What is a good/respectful way to tell my boss/trainer that I will be leaving at the end of the month?

I read it as the BM forgot she was going out of town and expected the worker to change her plans for additional unexpected work.

I was once standing in my barn, horse in crossties (I did PM chores but didn’t feed or do AM chores) texting my BM asking if she was working late that night. She text me back and said she was out of the state and wouldn’t be back for 4 days and oops she thought she had asked me to feed.

I had to cancel all my plans because there was nobody else and I got an apology but it happened again so after that I said unless I got all the dates emailed to me and 2 weeks notice for any extra dates I might not be available. Then I made myself unavailable and I’m not sure who fed that time but after that it worked.


I wish someone had told me this when I was younger! It look me a LONG time to realize that you change and your life changes and opportunities present themselves and changing your focus from work to school or work to other work is a natural and necessary response. Yes, sometimes an employer will act like it’s a personal affront. And sometimes it can seem like you need to bend over backwards to get a good reference. If you are going to be a pilot, this reference doesn’t matter anyway. A no-frills “thank you for the opportunity, my last day is X” will be just fine.


@MissAriel I totally get what you’re saying! However, up until now, I have been working almost every day for almost no money. Like I don’t mind the work, but if I have an intense migraine with the feeling of getting sick, it’s almost impossible to work through. Also, I’m only 17, but working there has taught me that I do not want to pursue horses as a career.


My boss never told me about her trip. Like she should have told me she was planning on leaving. I mean this isn’t the only reason I’m about to quit, but it tops my reasons off.


How much notice did you get? Are you expected to be available those days during those shifts? If say you normally work Mon to Fri PM then you are expected to give notice if you aren’t available on one of those PMs. If you were asked to do extra chores or on dates/times when you normally don’t and you got no notice, then she’s totally in the wrong.

What do you get in exchange for your labor? Is your payment in a horse to ride or lessons? Has the amount of labor expected gone up? Has your exchange for riding or lessons also gone up?

So you were fired 7 times? I am confused.

The OP should plan to give 2 weeks notice. If the Barn Owner chooses not to have her work for that long, that’s her decision. If the OP is available to work 3 weeks and knew that this was a particularly busy time, etc., she could always offer that. It might help the BO to find someone else. But that’s pretty generous for a low paid (or unpaid) job.

I gave 6 weeks notice at a job once and that was too long. It seemed like a nice thing to do at the time since I wasn’t going to another job, but to be a stay at home parent. And it gave me a lot of time to organize the work for the next person. But it was more than I should have given…4 would have been very generous.

I think it’s likely that the BO won’t be happy but she may not go ballistic. Barn workers are not the kind of employees you expect to keep for years and years. I’m sure she won’t be shocked.

Which is exactly what OP was expecting BM to do when she informed BM she would be out of town. Yeah, it was lousy BM (boss) did that to you (employee), but doesn’t mean it is ok for OP (employee) to do the same to the BM (boss).

It would be considerate for bosses to inform workers when they are going to be out of town, however, it isn’t a requirement, especially if not expecting the employees to cover their work. It is generally required for employees to request time off before it is granted. When I was 17 I worked in a restaurant and had to make schedule requests in writing at least 2 weeks in advance (I was visiting colleges during this time too). Even now, many years later and in a job that doesn’t have shifts that need to be covered, I still am required to request permission to use my earned vacation days on days that don’t interfere with critical business needs.


I disagree here. Who turns off the lights? Who do you call for emergencies?

When my BM forgot to tell me she was out of town all I did normally was clean stalls, turn in, ride my horse, and leave mon to fri. Leaving required an extra hour of chores in the PM, plus weekend AM and PM chores.

I feel that if the OP was a lady in her 30s we wouldn’t be so quick to lecture her about holding down a job in a barn (where she worked for free)


I agree that it is required to tell SOMEONE and arrange for the duties to be covered, however, if BM has already arranged for another employee to cover for example, the BM would not be required to tell this employee.

Your BM didn’t get someone to cover and definitely should have told you if you were expected to cover those duties.


@enjoytheride She used to give me a lesson a week along with a little money. Then, another owner let me ride her horse since my boss did not have any for me to ride. When I told her, she had about two months to figure it out and at the time she told me she was not sure if she was even going. Then last week, she tried to say that I had to stay or find someone (which isn’t my job because it’s not my barn and I have no horse there). And the labor has increased, like she is expecting me to do more.


Don’t get upset with the BM about the lack of pay-- I know you probably won’t see it this way, but that was entirely your choice to keep working there even though she wasn’t paying you (or paying you enough). I’m sympathetic because as a young person it’s really hard to stand up to adults, and this BM seems to have taken advantage of that. But regardless, lesson learned, right? You’re close to being out there on your own at college, etc, so be glad that you’ve learned this now, without huge consequences.

Bottom line, I think this boils down to your belief that you should have more flexibility in what days/hours you work, since you’re not being paid. And it turns out, the BM disagreed. She may have her own reasons that seem equally valid to her. No big whoop, this job just isn’t a good fit for either of you anymore.

For your next job, you’ve learned some great lessons, especially about needing to define the compensation expectations more clearly. And scheduling time off needs to be done well in advance–whether or not you are being paid. The boss has no obligation to tell you their travel plans in advance. If you’re scheduled to work, they have every right toy assume you’re going to be there to do the work, and make their own plans accordingly.

