Leaving My Job before We Have to Go into Office

I’ve had a really difficult year:

  • mother died of cancer. She was early 60s
  • partner of 4 years broke up with me

To cut a long story short, my work gave me a written warning because of something I posted on my social media account they thought was disrespectful.
I had to engage a lawyer to fight for me, it was ugly.
I took weeks off following the warning due to stress.

I’ve checked out and cannot stand the company. I do the bare minimum. I avoid meetings.

I’ve managed to get by because of WFH but with a return to the office soon, the thought of being face to face with the people that dragged me through a kangaroo court for something non work related, gives me anxiety.

Everything is awkward, I’m angry and I’m concerned going back in will screw my fragile state. The relationship with managers is non existent. They are nit picking at everything I do and I feel a performance plan is on the horizon.

I don’t want to go back and face them. Is this a scenario where quitting is ok?


  • +126 votes

    Organise a new job and leave?

  • Go to doctor, make a workcover claim for stress, try to find a new job…

    • Or just quit

    • make a workcover claim for stress,

      An employee posted something inappropriate online and now want compensation. How does that work?

      • Depends on what was posted and if it was inappropriate or not for the employer to impose critique and therefore stress on their personal life? As I said, depends on what was posted.

        • It was inappropriate enough to pay $450 p/h +gst for legal representation. That doesn't sound like the average 🤳.

          • @whooah1979: You never know, it depends on the company and management and their own opinions and using work to empose those opinions on everyone else. It could be something relatively normal or something about world politics or international governments.

        • Many jobs do actually have a social media policy. Its pretty ridiculous in some cases, but if OP has signed and then breached they may not have a leg to stand on.

        • This is why you should always make a fake social media account. If you need to post anything, use the fake account.
          I deleted my LinkedIn, Facebook and I don't have a Twitter account.

      • +1 vote

        Most proper professional companies have a social media policy.

        If you breached it GG.

        Your reaction to the stress after breaking policy is not their problem.

    • +12 votes

      Please don't. OP has had a tough time but it sounds like he certainly hasn't made things easier for himself. It's far more constructive to take this opportunity for personal reflection on what they could've done better and how to move forward as cleanly as possible.

      Instigating an ugly legal battle will only introduce more bitterness and stress into his life. Nothing to be gained. Just move on.

      • Workcover is a different kettle of fish, if its declined move on regardless but he probably has a case

        • Work cover isn't for frivolous bad life decisions. Without sounding like a complete dick.. We have all had a tough year. How u handle it is up to u.. Bit posting anything about ur work on social media is always asking for trouble. A lot of this pain ur going thru as self -inflicted, and the quicker to accept responsibility, the easier it life will be.. Including if u want to quit ur job.
          I say this as we have had an identical situation in my workplace. An do can't help those who don't want to helped

    • From what has been written, OP cannot make a workcover claim. The legislation usually has a section that if the injury is caused by reasonable management action then no entitlement exists. "Reasonable management action" is also very broadly defined.

    • Bad idea. Workcover for stress. Find a new Job: Better idea.

  • Email your letter of resignation, might want to find another job first though?

    Before you leave organize some references too if not already.

    • +10 votes

      If he had to engage a lawyer to fight and it was "ugly", I wouldn't expect a reference from any supervisor/manager.

      I've had people I've fired put me down as a referee. I've had to be honest, as I also wouldn't like his performance at a new place to hurt my reputation, or affect references I give to more worthy people should they apply to the same company.

      • If you arent going to be a good referee, you should probably let the person know before they put you down. They shouldnt put you down without asking you first.

        • how important are referees nowadays? i dont even want to talk to my past supervisor with all the shite and drama that went down, i ghosted them

        • Standard procedure is they should ask you whether you would be a referee for them. I wouldn't put down anyone on my resume that I hadn't talked to. I even tell them what I am applying for so they are prepared for someone calling them.

          If someone doesn't put down their latest manager (excepting that they may still work there and not want the current workplace to know) then I would be suspicious. It at least warrants a question during the interview as to why they haven't got the latest manager.

          • @dizzle: i have been out of work for 1-2 years ..

            • @queer dog geyfrog: In that case I would be looking for a personal reference (just make sure it states that it's personal and not work related). Are there any charities, church groups, school parents associations that you are active with? Depending on the job, the references may not be important, but I still want to see a referee even if I don't call them. I have found them unreliable in the past, and even found some co-workers pretending to be managers.

              As I said if the latest supervisor isn't on there, I'd ask the question. In your case I'd ask what you've been doing in the last couple of years and if it's a reasonable explanation I'd move on.

              • @dizzle:

                latest supervisor isn't on there, I'd ask the question. In your case I'd ask what you've been doing in the last couple of years and if it's a reasonable explanation I'd move on.

                well… OP's situation for example (pretending he did not stay in touch with last managers 1-2 years) - How should we answer?

