Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Just when I thought I was out...

they pull me back in.

Ok... Mae West reportedly stated that she could resist anything but temptation. Here at Chez Rebel, I can resist anything except a well reasoned, fiscally responsible, slightly maternal appeal to my ISTJ side. Ugh.

So I handed in my notice on Thursday, my last day would be May 21st. It's true that the final act of writing up my letter of resignation was done in haste and without a real plan as to how I would move on... but it was not a rash decision. I've been wanting out of this job for a long time, and I've been trying to get out for a long time - a LOOOONG time. I don't know why it takes me so long to do things. Some people just pick up and go. I was going through an old notebook and found some career-brainstorming I'd done back in October of 2006 and jotted right there on the page were the words "Teach English Abroad." WHY AM I STILL HERE??? Because I took it slow trying to figure out the best way to do that... trying pay down debt and save up vacation time, then trying to save up a little more money and a little more vacation time, then you know... getting the rug pulled out from under me with this stupid non-existing class. So with one thing and another two months here, two months stressful work deadline flowing into the next stressful work deadline ... October 2006 turns into May 2008 and I'm fed up, farther past my breaking point than I knew existed, and I give my 2 weeks notice. Finally!! Counting down the days... the hours, I am.

My boss called me into her office on Monday to 'chat'.
How are you feeling about your decision?
- Fine... it's time for me to go. (In truth, I'm terrified, I have no idea what I'm doing, I don't think I have enough money, I'm scared that as soon as my health insurance runs out I'm going to get cancer but I'm even more afraid that if I don't get out of here now I don't think I'm ever going to get out.)

Then the big boss called me into his office to 'chat'.
So what are you planning on doing?
- I need to get focused on leaving, I need to start learning the language and getting myself ready to leave the country. (Honestly, I have no idea what I'm going to do... I hope to god I can get a part time job to cover at least some of my expenses so that I still have my savings to pay for the course I want to take and yet allow me enough mental breathing space to actually prepare for the course & my eventual, hopeful move abroad.)

Is there anything you want to tell me about the office before you leave?
-No... there have been good points and bad, but it's time for me to move on. (I think half the Ph.D.s in the office are overpaid spoiled brats who have absolutely no perspective on life beyond their research and barely see me as a human being let alone an intelligent person with a life outside the office and dreams beyond continuing devoted service to their projects.)

So today, I am just barely hanging on... inside I'm freaking out at near maximum, equally scared to leave and scared not to leave, but putting on the calm face and bravely voicing my ambitions for my future. But it's just one.more.week. Get through tomorrow and Friday, then it's the weekend, then two days of last minute details and a last day of good byes. I can almost handle this.... I can almost make it.

My boss called me into her office again this afternoon.

So what are your plans?
-I'm going to start getting focused on leaving, I'll be having lunch with a woman from Thailand tomorrow, and I've emailed an acquaintance who's living there now. I'm starting to try to learn the language, and I'm going to do some prep work for the course I want to take. I'll probably pick up a part time, low-stress job for a while, but first I need to take a break.

Have you thought about a position here in another department?
-No... I really need to break away, it's a little too comfortable here... I really need a break so I can focus my energies on what I really want to be doing - I don't think I can do that here. The cocoon is too small.. time to move on.

You know, if you work part time you can get full benefits here.
-I'm not really worried about that... I just want to make a clean break. (I'm terrified of losing my benefits - but I really really really need to get out.)

I know you've made your decision and you're ready to go, but if you decide to get another job here within 30 days you can get reinstated with your sick leave, your benefits, and your retirement level.
-I'll think about it... but I'm just ready to go.(Stop tempting me with all the things that have made me stay at this job 3 years too long!)

I know, I sound just like my dad when I was your age, telling me that health insurance is so important, but if you stayed just two extra weeks, you would be covered for all of June. I'm sure that would reduce some of your stress.
-I appreciate it, really I do. But that's not the biggest source of my stress. (But it's mighty tempting... one extra paycheck could make a big difference... plus an extra half-day of vacation pay out on top of it... and an extra month of insurance could mean one more check-up with a doctor who speaks fluent English....)

