Am I doing a really bad thing?

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Am I doing a really bad thing?

Postby Tarantula » Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:38 pm

Hi PP

I started a job a few weeks ago but I didn't want to carry on with it so I wrote in my resignation this weekend, after pulling a sickie yesterday (well, I say pulling a sickie, but I genuinely hadn't slept at all the night before due to feeling very depressed about things, which I MUST see my GP about as a matter of urgency..). I was supposed to work today, tomorrow, Wednesday and Friday, 30hrs in total.

The thing is, I'm aware that in my contract I'm supposed to give a week's notice during my probationary period if I want to leave. But I got no response from my resignation email even though I have every reason to believe that at least one of the two recipients saw it (my manager and line manager). I was expecting some reply like 'ok, but you still need to come in for the next week'. That didn't happen so I got comfortable with the idea of having just been dropped, which was fine by me as I felt tremendously guilty for leaving so soon and expected hostility if I did go in again.

I just got a voicemail from my manager asking me to come in, as in, now, as I'm supposed to be on shift serving my one week's notice. He didn't sound angry or anything. But I really really really REALLY don't wanna go!!! I KNOW I'm doing a naughty, I know I'm breaching the contract... but it's not like my job is particularly important, all that happens if I don't go in is, someone else has to keep an eye on the gym floor every now and again. At absolute worst, someone (a member) will ask why there's no staff member on the gym floor, and they'll have to say that 'we're understaffed today unfortunately'. It is unlikely that, due to that, any member will cancel their membership and thus my actions have resulted in a financial loss for the company. The chances are, nobody will even notice (and that's partly why I quit; it's a redundant role). They'll come in, workout and leave, whether I'm there or not.

But on the other hand, it IS in the contract that I have to give a week's notice, I AM responsible for abiding by that, in principle, I am totally in the wrong and there's no getting around it. I feel very guilty, so I'm just wondering if my feelings right now are proportionate; I do have a problem with feeling unnecessarily guilty much of the time, thanks to daddio. But that's not my employer's problem, either.

If this was someone else, I would say to them, that if your desire to NOT go to work exceeds their need for you to BE in work, then don't go, BUT, realise the consequences of that, so if they don't pay you for the work you DID do, don't complain. If you see your manager in Budgens and he blanks you, DON'T complain. If he verbally scrutinises you for being wholly unprofessional, TAKE it. I would also say that, as real as it all feels now, the truth is, by next week/month/year, no one will bat an eyelid about it.

Right now I feel like they might come after me with pitch forks. I feel really quite scared and bad about this. But ultimately it's not as frightening to me as the prospect of going in when they know I'm leaving, or the prospect of having to do a job which I quit for a reason. I think if they had got back to me sooner I would've felt differently, but I had very much gotten comfy with the idea of not going back.

I'm being a coward and I know it. On the other hand, I'm not committed to even working in that industry anymore; no peep of this will ever really affect my future career or anything like that. I'm normally the first person to bend over backwards for the needs of someone/something else, or to do things just because they're expected of me, even if it means I lose more than they gain. Is it SO wrong for me to, for once, deliberately misbehave? Will I forever be hated by my boss and former colleagues? It's not personal to them. I think I have a problem with the concept with employment in general. Which can either mean that I'll end up on the doll in and out of therapy, or that I'll rise as some sort of Steve Jobs social entrepeneur of the century; I can think of several people who resented employment/common conventions regarding 'getting a job because it's the done thing' -which ties in heavily with the problems I had with the education system as well - but who became great successes in their own rite. But that's another story..
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Re: Am I doing a really bad thing?

Postby snail » Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:23 pm

Well, it's your decision really, B_C, no one can make it for you. It sounds like you've decided not to go in. I don't think it's relevant how important the job is or how much they need you (only they really know those things - there may be legal reasons why someone has to watch the floor) it's about the unpleasantness of breaking your word versus the unpleasantness of going in and fulfilling your notice. You have to pick the one you prefer. I agree that it will have no lasting practical consequences, it's just your own choice.