                • @queer dog geyfrog: This is exactly why referees are important.

                  If he tells the truth: There were issues with previous employer and he hired a lawyer to stop them warning/firing him. He would probably not get much further in the interview. Yes, sometimes these things happen and he could be in the right, but if I have other candidates that don't have that baggage, I would move on.

                  If he lies: Well, that's not a good start either. Even after being hired (as I understand it) being found out for lying in the interview can be an acceptable reason for dismissal. If he says that he didn't stay in touch, what has he been doing for the last 2 years? Working (then why no reference?)/Traveling/study/community work?

                  The best he could hope for is confessing that it's been a tough year. Some personal issues affected my work and I haven't included my current supervisor because I feel they may not give me a reference that represents my normal level of work.
                  From what I have read in his replies I still don't think that would sway me, but that would be his best chance.

            • @queer dog geyfrog: Volunteer somewhere you would love to work for whatever you can manage. The referee from a grateful receipient can see you through numerous new jobs.

  • +30 votes

    Not to be a dick, and I don't know what you posted (or want to know) but change your social media. All mine is anon/uses handles. I work in an organisation where we're told that we're "always representing" our employer.

    I'm involved with hiring people for my department and we do always check for their social media stuff because you don't want to be hiring psychopaths.

    • Anon doesn’t cover your arse though as shown in many legal cases in Australia when they’ve worked out who it is.

      • With great difficulty and at big expense. And usually these anon accounts are fake reviews or emailed harassment, not social media commentary.

        • from the article: 'Banerji’s side argued it made a difference that she tweeted anonymously; surely, even if the APS has the legal right to prevent public servants from going public with their personal views, it can’t be able to restrict their ability to go rogue under a pseudonym?

          The court said no, there’s no relevant distinction at all. Apart from the fact that Banerji’s own anonymity hadn’t been preserved in reality, why should anonymous communication get a constitutional protection not afforded to what people say under their own names? Actually I do think that’s a pretty good point.'

          • @SirMurduck: Just for pure discussion, the impact is so different when a post is from a known person who works for that org vs not from there. Say a government employee says the department is S**t etc etc…vs an employee under an anon account saying the same (without disclosing he/she is from that department), from a reader's perspective, the creditabilities/influences would be hugely different. So not sure why the court is so fussy about this.

          • @SirMurduck: If they could identify who posted it then the anonymity already failed.
            The protection is only as good as the sheer cost and time of finding out who posted what and most of the time they are way to huge, even if you managed to get the police to involve.

  • +22 votes

    Why would quitting not be ok ? I don't understand, its not like you are their slave, where they force you to work for them for a wage you cant refuse ?

    Everyone has the right to quit any job. Even if you are under contract, you can break the contract with whatever consequences is stipulated in the contract.

    • for some folks who don't like confrontation and don't have a good relationship with management, of course its not going to go well… saying just do it is neither here nor there.

    • where they force you to work for them for a wage you cant refuse

      Would you still quit knowing the other competitors will only pay you $40 an hr for the same job but you're getting $100 an hr with this company?

      • Then what is the beef? Lucky you have a job that pays more than twice as others.

        To the OP, is there anyway to make amends? Highly unlikely since you went through litigation. As an employer that would be hell… was there no way to sort it out of courts amicably?

        The relationship is broken. They are hoping for you to resign on your own, someone already doing your job because you are not, you don't want to return either. My advice is to quit because you will be under the radar. They may pay you a redundancy package. Sometimes that is just way cheaper for employer than workers comp, replacement staff, training, loss of productivity etc

        But it seems unfair since it all started with social media post.. sounds like it blew up when it could have been dealt with far better.

        • Then what is the beef? Lucky you have a job that pays more than twice as others.

          The beef would be his issue of getting paid more than what other company's are willing to pay him for the same job role….

  • +8 votes

    Ask if they would consider a voluntary redundancy so you can spend some time recovering.

    If they say no and you can afford it, quit.

    Put your mental health first, if you stick around things could spiral out of control.

    • i was at point of literally bashing my own head at times, and they still wanted me to do stocktake on a weekend after i told them no haha .. on top of doing long hours, then bringing work home with me, being on-call - to my old managers, GO AND GET F*D

  • +46 votes

    They only gave you a warning and yet you saw fit to engage a lawyer?
    A bit more to this tale than is being told methinks

    • +8 votes

      I think you might be right and there is a 2-year saga behind this: https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/369055

      Doesn't mean OP is in the wrong, some employers are just sh*tbags.

    • Warnings are a good idea to challenge, esp if you know your job is under threat, and some of the time they are a ‘first and final’, which definitely warrants legal/union advice and representation

    • They were going to fire me, the lawyer was able to enable me to keep my employment.

