Skip Nav
1 Woman Explains Why Data Scientist Is the "Sexiest" Job of the 21st Century
Protect Your Assets: A Buyer's Guide to Ring Insurance
This Woman Ditched the Corporate World to Start Her Own Monthly Box For Book-Lovers

You Asked: How Can I Avoid the Office Drama?

Dear Sugar,

I recently quit my job at a company that I absolutely hated because I was constantly being mistreated. In addition, there were some very shady things going on behind closed doors that I was privy to, and completely against. I announced my resignation the day I left. My boss inquired as to why I didn't offer to give two weeks notice per the contract I signed, and I told him it was because I disagreed with the way things were going down and asked that he understand and respect my decision. He agreed and said that it was okay for me to leave that day.

Here's my issue: Every week since I've left, I've received phone calls and e-mails from this company asking me to assist them in training my replacement. I understand their need for my help since I left with no notice, but I simply don't feel comfortable being a part of their company anymore. I don't want to start a war or go into further detail about why I left so how can I make them leave me alone so I can put this entire experience behind me? — Taken Advantage of Amanda

To see DearSugar's answer

Dear Taken Advantage of Amanda,

It sounds like you got out of there just in the nick of time, so if you don't feel comfortable going back, don't. Your boss gave you the green light to leave without staying for the two weeks you originally agreed upon, so don't by any means feel like you have to help them train the new girl.

With that said, if you haven't already received a reference from this company, you might want to talk to your boss about getting one ASAP, as your failure to help them after your departure could negatively affect the way they view your performance. If you don't care about the recommendation, or if you've already received it, I'd simply be stern the next time someone contacts you and tell them you are unable to assist them and politely ask them to stop their incessant calls.

I'm not sure what went down there, but it's pretty clear by your reaction that it's something you need to put in the past. Lean on your friends for support and hopefully once they stop contacting you, you'll be able to move on from this bad experience. Good luck.


