Thursday, June 2, 2016

Why I Quit My Part-Time Job

**Note: This post's writing was spread out between December 1st, 2015 and December 31st, 2015. I had many thoughts that I wanted to suss out, but I also wanted to wait until I was in a position where posting this would be the least likely to hurt any of my prospects. I'm posting this now as a reference point for a series of stories that I'm currently writing about answered prayer. Enjoy.**

On December 1st, 2015, I made a decision  that I had to stick to. I suppose one could also call it taking a risk. I was originally very grateful to get this job. I felt like less of a loser, having graduated and being able to tell people I had something going on, even if it wasn't the something magnificent. But it was never supposed to last forever.

I find that I'm  having a hard time shedding my former skin as a student, and I still approach many things with a student's mentality. So when September rolled around and summer ended, but I was still at the store doing the same thing I'd been doing since June, I got itchy. I'm so used to autumn ushering in a new phase of life, that I felt, surely something's supposed to be different  right about now. But everything was the same. By that time I was starting to feel the familiar onset of restlessness that creeps up on me when I'm bored, as I do get bored easily. But I didn't  have any alternatives, and I didn't  have a "real" reason to quit, so I decided to stick with it.

Lo and behold, that restlessness grew and morphed. Not only was I bored, but I was sad. And tired. Weary and anxious, even. The longer shifts and unrelenting monotony together were one thing. But having to smile in ungrateful faces, to be affronted with rudeness and negative energy and assumptions of entitlement, to pretend to care about why you're here, what you're  buying, why you're  buying it, and how much you think you know about blahblahblah. It got to a point where I spent my days either dreading going to the store, or counting down the hours until I could go back home when I was there.  Every day I went in, I felt more and more unlike myself.  Like a robot. An empty robot whose energy and internal grip got whittled away after each shift, no matter how many positive vibes or good intentions she'd originally entered the building with.

The people I worked with were always phenomenal. Kind, helpful, knowledgeable, talkative, understanding, efficient, high-achieving, proud of their work. And though the work often felt restraining to me in its repetitiveness─educative, yet limited in its capacity to fulfill─it was by no means bad work. And I was absolutely excellent at my job; I will give myself that. But customers. Oh customers. They are the beings who confirmed for me over and over that retail is not my ministry. In November I told myself I'd wait it out til January 1st, 2016; use my last hurrah to experience what antics the holiday season would bring and earn as much as I could. But then I returned to work after Thanksgiving and I just. couldn't. do. it. anymore.

And so, without anything coming up next or anything to fall back on, I put in my notice on December 1st. I noted my last day as December 15th. They scheduled me on the 15th and the 17th. Thus, December 17th, 2015 was my last day working at the bookstore. This, my first job, had its perks and its good, better than good, and sometimes even great moments. I learned and gained so much! I regret nothing! But it was time to move on. By quitting, I gave myself permission to unburden myself. And so while it might've been an unwise decision, and now I have even less of an idea of what I'm doing, I put myself first and made the best decision for me. And I feel good about it. Better than good. Even great. I can withstand being a broke fool for a while. At least now I have a little more time to breathe and strengthen my resolve.

"Thank you and have a great day!" June 1st, 2015-December 17th, 2015. R.I.P.

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