      • Could we have some details in this tale of yours than what you've have right here?

      • If indeed they were going to fire you and yet (a) lawyer managed to keep your job then (a) would you seriously want to keep working for the employer? and/or (b), I assume your lawyer would have initially told you they had no grounds for dismissal and therefore you should have let them sack you and then sue for unfair dismissal..
        Like I said earlier I do think there is more to this story than has been told, e.g. lack of worth ethic, insubordination etc

  • Don't act too rashly. I can understand your reluctance to face your workplace but avoiding it by resigning without a back up plan is only going to make things worse for yourself. You have had a traumatic time and it sounds to me as though you could do with some professional help, go see your GP and ask for a mental health plan.

    • I agree. See a doc and get a referral to a psychologist. Make sure you are heading into any new job with your head screwed on straight.

  • What did you post?

      • +56 votes

        Cool. Harassing someone for reporting potential covid breaches.

        No wonder they tried to fire you. I wouldn't want to work with you either.

        • oh i see now ..

        • +1 vote

          The dangers of being a Keyboard Warrior, when it links to IRL.

          • @SF3: if you have zero social media presence than keyboard warrior away without any consequences because they dont know who u r….and they cant find out either because you dont exist irl….and the names uv chosen for being a keyboard warrior is completely anonymous…untraceable….

          • @SF3: You see children?! I hate to say I told you so but…. I did tell you!

        • +19 votes

          I don't agree with this. I'm a HCW and there was so much shitposting on social media during lockdown but I don't think anyone should have been reported to their employers for this. People were angry and scared and all the emotions and pretty anti-lockdown etc…but they still followed the rules and we got through it, in spite of the anger and frustration. Any decent employer would have pulled the OP in and asked how they were doing, and asked them to remove their post, and then everyone could move on.

          But OP…you don't deserve to feel the way you are. Not over something like that. Please go and see your GP and if they're no good see a different one. Some variation of this happens to many people at some point in their career (more than most realise), and you are not alone in this at all. I don't think you should leave that job to no job, find a new one first and then leave. But I do think you should go, not because of what happened but because they don't have your best interests in mind. Good employers look out for you, bad ones treat you like this. And I know you probably feel like you shouldn't have to get some help because none of this would have happened if people hadn't acted badly, but people do and you get help ultimately means you win. Because the very best revenge in life, is in becoming successful and forgetting their f***ing names. Yes it's a long way up and out of that hole you're in, but it's a well worn path that many have travelled, and you can too.

          • @MissG: actions, meet consequences… they will be staying in the spare bedroom for the foreseeable future…

            • @MrBear: Yes, having an opinion on something that has nothing to do with their workplace, should get op fired. "Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right."

          • @MissG: OP need to seek specialist for sure. But does anyone put their feet in op shoes? He had very stressful situations and plus a COVID thing, he might become toxic and salty, maybe it's not his everyday character.

      • I fail to see how they could terminate your employment for this. They would need to show cause on how this defamed the company or how your comments negatively impacted them or any of their other employees in any way. Just disliking or not agreeing with your viewpoint is not a reason to sack you.

        • A lot of companies have a clause for "bringing the company into disrepute". If it was enough for a member of the public to search for an employer and complain, then it may be enough to disparage the employer. Particularly if they are a customer facing department.

          It's like the racist/anti-immigrant/anti-mask rants we see getting filmed in Starbucks/Bunnings. Sure these episodes are not at work and it has no immediate effect on the employer, but the next post you see is someone finding out where their workplace is and it now affects work. It's simply a matter of scale. What complaints did they receive and how many? Was there a reply on the post that called for others to contact the employer?

        • They didn't terminate him (he just thought that they might). They just gave a written warning (from original comment) and he decided to fight it with a lawyer (after he got the written warning) - yes his story changes.

          But now no one likes OP and he is scared to go into the office.

        • I take it you've been looking for a job since this happened?

          John has been asked and refused/hasn't replied to this question 3 times. I think John is a seething ball of negativity and it's no wonder his partner left and employer tried too shitcan him. John can't seem to grasp reality and simple truths and is instead frantically grasping at straws.

          John it's all in your hands mate.

          • @Skinnerr: I think that's a little too far to be honest, he's entitle to his beliefs. Jumping straight to personal attacks of him deserving his partner to leave is honestly quite rude regardless of your disposition towards the individual. It's the biggest issue I have with this community it's honestly quite uncaring and blantantly obnoxious.

      • However I’m bitter about it all as they didn’t accept my proposal to be made redundant and now they have an employee who hates being there.

        Wow…rather than be contrite, your generous offer as a solution was for the company to pay you out to leave.

        Unstable AND entitled, have you any other notable attributes?