General Question

Dazed_and_Confused's avatar

I need a polite reason to quit my job.

Asked by Dazed_and_Confused (361points) July 30th, 2012

I’ve been a PCA for a quadriplegic women for 9 months now, I thought everything was going good, but recently felt like she wants me gone. I looked at her text she sent, and was upset when i saw my name pop up calling me a ditz and an air head and stupid.
I want to quit and work for some other clients that appreciate me more. but I feel bad I want a polite excuse just so the next 2 weeks aren’t awkward(considering the jobs i do for her, awkwardness would suck).
I think I’ll end up telling her on the last day I work its because I know she wanted me gone since November. I was thinking of maybe saying my college schedule came back and its going to be really stressful and I think this job is too much? Do you think that’s ok? its partly true…
I don’t want to quit but I have other clients who really appreciate me and want me with them full time.

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39 Answers

tranquilsea's avatar

Do you have to give a reason? Just tell her that another opportunity opened up and you’ve decided to take it.

Dazed_and_Confused's avatar

My mom is a friend of hers which is how I got the job. So im nervous

tranquilsea's avatar

Don’t be nervous. You’ll feel better when you’re in a job where you feel appreciated.

Dazed_and_Confused's avatar

I just don’t want her to be mad… so many PCA’s have quit on her because her brother comes over and gives her shots she gets drunk gets really mean, so i feel really bad but like you said a better opportunity came up. However I don’t want her think that shes not good enough, or I don’t like her. I’m just worried she’ll be mad and make everything awkward the next 2 weeks, I guess its a bit unavoidable but hopefully it’ll be over soon.

Dazed_and_Confused's avatar

Thanks. That’s what everyone is saying. : )

YARNLADY's avatar

Just say you are moving on to another position and you wish her the best of luck with her new helper.

bkcunningham's avatar

How did she text and how did you see her text, if you don’t mind me asking you, @Dazed_and_Confused?

tranquilsea's avatar

She may be upset but if you handle the situation with compassion and understanding then you’re taking the high road. She’ll get over it eventually.

gailcalled's avatar

Be reasonable and pleasant and do not lie; it is not good for you and is unnecessary.

As you have said, “so many PCA’s have quit on her.” That implies she is aware of her unpleasant behavior and will need no untrue details. You do not have to worry about what she thinks and whether she is angry.

You are the professional. It is a job; you are doing it well. Give her two weeks notice and then wish her well. Don’t tell her anything. Don’t be petty. Don’t sink to her level.

Dazed_and_Confused's avatar

@bkcunningham do you know those redball mouse ? well she has one of those where her control stick is, on her chair by her chin. and then puts a stick in her mouth moves the ball and clicks, its amazing with what she can do with technology, the keyboard is on her screen so she can type by clicking, and fairly quick too. she can pay bills and with yahoo messenger can send text. So when she was outside getting fresh air, I searched my name threw her text. I know its wrong of me, I just needed to confirm the fact she wanted me gone.

gailcalled's avatar

IF you were in that position, perhaps you’d grouse and complain also. She must have a very difficult life.

This is a good learning experience; you can leave this job with dignity and not worry about what imaginary sins she is pinning on you.

Your only job is to be the best you you can be.

Bellatrix's avatar

I agree with @gailcalled. Hand in your notice and work the period graciously. Even if she isn’t behaving with grace, there is no reason for you to also adopt that behaviour or tone. I also have to ask why you are reading her texts? That would seem to be a breach of her privacy. Is there any justification for her being unhappy with your work? I understand she could just be difficult to work for, but this is an opportunity for you to reflect on whether you could have given better service?

BosM's avatar

In the future if you want to know if you’re wanted just ask. Invasion of privacy exposes you to risk if there’s a breach of her information or assets. Not the position you want to be in.

