Can I quit?
August 29, 2005 10:46 AM   Subscribe

Quitting my job and moving 1800 miles to be with my grandmother while she dies...Crazy? Possible?

I'm married, no kids, and moderately successful in a job (marketing) in the Washington, DC area that doesn't do much for me. My grandmother is withering away in a nursing home in Fredericksburg, TX. She can't hear (careless staff lost her $2K hearing aids), can't hold a book or a remote control, is having some memory/cognizance issues, and barely gets any visitors. I love her dearly and it kills me that she's so isolated.

The idea of resigning from my job and road-tripping it to Texas to be with her for a couple of months occurred to me a few days ago, and I can't get it out of my head. And now that I've thought of it, the idea of pushing it aside and then my grandmother possibly dying alone is horrible to me.

My husband is supportive, especially considering that we'd planned for me to stop working in the next year or so anyway (to have kids, and so that I can focus on our side business). Money will be very tight, but we've figured out on paper that we can manage if we cut our spending majorly. My boss will be *pissed* that I'm quitting, but I can't decide if I really care. The plan itself doesn't seem that complicated -- drive 4 days down, stay 2 months or so with relatives in the area, possibly get a part-time job waiting tables to make ends meet, drive 4 days back.

So my big obstacles are (1) just taking the plunge and embracing this crazy idea; (2) acclimating myself to the idea of being a "quitter" (as far as career goes), even though it's not like I love working; (3) facing my boss and co-workers and the many people here who depend on me; (4) fear of giving up my career and then not being able to cut it financially in the long run.

Any thoughts, suggestions, etc that are at all related to this idea are appreciated -- both the concept of quitting work to do something that feels emotionally and almost spiritually like a necessity, and practical advice as well.
posted by justonegirl to Human Relations (49 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, you just restored a tiny bit of my faith in humanity.

You've probably considered this, but can you possibly work remotely? Even part-time?
posted by LordSludge at 10:52 AM on August 29, 2005

Unfortunately, FMLA is no good in this case.

But if you're committed to doing this, you should just do it.

If you ultimately decide that you want to get back in the business, this kind of employment gap isn't just explainable, it says something very good about your character.

Plus you could always write a book about it.
posted by baltimore at 10:57 AM on August 29, 2005

Would there be any possible way to move your grandmother to a nursing home in your area?

That way, perhaps you could keep your job, at least on a part time level....

Also, if possible, I think it would be helpful to disentangle the job questions from what your grandmother may need.
posted by extrabox at 10:58 AM on August 29, 2005

This is not a crazy idea at all! It just makes me a bit sad that you live in a culture where you would think that placing someone you love above a job that doesn't do much for you makes you a quitter. :-(
posted by forallmankind at 11:00 AM on August 29, 2005

Response by poster: Unfortunately, working remotely isn't a possibility...I work for a real estate firm that is extremely stingy with perks like that, even when it would benefit them. Also, while I would like to move my grandmother, it isn't possible due to other family situations as well as finances. I do appreciate the comments so far though, more than I can say.
posted by justonegirl at 11:01 AM on August 29, 2005

Can you talk to your employer to see if they can give you a small sabbatical? Even if unpaid, at least you won't lose your job.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:01 AM on August 29, 2005

Response by poster: spinifex23, I thought of that at first, but the fact of the matter is I'm an integral part of some major projects coming up in the next few months. If I ask for a sabbatical, they're going to laugh in my face, as I'm essentially leaving them in the lurch for an unspecified period of time during a very busy workload. If I quit, they can replace me. However, for what it's worth, I do think the door would be left open for me to return in some capacity or other, though I'm not sure if I'll want to (since my husband's and my plan was for me to quit eventually anyway).
posted by justonegirl at 11:04 AM on August 29, 2005

What about working in a part-time job in TX? Even if it's in something like sales (or Real-Estate as you seem to have experience there) the supplement to your income would be better than the negative of not working at all, no?
posted by Pollomacho at 11:06 AM on August 29, 2005

You said you're planning on leaving work in a year or so to have kids and work on your side business - If you got pregnant now would you have any problem walking away from the job and starting your plan a year early? Would you still worry about leaving your co-workers in the lurch?

I imagine that it would be initially suprising / not exactly what you planned, but that you'd roll with it. That kind of describes this situation as well. Given that you're going to do it anyway, points (2), (3), and (4) are hurdles you'll have to overcome in a fairly short time anyway.

One other thing that may help is to put yourself in the future and look back. Imagine both of your decisions a year from now, which one makes you happier?
posted by true at 11:07 AM on August 29, 2005

My gut reaction is to do it -- especially as you say you have your husband's support. It's one of my deepest, saddest wishes that I had been in a similar position when my maternal grandparents were dying -- it still pains me, more than five years after their respective deaths, that I wasn't in a financial/logistical position to care for them in their final months (my mom was in a massive state of denial right until the very end).

As for quitting -- feh. Quitting a job that (in your own words) doesn't do much for you in order to help your grandmother in her final days doesn't make you a "quitter" -- it makes you a generous, compassionate person with higher priorities. Sure, your bosses and coworkers will be be inconvenienced by your departure, but they'd be in the same boat if you were suddenly or moved across the country because your husband got a new job or whatever. I commend you for thinking of your obligations to them, but I think in your heart of hearts you know that your deeper, more profound obligation is to your grandmother (and to yourself).

Finally, leaving this particular job for a few months doesn't mean you've walked away from your career path forever. I know the economy is weird and it's natural you might feel jittery about the possibilities of being able to find another job down the road, but this really doesn't sound like an "all or nothing" prospect in terms of your career (especially as you were thinking of putting it on the back burner to think about starting a family anyway).
posted by scody at 11:08 AM on August 29, 2005

Yes, yes, what baltimore said. You are fighting alienation. Bless you.
posted by By The Grace of God at 11:08 AM on August 29, 2005

Best answer: I have two ways that I try approach these kinds of decisions.

One is through creating scenarios of anticipatory regret. Try to project yourself out a few years or so. Imagine that you took each one of the courses you're contemplating, and that it's now a few years down the line. Which course of action will leave you with fewer regrets?

The second way is from something I read in a Carlos Castenada book - if two paths are leading in different directions, take the one with heart in it. All our paths lead to the same place - nowhere, death. So if you have a choice, take the path with heart.
posted by jasper411 at 11:11 AM on August 29, 2005 [23 favorites]

I think that true nailed it... imagine yourself 20 years from now, when your unborn kids are entering college. What would you rather have done: comforted your grandmother, or been there for your boss and co-workers?

The answer to that question is your best course of action.
posted by Daddio at 11:16 AM on August 29, 2005

justonegirl, spending these two months with your grandmother sounds like a lifechanging event. Imagine what it would mean to her that you were willing to essentially put your entire life on hold just to give her some comfort and company at such a difficult time. And think of what it would mean to you when the inevitable happens to have had this precious time together. Work is just work, and you're planning on quitting soon anyway. I'm sure you don't want to exchange a couple of months of grandma time for a mere couple of months of employment. It seems like you know that already and you just need people to tell you you aren't crazy, so here goes: You aren't crazy!

Not to be heartless, but since you mentioned that finances will be tight, how about keeping a journal starting now about all this, and keeping the possibility on the shelf of turning it into a book someday? I point out the possibility since people tend to think their own lives are very ordinary, even when they might be very interesting to others.
posted by leapingsheep at 11:18 AM on August 29, 2005

Ask which you'll regret more: not being near your grandmother, or quitting a job a few months earlier than you otherwise would have. Is a good letter of reference more important than being with your grandmother? That's all that's at risk professionally.

My major concern would be hubby, but with him in your corner (and good on him, btw), I don't think you've got anything to hold you back.

Do you have any desire to write about this? Would a newspaper be interested in a continuing column? Would you care to expose your life to that extent? Might be a better alternative than waiting tables.
posted by bonehead at 11:21 AM on August 29, 2005

I say "do it" as well. It's so easy to lose sight of what our REAL priorities should be sometimes, and since you have the "luxury" of being able to survive without this job, and your spouse is a reasonable guy, it's pretty clear to me that it's far more important in a real world sense to get out to TX and be with your gran. Life is more important than work any day, and you'll be making a much bigger difference, with long-reaching impact, both to yourself and your grandmother, if you go. So go! And good for you for being the sort of person who'd even think of doing this.
posted by biscotti at 11:22 AM on August 29, 2005

You'll only have this opportunity once, one time to share the end of your grandmother's life. Work is work, a job only, not life, not living. Your idea is not a crazy at all, it's one of the most beautiful and loving ideas I've ever heard. Pack you bags, gas the car and thank the voice in your heart for speaking up.
posted by LadyBonita at 11:26 AM on August 29, 2005

If your boss is pissed that you'd rather spend time with your dying grandmother than at the job, then he/she's not worthy of your... anything.
posted by callmejay at 11:26 AM on August 29, 2005

Quick question: How do you know your grandmother will be dead in two months? You say she's "withering away," but can you clarify how you're sure she won't linger for a year or two? Or three? Or five?
posted by mediareport at 11:26 AM on August 29, 2005

A couple of thoughts: moving your grandmother to a closer nursing home would probably be the best solution for you, but depending on her condition and ability to be easily trasnported without medical help, might be way out of reach here.

What's your eventual goal? To be there while she dies? Or just go there to support her for a couple of months? Unless she's actively dying, which is a process that could last for only a few hours to a few days, it's distinctly possible that she'll be alive not just for weeks or months but years. Death is a very strange and illusory thing, and predicting when it'll happen is extremely hard. My wife, who is a social worker for a hospice, has many patients with family members who quit work to care for them full time and then, five years later, the patient is still fine while the family member has put their life on hold for five years and still counting. I know this isn't what you're planning, but these things have a way of snowballing.

Your concerns focus around two main threads: first, perception (what will others think of me, what will I think of myself) and second, finances (#4 of your obstacles). Perception is an easy one -- that's entirely something you control. Finances, on the other hand, is trickier. If you feel that you might be strapped for cash enough to have to get a waitress job while you're in Texas, I think that's reason enough to seriously rethink your plan of action. Do you have a mortgage? What about credit card debt? A car loan? If there're financial responsibilities that will bury you while you're there, then you'll be useless to your grandmother because you'll be dragged down by your money problems.

There's a middle ground, here; why not take a long weekend every other week and fly out to see her? You'll be able to keep your job, retain some level of normalcy in your life (which is far more important than we want to believe it is), and still spend time with her.

Although I know many will think this is insensitive, I'm going to hazard a guess that your desire to drop out and be with your grandmother for a couple months has less to do with her and more to do with your current situation, not liking your job very much, perhaps being generally disillusioned with things, and guilt over not living closer to your grandmother. Examine what's really going on here, and think very carefully about why you're planning such a drastic course of action. I know most will clap and applaud and say "good for you, if only more people did this," but just know that it's a HUGE decision that could end up being far more life-altering than you'll think.
posted by incessant at 11:27 AM on August 29, 2005

It sounds like you're a really valuable employee. Have you tried discussing your options with your employer? If you're as good as you sound, you could think about asking for an extended unpaid bereavement leave. It couldn't hurt to ask. Visit your grandmother for a month, and return to your life and career in DC.
It's important to be with her at this time, but you have a life too. An open-ended visit might be unrealistic.

Have you looked into the possibility of having her come visit you in DC? If she's fit enough to make the trip with assistance, she might even appreciate the oppertunity
to check out DC, if she's the travelling type.

But if it comes down to it, well, it sounds like you didn't much like the job anyways. You can always apply for another job in the same field later. You won't always be able to be with your grandmother.
posted by Count Ziggurat at 11:32 AM on August 29, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for all the responses. I should mention that she is in extremely poor physical condition -- the 'withering' comment was literal; she's gone from morbidly obese (>300 lbs at about 5'3") to about 160 lbs, can't feed herself, walk, sit up, or turn over without assistance, and is being treated for numerous health problems including diabetes, high blood pressure, multiple strokes, arthritis, and other issues. This is another part of why moving her isn't an option.
posted by justonegirl at 11:38 AM on August 29, 2005

Some states have added a new class of leave called Family Illness Leave that goes above and beyond FMLA to allow for time off to care for relatives. I'm not sure how widespread the policy is but I know it is available in NC. The policy is here under Family Illness Leave.
posted by smash at 11:42 AM on August 29, 2005

This may be the last time in your life that your schedule is flexible enough to do something like this.

Will you try to care for her yourself, or just go to the home every day? Bring her things that she loves, and favorite music even if she can't remember it. Also, if you have photos of her when she was young, I've heard it's a good thing to put some up in her nursing home or hospital room. It can help her memory and humanize her a little more for the caregivers.

You are an awesome granddaughter.
posted by whatnot at 11:50 AM on August 29, 2005

I work for a real estate firm that is extremely stingy with perks like that, even when it would benefit them

So fuck them then.

Seriously, you've mentioned twice the negative reactions of people who employ you or work with you and the only mention about what you get from them is that they're difficult about giving back? If this was a boyfriend you were writing about deciding to keep or not, would you even need to ask the question about if you should leave them for some alternate thing you're passionate about?

WaPo's jobs section has written in the past about people who stick it out in bad job/career situations against all reasonable indications and perhaps you should consider if you're in one of those. Even if you're not, you at least sound like you're not all that jazzed about the place.

Why not give them the opportunity to see if they can rise to the occassion? Sit down with your supervisor, tell hir you feel that it's important that someone be with your grandmother and it falls to you, what can you work out in the way of paid and unpaid leave to do this? Perhaps they'll surprise you. Or maybe they'll suck and make it easier for you to tell them to suck eggs.

But before you do, get out of this mindset about leave vs quitting - it's not that straightforward unless you only lift heavy things for a living. The amount of time varies by job and depending on who is writing the study but every management expert every agrees that new employees have a ramp-up time before they are fully effective ranging from a few months to over a year. If you're successful in that post they are far better off living w/o you for 3-5 months and getting back a perfectly trained employee than hiring someone new, training them and MAYBE they're as good as you in 3-5 months but probably not.

If you can't tell, I'm firmly in the go-go-go camp. Cliche or not I can't imagine you ever looking back from your deathbed and thinking "shit, I wish I'd spent more time in that office." And may the powers that be bless you for your empathy and self-sacrifice.
posted by phearlez at 11:53 AM on August 29, 2005

Wow, first hit on my search. My Google-fu is second to none.

Breaking up with your bad job reg required, bugmenot etc etc.

If I wasn't clear above - I meant get out of this "they may as well fire me" thoughts about asking for leave. It's in their interest to make one-time arrangements for valuable people, even if they don't know it.
posted by phearlez at 12:00 PM on August 29, 2005

Agree that it's a big decision. As incessant mentioned, that this seems to be somewhat about your situation, but this is not necessarily a negative. Make sure that your husband is prepared for the reality that you are not going to live with him for awhile, and that it may be longer than a few months.

I'd say give your present employer the option of allowing you unpaid leave, otherwise you must quit due to a family emergency -- you can always tell future employers that you made the good-faith effort to stay with the company but it unfortunately wasn't workable for your employer. Your co-workers and boss? Bah. Try to not let the rat race and the loyalty-at-all costs culture get to you. (Anyway, some of them are jealous.)

As for your future career, hey, you're in marketing, a highly adaptive and employable field. When you go to TX, check out the possibility of doing some freelance work for small companies or non-profits (at a rate that they could afford) that can't really afford the kind of marketing experience that they need and you could provide.
posted by desuetude at 12:02 PM on August 29, 2005

reading your post, it sounds like you've decided already and just needed to speak that decision aloud. it doesn't sound like either path is especially easy, best of luck.
posted by judith at 12:02 PM on August 29, 2005

Two more questions; first off is there a college/community college where you could take some classes and improve your qualifications while with grandma?

Second, how soon until the home replaces grandma's hearing aid? If they lost it they need to find it or replace it.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:03 PM on August 29, 2005

Not crazy. Good luck.
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:18 PM on August 29, 2005

While I am certain that incessant is sincere in his advice, I have never been able to fathom the mindset that says (paraphrasing) "don't rock the boat, for that way leads to D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R!"

I don't see how a "desire to drop out and be with your grandmother for a couple months has less to do with her and more to do with your current situation" is a bad reason to do something.

Go. Go now. I have lived far away from my family for a very long time, and missed spending my life with people that were really important to me. Two of them are dead now, and I regret the days I didn't spend with them. Now that my mom is dying, my wife and I have finally made the decision to move back. She won't get to watch the kids grow up, but she'll be able to spend her final days with them.

And, finally - Jasper411's final paragraph is the best advice I have ever seen about how to live a good life.
posted by Irontom at 12:19 PM on August 29, 2005

While I didn't have to entirely give up my job, I was in a somewhat similar situation when my dad was dying in a far-away hospital. I went. If I had faced losing my job, I still would have gone.

I can't imagine the regret that would fill me now if I hadn't. I suspect that if you don't go to your grandmother, you will see it as one of your life's great failures.

Jobs are replaceable. Your grandmother isn't.
posted by frykitty at 12:20 PM on August 29, 2005

Best answer: Though I'm in the "you go, girl!" camp, it's worthwhile taking the cautions expressed by people into account. The reality is that no one has any idea how the future will work itself out. She could go downhill precipitously and pass away a day after you got there, or she could linger painfully for years. You could decide you like it down there, and have your husband move out. You could come back and be accepted back into your former job, get a better new job, or have a really difficult time finding anything. You might be inspired by the wisdom of your grandmother, or you might be totally frustrated by conditions in the nursing home or by her limited capacity to be emotionally available to you during your visits.

Since the future isn't available, it can't be used as a criteria for your decision. You have to decide on the basis of what feels right for you now, after you and all the parties affected by your decision (husband, grandmother, anyone else?) have given due diligence to all the possible pitfalls. Every important decision has risks, or it would be a no-brainer.

Boy, if there was ever a need for AskMe follow-ups, this is it!
posted by jasper411 at 12:24 PM on August 29, 2005

I second forallmankind. Shake off the American supercharged free-market capitalism shackling us to a treadmill of overwork, fraying family ties. If only we had federally mandated family leave in this country. I, and the rest of the world, support you. Cut the cord with work, don't stand on the fence, put your all into this next, exhilarating step.

Maybe when you go back you'll want to do something completely different; I know one woman I greatly admire who went to medical school at 40 or 50. Also, so many people are encouraging you to write about this--newspapers, a book--and that would help if you're having problems feeling productive.
posted by scazza at 12:30 PM on August 29, 2005

I kinda/sorta did this for my father. I just graduated college, but I didn't have a full-time job yet. But I left my part-time job and put my search on hold while I went home for four months. There were all sorts of emotions at the time, and my father and I had some issues, but it was one of the better things I've ever done. My brother and sister both took semesters off from college to do the same. I plan on going home when my grandparents (who live with my mother) start to deteriorate - not just for me, but to help spell my mother.

posted by sachinag at 1:55 PM on August 29, 2005

Twenty-two years ago, I could have done something much like this. But back then, I was too wrapped up in myself to even think up such a notion -- didn't even communicate with her on any but the most superficial level. Now, of course, I wish I had done more. Much more.

