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Big Decision

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Well, it’s hard to even know how to begin this post. I guess just saying it is best… I quit my job today. Those closest to me (and some of you just unfortunate enough to be close by during one of my rants) know that I was VERY unhappy in my job.

For a while, I thought it was just that I kept comparing it to WMU, and that was a big part of it, but ultimately, that’s not what made the difference.

Here are the things that I felt were so systemic, that there was little chance for change to occur:
β€’ When one works in production, it’s always at the end of the process. And the end is always where delays up the line have their cumulative effect and wreak havoc. I don’t know if the higher ups didn’t know or just didn’t care the effect their delays were having, but either way, nothing was being done about it. I do know that my supervisor knew, and the fact that nothing changed tells me that he did nothing, or they didn’t’ listen to him either.

β€’ The presentations I worked on were multi-million dollar deals. I would work frantically and intensely hard on near impossible deadlines, finally getting the graphics to where their consistency and integrity were something I was proud of…not necessarily what I WANTED, knowing the form followed the function, not the other way around…but it was it was still good. What happened several times was that when I reviewed presentation that was actually given, several slides with engineered-created graphics had been added, my graphics had been modified, etc.

What was going on was that the lack of planning and time crunch had me submitting things, then the engineers kept meeting and changing and such right up until the last minute. That, of course, is their prerogative, but it was MY name that was associated with that presentation–win or lose.

We just presented to Miami-Dade two weeks ago. This was one of the big ones that I worked SO hard on and had it looking really sharp. I submitted it at the end of a long day on Thursday. The presentation was on Friday morning. During the night, several slides were added, things were moved around, PowerPoint blocks of text were slapped across graphics that had been created in photoshop and illustrator using 3-D imaging. Trust me…nothing looks more amateurish than a mixture of those two things!! One of the comments the M-D clients made was that the winning presentation (not ours) looked very high-tech. The project manager found out that the winning presenter had spent two weeks on just the presentation. We spent three days! Unbelievable!!

β€’ I’ve mentioned before that when I “pushed back” on unrealistic time frames or graphic changes that I felt were unnecessary or detrimental, my supervisor left me twisting in the wind. Homo don’t play dat! πŸ™‚

β€’ I felt that there was an unrealistic expectation that just because we get paid well, our personal lives should always take a back seat to the work. I don’t mind doing over and above, doing more, working more, etc., but when processes (or lack of) keep on creating situations where I’m having to put my life on hold to see what “might” happen, I just can’t work like that for long. They drag their feet getting information to us in production, then expect us to drop everything. To me, that’s not addressing the real issue. It’s taking advantage of people who need a job.

β€’ This is an issue, but not the most important one… everyone there seemed stressed and unhappy pretty much all the time. I don’t like working in that atmosphere. (That was how it was most unlike WMU.)

My supervisor in Norcross was very nice and understanding, and she said she knew I was unhappy, but it was about things that she can’t fix. My colleague in Pasadena (who I will miss most) was so gracious and kind in his response to me. I know this decision of mine will impact him negatively the most, since he will bear the brunt of the workload for a while. I was very sorry for the way it played out, but he was kind and very complimentary and offered to give me a great reference if I need it. He’s great!! I’ll miss him. My Pasadena supervisor wanted to know the reasons I was leaving, and I wrote to him pretty much what I’ve written here.

The two week notice thing: I did some online research about that, and got about a 50/50 take on itβ€”some saying give the two weeks, some saying it’s not necessary. In the end, I decided to just leave 1) because I knew I was really ready to get out of there; 2) it was as good a time as any work-wise. We had no jobs on the board for two weeks, so I would have just been piddling on overhead anyway; and 3) my stress levels are almost unbearable. My fingers are terribly broken out. I haven’t slept well, but all I want to do is sleep, so I know I’m battling some depression as well. My stomach stays in knots, and especially in the mornings when thinking about work. I really liked the money and benefits, but I was miserable.

I gave both City Paper and WMU over a month of notice when I left, so this is really not like me, but I just felt like it was what was best for me this time.

And like all big decisions I know my parents would disapprove of, I dread telling them. They knew I was not happy, but they don’t know the extent it had gotten to. I’ll tell them when I have a real plan.

