I mentioned in my last post that I put in my two weeks’ notice at my job about a week and a half ago. I promised to elaborate on that, so here is my explanation of my reasoning.
I have been working in a retail bookstore for the last 3-1/2 years or so. Up until August of last year, I was employed there full-time. At that time, I started attending Pennsylvania College of Technology full-time, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Small Business & Entrepreneurship. For some reason, I’ve decided to become an overachiever all of a sudden, so I have already added a minor in Financial Planning, and I am hoping to get a second bachelor’s degree in Accounting. With all of that on my plate, I dropped my employment down to part-time.
During those 3-1/2 years of employment with the company, there has been a pay freeze in effect, there has been no company match on 401(k) contributions, the cost of full-time health insurance was barely any cheaper than simply buying non-group insurance on my own, and employee discounts were no better than what regular customers can get with the e-mail coupons the company sends out. The part-time health insurance is absolutely worthless. The premium costs $512 a year for–get this–$1,000 in coverage. The only real benefit of working for the company was the two weeks of paid vacation, and that ended with my drop to PT status.
The job has gotten absolutely hostile. In addition to the complete lack of benefits, my duties and responsibilities have grown drastically over the years. I have sales quotas to make, but of course get no commission on those sales. I have to provide tech support to customers for half-a-dozen different models of eReaders, on none of which the company has provided me any technical training. I had to “train” on the devices, but it was just on how to make a sales pitch (which actually included errors, of course). The duties that I perform on a daily basis are commensurate with jobs paying $10-15/hour plus commission, but I am making $7.85/hour, and getting threatened and harassed by the corporate higher-ups all the while.
The thing about all of this is that I never should have let it get to this point in the first place. It’s a genuinely lousy job, but I have been clinging to it for years. I have been so afraid of not having that steady, measly paycheck that I have remained in a job that I have known from day one is dead-end.
I’m going to digress for a moment here, but I assure you that it will make sense in a moment. Back in January of 2010, I had the worst birthday of my life. I won’t go into too much detail, but I will say that it involved a girl. I suffer from occasional bouts of depression, and I honestly can’t think of a time in my life that I was more depressed than that day and the week that followed. After sulking for several days, though, I did something I had never done before–I decided to make a big, positive change in my life to counteract the negative. I applied to Penn Tech, and a few weeks later I had an acceptance letter in my hands. For something as major as going back to college, I was really making a spur-of-the-moment decision. In the end, though, I can’t even wrap my mind around how much that decision has improved my life in such a short time.
Back to the present. I hate my job, and I know that I have been crippled by complacency. Everyone who has asked me what job I got to replace the bookstore job has been astonished when I say, “Nothing.” With the job market as bad as it is, no one can believe I would leave a job I’ve had for so long with nothing to replace it. But I know that sometimes I need to make drastic, maybe even stupid decisions to kick my butt into gear. I’m looking at my budget worksheet, and I see that my “Net Monthly Cashflow” just changed from a beautiful black to an ugly, ugly red. My friends are calling it crazy, but I call it motivation. I’ve just removed complacency as an option.