Thursday, May 04, 2006

Why I Quit My Job

Posted mainly for Lucas, because she wanted to hear what happened. Sorry it's taken me a week to post about it, but I've been mulling over if I should write about it or not. I figure, what the heck, so here goes.

Preface: I thought I wanted this job so bad. The job description I read online seemed OK and that I'd fit in great there. I jumped at the job without really thinking, mostly due to the fact that I'd been without a job for 7 weeks at that point. I just wanted to start working again.

I should have known that the job wasn't for me from the moment I sat down at the interview. The first thing my boss said to me was "do you have any questions?". Umm...How could I have any questions when you haven't even introduced yourself to me, let alone tell me anything about the job? I should have known right then that it wasn't going to work out. While in there, I wasn't introduced to the two other people sitting at the table, either, which I thought was pretty rude. I didn't know what their role was or how they fit with it all. Later I find out that they are two people who I'll be working with, but why wasn't that said when I interviewed? So weird. She asked me a bunch of pre-determined, standard, non specific-to-the-job questions, all in a monotone drone. The interview lasted a total of 15 minutes.

I was so desperate to take this job, I agreed to a $7K paycut from what I was making in Boston. That's a LOT of money. I figured it would be OK because I wouldn't have to pay for insurance (I'm covered under Phillip's plan) and the commute was easy to deal with, especially with the pre-tax bus pass I could purchase through the job. And, I would finally have weekends off. I hadn't had a job with weekends off in over five years.

During the four weeks I worked there, I felt really out of place. Not only did my boss not introduce me to anyone, the professors and other employees didn't introduce themselves to me. I didn't know what to make of that. I especially didn't know what to make of the fact that for the entire four weeks I was there, the Department Head (whom I saw at least 20 times a day, and walked past me just as many times) never introduced himself OR said one word to me. I'm serious! I only ended up officially meeting two professors while I was there; one was in charge of training me (I met with him for one hour the week before I left) and one of them was super nice and I feel bad I didn't say goodbye to her. But I couldn't tell you the names of the rest of them if you paid me. That's pretty messed up.

One of the things I was pretty specific about when I interviewed was that I like to be busy all the time. I don't like a job that has a lot of down-time. You know the kind...there's nothing to do but shuffle papers around and pretend to look busy. I specifically asked about the work load between April and September; the months where school isn't in session (save for a summer class or two). I was told (not in these exact words) "It gets so busy around here, you won't have a minute to yourself". I was happy to hear that. But the reality was that for four weeks I had nothing to do. It was horrible. The two things I knew I'd have to do every day were sort the mail and fill the copy machine with paper. But that takes all of 10 minutes. I didn't have anything to do to fill the rest of the day. Occasionally I'd be asked to mail something FedEx, or to copy a couple of pages, but other than that, I sat there. No one talked to me, so that made things difficult as well. So by my third week, I'd had enough.

Phillip and I talked a long time about me leaving the job. He saw how miserable I was. And if there's one thing Phillip can't handle, it is me feeling miserable about a job. So we talked it over and decided I would quit at the end of the month. And that's what I did.

On my last day, I went to talk to my boss at 8:10am. She wasn't in her office, but rather next door in the conference room. I didn't see her in there when I knocked on her door, but she called to me from the other room. I told her I needed to talk to her. She wanted me to talk to her while she was setting up a PowerPoint presentation in the conference room. I told her that I preferred to speak with her in private. She said (with a heavy sigh) "Can this wait?" I wasn't going to argue, so I said "sure." 30 minutes later she came to get me. I went to her office and told her that I couldn't continue working there. It wasn't a good fit for me. And for personal reasons, I would not be returning. Her response "Oh, ok." Yes, that's it. Two words were all she could offer me.

So I left there at 4:30 (after turning in my keys and letter of resignation) and didn't look back. After I got that response from my boss, I was pretty confident that I made the right decision. If she didn't really care that I was leaving, why should I? I didn't feel bad about not giving the two-week notice either, because when I was hired I was put on a six month probationary period. That means I can quit or they can fire me with no reason within those six months. And I've heard many stories of people who have lasted 5 months and 28 days. And on the 29th day they are canned. I wasn't going to deal with that. Not that I thought I'd get the axe, but I didn't want to take the chance anyway.

So that's the story. Not very glamorous, I'm afraid. I didn't storm out. There wasn't any yelling or pounding of fists on desks. No paper flying all around. It was very calm and without any emotion whatsoever - by anyone. My boss's reaction to the situation was pretty fitting, since I'm still quite convinced she's a Android masquerading as an Administrative Professional.

on an unrelated note, i had to close anonymous comments due to a mentally unstable troll who frequently comments here. i'm sorry, but if you don't have a registered account, you will be unable to comment. blame the troll for that one.


Joshua said...

:-( Sorry to hear it didn't go well.
Hopefully you'll find something else that engages your mind a little better. Hell, a lot better.

Why can't we all just be independently wealthy?

Damn the man!!

Julie Du. said...

It sounded positively dreadful, HB. Good for you for quitting.

Honey Bunny said...

yeah, Joshua...i'd give ANYTHING to be independently wealthy.

that would rock.

Honey Bunny said...

julie, it WAS dreadful. and i thought i'd be a good match for it, which makes me sad...

Lucas said...

HB- I think a calm and emotionless work environment can be just as bad a chaotic and stressful one. Glad you quit but sorry you are out of work again so soon. Better luck with the next job. Again, if you would like the career counselor information let me know. It might be time for something completely different. You never know!

Honey Bunny said...

hi lucas-
sure, i would love the name of your career counselor. you can email me at thehoneybunny @ gmail. com.