The burden is on you to understand how far out vacation / time off needs to be planned, and honor that rule. Sounds like in this case at the barn, you didn’t have a clear sense of how far out you needed to alert the BM, so you surprised her with the college tour on short notice. [ETA: just saw OP’s last post. Sounds like enough advance notice was given]

As for the sick time, here’s a hard truth: Excessive sick time will cause you to lose your job, no matter where you work. It’s not fair, but no place of work can function very well when its employees don’t show up (no matter how valid their symptoms!!). Make sure your parents know how bad your migraines are and ask to see a doctor. Hopefully you can get some treatment options. I used to get them when I was young like you, and I know how awful they are. The good news is I learned that they often were caused by dehydration, stress, and other things that I could control, so I was able to bring the migraines under control. I really hope you can too. I know they’re awful.

ETA2 --OP, bottom line, it doesn’t matter how “right” you are. The BM is not going to care very much, and after a week you won’t even think of that barn. Just give notice and move on to your next adventure.


I am really shocked here at how other posters are treating this post. I think it’s due to the age of the OP, where we automatically assume she’s just some stupid kid who needs to learn about grownup life.

To recap: OP used to get lessons and riding in exchange for chores. Now she is getting nothing in compensation, and the work load has increased. She’s just helping the BM because there was a friendship relationship and she feels bad.

OP gave BM 2 MONTHS notice about her college trip but BM decided a week out that she herself was going out of town and the OP needed to find someone to do care.

OP is still trying to give 2 weeks notice, yet the people of COTH are lecturing her about being a grownup. I don’t think the OP is under any obligation, she’s essentially slave labor. This isn’t a boss employee situation and forcing the OP to act like it is isn’t right, in any way.

Ask yourself, if OP was say 34 and said she gave the barn she worked at for FREE if she could take a vacation in 2 months and the BM a week out told her she couldn’t, what would you say? You’d say walk don’t run,don’t even give notice, you’re being taken advantage of.



The young lady is perceptive enough to see she’s not being fairly treated. That’s pretty adult. But she lacks experience in just how to address her circumstance. That’s normal, too, in youngsters. She’s gotten lots of good advice but one of the things about growing up to be a responsible adult is you will have to make a decision and then live with the consequences, whatever they may be. Learning to accept and deal with that is a huge step towards becoming an adult.

She says she wants to look towards a career where she will have the lives of dozens, or even hundreds, of people in her hands on regular and frequent basis. If she’s serious then now is a good time to start learning to make reasoned decisions.



I think you’re right about that I do not know how to address this circumstance, which is why I originally asked for advice. I’m pretty independent and on my own, as my grandparents just help out with paying for necessities. I’ve been at this barn for a long time and I used to think she was such a great person and that I was more than just an employee. Maybe it was, but every time someone new comes, she treats them better and stuff. It has taken me this long to figure out that I need to find somewhere else to work and I’m glad to have had the learning experience that I did. But, I now know that I don’t want to do this job. Rather, I would like to take a break from horses and come back after college. I’m so glad I don’t have a horse at this place, as I was going to but that would have just screwed me over.

Also, as a side to the pilot career, I got my medical last week and the dr told me he’s had patients come in who their parents filled out the online medical stuff. I filled my own out, as best as I could and he said a similar thing, that it’s an adult thing surely these students should do this on their own.

I am glad for all the advice given! It will help for when I tell my boss.


I laughed, even if you were serious. Had a nice accent to it when I read it in my head. You just made my day.


unless OP develops they will be the First Officer setting silent when the Captain makes a very unwise choice

Youngster? She’s been slave labor and now you’re telling her she has to live with the consequences and make reasoned decisions. And growing up and bring an adult.

”‹”‹”‹ She’s under no obligation to give any notice. Period. She’s been taken advantage of. She’s not being paid. If she wants to attempt to be the better person she can give notice but I fully expect someone who’s been abusing a “youngster” to go postal at the loss of free labor.

The fact that she wants to give notice tells me that she’s way more grown up than her BM.
There is no way if she had said she was 34 you’d be treating her in this manner.


Though it is customary, there is no law requiring anyone to give 2 weeks notice. Employers often terminate an employee with zero notice, or if they get any notice is by the presence of HR and some security personnel milling around your desk to escort you out.

OP, I gleaned through some of these posts and feel that for your health and emotional well being giving 1-2 weeks notice is more than generous. As far as giving notice, write/type up a letter of resignation which can be short and to the point. Dear X, thank you for the opportunities you have given me. I’ve enjoyed my time working here but feel it is time I move on to pursue other opportunities. My last day will be X and would appreciate receiving final pay at the end of my shift. (don’t let them skirt you out of pay) Sincerely OP,


OP, you don’t need to justify your desire to quit. Not to your employer and certainly not to posters.

Just give the standard two weeks notice and move on.


Even if COTH does have the full/balanced story (it almost never does), the OP is getting a great primer on how to manage adult workplace disputes. Which is, don’t obsess about who is RIGHT vs. who is Big Ol’ Meanie!! Just think about what is the best deal available:

Everyone in the deal needs to own/control the parts that matter most to them. For example, maybe you are working for free (partly) because you think it conveys more schedule leniency. But meanwhile, from a manager perspective, the BM might think that the person paid the least usually has the least scheduling “clout” .

No biggie,–just correct the BM of this misconception :slight_smile:
And recognize when you’ve given up unforced points (e.g. working without pay for xx years) and don’t blame the other side for your having done so

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