Broken_Chord wrote: I think I have a problem with the concept with employment in general. Which can either mean that I'll end up on the doll in and out of therapy, or that I'll rise as some sort of Steve Jobs social entrepeneur of the century; I can think of several people who resented employment/common conventions regarding 'getting a job because it's the done thing' -which ties in heavily with the problems I had with the education system as well - but who became great successes in their own rite.

To be honest everyone feels like that, but you learn to adapt, in whatever way's best for you. As you get older you will be going for better roles and be treated more like a partner than a dogsbody, which will change the dynamic. Or you may decide to be self-employed.
These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.

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Re: Am I doing a really bad thing?

Postby Tarantula » Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:19 pm

Hi Snail

Thanks for your reply. I wrote to my manager basically saying that I'm not going in.... please don't hate me. Well, it sounded much more sophisticated than that and pointed to the fact that I believe it's inconsequential whether I go in or not.

This is a belief that was harshly scrutinised by his reply, which talked about the 'operational cost' my not being there has on the club, and the fact that he had to fill in for me today, so if he were to sue me for breach of contract (which he said he had no interest in doing), he'd start with the cost of his time, which he said to be 'not insignificant' (unlike, for example, my wage). The existence of a legal requirement for SOMEONE to be there was also mentioned.

I responded saying I take all of that on board, and hope that the next coach isn't such a cop out. It was me trying to do a dishonourable thing, in the most honourable way possible.

But what I think about his 'operational cost' is that, if you strip down all the rhetoric, it's the legal requirement and the legal requirement alone which is the bread and butter of my role, and the core reason why he's obviously miffed at me. It's a health and safety box-ticking exercise, nothing more. And the legal requirement, whilst legal, is stupid in my opinion without further conditions, like for example, that the person who is obliged to be there must be first aid qualified, which I'm not, and must be trained to carry out safety checks on the equipment, which I wasn't even though I believe I was supposed to be. In the event of a member accident, my only contribution would be to raise the alarm which, for heaven's sake, any right-thinking member who was also there would do anyway. It's like being legally obliged to hire someone to stand there all day with the sole purpose of raising the alarm IF a fire breaks out.

Of course, the blurb of the job talks about 'customer service' and the delivering of 15min classes at several points throughout the day. But from my brief experience, most people who are at the gym don't wanna be disturbed. It was my job to go around striking up conversation as a bit of a hospitality thing. A few people liked it, a few were ambivalent either way, but most were saying 'get lost' with their eyes and brevity, or even ignoring me altogether. And I totally understand. When I'm pushing through that last critical rep, I don't need some plucky fitness person getting in my way and disrupting my groove. As for the classes though, he's got me. The members WILL have to survive a few days of not having 15min classes on the gym floor. They will still leave the gym, get on with their job/lives, and tomorrow's another day nonetheless.

If the legal requirement wasn't there, I think my role would quickly disappear, or become amalgamated into another role, like a personal trainer who can have a quick look every now and again to make sure no one's dying (although again, if they were, surely someone would raise the alarm automatically) or any other member of staff generally.

So basically I maintain that my not being there only becomes important IF an injury HAPPENS to occur when I'm supposed to be on shift, where somehow no one else is there to raise the alarm, resulting in significant harm. THEN I'm liable. But given that there's not much I could really do to prevent such an event, or reduce the impact of it if I WAS there... it's not a critical deal by any stretch of the imagination. The minority of members who just like to see a member of staff milling about nearby, well, they will have to deal with it for the three shifts that I am disregarding.

And I know that I need to deal with the understandable response of my manager, which is less than pleasant. So that's why I didn't argue the point with him and just took it, again trying to go out on some sort of dignified note within an undignified choice which I stand by. And came on here to rant my point of view instead. :D
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Re: Am I doing a really bad thing?

Postby ILoveChristmas » Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:18 pm

Hi B_C,

I'm not sure that any liability resulting from an injury while you were meant to be there falls on you, it's not you as an individual who is responsible for the safety and well-being of the members, even while you're at work, it's the gym as a whole and it's they who fall liable were anything to go wrong and the member pursued the matter. That's all irrelevant though because you can't be held liable for something that happened while you weren't there.

My only observation while I read your posts was related to a reference for a future position, but I gather your employment there was sufficiently brief that you needn't mention it on your CV and can forget about the whole thing.
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