"So you've decided to ruin your life"
September 30, 2008 12:17 PM Subscribe
I've decided that I want to take a year to go backpack around Europe. Now what do I tell my current employer and my family?
posted by sperose to grab bag (18 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The basic gist is that I've finally decided that some time away from school/work/my batshit family would be good for me. I've been attempting to make plans to move out, but they've fallen through several times. So, I've been kicking around this idea about travelling for a while. I've been overseas a few times (all within the tight leash of my mother) and so I've got a pretty good idea of how to travel, what I like and don't like about certain things, etc.
I've even found a flight that is perfectly within my budget and everything! But of course, there are problems:
I'm currently in school, but not seeking a degree (yet). The original plan was to take these 2 non-degree-seeking courses, apply for real in February, and then start the degree program in Fall 2009. Since I want to use my current employer as a reference, I'm thinking that I can apply February 2009 and if accepted, defer admission until Fall 2010. Sounds good, right? There's more...
I currently live with my parents. I've basically gotten to the point where I buy the majority of my own stuff (I eat dinner with them, as required) and pretty much am left to my own devices. They don't know that I'm planning on travelling. I fear that they will completely lose their shit (which is likely, considering their track record on me doing things that aren't within their scope of planning). I've got plans, if they do decide to kick me out, but this means that I won't be able to go to school in this area (because I cannot really afford to live here by myself and go to school at the same time).
How can I explain this trip in a way that will make sense to them?
They are both quite close to retirement (mom retired in March, pops is set to retire in January) and have a serious hatred of "frivolity". This trip would fall straight into that category. As well as the whole 'not continuing straight on with school.' (For those keeping track, this will be Master's degree #2. I took one semester off.) They are very big into stability and the goodness of the US. This is part of the reason why I think applying to school before leaving would be good. They would understand that I did that to plan for my return.
My brother is another ball of wax. I could really give a fuck less what he thinks, but I've hinted at leaving to him and ALL THE PREJUDICE IN THE WORLD came out. According to him, as soon as I get off the plan in whereverville, I'll be raped and assaulted because "those people don't care." Well gee Alex, most people don't really give a shit here either. BFD.
There's also the issue with my current place of employment. I love my job. I'm good at my job. My boss loves me. The problem is: I'm vastly overqualified for this job (requires only a HS diploma) and the pay and hours could be better. I'm guessing that they'll do performance appraisals at some point, possibly at our one year dates. (We're a department of 4 people, including the boss, so everything that is kinda like this is half-assed.) This for me would be in late December. Here's the problem: if we do indeed have appraisals, is there any way I can not look like a complete jackass, considering that I know I'll be leaving in early June? Somehow, telling them in late December that I'll give one month's notice in May doesn't seem like it would go over well.
What should I tell my boss? When should I tell him that I'm leaving?
I bolded the two questions I have. Everything else is just background information to give a sense of the situation I'm in. I'm going crazy waiting but I just can't bail until June because that's when I should have enough cash saved to go (and be able to do stuff for a year) and that's when things are slow here at work, so they'll have time to find and train a replacement before the school year starts. I'm going with or without my parents' blessing. Of course, it makes it much easier for me to handle things like car/health insurance, and my cell phone bill, if they'll be able to send the checks in. (Only the health insurance will be in my name, everything else is under them.)
Thanks y'all, if you made it through all of that.