Back in yon years of yore, I was a rising star in management at a company that had historically provided few opportunities for women. After a bad boyfriend breakup, I decided to leave the area and seek my fortune in Los Angeles. I gave my supervisor a 30-day notice and suggested several members of my staff who were qualified to replace me. He brushed off the news, convinced I would recognize my folly and withdraw my resignation. "Seriously," I said. "I've leaving." Frustrated and annoyed, he made me promise not to tell anyone.
Meanwhile, I gave notice at my apartment and started packing. A week before I was due to leave town, my boss still had done nothing to target a replacement. I confronted him with the cruel reality: I was really, truly out of there. On my last day of work, I cleaned out my desk and walked out of the office for the last time, knowing that when Monday rolled around, the people who worked for me would see that I was gone but they wouldn’t know where or why. I was leaving to chase windmills with no going-away lunch, no sappy greeting card, no heartfelt goodbyes, no closure. Nothing. Nada. Zip.
To me, burning bridges seems like a questionable management style. It makes more sense to acknowledge the contribution an employee has made and wish them well. I've been working since I was 13, so I've had a million jobs, or so it seems. For me, change is the natural order of things, especially changing my work environment. I’ve never been overly concerned about security or attempting the impossible. Why else would I have chosen a career as a mystery novelist? When considering the next great adventure, I always ask myself: What’s the worst thing that can happen? Failure? Less money? Big deal. The riches I have are in the experiences I’ve gained.
Here are a few of the jobs I’ve had and quit with no regrets: babysitter, bakery counter sales, receptionist, secretary, fruit warehouse worker, research assistant, temporary office worker, juvenile detention group supervisor, administrative assistant, waitress, manager, actor, cellulite wrapper, caterer’s assistant, Easter bunny at a children’s party, personal assistant, nanny, sun tan salon counter sales, consultant, and administrator.
Your turn. Have you ever had a wacky job or a bad job breakup?