Friday, March 29, 2013

I Quit, Again!

It has been awhile since I've written Finance Friday here at To Write a Better Story. Some of my readers will remember that during most of 2011 & 2012 I dedicated every Friday to documenting my coming-to grips with our new financial situation. 

For the most part I wrote to help me survive those tough days, but - about half way into the series - I began to sense that I was touching a nerve for some people. All this time I thought I was alone in my struggle when - only after being gut wrenching-ly honest - did I find others who identified.

Suddenly I wasn't alone.

And suddenly there was a sense of purpose to sharing my story. 

And that's all I have ever wanted.

Part of our financial journey included me deciding to pick up an extra, part time retail job (I once lovingly referred to as TentMaking).

The job was:
  • one of four I held

  • below my skill set and therefore embarrassing (especially for some former parishioners who -I inferred by their reactions- believed retail was a an obvious judgement against us

  • causing terrible foot pain

  • a stressful working environment and

  • taking precious time away from my family

Meanwhile it was: 

So it was serving a purpose; at least that's what I told myself and was, no doubt, how I made it through the terrible misery I was in. Some days it was like a silent mantra "It's for a good cause. It's for a good cause." turning me into a silent martyr and other days I simply refused to give the job any space in my head, mentally denying I even worked there.
Everyone around me knew it wasn't a good job for me. I was regularly asked, "Have you quit the store yet?" which really meant, "Stephanie, why are you still working there?"

And here's the reason; because I am not a quitter. I will do something I absolutely hate and see it through before I will quit and say, "That wasn't really for me". I can be a stubborn, morally superior annoyance that way.

Except, one time, I did try to quit the store. As my one year anniversary approached I told my manager that I just couldn't stay on. My job at school would be getting more hours, my husband worked evenings ... throw in the 5 kids' schedules and it was near impossible for me to continue employment.

She didn't accept my resignation. Instead she and the store manager each pulled me aside to tell me they would work with my schedule no matter how scarce my availability because I was such a valuable team member and they didn't want to see me go. 

It was about that same time I was reading Wrecked, by Jeff Goins.

So I stuck it out and I made it another six months.

It was torture. The job was such a bad fit for me. I literally loathed going there. I often wished I would fall down the two flights of stairs the employees had to climb to get to the time clock believing that a broken leg would be better than working. 

That's the truth.

But I rarely complained, thanked God that I had the job when so many were unemployed and felt a small shift in financial peace as I tucked every minimum wage check away.

Today, I am happy to report, is my last shift at the store. I finally quit. As I gave my notice my supervisor invited me come back and work for them at any time and concluded by saying, "I knew it was coming. I just tried to hold onto you as long as I could."

So tonight, I will don my olive green polo one more time today
and while, overall, it was not a good experience working there I will be thankful for the building of my character.

Tonight I will close the store,
turn off the lights and
climb the stairs for the last time to clock out.

And I will do it with my head held high.

I have no doubt that when (not if) the next difficult task comes my way I'll have the strength of heart and the stamina to see it through.

I tell you my story to encourage to not quit too early. Let your character be developed. Find out what you're made of. Push yourself further than you 'feel' like going and see what happens. You might find you have more stamina that you knew. Perhaps you know you lack the ability to be uncomfortable and your heart knows it would do you good to go beyond yourself. Sound intriguing? Then by all means head to right now and get Jeff Goins book. You can thank me later.

I would love to hear your ideas? Have you ever struggled to work a job that wasn't a good fit for you? How did you handle it? What did you learn from the experience?


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