Well, think about it, it would only be until June 4.
-I'll think about it. (there's an extra paid holiday in there too isn't there?)


I just want out... I just want to not work there anymore. But the reality is I don't think I'll have enough money to support myself until such time as I'm employed in the job I really want. I know no temp job or part time job will pay half as well as what I'm currently getting paid. And an extra month of insurance for just a few extra days of work... that'll save me the cost of individual coverage for a month. Plus I can save face by saying my boss begged me to stay on longer.

I can change the end date on your termination paperwork to June 4th really easily.
-You realize that's the next big stressful deadline.

I really wasn't thinking about that at all.
-But I was... and that's the problem.


Bezzie said...

When you gotta go, you gotta go. At least they will miss you.

turtlegirl76 said...

It's good to know they really don't want to lose you, but don't compromise yourself and end up doing something you don't want to do. 2 weeks will turn into 2 months, into 2 more years.

d said...

what turtlegirl said. GET OUT! now. don't wait. you are young. health insurance is cheap. even by yourself. check out ehealthinsurance and see what you can get.

life is way too short to be stuck in a dead end job that you hate.

open up an etsy shop and sell your quilts and knitting. get a job at barnes and noble or something. that will bring in some money so you don't have to use all of your savings. also, a lot of places like starbucks are starting to offer benefits to employees who work 30 hours a week or so.

i FREAKED OUT when i started working for myself from home, and, honestly, i still freak out quite a bit, but i've been doing it for almost a year now and things are just fine. and i only work about 16 hours a week. it's awesome.

sorry if i sound all lecture-y. ultimately you have to do what will preserve your sanity, but, dude. you're so close to escaping. and starting on the road to something that will make you infinitely happy. don't give up!

IamSusie said...

Health insurance isn't cheap, but it is available at many many levels of coverage. My husband is self-employed and we pay very high deductibles, but the monthly payment is better this way. My advice is to get a new plan asap and don't pay COBRA payments for very long. Those payments are extremely high.

At first it feels like you are pretending to be brave about all this, eventually you will find that you actually are brave and have made it through a challenging personal transition and are better for the experience.

I don't know about your co-workers, but the bosses sound very supportive.

jovaliquilts said...

I have no advice to give, only you can decide (which is just awful, I'm sure). Good luck! I'm sending some positive thoughts your way, put them to good use.

Michael5000 said...

Hmmmm.... What I've gathered, from this and other conversations, is that a big part of your work problems is that you don't feel respected by the staff. And yet, when the bosses asked you about working conditions, you made a point of not talking about those issues. Would it be possible, and would it be desireable if so, to leverage the situation so that you could keep working with more authority or less vulnerability to staff gripes and egos?

Just thinking out loud, here...

Rebel said...

Thanks everyone. This is totally a brain vs. heart decision. Unfortunately, my brain almost always wins those debates, which is why I've been so unhappy... and why my little heart has no choice but to cause a total emotional meltdown every once in a while.

I decided to stay on... but I will not be the first-contact person for projects. I'm just going to be working on training & documenting my job, and basically being around to answer questions.

Chance said...

If you want advice from a loser...

Tell the boss and the hig up boss the REAL reasons you're leaving. Don't be afraid, now that you're going, to tell the truth about the reasons for your dissatisfaction. It's not just "time to move on," you have problems with the place. Address those issues. At the least, you'll get them off your chest. At best, the boss will help you out and maybe get something done around there.

Karin said...

I KNEW it! I knew that your boss had alterior motives. It didn't have anything to do with offering you more money or extra benefits. They just want to squeeze a little more work out of you. Damn them.

Good luck with the last few weeks there. May it really be as you said, this somewhat new arrangement as you transition out.

Batty said...

It's so easy to get sucked in by other people's needs. Fact is, you need to get out of there. You don't like the job you're doing, you want to be doing something else, andd what you're doing now isn't going to get you there. Smart choice to pack up and leave.

gl. said...

man, that's hard. i hope it all turns out for the best.