Join The Conversation
sarah100682 sarah100682 8 years
Obvouisly, I don't specifically know what the shady things were that were going on, or who up the "food chain" they involved but I think you should tell them exactly what was going on. You aren't there anymore and it sounds as if things were so bad that caused you to quit, then something needs to give. If you are in that situation, chances are someone else at work is, or the person that replaces you will be. Again like I said, I have no idea what these problems are and who they involve, but if it's possible, if they call again and ask, tell them. You might save someone else the heartache that you are currently in.
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
Geez, I don't know - I've worked at some really terrible, horrible jobs and unless you were being physically injured, you have an obligation to fulfill your responsibilities. I don't see why you couldn't give two weeks notice, unless your life was endangered (in which case you should sue!) - or why you couldn't train a replacement. It's a job, not a relationship or a class you're dropping.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
No worries, geebers--you put it better than I :)
geebers geebers 8 years
I repeated what Jude said - sorry Jude haha.
geebers geebers 8 years
I really am against burning bridges no matter how unhappy you felt. I had similar experiences in my first job out of college but I can't imagine doing something to make them reconsider giving me a positive reference. You know that future jobs WILL call (if you are using them on your resume that is) so it is to your benefit to at least try to make an effort to train this new person. Is it really that big a deal? I dont know what went down at this place- if it is something legal like harassment then I support you but it sounds more like bad environment and energy. I say you train the girl for a day or two and then tell the company you are not available.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
divine, yes there isnt always a person "above" but since this didnt specify i thought i would give the best advice i could. I am not being harsh at all. Its just honesty.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I've been in that position, and it sucks, but in all honesty I think just for self-preservation purposes (meaning: your reference) it might be wise to at least put in a day or so training your replacement. It isn't as if you need to teach her to be okay with the shady stuff or anything. Burning bridges like that might come back to bite you in the *ss later, especially considering the job market right now.
GScott86 GScott86 8 years
Kindly ask them to stop calling you. Also, have their email address dropped into a black hole. If they keep calling you, just ignore? I guess eventually they'll stop calling. I would however, just do the whole training thing or something I dunno. You've "burned a bridge" or whatever, so this could be a good opportunity to help repair it since you did break contract. He could give you bad recommendations here on out, and this could provide the opportunity to fix that (and stop the harassment). Either way it's up to you.
divinelight divinelight 8 years
CaterpillarGirl, there is not always a way to go over your boss' head to a superior. Sometimes the boss is the actual owner or president. It isn't her job to make the office a better place for that replacement. Yes, she left without giving 2 weeks notice, but her boss also released her from that. She was not comfortable working there because she did not agree with their practices, and I think she was smart to leave when she did and she does not have to go back. You're being a little harsh in your judgment.
amybdk amybdk 8 years
Oh, and best wishes to you! :hug:
amybdk amybdk 8 years
"With that said, if you haven't already received a reference from this company, you might want to talk to your boss about getting one ASAP, as your failure to help them after your departure could negatively affect the way they view your performance." I feel this is key - waste no time on this! Without knowing the details of the OP's situation, I feel it unnecessary to make the assumption that "there are always ways to go above your boss and let the upper management know whats going on " because she/he has a better idea how the company is run than any of us. To the OP, have you figured out how you will answer the inevitable job interview question, "Why did you leave your last job?" I am sure you will find a tactful way to answer that type of question, making sure not to make you or your previous employer look bad. No matter what happens, I feel that it's a good idea not to burn bridges completely.
vouninou vouninou 8 years
I left a previous job some years ago because I felt they were always "playing" with my contract renewals. I was hired on short-term contracts : 3 months, 6 weeks, 2 months ... "depending on their needs and budget". Actually, my contract had always been renewed but they never wanted to offer me a long term contract. Other employees told me it was usual in that company and some people were there for more than 10 years having that kind of short-term contracts so I wasn't not really afraid that I could loos my job but I felt always insecure and I wasn't able to make any long term plan. Plus, they always waited on the last day of my contract to let me know that yes, it is renewed. After almost 3 years like that, I decided to stop that and I, of course, waited the last day of my contract to tell them "no, I don't want to renew my contract". As my contract was expiring, I knew they had no way to ask me to give a 2 week notice. After a couple of weeks, I also started to get calls from them, asking me if I could come for a couple of days as they didn't find someone to replace me and they needed help. I declined a couple of time, they were still calling ... in the meanwhile, I heard from an ex-coworker that they actually replaced me within a couple of days ! but for some reason they wanted to get me back. Anyway I finally found a solution ... I told them that I could come to help them a couple of days BUT I would come as a freelance worker ... billing at a huge rate. They asked to think about it overnight ... and never called back again.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
Well dont answer the emails or calls, and live with the fact that you 1)didnt give notice as required 2) didnt help make that office a better place for your poor replacement. You might not have agreed with what was going on, but there are always ways to go above your boss and let the upper management know whats going on, that way you arent just dropping your responsibilities every time something gets hairy at work and quit.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Office drama is the worse. It's just as bad as family drama. :)
MissJules5x MissJules5x 8 years
ugh i am going through something similar right now only i haven't left yet, and i'm still not sure i will leave my company. it all depends on if the situation can be worked out. its definitely an awkward situation to be in, and you don't owe them anything. its unfortunate that things are that tense that you weren't able to give the 2 weeks notice, but now that you are no longer part of the company they have no reason to be contacting you. they need to have someone else train the replacement. pick up the phone or contact them back... let them know that you don't plan to go there and and explain why, and leave it at that. the more you ignore the calls the more they will not stop calling you. good luck!
kia kia 8 years
Sorry you went through whatever you went through. It sounds like an uncomfortable situation.
skigurl skigurl 8 years
just stop responding to the calls and emails send them one firm email saying no, and carry on with your life
How to Start Cooking For Yourself
How to Move Beyond an Administrative Assistant Role
Phrases to Avoid Saying in a Relationship
How to Get a Higher Starting Salary
From Our Partners
Latest Career & Finance
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds