What should I do?
August 27, 2012 6:01 PM   Subscribe

I've only been at this job a few weeks, but I'm worried it's going to interfere with my college work (it hasn't yet). Should I stay at it or no? How could I get out of it if I left?

tl;dr: I've only been at this job a few weeks, but I'm worried it's going to interfere with my college work (it hasn't yet). Should I stay at it or no? How could I get out of it if I left?

I'm not really sure what to do. I applied to this store job when a lot of my summer work plans fell apart and wasn't expecting to get a callback. A week or so before the start of school, I got one, and I've been working there since.

This job is not terribly out of the way, but it's not like it's easy to get to either. There's a lot of bussing around involved. When I work my shift that goes to 11:30, there's probably no way for me to get home before 1am.

That's not horrible by itself, but like I said, I go to school. Also, the pay at this job is, to put it bluntly, terrible. The work study job that I have gives me the same amount, and is a lot less demanding. The boss there doesn't mind if I do homework on shift, and if I want to, I can choose the work and projects that I want to do (meaning there's a lot more potential there to tailor my resume for when I escape from school).

However, there's a downside to this position-- I can only work it so long I am an enrolled student. So this means no hours during winter breaks, or in the spring when I graduate. Furthermore, the amount of money that I make here might be limited to a certain amount (once I reach a certain earning point, I have to ask the school for permission to work more hours. This is not always approved).

Ideally, I would just keep both jobs, but I doubt that I could handle it on top of school. I have an incredibly nervous disposition and I feel it's pretty much inevitable that I would have some kind of breakdown if I tried following this route.

I like the store job because is my best bet for making money. However, I can't do other things on my time here and they're a lot stricter with scheduling. I'll be out late more with less time for school stuff-- I really don't want to wind up sacrificing all the work I've done so far for this really lame job, but...that hasn't even happened yet. School just started. I feel like I'm getting ahead of myself.

But I still feel like I have to make a decision now. I can't wait for everything to fall apart and then decide I want to quit. At the end of the day, this job is nothing special. I could probably get another one very similar to it, I'm thinking (Though maybe I'm wrong; ya never know). Aren't I being greedy by trying to hold onto this even though I think I can't handle it?

But then there's also the matter of my not having worked there for very long. It seems incredibly dickish to bail after a month, which is the greatest amount of time that I can realistically see myself juggling all of this. When I submitted my application and when I did my interview, I stated that I was looking for employment for "less than 90 days" but when I talk with my supervisors it seems like they were expecting me to be there for a lot longer than that. I already stated that I wasn't 100% sure I would stay that long, or longer (they said this was a possibility, meaning working the store job in the spring might be a possibility), but for whatever reason, they don't seem aware of that...and I've already gone through training and everything too. I have no idea of how to resign tactfully from this, or what would be a good time to do it. I was being weirdly impulsive when I took this job and I admit that this whole mess was probably extremely avoidable.

I don't want to quit this job but I feel that I'll be in trouble later on if I don't. The WORST that could happen to me personally is that I decimate my savings during the school year, while being being unable to replenish my funds due to lack of employment.

Of course, I can also quit the work study job instead. The benefits and cons of that have been listed above.

I am really not sure how to proceed.
posted by jumelle to Work & Money (8 answers total)
Your job right now is to be a student. You were up front with this job about what you were looking for, and it sounds like they (deliberately or not) ignored what you were telling them. That's not on you. Quit the job whenever, give appropriate notice (2 weeks). There are a bunch of other people who are looking for work who will be happy to have your job!

(Don't put it on your resume in the future.)
posted by c'mon sea legs at 6:09 PM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

Quit the store. Give them 2 weeks notice. Don't worry about being a Dick.

Find a supplementary job on school breaks that allows you to study - housesitting, for example.
posted by k8t at 6:21 PM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

Unless the inconvenient job is related to your future career, I would quit.

Cross the "what about school breaks" bridge when it's actually time for a school break. Plenty of stores hire seasonal holiday help, for example. And next summer is almost a year away. Who knows what you'll be up to next summer?

The only way I'd even consider toughing my way through this is if you live and attend school in a very small town with few job opportunities, and where word tends to get around about stuff like this, and assuming that you plan to stay in said town in the long term and might need the social capital. And even then, I think it's ultimately a losing proposition.
posted by Sara C. at 6:26 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you're worried about the amount of money you can potentially make at the work study job, why not find out about that now? That way you can plan to make your money stretch. It would definitely be silly to do the work study job, blow all your money, and then suddenly find out you're out of work.

If there's a finite amount of work you can do, someone somewhere should already know what the limit is.
posted by Sara C. at 6:28 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think you should quit, but not right away. You were up front about it when they hired you. The beginning of the semester is usually not nearly as demanding as the rest of it, so juggling everything right now should be manageable and give more cash than if you quit right now. Our society has changed from the past few decades from loyalty-oriented to advantage-oriented. That's why you were most likely hired under terms that said you could be terminated without notice for basically no reason (most of the menial jobs I've had included that in the hiring terms). They expect the same thing, and there is a lot of turnover at low-paying jobs. You don't need to feel bad about quitting -- you need to do what's best for you, as a student, which is keeping the job until it is too much. You *should* be able to predict when this will happen when you get your syllabi, as professors usually list when assignment and papers are due and when exams will be. Mark all this on a calendar and put your 2 weeks notice in 2 or 3 weeks before you'll get busy.
posted by DoubleLune at 6:54 PM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

Is this just some retail job? Quit, like now. The turnover is so high in retail that your absence won't be some egregious thing. Part of a retail manager's job is figuring out what to do when employees stop showing up. If you give them notice, they'll be better off than they normally are. Not to mention, in a college town, in this economic climate, they'll probably have plenty of people willing to take your place.

I used to be incredibly anxious about quitting jobs until I realized that it's just part of the whole thing. People come and go, especially in retail. Also, they'd fire you in a second if they had to.

Do not have a nervous breakdown just so somebody can stand behind the register at some store.
posted by that's how you get ants at 7:04 PM on August 27, 2012 [3 favorites]

College student here so I understand the plight of work-study and not having enough money.

Contrary to popular advice, I wouldn't quit this job immediately, and I definitely would not
posted by rawralphadawg at 12:03 PM on August 28, 2012

I'm also a student. I would quit the store if I were you. I had the same problem and so I tried to find a second job that was less demanding and ended up doing club promotions. I made only commission so pretty much, I worked whenever I wanted. There's a lot of jobs that are more casual and way more understanding in terms of schedule. If you really need two jobs, keep it until you can find another one.
posted by cyml at 12:24 PM on August 28, 2012

« Older Mystery writing on teapot   |   Should I give this friendship another chance? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.