As for a polite reason, well, don’t make it about her, make it about you. The demand of college coursework is fine. If you “fess up” on the last day it will just cause hard feelings and not end up well. Good luck

Dazed_and_Confused's avatar

@gailcalled & @bellatrix bad tone? are you serious? I’m honestly trying to quit in the nicest way possible. I really don’t want to make her feel bad, and i feel terrible about quitting as it is. have I not made that clear? and yes if you would have read my previous response ”, I searched my name threw her text. I KNOW ITS WRONG OF ME, I just needed to confirm the fact she wanted me gone.” I know she had a difficult life, I never said I don’t acknowledged that. but honestly the stress of the job and knowing she wants me gone kind of hurts. and I kind of think its a little bad on her part to want to get rid of the one PCA that has worked Christmas Easter and every other holiday and never called in sick. I’ve done all I can do.

please skip the lectures of the invasion of privacy im not stupid i know its wrong, i said its wrong, your just telling me something i already know.

dabbler's avatar

“My mom is a friend of hers” Does your mom have any feedback about your situation?
Your mom is certainly going to hear about it from her friend if you leave, so talk it over with her ahead of time.

Nullo's avatar

You say, “I got a really good offer the other day, and I have decided to take it. It’s been great working with you, and I wish you all the best.” Or something. The important thing is to mean it.
@Dazed_and_Confused The thing that gets us is that you knew it was wrong, but you did it anyway.

gailcalled's avatar

@Dazed_and_Confused: YOU said that you needed a reason to quit your job. I said, in several complex sentences and in several different ways, that you didn’t.

I made no mention of your having spied on her.

jca's avatar

@Dazed_and_Confused: Since most PCA’s are required to work holidays, I suggest you look for another type of work, unless working holidays is something you like.

Bellatrix's avatar

@Dazed_and_Confused I didn’t say you had adopted a bad tone, I said regardless of her bad attitude/tone, you don’t need to go down that path. There is usually an expectation that a decent employee will give notice and work that notice out.

I did say you spied on her. You did. You searched her phone. I am glad you realise that was not the right thing to do but you still did it. A more mature way to deal with the situation would be (as @BosM suggests) just to ask her if she is unhappy with your work.

dabbler's avatar

@Dazed_and_Confused I don’t think @gailcalled accused you of anything. She mentioned several sorts of things that people do when considering to quit and wisely cautioned against them.

gailcalled's avatar

@Dazed_and_Confused : Now that I see how badly you misread many of the responses here, I wonder whether you may have misunderstood your client also.

Your response was not that of a calm and careful reader. (If I were not being polite, I would say that you sounded shrill and unreasonable, but I am and so I won’t.)

jca's avatar

@Dazed_and_Confused: You have to admit you did get huffy up above, and offensive when nobody was attacking you. Re-read what you wrote and your tone.

bkcunningham's avatar

I think it is sort of ironic that she did what you are doing now when she complained behind your back. You must have suspected that she wasn’t happy with you when you snooped in her cell phone. But anyway, @Dazed_and_Confused, that is neither here nor there now. Give her a notice so she can find someone else and just be honest with her. Tell her it doesn’t’ seem to be working out. I think honesty is always the best policy.

CWOTUS's avatar

Along with many others here, I’d suggest that you not make up a story, not tell about fictional “schedule conflicts” or “great opportunities elsewhere” if they don’t exist. If they do, then fine. Those are “polite reasons” and valid business reasons. Just give your notice on that basis, if true, work it out as much as she wants or requires, and then ask for a recommendation on your way out. (You should always try to leave on good terms and you should always ask for recommendations, since employment in this kind of profession will frequently rely upon such personal recommendations in the future.)

On the other hand, if those “valid business reasons” don’t exist, then tell the truth tactfully, “I don’t feel appreciated” or “I think you’ll do better with someone else.” Those are both valid, polite and apparently true. You should still ask for the recommendation.

In the future, should you ever be concerned about an employer’s opinion of you, that opinion can’t help but be improved if you simply ask them face to face instead of snooping through their personal correspondence. In your position I must say that is pretty low behavior, and I don’t like to make judgments about people. But you’re young. Chalk that up to insecurity, inexperience and one-time bad judgment. Learn from that and then don’t ever do it again. It’s bad enough to do something like that with a spouse, a friend or other “equal partner”. Imagine how bad you’d be feeling if she had caught you going through her texts and told that to your mother as she fired you on the spot! If you ruin your reputation – and getting caught at something like that will do it – that’s very hard to recover and rebuild.

