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By Jamie Cartwright
I quit my effing job…
The year is 2022, the month is May. Enter me - an eager, energetic, seasoned-for-seven-years manager in the healthcare industry, my strut defining me as a scrappy, assertive, and no-nonsense female - hear me roar, bitches.
Onlookers see me as a leader in her prime, blind to the jade curtain, putting 110% into developing people, thinking beyond the five-year plan, stressing the importance of psychological safety, and valuing transparent communication.
On the inside I am screaming my guts out to escape the corporate hell I somehow found myself trapped in - stuffed in a room full of business minions, a majority of the players stubborn, egotistical, of sour integrity, and praising the status quo - the corporate corpses, popping out of corners, chasing me with their always-full coffee cups, attempting to recreate a zombie apocalypse full of demands of higher pay in exchange for less innovation.
The remaining living, around 3% of people in the corporate universe are those escaping in beat-down cars or running like hell to get out - the people who “get it,” the survivors of the apathy Armageddon. This 3% is who I stay in touch with since escaping the red tape jungle, the team I treasure, and the only people who possess the potential power to sway me into returning to that fiery furnace of nonsense.
Beware, this 3% can transform into flesh-eating corporate monsters without warning, throwing razor-sharp daggers of cliche sayings like actionable, low-hanging fruit, value-adding, and patient-focused care.
You swerve to avoid bludgeoning on the head with a sign featuring a bear helping a goat over a fence with the caption “Teamwork makes the dream work.” These mutants will bite your face off or sell out your location when you thought you were friends and that your private venting sessions were safe. Be careful what you say on the off-chance someone is actually actively listening.
They just use your mind and they never give you credit.
Maybe I have become a cynic or perhaps aging naturally brings on skepticism. Pessimist or not, I did what I had to do – I quit my full-time managerial job, and I did it in a blaze of glory, but also in a way that made me rehireable, because, you know, backup plans?
I quit for my understanding and adapting husband. I quit for my two out-of-this-world daughters, who have already begun running the world. I quit to see my wolf pack more than four hours a day. I quit to be a teacher for my children and watch them evolve and love this beautiful and chaotic world. I quit for my two dogs, one of which I had to intentionally murder (or at least it felt this way when euthanizing her at the vet) due to bone cancer three months before leaving my role; I have an underlying feeling this lit the flame in my depressed and empty soul that led to this blazing resignation.
Above all, I quit to bask in the sunshine of LIFE, which turns out is the toughest challenge of all.
And there’s nothing like a MAD WOMAN.
Why is this lady so angry, you ask? I wasted time with people who prioritized toxicity. After putting my ass on the line to live a good life and reap the swanky benefits of a full-time job, I found that the return was not worth the investment. In turn for money and affirmation about making crude business moves, I was bullied, I was the target of someone else’s stress and unhappiness, and I was taken down by the soldiers of the dark side who had nothing better to do with their time than control and suppress my creativity and my craving to innovate and empathize. Evil monsters are in my “room,” and I WANT THEM OUT, but apparently, they will leave when they are damn well ready, and they will take your salary and benefits with them.
Now I’m takin’ care of business and workin’ overtime.
What will I do instead of being enslaved to the timecard? How will I fill up my mornings now that I do not have to wake up at 4:30 am every morning to do a 3-hour dance of packing lunches, prepping children to be dropped off for 8+ hours, and pumping my lactating boobs before arriving at my place of employment so I can spare them one of several thirty-minute sessions I need to excrete milk from my body, sessions where I am forced to squeeze into a forgotten closet and solve pressing problems while my nipples are being squeezed through small pressurized containers and my mind is literally fighting itself not to tear the suckling flanges off my chest?
Going off the quote my father shouts through the TV to his favorite basketball team whenever a travel violation is called for the opposing team - “Use it.” And use it I shall; this time will be savored like the last square of a fundraiser caramel bar.
My new job is a career - Motherhood - known to the retired mothers as the best job ever but known to the masses as one of the easiest, laziest, and unnecessary roles. Being a mother is an underrecognized gig that has no paying health benefits but can give you a heart attack in split seconds; the job lacks vacation time, provides no on-site daycare, and frowns upon a hybrid work schedule, but the twist is that you can do whatever you want and the only consequence is receiving a sneer from another opinionated mama bear or getting scolded by a passing, long-necked, overly-concerned grandmother. My kids, my rules, my circus, my monkies; mind you, my monkies are fierce, don’t mess with them.
I am also now responsible for cultivating a future career, because my children, unfortunately, cannot stay tiny and cute forever, they must grow up to form blunt opinions and learn to boss me around. Thus I will get on with selecting my dream job if I must (sigh).
I choose to write, create, inspire, and love while dragging the world along with me.
This corporate corpse has been revived into a love-driven soul.
I write about this journey to share my story; these words will sting to some, especially those who I have worked with or will work with when I decide it is time to reenter the blazing mansion of false promises, but these words are said to offer the lesser-known perspective of a rare bird - Manager turned Mom - a role that blurs into the background and seems too chaotic to attempt to support. For some reason, I have a sneaking suspicion that others have gone or are undergoing something similar. For those who need to hear it, I am here to tell you that there is life after death, but you must be determined to resurrect.
And now excuse me as I go wipe a poopy butt and clean up smashed blueberries off of my dog-hair-covered kitchen floor that has awaited a cleaning for weeks because what’s the point it will only get dirtier again from these two gremlins who have overtaken my house and cleaned out my bank account. This mom is in it for the long haul, for richer or for poorer.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.