t allowed to pack up my personal items (coffee mug, etc etc), they packed it up later and sent it to me. One of the people who remained reached out to me afterwards, and was horrified as to how it was all handled – she wasn’t even told that we were no longer there and we worked in a shared office space – she left not long afterwards.

    It is NOT the norm in the majority of industries, and it says more about the organisation that it does you. Funnily enough, if I hadn’t been retrenched it wouldn’t have led me to some fantastic temping opportunities, and leading to my current (amazing) job.

    1. The Bill Murray Disagreement*

      I think this is much more common in layoff / Reduction in Force (RIF) scenarios, and to an extent I understand why: it sends a very strange message to tell people that their jobs are no longer necessary but expect them to work for any period of time. I also know many people think that folks who are laid off are more likely to sabotage / do bad things. I don’t know if that’s actually the case or not but I suppose someone who’s just been told they’re losing their job might be motivated.

  56. Beck Warburton*

    Our munipality does this unless you are a key post position. I do understand the company but such action is demoralizing to the person leaving. It happened to my friend. She was relieved to have it be done. I was horrified. I couldn’t even tell her goodbye with crying and being awkward. So I hid I my office instead. She and I are so still friends, but feeling in the middle was awful.

  57. Generic Name*

    This happened to me and my coworker who resigned the same day at my last job. If you really stretched the definition of “competitor” you could say I left to go to a competitor. My coworker went an entirely different direction (like we were lawyers and she took a job driving the wienermobile) and they didn’t let her work out her notice period either. It was unnecessary and dumb, but at least I got time off to decompress after working for that asshole.

  58. Not Mad Just Disappointed Scientist*

    Ugh, this just happened to my last close friend at my old ToxicOffice. They perp walked her out and everything. There was no reason for it, it was just to humiliate her. Sometimes bosses are needlessly cruel, sometimes thoughtlessly, sometimes intentionally so (for us it was the latter). I hope you make it through okay. I’m still struggling myself.

  59. The Apprentice*

    It is not a case that the boss is a jerk, rather company policy that someone finishes immediately upon resignation. I have seen this play out from accounting firms to multinationals and everywhere inbetween. It has happened to me. It is confronting and confusing but nothing personal, not to mention upsetting. Great advice from Alison to reach out diplomatically to your former co-workers, it is also confronting, confusing and upsetting for them too.

  60. Hank Johnson*

    I worked for a national company where I gave two weeks and they let me go at the end of the first week. I was working at the home office after completing a business trip that was very fruitful for the company long term. They brought in an HR person to collect “my things”. I thought the whole thing was weird but didn’t really care since I was getting a week of paid vacation before I started my next job (not even in the same field). It never happened before nor since.

  61. My Way Or The Highway*

    I worked as a contractor at a multi-national company when they made a huge number of people redundant and they were escorted out immediately, only allowed to go to their desk to get their handbag/wallet/phone/keys. It created mayhem. People had documents open, transactions open, approvals in progress in the MIS, print jobs in the queue, internal & external meetings pending, lunch in the fridge. And it created a logjam because some of the people who were approvers were gone and workflow could not progress without them. The business had not planned any logistics around the transition. Everyone left behind was in shock, scared, confronted, upset, bewildered. They called everyone in to a “de-brief meeting” and said that they would invite everoyone back for a farewell morning tea, but they never did.

  62. rudster*

    I wonder if you can apply for unemployment if you’re tell them you are planning to leave in 2 weeks, but are forced to leave immediately. After all, you are ready and available for work, and they are refusing to allow you to work, so it seems like you would qualify. I’d try get the fact that you are being forced to leave in writing though.

  63. Lindsey*

    Since it is this person’s first job out of college, I think it is highly likely they *are* in one of the fields where this is normal, and they just don’t realize it yet because they haven’t been around long enough to see others resign. I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion of “boss is a jerk.” My best bet is that they’re going to a competing firm and this is company policy. This is super, super common in my field. They’re sometimes more lenient with junior employees, but sometimes it is just a blanket policy.

    Now, their boss probably should have explained this better, but maybe the boss wasn’t thinking straight and had just assumed the employee realized this was the norm in the industry. And HR, at least, should have explained it more clearly.

