Blogging A – Z Challenge
S is for Stress knots and Stress? Not!
People will trickle over here to find out where I have gone and what happened. First I am going to say that not everyone has treated me bad. In fact, the vast majority of people I have worked with and dealt with in my three and a half years there were very good people. I don’t have any grudges against any of them because I don’t believe in nursing grudges. If you nurse them they only grow and sooner or later will turn and devour you, but there are times you have to take some sort of action if you feel you have been wronged. My action was to go to the personnel office and talk to the wonderful woman there, who in turn called the person who had the authority to accept the simple sentence I spoke, “I quit.” The exit interview was amicable, even friendly and it is not totally impossible that I will return there some day. My exit paperwork was marked “re-hirable” with the caveat that I will have to wait a full six months to re-apply. I turned in my badges, discount card and vest, thanked them for being so nice and left.
The knot of stress that had been churning in my stomach for the last several weeks is gone. The aggravation and frustration at trying to teach managers who refuse to be taught about what my job entailed and the proper way to do it, which was met, not only with resistance but active obstinacy and a conspiracy to get me out of the way, was gone. It is futile to try to teach some people anything they don’t want to hear, so good luck to the people I have left behind who will have to deal with it. I have worked with many nice, many awesome, people, but something had to give. So I gave. I decided that you can’t fight city hall and quit before I got myself fired.
One example, probably that proverbial back-breaking straw, was the night before last, I was confronted by a manager who doesn’t have any understanding or knowledge of the job I do but can glibly tell me, in front of a belt full of customers that I am supposed to work past my scheduled shift if I want to keep my position. She had already asked me to step down from my position and go back to being a cashier once, using criteria she dreamed up because she doesn’t know what she is talking about. Besides, she and her one next-in-command minion, treat the cashiers with an equal amount of disdain and disrespect anyway. It was tempting that night to throw my badge at her and throw my vest on the floor and stomp on it and go all Johnny Paycheck about it, but instead I just said, “If that’s the way you feel about it, okay.” I went home with the same knot of stress in my stomach that has been there for weeks, tying my digestive tract into little Gordian knots, but my wife, who has listened to tirade after tirade about the whole situation, supported my decision completely. She has a couple of very likely leads for me and is confident that even if they don’t pan out I am capable of finding something better. Her confidence in me is what gave me the courage to do what I needed to do. Already my searches have revealed that the pay that is available elsewhere is easily the same and in most cases better and while there is stress everywhere, I don’t think it will be active and/or borderline abuse. The other time I remember feeling this way was back in the later part of the eighties when even huge bouts of binge drinking (I used to be a drunk) couldn’t untie the knots and I joined the Army and came to Colorado.
So, that’s the vanilla-flavored synopsis of what happened and now, today, the sun is shining and there are two bright and bright-eyed grandchildren who are waiting for the one they had been (affectionately) calling Grumpaw to have coffee and donuts with them. Quitting is not always the answer, but there are occasions when it is, in fact a better answer than 42.
Remember, the good book says, “You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.”