1. I can see where your boss thinks it’s the poorly written email, but personally, it seems more like hazmat just didn’t take the necessary steps to schedule a time and communicate with you.

  2. I share the same sentiment. Like yes, I take full responsibility, but like Hazmat could’ve at least just said something at least once.

  3. You can’t fire someone whose given notice - it’s considered punitive. You can take away their work and access but have to pay them through their notice period.

  4. Yep. This. You didn't mess up, they did. Place the blame where it belongs and only accept a very, very, tiny portion of it. At least you have a paper trail showing you attempted to work with them and they ignored you and cut you out of the process. Sounds like they are in for some restructuring.

  5. I don't see how this can be interpreted as a poorly written email. Hazmat are idiots for going off and removing chemicals without clarifying or confirming with OP.

  6. It is Hazmat's fault. You said 300 chemicals in the email, and he took 400 chemicals. Your boss knows math? Then, nothing more to say.

  7. Not only that they shouldn’t be picking up any chemicals without identifying the chemicals and receiving a SDS before they even arrive on site and your EHS manager has to sign off before they are taken offsite , so definitely not your fault

  8. Ngl, If I was hazmat, I would interpret that original email as clear the whole cabinet. To me, as Mr.Hazmat, it sounded like OP was just eyeballing how many there were so I would know that I need to dispose of a large amount so bring whatever supplies I need to do that. Unfortunate scenario.

  9. If you were planning to resign anyway, I don’t see how coming off poorly really matters. 3 months notice is a lot.

  10. I see. It doesn’t come off as cowardly in any way? I was planning to resign to focus on my side hustle full time in the upcoming year.

  11. Is this a small business or an independent owned lab? If it’s a multibillion dollar place, I wouldn’t even think twice. $10k is a rounding error to some places. For other business it could mean making payroll for the month. Just trying to put it in perspective.

  12. Your boss is playing the "blame game" and not the "how do we keep this from happening in the future" game. One of these takes little effort, the other takes a decent amount of effort and several meetings with hazmat.

  13. Two things: This is not your fault, and they can't pin your "poorly written emails" as equivalent to Hazmat not communicating with you at any point during this. They are not above making mistakes either, and as you pointed out, you are in a multibillion dollar hospital. Unless there was something intangible about the value of the $10k in materials, it's a very minor loss and probably won't even be reflected in any meaningful way.

  14. That second paragraph was very insightful. I have a 4-day conference they have paid for me to attend mid November.

  15. This is on hazmat. They should’ve contacted you to discuss which chemicals needed removal. This isn’t on you. You didn’t say I need all chemicals in this cabinet clean, and you asked to discuss which ones need removal

  16. I would say before you resign you should clarify in email that it was not your fault and hazmat should have communicated with you before proceeding further.

  17. In any job above dishwasher (yes probably dishwasher too), the chance of you fucking up early in your career are 100%. It's GOING to happen. The important thing is how you handle it when it does happen.

  18. I don't think you're responsible for this and I don't think your email was poorly worded. You asked to schedule a date and hazmat took it upon themselves to move forward without you. They are responsible.

  19. Don't take responsibility for this. Okay, you can pick holes in a slightly vague email, but this didn't happen because of your email. If hazmat had bothered to reply or communicate in any way, this would have been prevented. Sounds like you're the easiest target to pin this on and that's what's playing out.

  20. The first email was an inquiry, not a call to action. The second email was a follow up to that inquiry. This isn’t your fault nor was it your responsibility. Do learn from this experience tho.

  21. This seems like it is 100% the fault of hazmat, 0% your fault. They did not meet with you, they did not even follow the email instructions for disposal. They acted negligently. You attempted to meet to discuss the specifics, they took it upon themselves to clean out 400 out of 300 chemicals. I would be PISSED if they did this and I was facing the consequences. I would not take an ounce of responsibility. Their actions were neither within your instructions nor control. Hell. No.

  22. I don't think your communication was poor at all. You requested Hazmat to contact you to setup a time to dispose of chemicals. Hazmat just took the date you suggested and ran with it without clarifying what Chemicals need disposing. If they had been keeping track, they would have realized they were disposing more than 300 chemicals. Don't sign anything at all saying this is your fault. Clearly Hazmat didn't give a crap and they are responsible

  23. No way this on you. First off losing $10k in chemicals isn't a huge deal. Every business out there deals with mistakes and losses. I see things happening all the time where things are damaged or billing mistakes are made or whatever and we just deal with it. Secondly no one in hazmat should have cleared that out with consulting with someone first and verifying a plan. Also what does accepting fault mean? For what purpose? To what end? Do they expect you to pay for it? Are they doing a disciplinary write up? Just get out of there because nothing good for you is happening around there. Nevermind 3 months notice that's just hanging around asking for trouble. Bail and bail quickly.

  24. are you seriously suggesting you personally pay 10k? like .... no. not in any professional company would you personally pay them anything. ever. fuck ups happen. they happen all the time, and sometimes make 10k look like a drop in the bucket. its just part of business. its probably even deductible. Just say "regretfully this happened, I will be more clear in the future." thats all, don't apologize. It is Hazmat's fuck up for not responding and clarifying and identifying what the chemicals were and quantities and timeline of disposal and sign off at the end.

  25. A lot of people (like your boss) with no authority and no knowledge of actual policy and procedure like to toss around incorrect shit like you reimbursing for the mistake. There was nothing malicious about this. Where is the policy? How could hazmat just come in? How did they access the cabinet? How did they know which cabinet to go to? Do YOU have the authority to even sign off on this? Sounds like the whole thing happened due to a messy system. This is not your fault.

  26. You have 0 liability- you asked if you could schedule - and not this is confirmation that you are coming on Thursday to clean out the cabinet.

  27. I see why they misinterpreted your email, but the onus was on hazmat to, ya know, actually communicate with you to confirm that, as they understood it, you wanted them to clear out the entire cabinet and dispose of the contents.

  28. I mean, as a native English speaker, I got the gist of your request from the OP. If this is generally how it was stated in your emails, then it seems like the hazmat team didn't follow directions.

  29. Don’t take responsibility. In your resignation letter make it clear that this is not the reason you’re leaving. Try not to burn the bridge unless you have to.

  30. Your boss is not good management. This is a $10,000 learning opportunity. Obviously there is no good process in place if Hazmat is throwing out thousands of dollars in material without confirming what it is. There should be a form where you list what is to disposed of or a tagout system.

  31. You sent two emails seeking to align and communicate with them and they just came in and cleared everything. This is on them not you.

  32. I’m not a lab worker, but I’m surprised that there isn’t a more structured process to go through to dispose of chemicals. The fact that you have to call a few times, some hazmat guys show up and do whatever they want and your boss blamed it entirely on your email seems like a problem.

  33. Thanks for your comment. I suggested helping create a new form for large quantity disposals in the future to the hazmat team.

  34. When you say you "have to accept responsibility" for the mistake, what exactly do you mean? Are they just saying it's your fault? Are they looking to fire you for it? Or are they asking you to cover the cost? The conversation will be radically different, depending on which of these it is.

  35. Sounds like Hazmats responsibility unless there's an email communication back and forth between you two. Hazmat should have clarified anything that was needed though.

  36. You specified 300 chem while the cabinet had 400, hazmat took 400 Seems like someone need to do math and take responsibility

  37. The lesson is a hard one but important: EVERY communication breakdown is a two way breakdown. All of them.

  38. Yup I was literally telling myself I wish I called them one more time before writing that second follow up email.

  39. OP after this you're not getting 3 mo after you give notice, my bet is your boss will accept your resignation immediately.

  40. Dude this is not your fault. This is hazmats fault. Your boss is looking for somebody to blame and he's blaming the wrong person. They should have followed up before doing anything.

  41. Your emails are not poorly worded at all. That makes total sense to me. If I was HazMat I would have no idea which chemicals or which cabinet to clear out and would definitely need to talk with you more first. I say don’t take the blame. Also don’t give any more notice of quitting than needed. And lastly, send yourself (to personal email) a copy of those emails… just in case.

  42. the only way I could somehow agree with your boss is if you had been repeatedly warned beforehand that the hazmat team is that incompetent

  43. Take no blame for this. There should be SOPs in place to prevent this sort of thing. They either don’t exist or were ignored. Either way, don’t quit. Advocate for SOPs and keep blaming lack of procedure for this. Shrug off any attempts to pin blame. Let them fire you if they must.

  44. Forget about it, let it go. Do you get a cut if you make them 10k. Like wise you don’t pay if you lose them 10k

  45. I was a chemist at a nuclear power plant for many years. Haz-mat is a very precise practice. They should have asked for a specific inventory of all the waste chemicals to be disposed of so they could insure each was handled properly. We actually had hazardous waste cabinets separate from our in use reagents and our ready to use unopened reagents. This is a process breakdown. If the controls of hazardous waste is dependent on understanding an E-mail talk you your supervisors their process is broken.

