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Giving Notice?

Okay, so I'm in the enviable position of being able to give notice at my current job. I don't like the job. I don't like the boss. I'd really like to stick it to them and give no notice whatsoever. But, I don't want that reputation.

However, are there any ways I can offer two weeks but be almost entirely certain they'll refuse? I don't want to be a jerk or do anything really unethical. I just want to get out of there.

No Exit Interview for Me, Thanks
Friday, January 30, 2004

I went to work for a competitor, out the door the same day.  So you could try telling them that.  Of course I had no restraint of trade / non-compete in the contract.  If you do have such a clause you might get sued.

You could apply for 2 weeks leave then resign.

Koz
Friday, January 30, 2004

If you can't be courteous and professional, then go on "personal leave" and quit during it due to personal reasons.

m
Friday, January 30, 2004

You can't really win this one.

You're entirely correct, if you do this, it may well come back to haunt you. What would you do if someone asked you for a reference about someone who did that to you?

It's not worth the risk, and it's only two weeks, and it really is the right thing to do.

One ray of hope. I gave notice in November and my evil boss at that time reacted by responding, and I'm not making this up: "Listen to me very carefully - FUCK YOU!".

I left within the hour, very, very happy.

Don't try to create a confrontation, but if one begins, you have _no_ obligationto put up with it at that point.

Good luck.


Mongo
Friday, January 30, 2004

Some companies, when you give notice, will have you escorted out the door on the spot as a matter of policy.  Others will recognize that they're not going to get much out of you when you've got "short-timer's disease" and not try to hold you to 2 weeks.  But you should still offer to stick it out.

A resume is all about eliminating reasons for a potential employer to reject you.  By the same token, the way you handle your exit from this company may, as you surmised, affect your reputation with the other people you leave behind.  You may not like your boss, and your boss may not like you... but maybe you can get a glowing reference from a teammate, or from that key ally in another department whose widget tracking spreadsheet you cleaned up, saving them hours of tedious work every day.

Sam Livingston-Gray
Saturday, January 31, 2004

...on the other hand, if you're working for Entrepreneur, make sure you swipe all his source code before you go.  ;>

Sam Livingston-Gray
Saturday, January 31, 2004

...on the other hand, if you're working for Entrepreneur, make sure you swipe all his source code before you go.  ;>

No matter how off the cuff it might be, that advice really pisses me off and speaks volumes about the mentality of certain people in the industry.  What entitles a developer to the source that he or she was paid to develop?  There is a good chance that the person taking the code made minimal contributions to it anyway.

I've seen this happen first hand, and it was complete bullshit.  It almost put the company out of business.

christopher baus (www.baus.net)
Saturday, January 31, 2004

Sheesh, you'ld think people would have learned by now, but I guess that's too much to hope for.

For future reference, there's a whole lot of people who don't actually recognise humour when they see it, so you need to clearly label any humerous statements.

Sure, it's kinda insulting to the smarter people around here, but we're clever enough to read around the <this_is_humerous_and_not_actually_intended_to_be_taken_seriously_even_if_you_dont_get_the_joke> tags.


Saturday, January 31, 2004

Oy.  Yes, that was humorous and not intended to be taken seriously.  My first post was advice.  My second post was humor.  KNOW THE DIFFERENCE.

Sam Livingston-Gray
Saturday, January 31, 2004

Christopher, Sam was referring to a post by Enterpenuer in which he said he hired 2nd rate coders and didn't want them stealing his code. If you read the thread you'd know it was a joke.

www.MarkTAW.com
Saturday, January 31, 2004

There is no problem with keeping a copy of any code you have written as long as you have written it and are not just swiping somebody elses work.

I keep copies of my code as professional notes, many times I reuse code I have written without compromising the people I wrote it for in any way whatsoever.

The notion of working somewhere for a number of years and leaving without any trace of your work is foolish.

Ch 10
Sunday, February 01, 2004

Technically, it's not okay to keep copies of your work if you created it for someone else; it's usually called "works made for hire."