Buttonstc's avatar

The only thing that you are technically required to do here is to give her your two weeks notice and work out those two weeks.

I imagine she realizes that people are not lining up in eagerness to work for her since many have quit already so it’s unlikely she will press the issue and ask you why you’re leaving. The less you say the better all around.

But if she does ask you why, several people have already given you excellent tactful and truthful responses. Choose whichever one feels right to you.

Saving up your retribution for confronting her on the last day really serves no useful purpose so you may want to rethink that part. It will just leave a bitter taste in everyones mouth all around.

Treating her with professionalism even on the last day rather than tit for tat vindictiveness is a classy thing to do for your own sake, regardless of whether it’s recognized by her.

Stooping to her level just confirms in her mind all the negative opinions she expressed about you. Don’t give her the satisfaction.

Just chalk this up as a learning experience and go work elsewhere with someone who does appreciate you and be happy. Life is too short to be stewing in anger and resentment. Let it go and move on.

Your Mother knows you far better than you think she does. It would take far more than a few unpleasant criticisms from this woman to turn your Mother against her own daughter.

Let your entire unpleasant experience with this woman fade into the past and go on to happier times.

You’ll meet plenty more unpleasant people during your life. She’s not the last. Don’t allow them to affect you. Let it pass like water under the bridge. Their negativity is their own. You don’t have to allow it to become yours.

Buttonstc's avatar


Just to clarify a minor point, it is not automatically expected that they work holidays (or weekends or nights for that matter).

Holidays especially are normally negotiated separately and normally at overtime pay rates. A friend of mine works for an agency and since she is widowed, will volunteer for holidays since she gets a higher rate and realizes that many other workers have children, families, etc.

I really don’t know of any agency which automatically expects workers to routinely be available to work holidays or oddball night hours.

Obviously this particular situation is not through an agency and I have a hunch that the OP didn’t negotiate holidays and such separately upfront (most likely due to inexperience) and now regrets it and feels taken advantage of.

Had this lady (the patient) gone through an agency she would surely have had to pay differently for holidays, nighttime and possibly weekends as well.

jca's avatar

@Buttonstc: In my field of work, I work with a lot of these agencies and aides. I know for a fact that they are expected to work holidays if the holiday falls on a day when the client would normally receive service. If it falls on a day when they receive service (for example, if they receive service 5 days a week and the holiday is on one of those days), who else would be expected to work in their place? Not saying there’s never an exception, and not saying aides can’t ever call in sick, but they are normally expected to work holidays. My grandfather had one once and she was there on Christmas (and she was about 7 months pregnant) and she told me she didn’t receive extra pay for it. I will contact one of my agency friends later on at work and verify if the aides get paid extra for holidays. Maybe where you work the situations are different as far as aides and pay and expectations go?

LostInParadise's avatar

Following up on what @CWOTUS said, you can still just ask her if she thinks you are doing an adequate job. Tell her that it will not hurt your feelings if she says no, but that if she does not think you are good enough, it would be best for both of you if you worked for someone else. It may be that she is generally a difficult person to get along with, which could have caused all the others to leave. That does not necessarily mean that she would prefer to have someone else.