  46. Here’s something I’ve been working on at work, it’s going to sound like I’m an asshole, but my goal is to apologize as little as possible. I’m Canadian, so this isn’t always easy (sorry, eh!), but I noticed I was often apologizing for things that were 100% not my responsibility or not my fault. I will absolutely apologize and take responsibility for things that are within my control, but I no longer apologize for things outside my control. It truly sounds like the fault lies with Hazmat here, don’t take responsibility for their mistakes. And don’t give 3 months notice. It’s not your responsibility to worry about your replacement. Give a month at most, that’s more than generous.

  47. Well, to me it sounds like you, or maybe even your boss (unlikely to stick), should have maybe separated the needed chemical BEFORE setting up an appointment for someone to come dispose of them, especially if you knew hazmat has access to your building. But even if you specifically have said in your email that 300 of the 400 chems in the cabinet needed clearing, you should have also mentioned that you aren't going to separate/label them for whatever reason right away and that means you needed to be there. To me it sounds like it was actually your fault, you shouldn't expect someone to pay attention to every tiny detail of your email and then make them liable for something that would normally not happen (their job is to come in and take care of business, not hang out with a lab person deciding which vial is which). Unless I am getting something wrong.

  48. You’re totally correct. The intention was to separate the chemicals once a date was scheduled with hazmat, but that never happened. I had a prepared list of chemicals that did and did not need disposing.

  49. Depending on where you work they probably still have the chemicals. You can not just get rid of the chemicals, to properly dispose of them, there is a process.

  50. It’s hazmat’s fault, not yours. Stick your ground. You have asked them to contact you, they haven’t. How is it your fault?

  51. Remember, make a copy of anything they make you sign...particularly if you ever need to refuse to sign something, make a copy of it, & time and date it! This is "cover your ass 101!"

  52. Definitely shared blame. About 10% yours and 90% hazmat. Definitely accept partial responsibility, but make it clear you screwed up the least. Ultimately they took more than you asked for, considering you said a cabinet of 300 not just a cabinet, and definitely not a cabinet of 400. Especially since you were organising a booking (which means the email was for scheduling, in other words you were not ready for action yet).

  53. This is almost always a bad idea. When your references are checked in the future you don’t want this place to say you’re not eligible for rehire. That speaks volumes to a hiring manager.

  54. Turn it around on them and tell him that there needs to be a process in place in order to avoid this in the future. Do you have a process on how to dispose and what to do? Doesn't seem like you do. Write something up with responsibilities for both department and tell then it is a learning experience

  55. This looks like Hazmat’s fault and not yours. Your boss probably can’t blame them for some reason and is blaming you.

  56. How could hazmat see a full cabinet of chemicals and decide to just get rid off them all. This would have to be a first for them and they should have realised the massive expense it costs to sort and dispose of them, let alone replace them

  57. Leave. It’s not your fault. You should never accept responsibility for something that isn’t your fault.

  58. I've worked in an academic lab and gave longer than the 2 week notice only to see it completely wasted by failing to name a replacement to train my key responsibilities and not posting the position until a week after I left. Since you are leaving end of December give notice after Thanksgiving so there are a couple weeks where people are around and sort of working. As far as the chemicals, it wasn't your fault the waste team didn't communicate. Take the opportunity to learn how you can communicate more clearly and also know when an email, phone call, or in person talk is the most efficient and effective method for communicating.

  59. "Have to"?? I don't see any reason why you should. True, your email might have been vague but that was just you reaching out to another department with an initial email. Nothing in it was concrete or binding. Good luck getting them to try pinning another department's personnel's actions on a vague email.

  60. I don't see that as your fault at all. I cannot imagine a no -emergency situation where the hazmat team would remove stuff without a conversation with you.

  61. I would call OSHA and tell them about there poor ISO management system, training and labeling. They can't retaliate, if they do you'll get $10,000, and honestly this sounds like something that needs to be reported. Fuck them. This could have been a serious mistake, it's totally the chemical hygienist fault verifying and validating.

  62. Seems like lots of people posting don’t appreciate how academia works. There’s no “your boss’s boss”. There’s no real punishment for wasted resources. Hazmat screwed up and your professor now has to come out of his start-up budget or some grant to replace chemicals. Maybe over time as they’re needed for specific research uses. That’s a HUGE PITA. Hazmat should have know better and your boss should go to facilities management to have the university restock his lab because of their screwup.

