I quit my day job this last Friday. While I wish had to be to focus on a writing, it wasn’t. Honestly, thinking of this place as my career that was problematic. Never once did I think to myself that I had the best job ever or even something I could see myself doing for 20 years or more, but here I was treating it as such. Over the last few months, it began to look like something I wouldn’t even have the stomach to do for one more year. Turns out, I didn’t even make it to the end of the year.
Now, to be completely open, it was not quite four years ago when I reached ten years with this employer. The home office likes it when the team makes a big show of milestones. The bigger the milestone, the bigger the show. Given most hires don’t seem to stay beyond one or two years, ten should be pretty damn good and an acknowledgement at the morning meeting when being given the certificate and pin sent out. Instead, I come in to work and it’s laying on my desk in a pile with the mail and papers for filing. I’m then told “There’s your certificate. Do something with it.” I dropped it into the bottom drawer of my desk and covered it with training materials to try to forget about it. My heart broke just a little. I spent more time with these people than I did my family. To have a milestone dismissed and summarized with two sentences and less than ten words was a painful affair.
This is where I decided to start writing again.
Wasn’t too long after, while I was cleaning out a supply closet, organizing a mess that had been there longer than I had been with this store, an employee spit on me. They took a long swig of water from their bottle and then proceeded to spit it out at me like a whale spouting at sea. While it was dripping from hair and down my face, I stood there in shock and horror, mouth gaping open while I tried to process the why of the situation. After the initial shock faded I blurted out “What the hell?”
They just smirked, a self-satisfied and smug grin crept along their face while laughing. As I wiped my glasses dry on my shirt, I was told to relax. “I’m just kidding around.”
“I don’t appreciate it.” I didn’t and I still don’t. Now, for those of you wondering if I reported it. I did. However, nothing real ever came of it.
After a short time of telling myself that eventually people like that get what they deserve, I knew I was lying to myself. I’d seen too many people in the daily world being terrible to one and other and moving along consequence free. Each abuse, every lie and snide remark I attempted to deflect. Finally, I had enough. Time to change the situation.
I began to casually and quietly look for a new job. Submitting my resume every other week or so to various places around town. I came really close a few times and went on a handful of interviews. But there was usually something in the end that wasn’t quite right. The best piece of advice I ever gave to someone, I took myself. “Don’t exchange one dumpster fire for another.” I kept on looking while fighting my fires.
I watched all kinds of good people that had been excited to be at this location wither and wilt before leaving. Sometimes I wondered how I might have seemed to them. Did I reflect the same wear and tear? Could they see my unease and unhappiness as readily as I could see theirs? I always wished someone luck and happiness as they handed in their notice. I was sorry to see them leave, but I has still happy they were doing what they felt was the best for them.
Eventually, I found a much better match for myself. It was my light at the end of the tunnel.
They invited me into their office to try them out for a day, a working interview. They offered me things that, as a working writer, I craved. A steady schedule with no late nights, two days off in a row, insurance, a fair wage, and no one spitting on me, metaphorically or otherwise. The relief I left was great.
Putting in my two weeks was hard and there was a moment or two when I thought of the good people that I worked with and felt bad, struggled with the thought: Is this the right thing? But as I went through my list of things I knew to be true, “change” along with “making the most of myself” kept coming back to the top of the list.
So, why is all this blog worthy? Because it’s a big change in my life and it is scary. I write about scary things, mostly. Tomorrow is my first official day and I will be the new girl again.