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Dazed_and_Confused's avatar

I talked to her yesterday and was honest like some of you suggest. We came to a good understanding and it actually went well. And better then I thought it would. I told her I got a feeling she didn’t want me around because she left up her text on her computer, I happened to notice my name, and the things she was calling me.
Thank you to those who managed to stay on topic, and give me the advice I asked for.
I don’t appreciate how many of you voiced your concern of me reading a text she left up, I almost wonder if she wanted me to see it? I never hacked her computer just saw my name, so it was almost instinct to read something with your name on it. I think the communication with most of you is off. It’s not my intention to bash you, just make it clear I knew the texting was wrong yet, some of you seemed to not resist the urge of shouting opinions on that rather then answering my question. “I need a polite reason to quit my job”. . I understand on the internet it’s hard to understand tones, sarcasm, and meanings. and not all of you understood the whole story, such as: it was her computer not a phone, and it’s not required to go in every holiday usually it rotates but no one was willing too, and I certainly wouldn’t want her to stay in bed on Christmas. I can understand how I sounded rude but it was not my intentions I was just trying to get my question answered. Not “fix” my work performance(which I think is fairly well), our fix the fact I saw her text because I can’t time travel ;).
Anyways thanks :)

gailcalled's avatar

What was her response?

YARNLADY's avatar

@Dazed_and_Confused thanks for the update. As you have seen, Fluther is a full service site, we offer our opinions and experiences, you can take it or leave it.

bkcunningham's avatar

True that is, @YARNLADY. I hope everything works out for you Kiddo, @Dazed_and_Confused. Taking care of a quadriplegic must be a very difficult job. Not everyone is suited to do that type of work. It takes a certain kind of person. An angel in my eyes, for helping a fellow human who is in need of assistance. I can understand not feeling appreciated.

Buttonstc's avatar


That’s really interesting. So I guess it’s pretty location dependent then. And possibly some aspect of supply and demand play into it as well.

The friend I was referencing is kind of put in a pretty rural area of Va.

But I also knew folks in Philly who worked for agencies and they def. got extra pay for major holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Rosh Hashannah etc.(basically the “family focused” ones) but I’m not sure what the parameters were for other holidays like Memorial Day, Presidents Day and other govt. mandated ones.


Dazed_and_Confused's avatar

Its really depends on the agency and schedule and ect… when it comes to who works what holidays. My client went threw PCA choice(a branch off of the agency), which means she does the scheduling and the hiring, other PCA’s refused to work on Christmas and Christmas eve, but I was polite enough to take it, I also don’t receive holiday pay. While if i were to take another client who goes directly threw the agency I would receive holiday pay.
It really depends on the agency. I also live in Rochester Minnesota so the pay and laws here can be slightly different. With the Mayo Clinic there are alot of laws involving PCAs. This year they made a law saying PCA’s can only be payed 11.00$ and if your related to patient only 8.80$ which I don’t think is quite fair to the family.

Dazed_and_Confused's avatar

@gailcalled She didn’t say much just seemed really understanding it went pretty well and she asked if she could put me on call if ever needed, I did agree to that
on a side note- I am a bit dyslexic and can see were I miss read your message. I do apologize but my reading ability doesn’t effect my working ability. just mis-communication like how I mentioned above.

gailcalled's avatar

@Dazed_and_Confused: So, all’s well that ends well. Excellent.

jca's avatar

@Buttonstc and @Dazed_and_Confused: It may be that the aide doesn’t get paid when she doesn’t work, so if she takes off on a holiday, she makes less that week. I have to verify – will do later and call one of my agency friends.

serenityNOW's avatar

@Dazed_and_Confused – first off, kudos to you for working such a taxing job. I’m very happy that it went well. It sounds like you were polite, after all. I’m just curious why you’d stay on call for this woman? That’s a lovely gesture of you, but why? If this woman considers you a “ditz and an air head and stupid”, you really should work your two weeks and be done. True, what you do is very specialized work, but I doubt people are lining up to assist the paralyzed: find something else! Don’t work for someone who doesn’t respect you; you deserve more than that!
And, I’m talking from direct, recent experience with leaving a job. I left abruptly, with only week’s notice, because I was feeling humiliated by one of my managers. It was also in a similar situation, where I was dying to tell her off at the end of the week. Instead, I punched out and informed her I was leaving. I didn’t say anything bad, but I didn’t say anything good either; I just left. Walked out the door and that was it.
I know it might sound harsh, but you really have no “allegiance” toward her. You don’t owe her anything. I know it sounds cold, but if she doesn’t respect you, just maintain your integrity and keep your chin up. Good luck!

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