Go. Do.
Or -- Regret. 'Specially after she's gone.
posted by Rash at 3:15 PM on August 29, 2005

There's a middle ground, here; why not take a long weekend every other week and fly out to see her? You'll be able to keep your job, retain some level of normalcy in your life (which is far more important than we want to believe it is), and still spend time with her.

Just wanted to see that again. All the folks still saying "Go!" - and I empathize, honest - really need to address the possible-lingering-for-years issue. justonegirl, have you talked with her doctors to get a clearer picture of the possible length of time you'd need to stay? Do they even have an estimate, iffy though it may be? Are you prepared to stay for a year or more?
posted by mediareport at 3:42 PM on August 29, 2005

Response by poster: I realize there's the possibility she may not pass away during the time I have available to stay. My mother is traveling down there in December so there will be some continuation of familial support, and after she departs, we'll play it by ear I guess. If she doesn't pass away while I'm there, I think I'll at least feel good for the period of support I was able to give; certainly better for not having done anything.

Unfortunately I don't think flying out for short visits on a regular basis is viable. The majority of a day will be spent on travel (1 hour to airport, 1 1/2 to check in, 3-4 in flight, 1 on ground dealing with car rental, 1 hour from San Antonio to Fredericksburg) each way. Furthermore, I'm not sure my grandmother is in a state of being able to comprehend the constant comings and goings -- during my mother's and my last visit, she cried like a baby each time we'd leave her for the night, despite assurances we'd be back in the morning.
posted by justonegirl at 4:08 PM on August 29, 2005

May I just say that my hat is off to you? What you are contemplating doing is amazing, and my goodness, it sounds as if your husband is cut from the same cloth, giving you his support. I think that you'll find that your selflessness now will be rewarded in the future in ways that you can't begin to imagine. Good luck - please let us know how it goes!
posted by Lynsey at 4:36 PM on August 29, 2005

So many have given you good advice. I can't add to that, but I can address the "lingering" issue. Over 20 years ago I closed my bookstore and moved back to my hometown because my mother was told she had less than three months to live. She lived over two years. I stayed close and helped her as best as I could. I found other jobs and my life took a different path, but I don't regret moving back. She was the single most important person in my life up to that time and no job or career would have been worth it if I had not gone home.

You have someone who can work and maintain your home. You have enough money to eat and somewhere to live when you go to Texas. You have the support of your family. You will have other careers. Even if your grandmother doesn't realize you are helping her, you will thank yourself later. To answer your question simply, yes, you can quit.

Justonegirl, you obviously are caring person. Take care of yourself also. You will need grief support. Being close to someone dying will cause you (and your relationships) great stress. I'd suggest calling Hill County Memorial Hospice.
posted by ?! at 4:42 PM on August 29, 2005

If there's any way at all to simply move her to you it would be preferable; you should give it a second thought whether it's concievable - I don't know what's available for moving a person with physical needs, but I'm sure it's a problem society's dealt with thousands of times and I can't imagine it being harder than quitting your job and moving.
posted by abcde at 5:52 PM on August 29, 2005

Could be preferable, I should say.
posted by abcde at 5:52 PM on August 29, 2005

At the risk of repeating what everyone else said, just go.

You seem like you might have some guilt about leaving your job and possibly inconveniencing the company and your co-workers. Try to think of it this way... They've ceased being useful to you. Don't think for a second that they wouldn't kick you to the curb if you ceased being useful to them.
posted by MegoSteve at 6:48 PM on August 29, 2005

I think it is a great idea. If your grandmother is, ahh, 'still here' after a couple of months, move to the next issue. How do you get her back to DC?
After a few weeks at grandmas you should have some knowledge of whether a giant me$$ will ensue (heh, sue...) upon her passing; or if things need to be tidied up to avoid grandmas life worth going to the state or gov't as compared to a charity, great grandkids college funds, or other good purpose. (This is the amazing point in life where everybody becomes very conservative and right)
No matter, I think you are going to make the proper choices.

