I quit my job on Thursday in a blaze of fury. I went into a meeting with my boss and HR and realized as I sat there arguing with my arrogant, sexist boss about his inability to respond to emails that I was Done.
Next month would have been my 18th anniversary with that company. Literally half my life climbing that corporate ladder.
In an effort to deflect my accusation that his unresponsiveness prohibits me from advancing anything requiring a budget or a contract because per company policy, I don’t have the authority to spend a single cent or make any binding decisions without executive-level approval, my boss said, “You’re the director of marketing! Act like a director!” I interjected that I am NOT the director of marketing. He looked to HR and demanded, “That’s her title, isn’t it?!” HR said, “No, it’s not.”
So basically I’ve spent the last few years working for a guy who couldn’t be bothered to notice the title on the signature of every email I’ve ever sent him.
Anyway, the meeting got ugly. It involved a lot of him telling me to stop being defensive and to “get that smirk off your face.”
It was long and intense and we barely even scraped the surface of my issues with that man. When I was done being his personal scapegoat, I left that office, returned to my own, and left a message for the president of the company to call me. He returned my call most immediately, and I laid everything out on the table for him as I threw 18 years of my professional life into boxes. He tried to convince me to stay. He offered to have me report directly to him and to keep the other guy as far away from me as humanly possible. It was tempting, but I held my ground, left my key card on my desk, and walked out of there without hesitation.
So now what?
Well, step one is going to involve giving myself a bit of time and space to breathe and heal. It has been a long, hard year. I need to find my sea legs.
Step two involves going back to school.
I don’t broadcast it, but I never finished my bachelor’s degree. I’ll write more about that another day. It’s not something I’m proud of, but I’ve built a life I AM proud of regardless of that missing piece. I just realize that I have an opportunity right now and I’m going to take it.
Step three will be using my hands. I am so much happier when I’m creating, building, or fixing. I’ve spent 18 years sitting at a desk and I’m ready to get off my ass and get dirty.
Step four will be figuring out what comes next. I have time for that. Not unlimited time, but enough time to find what I’ve been missing. Teamwork. Collaboration. Respect.
I feel like I could write forever about the next chapter of my life, but I’ll stop here for tonight. When I closed that door behind me on Thursday, a hundred windows opened and I have some breathing to do now.