  63. Yes that’s right, the 10k will come out of our grant. Thanks so much for the response. I’m just a research assistant, so in the event I go to graduate school I wanted to get a letter of rec.

  64. They are doing some "oh these chemicals are SOOOOOO important and worth SOOOOOO" much but they keep them in a big unorganized cabinet with a bunch of expired stuff?

  65. Why are there so many posts asking advice on how to resign? Just resign. No one will care in 6 months lol.

  66. Love the man-from-Missouri client! Didn’t know there was a term for that and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing lol

  67. It's not your fault do not take responsibility cite. Your attempts at communication and do not put in a notice. You did nothing wrong so why should you resign

  68. Do you need a reference from this employer? If not, I don't see a reason to change your schedule. Also, if you do need a reference, I don't see how staying on, e.g., 6 months more will greatly improve the reference you would get from your manager or whomever.

  69. That wasn’t your fault. You indicated there would be a follow-up conversation for scheduling and details, indicating you were just giving them the headline of what you would discuss. They went and did something completely on their own and without your permission. That’s on them. Your boss should be investing in cabinet locks or a security system, not billing you for someone else’s poor communication skills.

  70. What kind of sketchy haz mat person takes a cabinet full of chemicals without verification?

  71. Please do not give a three month notice unless you have enough savings to be let go immediately. With everything happening, it’s likely they’ll cut their losses with you quitting and ask you to leave immediately.

  72. Nothing you can do now that your boss knows. Next time, learn how to phrase things better. You can report it your boss while taking all the blame and still have him look at Hazmat's shortcoming.

  73. I personally know someone that came in to work high and destroyed about 400-700 thousand dollars worth of parts needed for several hundred work orders. Refused to give urine for test and was fired. Was working for another company within a week.

  74. You'll be fine. I would give 1 month if you want to be generous or if there are extenuating circumstances (wanting to train a replacement) if you give 3 months be prepared financially and emotionally to be walking away that day (it can happen).

  75. It’s their fault. You asked them to help organize the disposal. That indicates that you want to show them & give more details. It should be on them. Maybe they can’t read English very well or have a disability?

  76. I'm on the side saying it's totally haz mats fault. Poorly written email or not they should be double checking and verifying before tossing anything out. Period. Common sense 101 folks.

  77. 100% hazmats fault. Don’t take this hit. I’ve been put in a spot like this before it’s a bunch of bullshit. Sounds like your boss doesn’t want to stand up for you and give shit to hazmat for their own screw up so he’s pinning it on you. You asked a question that never got an answer, nowhere did you directly say or ask for them to get them, you asked how to organize pick up.

  78. Obviously based on what you had written, it was hazmat that didn’t communicate with you as you had requested. Poorly worded or not

  79. Can’t speak to the liability issue, but give your notice as planned. This is business, and you’re already being more than courteous by giving such a long notice period.

  80. Your boss is a coward for placing the blame on you. You should have let your boss know from the start (assuming you didn’t) what you were doing and copying them on all communication. That’s standard CYA. Outside of that, welcome to corporate America. First lesson and hard lesson, Gov’t agencies are not your friend. The game is rigged so they can’t be. They recognized and rewarded for catching or preventing xyz. You just gave some unethical person an easy win for their resume. Your company needs some deep pockets to fight on your behalf. It’s cheaper to pay the fine and place blame. An uphill battle.

  81. If your email is in fact along the lines of what you said above then it wasn’t your fault. People who fail upwards know how to point the finger when they get backed into the corner whether they were right or wrong. Donald Trump has made a very successful career out of it.

  82. Poorly written emails are easy to clarify if the other part is s professional and communicates. Hazmat should should have followed up before hand. You know the old saying "measure twice, cut once"? It applies to all parts of life. It takes 10 seconds out of their day to make sure they're fullfilling the correct request the correct way. This is on them for not following up with the department contact (in this case you) before clearing it out.

  83. I’m not understanding why you would quit. Are they hinting at firing you? I had a $30k mistake and worked at that company for 3.5 years more. I knew someone that did a $50k mistake and she worked there for another 5 years. Shit happens and we move on.

  84. I used to work in Hazmat. This has happened to me more than once. If we are told to 'dispose of all the chemicals' here? We did so. I wasn't going to cherry pick them all. Ideally?" They should be sorted before hand, and separated beforehand. But one time, someone put 1k worth of chemicals in the 'waste chemical area' only temporary. I show up, and they're gone. They're pissed because "It was just a delivery drop off. They were only there an hour!" Yeah I don't know that. I come weekly to clean that area. Another time was waste bulbs. I wasn't the regular guy, so I packed all the bulbs for disposal. Apparently? They kept the bad bulbs on top of the good ones. And the 'regular' guy knew. Guess what? I wasn't the regular guy.

