Saturday, November 17, 2007

"Men for the sake of getting a living forget to live."

-Margaret Fuller

I used to think I could start every entry with some clever quote, like the above, and expound from there onto some rich, fulfilling topic.

Just another thing I have quit.

Today I gave my notice at my job. For some time, and for some back story, I have felt under appreciated, overworked, and uncomfortable at work. Part of it, I think, was that I was getting a lot of recognition from the customers, and very little from my boss. In fact, it got to be so I would get a compliment from a customer, and my boss would go out of his way to knock it down. This part, at least, I am certain of.

And I thought that when I left, or rather when I told of my leaving, any good will I had gained through my hard work and dedication, both of which I think I gave of freely, would go out the window, and he would be mean, even petty. It is a side of him many other people have seen. I have watched him unleash it on plenty of people.

But, in this, I was wrong. He instead told me he was very sorry, if not surprised, to see me go. He felt that things were great. He also told me I would be missed, and he would have a hard time replacing me. He felt we grew close from working together, and hoped only the best for me.

And perhaps, as far off as I was on his reaction, these two things can be reconciled. His lack of perception as to WHY I would feel as uncomfortable, and his lack of acknowledgement of it when I told him is the reason why it was the way it was. He sees things only through his terms, and only as they relate to him. Even, I think, my leaving, was seen as to how he would replace me (not very well) and the timing (the fastest part of the year) for the store. He would not acknowledge I might have thought the job would be more than it was, or that I would eventually get the full weight of responsibility, without the micromanagement. It did not occur to him, and so would not occur to him.

But the response, nonetheless, caught me off guard. And it got me thinking about my large part in all this. I can look back and say I have tried to talk to him about these things, but I cannot honestly say I tried hard. I assumed he would be unreceptive, and indeed I still feel he would. I thought by bringing everything to the fore, I would be exposing myself too much for such a close work environment. I still think that is the case. But had I brought this up as soon as I felt it, and had he responded as he just did, would we be here?

The bottom line is, perhaps we would. I have the need for different hours and more pay, neither of which he could offer. I have the need for a bit more freedom, and a bit less scrutiny, neither of which the job would allow. And, since I am journaling here more than anything, I have a problem with authority, especially loud, pushy authority, which he is. I place no blame for that, or at least I endeavor not to, because it is his store, and he can run it how he sees fit. But it is truth, and it was more than I could bear.

And I felt a little too much ownership in that store, in how well it was doing, and let myself forget that I was just an employee, even if, and such it was, I was the reason for that success. And I let myself judge him as a person too much, and not enough as an owner, which allows for far less judging to begin with.

In short, the change is good for me. I will be more detached, and I will have less on my shoulders. But, when thinking about the change, I never thought it would be like this. And when I hold the mirror up to this situation, I can see where I could have handled it as I see myself, and not as I am.

Maybe I should have started with this quote.

If you cannot mould yourself as you would wish, how can you expect other people to be entirely to your liking?

-Thomas Kempis

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