11 February 2010

the final countdown (c'mon, i had to)

so...it's Quitting Day Eve. I can't believe it's really happening. I've been more emotional than I expected about this whole thing. but then again...it was nearly six years of my life. six years of 9+ hour days, waking up WELL before my Circadian rhythm demanded, working in a field I never cared about. let's get the crap stuff out of the way first.

what I won't miss:

  • the constant blather of CNBC in the background.
  • lack of privacy.
  • tone-deaf warbling along with the classic rock station.
  • having to drop everything for the most important thing ever, only to be trumped by the next most important thing ever 30 seconds later.
  • the grandiose stories of getting hammered, wasted and/or shitfaced.
  • MI-waiting-to-happen coworker's struggle to breathe whenever she moved.
  • the resulting numerous late or sick days from the preceding.
  • not really waking up until at least 10 am.
  • dressing really nice and no one noticing. hey, maybe I DO enjoy being ogled once in a while. ever think of that, mr. businessman? sheesh.
  • carrying ten drinks from Starbucks at a time.
  • not having the day after Thanksgiving off. can't do it cuz people need to have access to their money cuz of the 1929 market crash. now that ATMs are always reachable, how lame is that?
  • the obnoxious New Yawk coworker's nasal tone over the hoot 'n' holler.
  • ordering Christmas gifts, though I've gotten out of it the past two years.
  • staying ungodly hours to do IT work, since I can't do it while everyone is working.
  • no lunch breaks.
  • going to Brigg's (RIP) or Marquette Inn for a greasy breakfast hangover run.
  • worship of money above all else.
  • feeling cheated out of a social life due to early bedtimes.
  • not connecting with my workmates on any kind of deep level.
  • lack of creativity.
  • being so stressed my mind is obliterated.
  • feeling helpless trying to explain just how much this job has affected me.

what I will miss:

  • the best paycheck and bonuses I'll ever have.
  • not having to budget myself.
  • jock coworker's zealous, incongruous use of the word "glorious."
  • the sense of routine.
  • being forced to socialize due to office structure and the nature of my job.
  • the occasional kickass Youtube vid or rock song on the radio.
  • "rally songs" in the morning, though we haven't done that in years (that I know of). mine was "Mamma Said Knock You Out."
  • free lunch and breakfast. so many tasty Loop lunch joints!
  • the genuinely nice, interesting people who made it worthwhile.
  • no one to bake goods for.
  • smirking self-righteously at the boys after a big night out.
  • the occasional bursting into of song.
  • March Madness.
  • carrying ten drinks from Starbucks at a time. (it does kinda make me feel like a badass.)
  • knowing what everyone's usual is.
  • the fact that I knew how to deal with my rich, arrogant masters.
  • kicking ass at a highly strenuous job I never would have taken if I'd known.

it's really over, and I will grieve. but there's so much to look forward to I can't even begin. I surprised myself when I took this job. now it's time to surprise myself after it.

01 February 2010

the inevitable

I woke up this morning, groggy and incoherent for the umpteenth time after a night spent ill at ease. it’s always this way on a Sunday night; my 5:20 am wake-up time comes far too early, truncating my nights and prolonging my days.

as I struggled to jump-start my day via Starbucks and thrusting myself into my work, I came upon a CNN article (thanks, Joe). it was about four young black men in Greensboro, NC who sat at a white diner counter at Woolworth’s fifty year ago today. I’d probably heard of them in passing, part of a grouping of factoids in American history class.

but the interview garnered from one of the protestors struck a few chords in my heart. the fact that the Greensboro Four were terrified to do what they did, but they did it anyway. the fact that although they got support from some classmates, most of the people they petitioned thought they were crazy. the title of the article says it all: “Never request permission to start a revolution.”

so I quit my job.

it was not a true revolution, per se. I didn’t confer with anyone before acting, partially so I wouldn’t lose my nerve, mostly so I wouldn’t be convinced I was as crazy as I knew I was. it was a personal revolution, something that needed to be done. and it still scared the hell out of me. I’m scared stiff as I write this, ready to burst into tears again at the thought of the wide open space underneath me.

the article can’t take all the credit; I’ve wanted to do this for a long, long time now. I remember starting as a temp and hoping earnestly that I’d be hired to get my benefits, wondering at the same time how long I’d actually stay. my fourth official year ended yesterday. (my unofficial sixth year would have passed in April.) last March I got a wild hair and started to peruse job listings, updated my résumé, wanted more than anything to get out of this place…except I forgot to quit. I don’t think I quite forgave myself for that. luckily it was a fantastic year and staying on meant I could pay for wonderful things like PAX and SPX and three CP cons…but the fact that I’m getting more and more into those wonderful things meant something had to give.

besides improving Wighthouse, I don’t know what I’m going to do now. this is the dumbest and smartest thing I've ever done. I've got the usual two weeks; there’s the technical stuff, like making sure my health insurance is extended and wrapping up loose ends with my coworkers. I am convinced I will not be paralyzed by this change, but energized by this freedom. eventually.

I still have to freak out just a little.