Grin and Bear It

I just walked out of my job. I don't know that I quit, I just left. It's possible that it was construed as quitting, but I doubt it, assuming anyone even noticed. It'll certainly be perceived as disgruntled and passive aggressive, which is me in a nutshell. I mean, I only left one hour and 19 minutes early. I did the same thing last week and threatened to not come back (well, to one person. The only employee I fraternize with on any genuinely friendly level is the middle aged lesbian who shares a cubicle wall with me). I might give my notice on Monday, I don't know. I've stormed out of plenty of jobs in my time, but never one that mattered or paid more than $12 an hour. I would be really screwing myself if I did this out of principle. No one respects having the self-respect to say no thank you. And there's nothing more miserable than having zero income. It's not like I'm a hustler who can pick up the phone and instantly land a new gig. I might just be un-employable. What it boils down to is that I can't work in an office. I don't have what it takes.

Hang_2 Without going into any detail about the ten weeks that have led me to this point, I will say that I reached my limit today. I've had issues with long hours, heavy workloads (I'm easily doing triple the work that I'm used to, which isn't saying much, that probably translates into doing the jobs of two people. Yes, I can fairly, uncomplainingly say that I'm doing the work of two people) and supervisory conflicts (this is the primary problem, which I haven't thought wise to discuss in a public format but am dying to because this is where all the traumatically humorous tales lie) that that I've tried to ignore. This is the only job I've ever had in my life where I had to go to the top and initiate serious discussions about how things are being done. I don't do that, I'm passive, I deal, I suck it up and that's not working anymore.

While I (and the middle aged lesbian) are slammed with work, almost everyone around us (who has proper offices-we're the only two in cubicles in this particular corner) makes personal calls all day long, yells at their kids (yesterday's choice quote: "You’re not to pick up the bow and arrow and you’re not touching any guns") husbands, customer service reps, colleagues, leaves early, comes in late, takes two hour lunches, oh, or sings hymns and speaks aloud to God (that's actually another cubicle person, there's a third but I try to block them out). Fine, that's the culture, but I don't have to be surrounded by it.

Then today at 4pm everyone went to a going away party held in a conference room like ten feet from where I sit. I wasn't invited. People were getting drunk, being loud and boisterous and I'm sitting in my cubicle trying to meet a million deadlines and researching (speaking of research, The Research, a youngster band from Leeds that has been getting recent attention, isn't half bad) how actuaries are perceived in the media and ways to improve their image. Actuaries, as I discovered, make six figures. They can fuck off.

How am I supposed to work for two more hours and concentrate when no one on my floor is working except me (and the black and latino mailroom guys)? I was beyond livid. I'm still livid. Have you ever been so angry, upset and frustrated all at once that you cease having emotions? I thought I might start crying, which is something I very rarely do, and never in public, but I was beyond that.

To be fair, my boss boss (not the crazy sort of boss who doesn't work Fridays anyway) came out after about 30 minutes to check on me, could obviously tell I was less than thrilled, and then tried to get me to come to the party. I didn't want to, and it's not like me turn down free drinks. There's no way I was going to go into a room filled with hideous people that are incapable of normal behavior, and hang out. I told her no, that I was fine and refused to go to the party. I waited for a few more minutes and debated what to do. After hearing the CEO screaming something about boobs, I left. It's so petty and stupid in the scheme of things, but it's the little things that will wear you down.

It was 4:41, big deal. No one will say anything to me on Monday. And if they do, I will simply be honest, like I'm doing right now. It's not working. It's the most broken, demoralizing work environment I've ever experienced, which is saying a lot because I've cut photo negatives at 5am, put price tags on make up in a factory during the graveyard shift, pulled staples out of paper and opened envelopes for eight hours straight, and all for a third of the money (now that I think about it, I was fired from two of those four jobs. I can't even open envelopes without incident). But in my mature salaried life, I haven't been pushed this far.

To add insult to injury, on my way from the subway home I was hit with the sudden feeling that I was about to crap my pants. I guess the worst case scenario is that you actually shit yourself. I was wearing black cords so the darkness and thickness might've disguised an impromptu load. I had to carefully run the six blocks to the apt. The more disturbing aspect was that the poop was bright chartreuse like steamed broccoli. It had to have been that damn blue velvet cake that I just wrote about earlier. I'm not sure if it's cool or creepy to shit bright green.

7 thoughts on “Grin and Bear It

  1. I’ve been known to walk out of a few jobs in my time. Good jobs can be so rare. It’s important to find a line of work where people can’t really fuck with you.

    Ha, back in High School, I was working at a Subway sandwich shop closing the place down at 2am all by myself. The job was driving me crazy and school was suffering. This dick running the place could care less, so one day I snapped an knocked a jar of pickled peppers on the floor while staring straight at him. He said, “Ok, that’s it! Either that comes out of your check or you’re fired!” I said, “Fuck you Orval Redenbacher looking mother fucker, I’m tired of your shit!” and I walked straight out.

  2. Now that I think about it I never had super heinous high school jobs (I bussed tables at a Chinese restaurant for $3.35/hour and didn’t really mind it) or even college jobs (did work study at an arty movie theater). It wasn’t until I got out of school that I was “oh my god, working really sucks.” And I’ve been out of school for a decade so I’ve had plenty of time to acclimate.

    As long as I don’t end up in a cardboard box (actually, I don’t see many homeless in NYC compared to the west coast, it’s a weird thing) I’ll be fine.

  3. I’ve had quite a few bad jobs since high school and I’ve switched careers twice. I finally settled on something I was trying to avoid, software development. (didn’t want to turn into a light hating cubicle monkey) Funny thing is, this has turned out to be the best career yet. Even in this career that I’m much happier with, I’ve had quite a few bad managers that made my life miserable. The best thing was to find another job and move on. I’d say for every 4 jobs, I’d find a good one.

  4. Jane: I hope it was just the hot sauces at work and that my bad baking didn’t poison you. Wait 24 hours and you might be hit with a bright green surprise.
    TITLE: it could be you..or me.
    BLOG NAME: ink from the squid
    DATE: 03/26/2006 08:08:54 AM
    Grin and Bear It I just walked out of my job. I don’t know that I quit, I just left. It’s possible that it was construed as quitting, but I doubt it, assuming anyone even noticed. It’ll certainly be perceived

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