I hate hate hate hate my job. It's killing me, every day, to know that I work for people who have no interest in my well-being while I create utter, meaningless drivel. I don't think I can do this anymore. But I might have an escape. Is it reasonable to quit in light of the economy and the inevitable instability of switching to freelance writing and babysitting?
posted by Viola to work & money (29 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I've been the editor-in-chief of a small nightlife magazine for almost a year. As I have no other staff aside from two part-time interns, I'm also the fact-checker, editorial assistant, managing editor, and online publisher. The "magazine" is owned by a nightlife marketing company, so I'm basically writing long, mindless copy for their sponsored parties. I used to think this was a great opportunity, or something that at least looked good on my resume, but recently I've realized that I hate editing, hate my job, and don't really care to succeed in this industry. I'm going back to school to get a PhD in English so I can write and teach. I figured I'd continue this job to pay the bills until grad school plans coalesced later in the year, but things have taken a turn for the worse and I'm literally struggling to not cry in the bathroom every hour.
The company is struggling, like many, but their recent "adjustments" to save money have made my life hell. They cut down on my already barely-livable wage, have patently refused to insure me or put me on the payroll, and are counting me as a "freelancer" for tax purposes even though I have no freelancing rights and would be fired if I ever decided to not come into work in order to take another freelancing gig. They've cut down my hours to 10-4 but have saddled me with an unfeasible amount of work to complete in the allotted time. While they refuse to hire any help on my end, they've just hired an assistant for the boss's son who makes twice my salary. As they slashed their freelance budget, I'm expected to write, edit and publish at least 4 500-word articles a day, and my brain is fried. The articles are terrible, and I've taken my name off the bylines so no one can trace them back to me. I'm trying to study for the GRE and have been forced to freelance and babysit on the side to make ends meet, but I'm so drained from the ridiculous work load that I can barely stay awake at the end of the day.
Meanwhile, I have an extensive background in nannying, which pays better than my current job, though switching over might be less stable in the beginning. I really enjoy nannying and feel energized at the end of the day, not homicidal. I also enjoy freelance writing, because I get to write well and on my own terms rather than shoveling the palaver of my company into a terrible website that no one even reads. I already have a lot of babysitting contacts and freelance writing gigs to carry me over until the GRE in March, and quitting now would allow me the mental resources to actually study.
Today I opened up my calendar and realized there was just no way I could complete my huge work load in the amount of time I am paid to be here, that I cannot stay late to finish my work due to my other jobs, and that I am going to have a mental breakdown if I am expected to continue at this pace, on this salary, hating my job and hating 5 out of every 7 days a week while ruining my ability to adequately prepare for grad school applications. This feeling has only intensified after realizing that an editorial job isn't going to further my career plans.
I'm going to redress this specific instance of tax evasion on my own so I'm not shouldering all my taxes plus the added freelancer's tax. And sure, it's just a job, and lots of people will argue that jobs aren't supposed to make you feel warm and fuzzy. That's fair. But I hate my life. I see a possible escape. I want to quit, tomorrow, and start over. I already have babysitting jobs and a couple freelance pieces lined up. Maybe the reason this all looks so feasible is because I want so badly for a way out, and can't tell if I'm being ungrateful and unrealistic. I would have quit already, but the guilt of quitting an editorial job when they are so rare and coveted (even though my job degrades the concept of "editorial") in the midst of The Second Great Depression seems stupid.
So, is it insane to quit a job in the middle of economic ruin just because you hate it? Because I feel like I literally won't be able to come into work tomorrow unless I know it's my last day, but maybe I just need to saddle up and recognize that I'm just lucky to have a paycheck. I really don't anymore. Sorry for the long rant and thanks so much in advance.
And sorry for the length and rantiness of this post. I wrote this last night at midnight after babysitting and today I'm too busy to actually edit its Joyceian train of thought.