Anyway, that’s the long and short of it. I don’t have a good idea of what to do next, work-wise. I’m probably just going to veg and think about things for the next couple of days. Right now, I’m eating brownies and watching Scooby Doo, so I think that’s a good start. πŸ™‚

I’m just glad I have all my cyberfriends. I’d be a total mess with out friends to lean on and have fun with, so thanks, you guys!! πŸ™‚

Addition: It’s important to me to let y’all know that I was actually performing very well at work and getting really good feedback on my work. As a matter of fact, when I told my supervisor that I guess I could cross off Parsons as a reference, she said that she would give me a great character reference and speak to the high quality of my work. My colleague said the same. The whole two-week notice thing is the wrench in the works, but that’s okay.

So, just wanted y’all to know I was not on the verge of being fired (that I’m aware of!), nor anything like that. It was just time to go.

Written by blogicalinks

September 10, 2007 at 9:31 pm

Posted in Sharing

16 Responses

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  1. Wow. I’m so sorry. I’ve very proud of your making a decision that puts yourself (and your health) first though. Enjoy the brownies. I’m not too stressed and I just had chocolate pudding – and it was great! πŸ™‚
    Chocolate seems to work on almost everything.

    Ru's Mom

    September 10, 2007 at 9:50 pm

  2. Crappy jobs suck. Idiots who are not in the Perfect Club suck harder.

    My profundity astounds you, i know πŸ˜‰ But as i sit here at this very minute eating nestle tollhouse milk chocolate morsels (yes, i eat chocolate chips straight out of the bag, foregoing the cookie-baking part all together) all i can think is…Bad things + chocolate = better, but fat, things πŸ˜‰ Excuse me now while i go eat the rest of these and if you hear something odd, it’s just my thighs moaning in disgust and regret.

    After i’m fat and repulsive (err, wait, did that part happen already? hard to say) i’ll contemplate for you why the corporate world is evil and soul-consuming and why one should never work for “the man” unless one wants to also be evil and consume other souls. I guess there’s always McDonald’s drive-thru or a nunnery…would you still qualify for that? Not sure on the rules for that πŸ˜‰


    September 10, 2007 at 10:27 pm

  3. “Welcome to freakin’ Wal-Mart! Here’s a cart – now go buy something!” Not that that’s how you would be, it’s just how I envision anyone younger than, I don’t know – dead?, being a Wal-Mart greeter.

    Mmmmm….brownies. THAT’S the way to contemplate life!

    Isn’t it amazing – even as grown adults we dread what our parents will think of our decisions. I have dreaded that every time (except when I broke up with T.E.G. – they were excited about that!).

    As I mentioned on Facebook, I really think you’ve made the right decision. Just based on some of our e-mails over the past few weeks, I know you’ve been stressed and overworked. Seeing here exactly what was going on just reinforces that you weren’t in the right place. Luckily, Atlanta is a land of opportunity for technical jobs like yours (and yes, I consider graphic arts a technical job – NOT something an airhead-off-the-street can even begin to try and do!).

    I wouldn’t get too hung up on the notice thing, either. Sounds like it’s not a big deal – not a lot of work to be wrapped up, and your coworkers are willing to serve as references. All it will take is a little creativity on the resume (I’d be happy to lend a hand with that if you need it), and a stock answer prepared JUST IN CASE it comes up in an interview. Judging by what you’ve written above, I think you have this covered.

    Enjoy the brownies, the sleep, and the puppy time. It’ll come up roses for you!


    September 10, 2007 at 11:01 pm

  4. Damn, there’s that Catholic thing. Well if you can fudge the whole sex thing, you think they’d really care about the Catholic part? Sounds like a good deal to me, you get a uniform so you don’t have to decide what to wear every day, you get three square meals, and you’re around a lot of other women…what more do you want? πŸ˜‰

    Anywho, i’m afraid my pontification on the woes of corporate america are far too grandiose and lengthy for this here forum, however, just know that you did indeed do the right thing simply because you were unhappy and that is enough right there. why be miserable for the big boys? there are plenty of other things out there that won’t make you as miserable. i like the way i tell you this as if i’ve ever had a job worth writing home about myself…from one crappy low-paying job to the next, the only good things that ever came out of them were 1) friends and 2) my quitting and staying home to have kids πŸ˜‰

    take what i say with a grain of salt (and another brownie). though i did quit one job quite suddenly without having another lined up once and it was the best thing ever. after the intial shock wears off, you feel quite a bit of satisfaction and relief. that is until the bills come in. hmm, that isn’t very inspiring is it? oh well, i’m no mother theresa myself, sorry.


