I got a job in April of 2012. It was an office job. It wasn’t much different from any other sort of office job: There was filing, answering phone calls, data to process, uncomfortable desk/chair combinations and short lunch breaks. I always tended to like my coworkers, and I hung out with many of them outside of work. In fact, I still do.
In December 2012, I quit this job.
I don’t want to spend a lot of time musing on the economy. I don’t care that much, and I am lucky enough that I could leave without financial problems too terrible. I’m lucky, I’m aware of that. No, I want to talk about how good quitting made me feel. This job had a turnover rate of one person per month. Now, this wasn’t a service or retail job – I understand why those have high turnover. This was an office job, and I probably could have gotten somewhere the more the company grew and the longer I stayed – or, anyway, that’s what my bosses would tell me.
There’s a trend in the current job market, that because there are so few jobs and so many people trying to get them, that employers are seeing potential and current employees as “disposable.” Why hire one or two people to do a job at a good starting rate when you can hire four interns, pay them diddlysquat and then fire them in a few months? I don’t know, saving money or something. I don’t know if that actually works, especially in the long run, but it’s what people do nowadays. And it’s what kept happening in my office.
Losing one person per month was jarring. Not only did I lose a person who I enjoyed the company of (pun not intended), but also all of their work was either dished out to those of us left, or put on-hold indefinitely until someone new could be hired and trained to take it over. Not to mention, it put the bosses in a sour mood, so not only was there more work, but it had to be done under the watch of an upset supervisor. And we all know those are the best kind.
There was just something about losing people so often that made me cagey. Sure, I tended to get along with everyone we hired, but what happened in a few months when they inevitably moved on and I was still sitting at my ergonomically-challenged desk?
I’ll tell you what: Bad morale. And it affected a lot of things: my health, my work and my desire to continue with that work. My health suffered the worst, probably; I’m prone to sickness, and feeling frustrated and abandoned didn’t help. My worked suffered in that I was missing more and more days due to my mounting sicknesses, and I felt more and more like blowing work off than anything. My coworker’s felt similarly too – diseases spread around the small office quickly, and I would find many of them starring at their phones instead of their spreadsheets.
So I quit. Two weeks before I left, I had gotten sick in the middle of the office. A week before that, I had a headache so bad I went home and slept through to the next morning. The day after I quit, a stomach bug manifested and ruined my viewing of “Rise of the Guardians.” (And – not to get too graphic, but – probably the viewings of a few children, too.)
But now? A month later, I feel a lot better. I haven’t gotten sick since the movie theater fiasco (touch wood), I’m sleeping more and I’m stress-eating less – which, yes, was also a problem, considering I was working in an area full of fast food places and other suspect eating establishments, not to mention the less-than-healthy snacks we always had lying around the office. And would you believe it, I actually feel like exercising? (Doing it, of course, is something else entirely.)
There’s no moral to this post other than “Thank God that’s over,” but I would like to say this: Does your job suck? I’m sorry. I hope you can quit soon.