I quit my job. Twice, actually.
One of the biggest reasons was because I was starting to feel like a breakdown was imminent. I could see myself rocking in a corner in filthy clothes alternately crying and laughing. This was not an appealing image. I also noticed I was not tending to my budget (something I really like to do) and actually forgot that it was the beginning of the month so the two pennies of interest needed to be added to my spreadsheet. And that my computer desk at home was becoming messy and overwhelming to even consider neatening up. The tiniest tasks were too huge to deal with and the voices of the three men I live with were grating on my nerves. Rough, gruff, loud, too many words...just stop talking...please...
So I quit...and felt fantastic! I felt light and airy, full of creativity and a sense of wonder :) In between applying for jobs I was searching for recipes that were cheap and easy so I could still feed my family and feel useful. My sisters told me about how I could apply for Employment Insurance benefits even though I quit so an hour went to the gut-wrenching task of filling in the questionnaire. This left me feeling oddly depleted and courageous at the same time. I was looking for a coin dealer to get rid of some old coins I have that no longer hold much meaning. What an interesting task and so much to learn about coin collecting! Very slowly I was getting into yoga again. My stiff, arthritic, chubby body felt creaky but energized after five little minutes of poses. I was looking forward to driving J around to deal with his anxiety, where to go, what to do, somewhere close but far and different but familiar - oh the challenge! Nice, relaxing, tiny adventures were waiting for me every day.
Then my phone rang, it was the owner of the job I just quit. I heard a crash as I read the call display and looked around to realize...it was in my head. All my everything was crashing down around me with the insistent ringing of my cell phone. Glancing at the time I decided not to answer as S and T were expected home right away. They suggested it was probably an exit interview or something like that. S had a similar boss at one point and told me to be careful: don't get talked into going back. Of course not! Nothing could convince me to be the Packaging Coordinator again.
But I was offered a different position. I called her back and spoke briefly about the job and why I quit. It was hard to talk about, but I made a point of telling her how one of the people I was supervising was making fun of me because I'm fat. I've never been teased for that. Not ever. I didn't know how to react or what to do so I did nothing. It went away, but the sensation of hurt is what carried me through each day of work after that. The owner had an appointment and asked me to call her back later in the afternoon about a new opportunity.
An afternoon of dread. I drove J around with my face pinched and wore my shoulders for earrings. When we got home I found I was looking at the floor a lot, and realized I wasn't straightening my back. I picked up my phone and stared at the black, blank face for an hour trying to figure out what to say or if I should even call back. I did. Eventually.
I accepted the job offer of reorganizing the warehouse. Physically moving stuff to make it more efficient - my dream job! Seriously, I excel at this kind of thing. I had one more day off and then would begin.
When I got to work I pulled into my parking spot...and found it hard to get out of the car. I didn't want to be in the building. Every nerve felt like it was right up against the top layer of my skin. The air around me felt like pudding - pushing on my skin and making it difficult to move. Ignoring all of this, I went in and began to live my nightmare.
I like a clear job description with enough duties to keep me busy all day. This job was ephemeral in nature with no guidance. The owner checked with me once or twice, saying how excited she was that we could get things organized...after we 'collect and capture' all the information possible about the warehouse. She wanted maps of ideas of what to do and seemed to want to exhaust every possible alternative before moving one single thing. I tried. I really did. I spent an entire day staring at a map. I spent the next day typing up my ideas. On the third day I told her I really needed to actually move things and selected an area with the least amount of disruption to begin. "Yes, absolutely, we will consider what we can do and how to do it" was her answer. I pushed for information about discontinued items so I could at least remove them. After being given the info, I was told to consult with the shipper and my old trainer, then come back to the owner so she can review it and then I could possibly see if maybe it could be boxed up and stored or maybe recycled. I died inside a little. This project could have taken one full day (and I'm being generous here) and what I heard the owner say to another employee is how we could absolutely have that project done before Christmas. I saw then that no matter what plan I had, the owner would roadblock me. She wanted change, but without knowing the future and knowing for sure if it would work.
Three days in and I was already dark inside. My bowels had liquefied and three Imodiums left an achy emptiness in my belly. The cycle of coffee to stimulate and beer to sedate was wearing on me. I sat at my desk in disgust with myself at my damp armpits and bra band that felt too tight. When I walked all I could hear was the revolting swish/swish of my upper thighs rubbing together through the denim. My eyes slid over to the bottom right corner of the laptop I was using to check the time...six minutes from the last time I looked. I noticed some noise inside my head and turned my attention to it: if I skip lunch I can reasonably leave a half hour early...or maybe 3 pm, that would be ok, not too early...how about 1:30? that's only eight minutes from now. I made it to 2 pm, made an excuse of a broken kitchen tap (true, it is broken, too much trouble to call a plumber at the moment so I was ignoring it) and flew out of the building.
I knew as I drove that I would not return. So I quit again. I sent an email close to 5 pm that day in the midst of a job application flurry. This time leaving no room for argument, lying like a rug saying I accepted a position closer to my home. This time I won't answer if the owner calls, but I don't really think she will call.
I expected to feel happier but instead I'm just relieved. In the shower I noticed my back was stiff but not where the arthritis is located, my belly was faintly achy in the bowel region, that the idea of sleeping for the day is more appealing than any other thought. Drying off there was a tiny spark in my brain. Maybe I could write something, maybe one of the jobs I applied for will call, maybe a really interesting job will be posted today. But first, maybe a nap.