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I Quit My Job Out Of Frustration And Principle!
In The Beginning
I was fresh out of College and we were going through a global recession, so with little full-time experience under my belt, I decided to tuck away my mint-new degree and seek whatever employment was available until the desired job came along. It didn't help that the words 'networking' and 'entrepreneurship' were repeated many times over in college, since I was never formally taught how to really go about these tasks. I sent out a few resumes via email and responded to a few vacancies I saw advertised, but it was a long way before I landed an interview, let alone a job!
In the interim, I was actively involved in part-time and seasonal jobs and my hubby and I decided to try our luck in the transportation industry. This provided the much needed income, but I was still nowhere near to landing the 'degreed' career which I had worked so hard for over the past four years.
Landing The Job
After many attempts, I got a job interview for a particular company which boasted many things, to include unlimited earning potential. Now for a young adult fresh out of college who believes that hard work will make you rich, this was music to my ears. I was also offered health insurance and the job was a shift job, so I could actually catch up on some well-needed sleep of which I had been deprived during my studies.
I had also been accepted into a Masters program of study and was once again feeling that the sky is my limit. I was elated for having landed a job to finance my studies and supplement my other incomes. I also had a child in private school and was now taking things a day at a time. I was enjoying my new job and the work environment which also provided lifelong friendships.
In a fairly short period of time, I was promoted to another tier of the job which saw me taking home even more money than I was already earning. This is not to say that I was any closer to being wealthy, but I wasn't complaining. Things were going well and life was getting better. But trouble loomed in more ways than one.
The first indication of what was to come was the relocation of my office out of town. What this now meant is that I would have to travel further to get to work and the expense would have increased simultaneously. I was at this point, however, not too daunted as I was determined to make things work.
Change Of Shift And Interruption Of Studies
Having moved to a new location and needing to re-adjust my time, I was later informed by the administration that my shift hours had to be changed for unacceptable reasons. What this now meant is that I was going to be missing some classes, since my school timetable only changes per semester. I was still grateful for not being in the numbers which were being fired all so frequently, so I considered taking time off from school, albeit just considering.
But even as I pondered on the next move because of a change in shifts, I noticed that a lot more was changing around me and the terms on which I signed a work contract were fast being eroded. Unfortunately, this wasn't one of those jobs that had workers' union, so you were basically given a 'take it or leave it' approach. I wondered if the labor ministry was aware of their atrocities, but didn't want to lose my job or interrupt other employees who seemed to be doing fine.
It Literally Made Me Sick
I wasn't one of the popular employees and didn't have much in common with the 'in group' employees, many of whom were coming from the same previous job and had mastered certain technicalities for better earning potential. That wasn't my problem. With new policies and practices, the risk of losing hard-earned money was fast affecting people's salaries. There were no provisions for you in the event that you were to become ill on the last day or two of your work week; you simply would not get paid. Fine, no work, no pay, but for work done, if you didn't talk to clients verbatim or didn't follow a particular routine, you could see your earnings plummeting to near zero because of one quality assessment. I was inching closer to quitting that job each hour.
Still getting the hang of the new post, I had one too many losses. While some people joked about it, I wasn't the average young person living under mommy and daddy's roof. I had a family depending on me and had bills to pay; real bills which included rent, tuition for me and my child and car payments. I was fast becoming sick and depressed and was in and out of the doctor's office at my college until she asked what was happening at WORK! I have no clue how she noticed that my troubles were job-related.
Of course getting 'sick leave' also meant getting zero pay, but at least I had my sanity until I decided on the best way forward. It was on one of these sick days that I finally saw a vacancy for the organization which I had my eyes on. It wasn't the post I wanted, but I had long decided that if I needed to enter the organization as a janitor and prove myself, I would. Plus, I could finally get to quit that job, if even out of principle.
PLEASE Don't Make An Emotional Decision
The Application And The Resignation
I applied for the post and was called for an initial screening. That however, didn't go down as planned, so I decided to stay with the current employers a little longer. It wasn't long after, however, that I saw the post which I was eyeing in the particular organization and applied. It must be noted here however, that while I was unhappy, I maintained a presence at the desired organization by applying for the post whenever I knew they would be recruiting (and when they were not) and made follow-up checks.
I was called for an interview or two and did well, based on feedback. I was awaiting a final interview when I reached my breaking point. My employees had gone overboard by this and upon attempting to address the matter, I was disrespected. It reached the point where the request was made to fire me. Having failed in that bid, the particular superior decided that they were not going to work with me. It was either they go or I go. That too failed; I became public enemy number one.
Being on the passive side back then, I decided that I could definitely do without the drama, disrespect and wage cut which were all affecting my health. I had heard others saying that the conditions were literally making them sick and didn't believe until it happened to me. After being asked to apologize publicly, I did, explaining that it was upon instruction. I decided it was best for me to go since they were there first. The next day was my day off and I submitted my resignation letter the following day. I quit that job out of frustration; but more importantly, out of principle.
Luckily It Worked: Decisions In Frustration
In my situation, I was awaiting a final interview after the hardest ones had already been 'passed'. I also knew that if all else fails, I had approximately four months incentive and bonus pay to receive before being totally out of a salary from my employees. I had weighed my options even without realizing.
However, while I landed the job I had been after, if that didn't work, I would have probably been frustrated again; this time because of returning to unemployment status. One of the administrators at another branch explained to me that I would have been able to go elsewhere (within the company) had I given them notice prior to resigning and informed me that I would not be able to work for the company again. There is a clause that stimulates two weeks notice with resignation. I couldn't believe he thought I would still be interested in being associated with my oppressors, even with good administrators in the lot. He however meant well and knew my worth. I oftentimes wonder whether they knew of the many atrocities the line staff faced.
Never make permanent decisions on temporary feelings— Unknown
Things To Know Before You Go
What To Do And What Not To Do
- We are all humans and do err at times. Notwithstanding, regardless of the situation, it is usually a very bad idea to make decisions when you are angry or otherwise upset. I have seen people walk off their jobs for whatever reasons, only to crawl back, begging to be reinstated. I have also seen people furious and with every intention of leaving, who have walked away while angry, thought of their options and returned to the job.
- If it is a matter which can be grounds for legal actions, seek legal advice while remaining at the job, once it doesn't put your life in jeopardy. Don't just quit your job and give away your rights and salary.
- Always have a back-up plan and seek alternate employment before closing the door, especially on your only source of income.
- I have had to provide the names of references, and still have that job on my resume. You don't want to be unable to tell your prospective employee that you can't furnish them with references because you walked off or because the work relationship was hostile. Like I said, there are people who knew my worth, but others' influences caused my issues.
- Never be disrespectful, even if the employer is being disrespectful. Even if you have no intention of using them as references; if they are reasonable and are able to cool down, with any luck, they might be able to realize where they were wrong.
- It is a small world; you might never know where you will come across the employer in the future. I have heard of former employers being on influential boards and holding power for certain other aspects which we might not have thought possible at the time. Needless to say I have attended both family and job-related functions with some of my past employers.
When all is said and done, disagreements are an avoidable part of life and human nature will sometimes cause contention. If you feel that you are being wronged by an employer or administrator, seek a second opinion or legal advice before making your move. Likewise, ensure you have a solid footing on which to land if you do decide on walking away. A resignation letter with ample notice is also advisable. Don't just quit your job because of emotions.