    September 10, 2007 at 11:16 pm

  5. nunnery = prison ? Hrmmm… there’s that retirement plan you were talking about! Hahaha.

    I don’t have too much hatred for Wal-Mart. When I worked at Kroger, WM was the evil box. But now, they are one of our largest customers. We make almost every checkout lane for WM and Sam’s. So their business puts food on the table for a lot of folks. Not that they’re the BEST customer – by far!

    In my job at my level (dealing with customers, as opposed to just staring at a screen all day), I have to know our 3-D solid modeling system, SolidEdge, which includes part, sheet metal, weldment, assembly, and drafting modules (essentially different programs wrapped into a suite). I have to use Acrobat proficiently, along with Word and Excel, to create communications and presentations between us and our customers. And a healthy dose of good internet skills and basic computer skills helps, too.

    But it’s not just the computer stuff. Both of our jobs require customer interaction skills, project management, product development, basic business knowledge, etc.

    As for the parents, I don’t know what else to tell you. My folk always get the impression that my decisions are off-the-cuff, spur of the moment. It took me 4 months from the time I decided I wanted a new car until I actually drove my Xterra off the lot. I looked at various models, did test drives, checked into financing, reviewed my budget, talked to my insurance agent, and got estimates for my trades. But my folks still questioned if I was making the right move buying it when I did. I guess my mistake was in not keeping them informed during that 4 months. But then again, they’ve questioned every major decision I’ve made as an adult, despite the fact that I (knock on wood) have a pretty darn good track record. Oh well, like the song says, “parents just don’t understand”.


    September 11, 2007 at 7:31 am

  6. Wow, I’m sorry Cheryl. But I’ve been there, so I COMPLETELY understand where you’re coming from.

    There comes a point where you feel so tired and so utterly depressed that you can’t even begin updating your resume or interview for another job to get out of there. It’s a nasty circle of events that traps people in crappy work environments.

    After I walked out of my horrible job (where I was also an example employee with great reviews despite my hatred towards it), my friends thought I was such a badass. But I did not feel that way at all. I felt like crawling into bed and crying in the fetal position… out of exhaustion. I felt like I could finally breathe. It was wonderful but so sad at the same time. I didn’t get that “f— with the man!” feeling at all. I only felt it was something I had to do for my mental health – because I honestly was not myself for many months.

    Exactly a month later, I found a new job and was back in the corporate world doing what I do best. I felt like a new person.

    That’s so funny: I dreaded telling my parents too. They are in the generation where you should take a job and stay there until retirement. They really didn’t know what to say when I told them what I did. But then they saw how happy I became after some time off and getting a new and much better job. It was then that it sunk in for them.

    So my wish for you is that you take this time for yourself to feel better and get strong again. I’m very proud of you for taking that hard first step. You are awesome!

    How dare you mention brownies and not share!?! πŸ˜‰


    September 11, 2007 at 11:30 am

  7. You definitely did the right thing and we’re all 100% behind you! I think things are going to work out just fine for you.

    Easy solution: Don’t tell you parents. πŸ™‚


    September 11, 2007 at 1:59 pm

  8. I haven’t broken free of my own chains yet, but I’m perilously close. I’ll be watching your journey with great interest.


    September 11, 2007 at 3:23 pm

  9. Yup, still here, and glad you clarified that. That makes all the difference in the world. None of those circumstances are currently true for me, but I’m still looking for an out because, as you said, “we all need to do what makes us happy (or at least NOT do what makes us miserable). Life is just WAY too short to do otherwise.” It’s a little trickier in my case though. Gotta be careful or it’ll be more like:
    I awoke this morning to a shattering sound
    and I went downstairs and found these repo guys all around… ;-).


    September 11, 2007 at 3:58 pm

  10. Looks like I’m a little behind…but glad you did what you thought was best. Sorry, though!


    September 12, 2007 at 10:23 pm

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