Arré Checklist: A Guide to Surviving Your Notice Period


Arré Checklist: A Guide to Surviving Your Notice Period

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

Inever thought I’d quit my job until I did. I loved it, it loved me back. For me, going to work was the chemical equivalent of main lining some of Pablo Escobar’s finest, and then some. Work gave me a high like no other. Well, there were also drugs, but work was chief among them.

Until one day I discovered, just like any regular drug user, it didn’t give me the high it once did. So after a whole lot of introspection, I decided to call it what it is and move on. Just like junkies go through withdrawal when they finally decide to clean up their act, I went through a whirlwind of emotions too. Welcome to my notice period.

Day One

Day One of your notice period, is the day you let the penny drop. Now depending on whether you’re MVP or public enemy number one, the reactions to this will differ. Did they leave their chairs to come tell you that you shouldn’t, and that any issues you’re facing at work will be swiftly resolved? Or did they just sit there put on their best look of concern and simply say something like, “That’s great news, where are you moving to?” There’s also the dreaded, “Send me an email tomorrow”, usually reserved for your redundant co-worker who spends the day taking selfies and drinking the swill spewed out of the second-hand coffee machine that hisses and spits like Linda Blair in The Exorcist.

Once you’ve given them the news, you’re kind of like Neo in The Matrix. You can bend the rules, come in drunk, or just stop showing up with an email that says , “Maa chuda, mai chala.”

Just like junkies go through withdrawal when they finally decide to clean up their act, I went through a whirlwind of emotions too. Welcome to my notice period.

Day 10

By this time, the temptation to run around the office naked, pouring shots down your co-worker’s throats has passed. You begin to remember, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Yeah, it technically is time to say goodbye because the future is a long, dark road that winds back as much as it winds forward. Treat it more as an amicable Bruce Willis-Demi Moore arrangement, no need to go all Hrithik-Suzanne-Kangana royal rumble on it. This is the time you hunker down and settle for merely shirking work, inventing doctor’s appointments, and then just coming down with a long bout of the flu to settle into some serious Netflix action.

Day 20

This is the acid trip part of your notice period. All the hassle with HR is behind you and you’ve OD’d on Netflix. Now your are in cruise mode  — groovy, calm, serene and beautiful for some people. This is where you are bound to get a little weepy too.  The hardest part of quitting your job will be your work spouse, that one girl or guy you have trusted with your deepest darkest secrets and have them trust you with theirs. Separating from a work spouse is especially tough, given the fact that you’ve probably spent a majority of your waking-and-working hours together, and they’ve also heard you fart. These are the guys for whom you really keep it kosher. They’re your totem, your anchor back to the land of a nice, decent, clean break as opposed to walking up to HR and doing some thug life, meme-worthy shit that will later become an internet myth.

Day 30

Walk in today with your head held high, not because you’re proud of your stint at the soon-to-be former workplace, but because your head weighs a ton thanks to the pre-farewell round of drinks last night. As you sit at your desk, reminiscing about all the good times you had at work, sipping on a screwdriver out of a tetrapak of Real Orange, remember to clear your browser history. (You don’t want to go out as the office perv thanks to all those cookies from

As the day draws to a close, the tears start to flow. The alcohol combined with the sinking feeling of never seeing your buddies again should have you stifling a sob every 60 seconds or so. By 5 pm, it’s finally time to cut loose with that proud tradition called the Office Farewell. If this involves party hats, samosas, two-litre bottles of soft drinks and a cake, thank Christ you got the fuck out of there. But, if it involves passing around pot cookies at half past six and then walking out en masse by 7 pm to imbibe copious quantities of alcoholic libations at your favourite bar while belting out off key renditions of Wish You Were Here and Shine On You Crazy Diamond, then my friend you’ve just walked away from a good thing.

The next morning you will download grainy pictures of yourself shirtless garlanded with empty quarters of Old Monk strung together with shoelaces, from the office WhatsApp group, before you delete and exit.

Surviving your notice period is the easy part, the hard part is when you subconsciously show up at work without realising you don’t work there anymore.