So this month, I embark on my next career journey and begin a new job. I am extremely excited and can honestly say that my last gig wasn’t a good fit. I am sickly, they insist you make up leave. I am a control freak and management directs your assignments. I prefer to speak plainly and bluntly and any semblance of possible back talk is not allowed. I hate commuting and this job was far. When I was finally allowed to tell people I was leaving—this didn’t happen soon for a variety of reasons—we joked that there are key indicators that it is time to leave a job.
You go to mediation! There you are at your job hating life in general when you are forced to sit next to some annoying individual who irks every ounce of your spirit. This person can be smelly, listen to terrible music loudly, always ask for help with work, or have a smart mouth. Anyway, one day after enduring just too much, you snap. A loud argument ensues and your boss has the perfect solution: mediation. You don’t want to go to mediation. You barely want to come to work. Mediation isn’t going to make this person your best friend and the issue is actually greater than loud music. Once this happens, there’s nothing left to do but depart the office.
You pack up your stuff! This was courtesy of a colleague, who told me that she hated one job so much that she packed up her stuff from her office over the weekend and took it home. She didn’t have another job but she didn’t want to have her stuff in a place she hated. I had a teammate, who also did this. He packed all of his belongings in a box to be ready at any time to get away quickly. This was after a lazy, midde-aged person filed an ageism complaint against him. When you are concerned with the speed of which you can leave your office, it’s time to go.
You hide from your boss/coworkers! At my last job I was swamped and I worked on a team full of extroverted analyzers. They could discuss an issue for 90 minutes and still not develop a reasonable solution. Turns out, I didn’t have time for this. I would watch the clock tick away in a meeting as my To-Do List languished. This is a great practice for college, think tanks, book clubs, but not for the deadline-driven life of an event planner. So I came up with a brilliant solution. I would book a conference room and literally hide from my coworkers in another part of the building. I couldn’t get sucked into some philosophical discussion on what is customer service. Once you actively decide to deceive your coworkers, you should move on.
You create a crazy personal life! You could have a boring home life consisting of feeding your maltese if you are a Black woman or developing nanobrews in the garage, but no one can know that. Otherwise, bosses will try to make you work weekends, go on exhausting business trips to Sioux Falls, or cancel vacation because of a so-called emergency. So you create a demanding husband, an old cat with a bad bladder and an allergy to cat pee, or feminine problems. No one ever asks about feminine problems as men don’t understand it and women don’t want to catch it. When you need to have index cards to remember your lies, look for new opportunities.
You announce you’re leaving! My favorite moment in the history of my crappy jobs during college is this one. I worked at an outbound call center, which is one of the most demoralizing jobs in history. People hate you and through the joy of anonymity they tell you. It didn’t matter that we worked for a national charity. No one wants to be called at home. These places are often lead by a really chipper recent college grad who hugs homeless people and dances in the moonlight. Anyway, the boss came to visit an employee because her numbers were low. She wished to offer some creative strategies to get hostile folks to donate money. The employee mentioned that the job was difficult and she was doing the best she could. But Chippy Mc Chipper wanted to run through some exercises and role play. So after some back and forth, the employee announced she was leaving several times to be ignored by our boss. Finally, she proceeded to gather her belongings and walk out while the boss was still talking. Chippy and the entire floor were dumbfounded. So if you announce you are leaving, well you will leave.