  85. Don’t worry about it. You’ll make multiple multi-thousand dollar mistakes throughout your career. Companies keep employees that fuck up like this because they statistically won’t fuck up again.

  86. Not in offensive way but bc you're young, prob you're the better scapegoat. I wouldn't be sorry or agree to anything bc you didn't do a damn thing wrong. This is where you put your foot in the ground. You communicated effectively. Documented emails say it all too. Also your company should have insurance. If not, that's on them and poor move as a company. Therefore if they don't have insurance, they're really looking for someone to blame to cough it up. But a business should always have insurance especially an operation like yours. Even a flower shop has insurance for flowers that don't bloom or are dead....is it the florists fault. No! I mean last part was somewhat a hyperbole but you get my point.

  87. Company threatening something they can’t legally do. That’s like charging the cashier when they come up short at the end of their shift. That’s illegal but employers do it all the time. Tell them to call their insurance company and kick rocks.

  88. Sometimes you have to defend yourself and stand up for yourself even if there’s grey line… people remember what the final story ended up being, not how it got that way. Remember that you can influence the people around you by keeping to your line.

  89. I always tell my employees that it’s really hard to over-communicate but really easy to under-communicate, so err on the side of the former. This was an honest mistake and a learning experience.

  90. I remember when I was 24, I got yelled at and then fired for “telling another employee your salary!” (How could I?! gasp) I had to think REALLY hard to even remember why I don’t work there anymore and that was about 10 or so years ago. Obviously what I did wasn’t wrong and they were just acting on emotion.

  91. Don't take full responsibility for that. Yes taking responsibility is an important character trait, but also, people who will throw you under the bus will use this as ammunition. They never told you anything about what was happening, never called you, never coordinated. This isn't your fault and the fact that your boss is throwing you under the bus with this "poorly written email" bullshit is crap. Resign anyway as scheduled, find a place where your work will be valued.

  92. There should be an incident investigation done by the product control officer. But in the end who was responsible to make a list of the chemicals to be disposed of? The person qualified and had the authority to oversee the disposal, hazmat should have been informed of the protocols.

  93. Your boss asking you to pay money out of pocket is a huge red flag. Give 2 week notice and get out of there the day after. Let them scrounge for a replacement

  94. Chem teacher. We have to label and separately store chemicals we are disposing. Contractors do not have access to our chem prep rooms. I'd think that would be standard practice even in corporate.

  95. I'd ask what policies and controls are in place for hazmat. Honestly if they are that expensive / dangerous there should be a protocol or a seniority matrix to dispose of chemicals. Some sort of literal sign off.

  96. It’s hazmats fault. You did your job and if they can’t call you to explain what’s needed, that’s their fault. “Poorly” written email is still not your fault that someone else cannot comprehend and at least call to confirm. Your company should have Strict SOPs regarding instructions for throwing away chemicals and any lab equipment. Especially if it’s 10K worth. At the very least they should almost always have approval from the lab manager before anything like that is discarded. It’s ultimately the companies fault for not having better procedures so something like this doesn’t happen. 3 months notice is actually very kind. Your manager will appreciate it more than you think.

  97. Based on your description it sounds justified, you have the right to resign and the other department made a mistake.

  98. You did say you wanted to "organize". Could mean sorting, could mean arranging. Sounds like someones angry and causing you to foot the bill mate.

  99. Put in a two week notice. If your boss asks why you are leaving tell him. If you liked working there tell him. If there is a certain amount of money or respect or boundaries that could keep you, write it down and tell him under what terms would keep you there and happy.

  100. I’m going to be leaving to pursue my side hustle. There is nothing they can offer that would make me reconsider.

  101. How did they know which cabinet to get it from? Wouldn’t there be an inventory list titled “For Disposal” somewhere? Or at least a form to sign? No accountability whatsoever? This is BS. Those are some pretty rogue/mafia HAZMAT guys!

  102. I work in analytical labs and this is 100% hazmat’s fault. Usually when they pick up our waste I walk them to the location and show them the exact containers to take. There’s constant communication and paperwork involved that I have to sign. Your boss should be going after the hazmat company if he’s concerned about the cost of the chemicals. Don’t admit any fault and if it escalates it’s probably time to start looking for a new job, major red flag.

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