Adios y Mucho Farewell
The time right now is 5:37pm. I’ve been on the clock at work for thirty-seven minutes. Here’s the God’s honest truth…I came into this shift knowing that it’s my last one here. Here’s another bit of complete honesty: no one else here knows it’s my last shift.
That’s right. I’m quitting my job tonight. This is not a decision I made lightly, and it was honestly a decision I made before I had a back up plan in place. RULE NUMBER ONE for anyone looking to change jobs or careers is never leave your current place of employment until you’ve got another job waiting for you. This should be a pretty basic standard, a golden rule practiced by anyone looking to get out of their current situation, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out like that. It was my preferred course of action, but I was given the go ahead to jump ship by my girlfriend.
I’ve been looking for a second job for about a month and a half now. Truth be told, I’ve been completely upfront about that with my current boss, and he’s been pretty supportive. Never once have I said I’m looking for a NEW job or ANOTHER job, I’ve always been very careful with my choice of words: I’ve been looking for a second job. I’ve always used that phrase because it’s been true. I’ve never wanted to leave where I am now because I really do love it here. It’s a job that’s relatively close to my ideal field, and every shift I get a chance to think on my feet, create some new experience for a paying customer, and polish my chops. So whenever the topic of employment has come up with my boss, I’ve ALWAYS been looking for a second job. Let the record show that I’ve never made it a goal to leave this place. Let the record show that after I typed that, everyone in the room applauded in respect to my loyalty and perseverance.
Let the record also show that my care and caution in choosing my words will continue until at least the end of this particular blog entry. I will never tell you where I work, the names of anyone I work with (not even code names, because that’d be silly), or the unabridged list of reasons why I’m leaving. It’s none of your business, and it’s for me to deal with. The more vague the speech, the less likely I am to a) throw someone who doesn’t deserve it under the bus out of frustration and b) completely put my foot in my mouth. Instead, only partial foot. The toes, mostly. The sweatiest part of the foot. I do it to myself, let’s be real.
But let’s also be completely and totally crystal clear about what this blog entry is here to accomplish. I’m not here to bad mouth my current job, my employers or fellow employees, or to talk some mad smack about this place to explain why I’m leaving. My goal on this blog is to never burn a bridge or piss anyone off or embellish the truth. I only want to vent my frustration, as honestly as possible, in an effort to avoid sitting on a latex couch and paying someone to listen to my feelings. Helpful though as such professionals are, I’d very much like to try a personal therapy. A creative outlet. Welcome to my site. You’re free to go whenever you want.
Thanks for sticking around. Now, while I’m making an effort to not mention this particular business outright, anyone who wants to dox me probably won’t have a hard time doing so. I’ve tried to bring in more business by informing my friends of what we offer, but I’ve never listed it in my bio on Facebook, and even back in the days of my vlog i never said it out loud, and I attempted to blur out any identifying markings. I’m not mentioning it out of respect, not out of fear. There’s a big difference. I’m not naming it because I don’t want to detract from future business. They don’t deserve that. As I’ve said before, I love this place. But sometimes things just don’t work out.
That’s true for a lot of shit in life. Sometimes relationships, whatever the capacity, end mutually. You grow apart from one another or the frustration builds and builds until there’s no other option than to sever ties. As long as there’s no name calling, hissy fits, or passive aggressive attacks, there’s nothing wrong with saying adios and calling it done. I’m thirty-two years old. WAY too old for that shit. So for all intents and purposes, this scenario is based out of (probably mutual) frustration.
There are business tactics being practiced that I don’t agree with. Nothing illegal, don’t worry. They’re very “by the book” here, and everything is to be done a certain way. Can’t fault anyone for that. As rebellious as I claim to be, I’m really quite the rule follower. But the business has recently undergone a drastic change in hours for their employees (but it could also be just me. I don’t know. The staff discussed personal matters like pay or hours sparingly). When I was initially hired, I was told I’d be working 35 hours a week. I think I’ve been given that particular schedule maybe once or twice. Maybe more, but I don’t have all my past schedules here in front of me to verify. The point is that in my year+ of employment, I’ve very rarely been given what I was told to expect. Lately, hours have become more and more dwindled, to the point where I had 6 hours guaranteed and 3 hours on call this week. On call is exactly what it sounds like: you don’t have the hours unless someone plans to do business with you at that particular time. So let’s say you’re on call from 1am to 5am, and someone only needs your expertise from 3:30 to 5. That’s all you come in for, and that’s all you get paid for. On call is not fun. Along with being a rule follower, I also do better with schedules and routines. So on call for me is a stress inducing carrot-on-a-string, how-the-hell-can-I-plan-my-day kind of schedule. I can imagine other people will look at such hours as an added bonus. But if I’m cleaning the bathroom and get called into work in the middle of it…good Lord, I can’t even think about it without getting anxious. On call to me meant “you can’t do anything in that allotted time until you’re in the clear”. I don’t like sitting around and waiting. I’m explaining all of this on call business for a particular reason. This week I had 3 1/2 on call hours, and 6 1/2 guaranteed hours. Even at my generous pay rate, you can’t live off that. But next week I have 0 guaranteed hours.