    Agree that getting paid the two weeks is key to “not being a jerk,” though.

  64. Gary Patterson’s Cat*

    Don’t stress over it! Some companies just have that rule where they do this (which might be for good reasons), and some managers take resignations way to personally and act unprofessionally. But it’s an “at will” workplace and you did nothing wrong and were the one who acted in a professional manner.

  65. La Triviata*

    I know this is also pretty common for people who are doing accounting/finance for their employers. Years ago, a friend of my mother’s who did the bookkeeping for her employer quit and offered notice, but was walked out right afterwards. My mother passed it on to her friend who found it reassuring.

    And, at my old toxic job, one person quit, worked her notice and afterwards we found that she’d left viruses on all the discs (yes, it was that long ago) so that we had to go through them and clean them up.

  66. gmg22*

    This happened to me once but not immediately — instead halfway through my notice period. We were in the middle of running a weeklong orientation for the fellowship program I worked on. So I was there one day working with the new fellows and disappeared the next. There was no real reason for it that I can think of other than the program deputy disliked me, had already wanted me gone and poured some poison in the ear of our boss — who then turned on a dime from one day to the next. I never quite got over that.

  67. yala*

    This happened to my friend who worked at a well-known Christian bookstore. She was assistant manager in all but name (they don’t promote you unless you’re willing to move on short notice whenever they say and she wouldn’t do that), literally would travel around the country to help set up new stores, had been personally recognized by the VP for her work, etc…

    When she put in her 2 weeks, the regional manager told her manager to take her keys and ID that day.

    Right before November.

    Leaving the whole store scrambling to cover for one of their hardest workers (who worked the most hours) right as the holiday rush hit.

  68. idontneedanything*

    Many moons ago in my prior career, I was leaving a small family owned (4 people total!) service business to join my new husband in his business – a completely different field. I had worked for the company for 10 years. The owner only managed the business, and his wife “dabbled” in the service part but was far from proficient. Really there were only two of us handling the day to day client work. My coworker was scheduled to take a vacation, and I realized if I gave a standard 2 week notice I would be giving it WHILE he was on vacation. I didn’t want to leave these people – who I’d been with so long – in a lurch like that. I agonized over it – and finally decided to give them a 4 week notice. Big mistake. I was asked to leave at the end of the week. Absolute LAST time I’d give such a long notice!

  69. Ms. Coffee*

    This is fairly common in my industry as many people take jobs with competitors. It sucks, but I hope OP doesn’t take it personally.

    OP- reach out to your former colleagues if you have phone numbers or LinkedIn! I’m sure they understand that you didn’t intend to dump your work on them before leaving.

  70. Will's Mom*

    I once gave a two weeks notice. A couple of days in, my boss called me at home that evening and said I did not have to come in and that they would mail me my personal belongings. I stood my ground and I told her I would be in first thing the next day and I would pack up my belongings myself. She tried to steamroll me, but I stood my ground. This was back in the day, so I was able to get away with it. (no keycards, etc) I was every bit the professional. I came in, packed up and quietly left. Looking back, I still don’t see how I got away with this. My desk was in a room with 5 other desks. (No cubicles involved.) Everyone looked shocked, and the they all put their heads down and stayed that way until I left. No hard feelings at all and I was super glad to get out of there. I left for a WAAY better job that paid WAAY more. I can’t decide if I was smart or just dumb. lol

  71. BetterLuckNextTime*

    Lots companies doth and I’ve never hear of anyone paying out the notice time. You are entitled to be paid for unused vacation time (provided your company has a set number of days and not offering “unlimited” time)

  72. Mark Baron*

    I am very surprised that in the response, the manager was labeled “most likely a jerk”. There are many situations in which this is done. I have friends who work at companies that want you out the day you give notice, for reasons particular to that company or that line of work. This person might have been a problem employee that the company was glad to get rid of. (I’m sure we have all had employees that would cause you to celebrate if they gave their notice.) To call someone a jerk when so many facts are not known sounds harsh.

  73. vel*

    well, I’m working my last two weeks and have literally nothing to do. If they want to be idiots, then I’m happy to be paid for doing nothing. Alas, this thinking is nothing new for this company, and it will be dead within 6 months since everyone else will be leaving.

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