Saturday, April 24, 2010

A New Beginning?

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
-Eleanor Roosevelt

I kept repeating that quote after I came home tonight from work.  No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.  No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.  No one can make you feel one....

I quit my job today.  Usually, when one leaves a job, it is customary to give the company two weeks notice (and in Japan, a whole month).  I have followed this courtesy at all of my jobs...those that allowed me to stay on long enough to do so, that is.

All but this one.

I had taken next week off for U.S. Census training, and since the schedules are done one week previous, I figured now was the best time to quit, since they had already scheduled me out for next week.  I also thought that I had read in the company handbook that during the first ninety days, an employee could quit at any time and for any reason, a power usually reserved for the employer in regards to the employee.  So I quit, effective today.  Unfortunately, I was told that I read that part wrong, and that the penalty is that this company may never hire me back.

I had two main reasons for quitting immediately.  One was that I didn't want to announce my departure, and then have to put up with two weeks of people asking why, of looking at the disappointment in people's faces, of fumbling for an answer that makes my decision clear without placing blame for my departure on any one person.  In other words, I wanted to leave quietly, without people knowing that I was leaving until right before I was gone.  Well, I bungled that, as this immediate departure will probably cause more problems than giving my two week notice would have.  Oh well.  It can't be undone.

The second reason was that the job sucked.  Physically, mentally, emotionally, I might have been able to squeeze out another week (I had next week off, so I only needed one more), but it was a struggle just to make it to the weekend.  I stayed an hour over my scheduled end time every night this week, usually for an hour or so (last night, I only stayed 30 minutes over).  Tonight was the only night that I put everything out on the floor (I worked in a bakery department), and I stayed 1 hour 15 minutes over!

Then there was the training.  Originally, I was trained to be a barista.  Then the construction of the coffee shop was delayed.  I was moved over to the bakery without having been certified for the barista position.  I was officially trained a total of sixteen hours in the bakery (they kept saying I was a trainee, but every night that I worked at the bakery, except one, I was alone for all but an hour or half hour at the beginning of my shift, and the one in which I was only alone for the last hour was worse, because the person I worked with baked so much that I couldn't put all of it out on the shelves in the hour that remained).  In fact, though I was trained for the morning shift, the first time I was put in the bakery by myself was for a night shift, and there was no overlap with the person who worked the earlier shift.

Finally, the job itself just wasn't for me.  I should have said that when questioned by the manager on duty as to why I wanted to leave immediately (so much for leaving unnoticed, huh?).  I am not a fast worker, except as a cashier.  I prefer jobs that aren't so hectic.  This job was more or less a shot in the dark, and it got me to the point where I could take the census job, without a gap in pay, but it wasn't a job that one would associate with me.  For people who can do that kind of job, good for them.  They probably had proper training.

Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.
-Henry Ford

This quote is on my desk, though I had to search the Internet to see who said it.  I've been looking at this quote throughout most of the day.  If quitting is a type of failure, then indeed, it is giving me an opportunity to begin again.

Did I make the right decision?  I don't know.  I should be able to find something within the four weeks that I am working the census job, and hopefully something that will actually cover my expenses, rather than just put a dent in them, as my recent job did ($8.65 an hour).  The only reason to hang onto that job for a little longer was its benefits, but why join a union, with union dues, if I'm only going to work at there for a few months at most?

Years from now, I'm hoping that I'll look back at this decision as similar to Jack London's decision to continue writing stories over working a steady job at the post office, and not as a step that leads to my having to leave Seattle due to lack of funds and lack of work (though that's being a bit dramatic).  Due to my quick exit, I know that the company I worked for won't hire me again.  At least my checks are still being sent to my barista training store as opposed to the one in which I worked at the bakery, and at least I shop at a different grocery store than the one that I worked at.  But I shouldn't be this depressed less than two days before my birthday.  I should remember the quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, and realize that today I fulfilled one of my favorite quotes:

Always do what you are afraid to do.   -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Maybe this is a turning point in my fortunes.  As Aaron Eckhart said in The Dark Knight, "The night is darkest just before the dawn."

Here's to the dawn.

Author's Note: This post was written on Friday night and posted just after midnight on Saturday.  So when I write "today," I'm writing about Friday.


  1. "There is no right or wrong decision. There is decision and indecision and deciding is right."

  2. That quote by Eleanor Roosevelt is one I need to remember.
    I'm sorry you're having so many doubts and feeling depressed. My prayers are with you, if that is any comfort.

  3. @S.M.
    Thanks for that.
    Yes it is, thank you.
    I also had a loooong phone conversation with one of my best friends (her birthday was yesterday), so I'm feeling much better now. I also got some birthday presents in the mail. :-)


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