Thursday, May 21, 2009

Would you resign by SMS?

Having worked as a tech journalist for a number of years, and personally loving technology and how it has improved my life and work, I'm still flabbergasted to learn that a slight acquiantance resigned from her job by SMS.

The resignation was with immediate effect.

As far as I know, there was no bad blood between the employer and employee. There hadn't been a major scene at work that would result in the on-the-spot resignation.

The employee simply landed a better job, and instead of serving the usual notice period, send an SMS to her senior saying she decided to leave immediately.

My mind is still trying to wrap itself around what I would say if I was resigning by SMS. Maybe: "Sorry Jack. Won lotto. Resigning . Immediate effect."

I've had an employer or two who made resignation by SMS an attractive proposition. But I've always thought that action like that would later come back to bite me on the ass.

Would a new employer actually take me on knowing that I have no qualms about leaving my current employer in a lurch? Doesn't such a behaviour show how the new employer will be treated when the next big offer comes along?

Which brings me to my original question: would you resign from a job, assignment or project by SMS? Under what conditions would you do it?


Anonymous said...

No I would not resign via sms, even though I agree with you, there has been a time where I would have liked to. I prefer to take the polite route as you never know. Ali AMF Typing.

Gaynor Paynter said...

I don't know ... I had one boss who was so intimidating I didn't even want to SMS her - I didn't resign by SMS though. The thing is in recruitment circles if you resign and you don't work your notice it's counted as absconding - so if you don't want to have absconded, you may just as well resign in person and work your notice.

Joan said...


I think this woman is just very rude. This seems to be a thing in our society lately though. Young people seem to have no regard for anyone but themselves. She might need her ex boss for a reference in the future but she obviously has not given it that much thought...

Gaynor Paynter said...

I agree that society in general is extremely rude these days but I'm not sure it's only young people. I've often observed adults being blatantly rude to my kids, particularly my eldest as he is the one exposed the most - for example, two days ago I sent him to the bakery section in the shop to get some breadrolls for me and the person behind the counter blatantly ignored him for many minutes and then when she eventually did serve him was rude and ungracious (okay, I think this is a general supermarket thing, but I do feel it's the responsibility of adults to treat the young with respect, after all they learn by example).

Damaria Senne said...

Joan, Gaynor, I also think being rude is general thing rather than young people. But when it comes to technology, it is young people ( maybe because they are the ones who are early adopters of tech) who need to get a clue about etiquette.

Gaynor Paynter said...

My personal opinion about Facebook and particularly youtube is that because there are none of the social norms there would be in a face to face social situation, people feel they can give full vent to savagery which is otherwise curbed. Kind of like Lord of The Flies. Take away social standards and norms and civilisation becomes savagery.

Ms Lona-Lee Hart said...

Ms Lona-Lee would never have the bad manners to do that and she's had one or two jobs that made the idea quite palatable. If a person is positively certain beyond any doubt that should she live another 1000 years and that there is no possibility whatsoever that she will need to crawl on her belly in tears to the boss, maybe THEN you could be a dumb ass and resign with immediate effect by SMS. How old is that acquaintence? The advice above obviously doesn't apply to anyone still in nappies sucking at their mama's breast, which is what that behaviour would suggest!

Patricia Donmall said...

The problem is that it’s not until they’re older and looking for jobs when the companies will start to check on their profiles and see what’s what. I know some companies in SA area already starting to google names of new employees and I know it happens in the US and the UK. Unfortunately once it’s out there it’s there for good and there is no way to ever remove it entirely from cyberspace.

Damaria Senne said...

@Ms Lona-Lee- the acquintance has been gainfully employed for more than 4 years, and will now hold a position of authority. So no, we're not talking baby in nappy here, LOL.

Gaynor Paynter said...

And the trouble is with things like Youtube people don't even use their own names,and the comments tehy make can be so hurtful. I've seen comments on say for example that little 6 year old Connie who sings - she may not read them now but she could, later and imagine how they might make her feel. There have also been some shockers about Susan Boyle, are people that cruel that they would say these things? And in addition it's in writing, it's there to stay, it's not like a spoken word that gets blown away in the wind.

People ought to stop and think before they do this stuff.

I think the further ahead we go the more like Big Brother life is going to be so we have to really watch what we do and say. For example, 25 years ago when Knight Rider and other series were filmed nobody thought in 2009 kids could be watching it on DVD over and over again and pointing out every continuity error they see? In 1984, that was a moment in time. Today, it's analysed time and time again. Who is to say that in 25 years time there won't be some technology that can enhance photos taken by satellites today, for example, and our actions of today scrutinised? It actually scares me. But I think people should be aware, and act in a human way no matter whether you are protected by the anonymity of the internet or other social environments or not. It could come back to bite us.

And now I should really try to focus today, otherwise that will come back and bite me too.

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