As for the other thread I referenced, it's here:
http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=109792&ixReplies=25

Sam Livingston-Gray
Sunday, February 01, 2004

"Technically, it's not okay to keep copies of your work if you created it for someone else"

Are you sure of that? I'd like to know if there is any legal precedence. It's an interesting subject, if I created it, and they got to keep it, and they own it, am I allowed to keep copies of my work too? Are there any similarities with normal authorship, like the publishing company gets to 'own' the book, publish it and make profits from it, but surely the original author gets to keep a copy of the original 'word' file?

Really I'm just keeping a copy of my keystrokes, the fact that they happen to constitute a software product is merely circumstantial. :-)

Ch 10
Monday, February 02, 2004

...so if you were a newspaper reporter, and kept a log of your keystrokes, which by circumstance happened to constitute a full article, and you then tried to republish that article somewhere else, you don't think you'd be sued for copyright infringement?

For most developers, our work situation more closely parallels that of a journalist than that of an author.  Generally speaking, if you draw a regular paycheck from someone else, or you work on a specifically-commissioned product, copyright and ownership belong to the entity who paid for it unless you've specify otherwise in advance.  If you develop something on your own time, it's generally yours (although some employment contracts may lay claim to all work you do, no matter whose dime and equipment you use; these may or may not be enforceable, but if you signed a contract, read it carefully).

Now, in practice, I've kept private copies of most of the stuff I've worked on.  They occasionally come in handy when I come across some obscure platform bug or idiosyncrasy.  But I seldom reuse such code because (a) if it's more than a year old, I tend to think it's crap and want to rewrite it knowing what I know now, and (b) legally, I don't own it and may not even have the right to retain a copy (at least in the US, where I live).  Seriously: do a search on "works made for hire" and learn all about it.

Sam Livingston-Gray
Monday, February 02, 2004

Ok -  I looked it up....the statute says...

Section 101 of the copyright law defines a "work made for hire" as:

1) a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment; or

2) a work specially ordered or commissioned for use as a contribution to a collective work,as a part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, as a sound recording,
as a translation, as a supplementary work, as a compilation, as an instructional text, as a test, as answer material for a test, or as an atlas, if the parties expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them
that the work shall be considered a work made for hire. For the purpose of the foregoing sentence, a "supplementary work" is a work prepared  for a publication as a secondary adjunct to a work by another author for the purpose of introducing, concluding, illustrating, explaining,
revising, commenting upon, or assisting in the use of the other work, such as forewords, afterwords, pictorial illustrations, maps, charts, tables, editorial notes, musical arrangements, answer material for tests, bibliographies, appendixes, and indexes; and an "instructional text" is a
literary, pictorial, or graphic work prepared for publication and with the purpose of use in systematic instructional activities.

Whether or not a particular work is made for hire is determined by the relationship between  the parties. This determination may be difficult, because the statutory definition of a work made for hire is complex and not always easily applied. That definition was the focus of a 1989 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Community for Creative Non-Violence v. Reid. The court ruled that to determine whether a work is made for hire, one must first ascertain whether the work was prepared by (1) an employee or (2) an independent contractor. If a work is created by an employee, part 1 of the statutory definition applies,  and generally the work would be considered a work made for hire. Important: The term "employee" here is not really the same as the common understanding of the term; for copyright purposes, it means an employee under the general common law of agency. This is explained in further detail below.
If a work is created by an independent contractor
(that is, someone who is not an employee under the general common  law of agency), the work is a specially ordered or commissioned work, and part 2 of the statutory definition applies. Such a work can be a work made for hire only if both of the following conditions are met:
(1) it comes within one of the ten categories of works listed in part 2 of the definition and
(2) there is a written agreement between the parties specifying that the work is a work made for hire.

I'm a contractor and I think that you could argue that software doesn't fall into category 2 so we are all OK!

Ch 10
Monday, February 02, 2004

Just give your notice, and work it out if requested. Honestly, it can't be that bad. And once you've handed your notice in most of it doesn't seem to matter anymore.

Mr Jack
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

>>I'm a contractor and I think that you could argue that software doesn't fall into category 2 so we are all OK!

Well, then you're different then the OP who is (soon to be was) an employee.

You should be covered by a contract that specifies exactly who owns the copyrights as well as the terms of use for both parties. If you just signed a 'standard' contract, you probably don't own any of the copyrights. Corporate lawyers are good about writing contracts that stipulate this - especially after some large companies ended up paying extra for source to programs that they commissioned...

RocketJeff
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

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