Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Time to quit

"So... is there any reason you couldn't help us out today?"

Day 3 of the new job. Although I would likely get another chance, I'm supposed to have one sign-up by the end of the day.

"Oh man, I feel for you, it's a great cause, but I just can't today."

My coworker steps in and tries to get the guy to sign up. I only stopped him because he was in a suit, and I was making a joke about how suits just blow you off. I couldn't believe this person even listened to the first few words I said.

I could hear them, but I wasn't really listening. It was the last 20 minutes of the shift and I was getting desperate.

"Yeah, I understand you have quotas to make..." Whoa. He said that on his own, we didn't provoke that from him.

We both tried our best to get this guy to sign up, but to no avail. He walked off with his $4 coffee drink in his hand. I started crying, but not much. Just a few tears. I felt like such a failure, but I also suspected starting this kind of work right after Christmas wasn't going to bring out the giving in people.

My coworker turned to me, "Your boyfriend will sign up. Then you'll have one."

We left our post early. The whole group didn't fare well that day, but it was the moment of truth for me. I felt awful. I really didn't want to go back to retail full-time, but the unionized security of the job was looking better and better.

I met my boyfriend at Horton Plaza, where I begged him to sign up. He agreed, but he asked me if I was sure I wanted to continue the job. He was supportive in whatever job I took, but I knew he preferred me to work this job since it meant weekends off and two weeks of vacation a year, plus federal holidays off. These are things I can't get in my retail job.

That night, I woke up at 3 am with a fever and exhausted. The part-time schedule would leave me working without a day off for two weeks. I'm getting old enough to know my limits.

The following morning, I experienced my saddest resignation in a job. For the first time, I had to quit a job because I couldn't handle it. The only other times I've quit a job is because of relocation or school.

So now I'm back in retail, but still looking for something else. I loved working with the non-profit people and I miss them. But job security wins over pleasant work environment.

As for the donations, I didn't submit my boyfriend's form, but I did sign up myself. Even though I'm one broke person, I'm sure I can substitute 50 cents a day for those who need it.

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