A Certain Rite of Passage

Yesterday marked 6 months until the wedding.  Sarge and I celebrated by opening some sparkly from the engagement party and watching a double-bill of The Usual Suspects and Mixed Nuts.  Guess which one was my choice.


We were also toasting the the fact that I quit my job on Friday.  Although I prefer the term ‘left voluntarily’.  See, the giant stresshead I mentioned in my last post kinda exploded.

The first flowery boot dropped on Thursday night at a quiz with our book group friends.  The building was so old, I couldn’t fit through the door without transferring into another chair while Sarge took the tires off mine, and put them back on after crossing the threshold.

Cover of "Mixed Nuts"
Cover of Mixed Nuts

‘There’s still so much to be done,’ I said. ‘I’m so in the wrong job.’

The next morning, between gulp two and three of coffee, looking out at the snow, I asked Sarge for the zillionth time, ‘would you think less of me if I left?’

‘This isn’t your career. You haven’t slept in a month, which means I haven’t.  You’ve changed, and I miss you.  So, quit.’

I went in on my first day, shortly after a front wheel spun out and rolled down the road behind me.  I’d tried not to think my first morning on three wheels would be a metaphor for the rest of my time there.

But I never felt solid.  I like to be good at what I do.  To be sure of myself.  I like conviction in my work voice.  I like to modulate my phone voice so people can’t figure out where I’m from.  But the New York comes out when I’m nervous.  I was never not nervous in this job.  The stress was making my CP physically painful, which hasn’t happened since I had my hips surgically broken when I was a kid.

So, I went in on Friday, and came right out again.  ‘The people are lovely,’ I said. ‘But this isn’t for me.’  I might have got a little emotional,  actually saying, ‘I’ve never quit a job in my life.’

I failed to mention I didn’t care about the job.  That I couldn’t get behind late phone-covers and box-sets that were the wrong region.  I did like helping grannies, though.  And I might have teared up when an old Irish guy was so happy I could help he said, ‘God bless ye, Lorna.  Merry Christmas.’  But I think I cried because it was my time of the month.  Did I mention that?

I will never think of dedicated customer service jobs the same way again.  Points for the people who do them.  You are stronger than me.

Anyway.  I left on Friday, and immediately split the cost of a Shiatsu massage seat-cover with Sarge.  Platinum investment, that.  True story.

I’d been reading the same book for a month.  Finally finished it yesterday, in bed with coffee.

And yesterday was the first conversation with my father in a awhile that didn’t include an existential crisis on my end of the line.  He’s happy that I’ve followed my heart.  My mother says that quitting a job is a rite of passage.  I can dig that.

And I’m getting married in 5 months and a bunch of days.  That’s another one.

Bring it on.


21 thoughts on “A Certain Rite of Passage

  1. I know that quitting is not easy. It sounds like it should be, but it isn’t. I congratulate you on knowing yourself well enough to know that this was the right thing to do. I’m applauding! 🙂

  2. I worked for a year in a job whose stress made me physically ill. I was thrilled when they canned me — but at least I could then collect unemployment. Hoping you find a better fit elsewhere.

  3. Better to leave as soon as you know that it’s not right for you than to push down the bad feelings and end up a bitter curmudgeon. (Not that I know anything about that. 😉 )
    You have a lot of courage. Better luck on your next job.

  4. The depth & quality of your insight, and stellar turn of phrase has also returned to Gin & Lemonade. This reader is grateful for that. I have missed you. Your true callings have missed you.

  5. Having to leave a job due to stress isn’t good, I am curious (nosey bastard) what were you finding stressful? Having had to deal with complaints from people face to face and over the phone in the past, I know how unpleasant it can be from the customers and management, what would say was the source for you?

    1. I jumped every time the phone rang, which isn’t as funny as it sounds, I hated putting people on hold and/or getting yelled at when trying to help them, and I took hangups personally, which I know you shouldn’t.

      In all my other posts I hope I’ve made a marked difference, and there was none of that, much. Very little to no job satisfaction, for me anyway. And I was bored, which I wasn’t expecting.

      Good luck for your interview!

  6. I am so glad that you are free of that, and it is really sweet that you had Sarge’s blessing, and your mom’s support in your decision. A job really shouldn’t be so stressful that you can’t enjoy the rest of your life. Best wishes to you!

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