This is where the situation gets tricky. My girlfriend has a great job. She’s the primary provider for both of us. But the entire time we’ve lived together, there’s always been an understanding of I’ll pay for absolutely whatever I can. Lately I’ve been able to pay for less and less, and I feel just awful about that. It’s not a question of who’s the man and who’s the woman or gender roles or whatever fuck you. She makes far more than me, but she works tirelessly for the job she loves. With my waning hours, I can’t even keep up. It’s depressing. So I’ve been applying to jobs left and right trying to find something to supplement my income. Next week I have interviews on Tuesday and Saturday. Next week is also the week I have zero hours. To my manager’s credit, he told me that he could give me on call hours if I wanted them, but I made the decision to decline that offer because, while I already mentioned I hate waiting to see if I work, I also don’t want to close the window on any extra job interviews. That was my thought process.
The tricky part is my manager has been extra generous with giving me time off in the past. I’ve had to get shifts covered because a short film shot on an unexpected date, we’ve decided to go out of town on a whim, I’ve gotten sick…there have been several times when my boss could have easily said “no” but he didn’t. There just happens to be a small discrepancy in the fact that the only week in my tenure here that I don’t have any hours is also the week that I asked off for two interviews. That’s all I’ll say about it.
Before we go any further, I have to say that some tremendous people work here. As with any business, some less than stellar people are also employed (personalities clash sometimes, it’s not a big deal), but the people I work with on a regular basis are all very wonderful people that I have great relationships with. I have nothing bad to say about most of the people that work here. Co-workers and managers alike. Not a bad word. The aforementioned less than stellar…I have nothing nice to say, so that means I have nothing at all. I will miss the camaraderie that this place has built amongst the core, in-house staff. The people here have been quick to help me figure out a new way to handle something, they’ve been encouraging of my passions and efforts outside of work, and on the many days when I’ve been in the dumps, they’ve been extremely willing to cheer me up. However, we’ve now come to a juncture where my bad days out weigh the good, and it’s partially because I think this job has run its course. It’s no longer beneficial to me either creatively or financially, and that’s why today’s my last shift. I understand that it’s more respectful to issue a two week’s notice, but given that I have no hours next week…well, at this moment I suppose they can fare alright without me. Hours are thin for the amount of employees we have, so in all reality, I’m assuming I’m doing them a favor.
At the time I made the decision to completely quit, I did not have another job lined up. But as of last night I’ll be a busser at a restaurant by my house. What does that say about my current financial situation? I’d rather clean up after grown ass people than stick it out here because I’m essentially guaranteed full time doing it. But hopefully I’ll be able to pay my electric bill without eating into a quarter of my last check, or I can take my girlfriend out for a proper date like I haven’t been able to lately.
There’s a laundry list of other things that frustrate me about this particular job, but it’s all really nonsense when you get down to the core of the matter. There are things I’d have an easier time accepting or dealing/working with if I was actually getting hours. It’s hard to not have some sort of ill will toward this place. I’ve worked hard, I’ve tried (more so lately than when I first got hired) to be proactive. But it doesn’t seem to be working out. This is less about personal preference in career and more about financial stability and security. I wish this place had worked out. I really do. And maybe if I had maintained my patience this job would have been utterly amazing, but life is currently dictating that I go somewhere where I can contribute around my household in a more timely manner instead of hoping things will get better down the line.
So…there probably is a little more anger here than I care to admit. I hate collecting W2s. But I don’t want this business to suffer. To want that would be for all my friends to have to find other jobs as well, and I don’t. I want this place to do well so everyone can flourish and keep doing what they’re insanely good at. To want something to fail just because it’s no longer benefitting you is probably one of the most petty things I can think of. So fly high, former employer. It’s been fun, but not for a while. Our perspective time tables are no longer lining up, and I’ve a strong need to eat and get my car fixed without relying on my parents. I can wait no longer. But, as per the title, I bid this place a genuine farewell. I hope it becomes the favorite job of everyone who works here.
Now, while I know that I’ve made a serious and conscious effort to not mention the actual business or coworkers by name, I’m not really worried about it if people connect the dots. Never once did we sign anything saying we wouldn’t talk about the store, and I’ve not said anything illegal or damning. The business is a good business, I’m just got getting the hours I need to create a more comfortable livelihood. There. That’s the long and short of it. Also, I’ve been told and reassured more than a few times that what we do online is our business alone and management has no say and will stay out of it. I can’t imagine that policy’s gone entirely without abuse. But me personally, I hope that if/when my former coworkers or bosses read this, they understand the need to air my frustrations and clear my head. Get it all out there. I can’t stress enough how little my desire to bad mouth this company is. It’s a personal issue, not a boycott or vendetta. So yeah.
So now it’s 7:51, and I’ve scheduled this post to go live at 12:01 tomorrow morning. If you’re reading this, I’m in between jobs. If you’re not reading this, then you have no idea what’s happening. Prince and Rodney Dangerfield have both passed. You’re wicked late to the game.
EDIT (12:59am): I was admittedly a little harsh on the idea of being a 32 year old bus boy. There’s really nothing wrong with that. There is absolutely zero wrong with an honest God job that allows you to take care of the people you love, your home, and yourself. People do things that they’re overqualified for or are “beneath” them in order to make an honest living. It’s a jagged little pill to swallow because it’s not where I saw myself at this point in my life. But whatever. I’ve no one but myself to blame for that one.