Hi everyone, how are you? I quit my job.
If you do not want to join my pity party, stop reading now. I am warning you, this will be a long, hopefully funny, sometimes incoherent, sometimes angry, sometimes thankful rant. The fact of the matter is, I need to get my feelings out about the awful experience I had working for Company X.
I know what you are thinking ... it was the twilight hours. Wrong. I did quite well with the overnight schedule (8pm to 5am). Not sure I will go as far to say I liked it, but it was not bad. At least there was that.
The truth is, Company X was never a good fit for me. I gave it a fair shot—6 months—even though I wanted to quit after my first week. The red flags went up right away when I began working with Company X.
Steadee to Manager: "Working overnight is a new thing for me. Do people take a breakfast, lunch or dinner break?"
Manager: "We don't really take breaks here. You are pretty much expected to work 8-10 hours/day without a break. It's just the nature of the job."
In my hiring discussions back in December, Deal & I didn't know where we would end up living. Believe it or not, Alaska was on the table. Then we ended up moving 50 miles away from Company X. They still said when they hired me: "We'll bring you in the office for a week of training, then you can decide if you want to work in the office or work remotely. We'll give you your equipment and send you on your way" After two weeks of making the long commute to the office, I was ready to be a recluse worker again. When I brought it to my manager's attention, he said, "sure you can work from home. But you have to take an 8 percent pay cut." Hmmm. That was the first I heard of that, nor was it written anywhere in their policy handbook. When I went back to the person who hired me to question it, he said, "I don't remember any of those conversations."
By the time my 6-month tenure was up, I hadn't met all of the 50+ people on the editorial team. We work in cubicles and communicate via IM. Listen, I worked remotely for about 6 years of my career, so I am an expert at the IM and no human contact thing, but this job was in an office! With a break room (but see Exhibit A)! So I didn't take breaks for my first 2 months. I was miserable. Don't tell management, but I eventually took breaks, socialized and made friends. In fact, my one coworker and I took a break almost every day. Sometimes 2 breaks (granted, they were 10 or 15 minutes). It was the only way I could survive this long. Inclusive in the group of coworkers I never met was my own boss. He was remote, but does anyone else think it is abnormal to never meet your boss?
We have deadlines that give you exactly 1 minute and 42 seconds to spare. When I first started, I noticed that people were running, not walking, to go to the bathrom. I thought that was ridiculous. But then I noticed I was always on edge and held my own pee. Maybe it was all the BREAKS I was taking. And true, certain days were slower than others, and those days I cherished my extra 3 minutes and 19 seconds. For the most part, my health care section was busy, busy, busy. If you haven't noticed, health care is on steroids in the news these days. I hated being so rushed and so tense sitting at my desk for 8-11 hours a day. I spent more time doing my job than anything else.
There was a massive learning curve. It actually felt like I was being hazed. I felt so alone. I felt like my own coworkers were ganging up on me. They were not, but they certainly did not have the time to give me support and hold my hand through the learning process. I did start at the same time as 3 other guys who felt very similar feelings, but I highly doubt they were spending their drives to and from work in tears. Even though things got easier, they never got awesome. The really high expectations continued and as soon as I thought I was in a good place, something new I could improve was brought to my attention. I tried avoiding asking questions because they had a funny way of making me feel like I was an idiot for not already knowing the answer.
Remember the boss I never met? HE LIKED TO USE ALL CAPS WHEN HE WAS NOT HAPPY WITH SOMETHING I DID. This happened often. For working in the communications field, he was a pretty poor communicator. He should not be a manager.
So why did I stay for 6 months? Part of the delay was something green and semi-important ... money. The other part was my ego and my determination not to give up.
Let me take you back a few months to when the job sounded so good on paper. After being laid off in 2009, spending a year dabbling in the freelance world, then taking a 9-month break to hike and road trip, I thought it was time for me to get back to work full time. To say I was feeling like a failure in the career arena is an understatement. Of course I do not place all of my self worth in work, because, a-hem, I had just hiked 2,181 miles and I was pretty damn proud, but I wanted a job to prove to myself that I could still succeed elsewhere.
Sometimes the right decisions are hard. I went back and forth so many times about this job and how long I "should" keep it. It monopolized my conversations with friends and family. It consumed me. And I strongly disliked my life with this job.
Truth be told, I never wanted any big, powerful jobs. This is a little hard for me to admit. I am only in my mid-30s, I have absolutely no plans to ever mother any children, so my career should be my life. At least that's what society makes me think. But, the job took so much energy out of me, I didn't have anything left at the end of the day (or the beginning of the day in my case). People work 11-hour days all the time and have much more to juggle than I did. I think I am a hard worker, but what I didn't like was working for money. Anyone who knows us knows we are not driven by money. That's what this job was all about. I just want to love what I do every day so it doesn't feel like a job.
A friend told me that sometimes you have to know misery to know happiness. Admittedly, my life has been pretty darn happy for the past few years. Sure, there have been a few ups and downs, but overall, I recognize that I've been extremely blessed. I think I came face to face with misery during these past 6 months. And now I'm ready to go back to being happy-go-lucky Steadee.
What will I do now? My 3 loyal blog readers will be happy to know I will post more!! I will be spending more time with my hubby at the lodge and hostel. And as Deal says, I'll "just be living life."
So if you made it all the way to the end of this post, thanks for hearing me out. Now let me go rewrite this so it is sufficient for my exit interview.
Labels: Reflections, Unemployment