Oh, BTW... do unto others as they have done unto you, and skip the current job.
posted by buzzman at 7:13 PM on August 29, 2005

Best answer: GO, GO, GO.

How many times in your life will you get a chance to be a hero.
You're going to be her hero. You're going to be mine.

I think from what I've read, that if work didn't consider it a major hassle, you'd go.

Fuck your job up here. I hate your employer already. It's a hassle you're leaving? But they can find a replacement for you? Please. Go.

Yes, it'd be easier if your employer was on your side:
"Hi, my grandmother is dying, in a nursing home, and I love her very much. I need to see her, be with her, because the world is a shitty place, and an even shittier place for not making a dying woman more comfortable. I realize that many people here depend on me, and I don't want them to be disrupted because of this. I'd like to find a way to make this work for everyone - I like you, I like my coworkers, but I'm not going to be able to live with myself if I don't go, and I was hoping you'd have some insight on a way to find a middle ground."

And if they don't find one, they're shitty people.

To your reservations:
You're not a quitter.
You're taking the path of the courageous.
You know who else depends on you? Your grandmother.
And if I was a future employer? If I ever heard that you left, willing to return, to visit a dying family member, I'd hire you right away.
posted by filmgeek at 8:06 PM on August 29, 2005 [3 favorites]

I can only echo the others before me who also urge you to go.

I worked for a big oil company when my 83-year-old granddad had surgery to remove a hematoma from his brain (he took a fall and blood started to pool in his head under the skull). My boss told me that, regardless of what the company's intranet site said, grandparents weren't considered family and I'd have to take vacation time to go. This was five years ago in January; I didn't hesitate to take two days of vacation to go to the hospital for the surgery.

A week later, my boss laid me off. I'm not sure if this episode had anything to do with my layoff, but I really didn't care. Jobs come and go. Spend the time with your family while you can. I've never even had any qualms about taking my children out of school to experience once-in-a-lifetime things with me; that time with my family is so precious, and I hear in your words that you are like me.

Go to Texas, spend as long as you need to spend, and if you have to get another job when you return, so be it. You're likely not going to spend your life in your current job anyway, are you? If not, let the pissed-off boss get pissed now instead of later.

You'll never regret going. If you don't go, you could regret it for the rest of your life.

(And hug your grandma for me, too. :-)
posted by lambchop1 at 8:59 PM on August 29, 2005

You have a real soul. God bless you.
posted by ruelle at 11:22 PM on August 29, 2005

Do it.

(a) if you don't, you'll regret not being there to help her
(b) if you do go, and your colleagues don't recognise what you're doing, then they're just sub-human
(c) your point (3) should never even cross your mind - perhaps apart from in the circumstance where you're a care-worker, and the only person looking after more than one person...

Desuetude raised a good point - you need to consider how you "sell" your actions to future potential employers (assuming you do quit), as they may have a concern that you're flighty, and may quit that job on a whim too... just a matter of spin, though.
posted by Chunder at 2:51 AM on August 30, 2005

Crap, late to the party as usual, but since I have a relevant personal experience I'll post and hope you see it.

3 years ago, my grandfather had terminal prostate cancer. This man was the sole positive influence while I was growing up, and the most important person in my life. He had been terminal for almost 2 years when I got a new job.

A month into the new job, he went downhill fast. He was in another town a 2 hour drive away, so I spent weekends up there with him and the rest of my family. The weekend before he died, he was in really bad shape. I called my boss but she said they really needed the project I was working on and please come down that Monday. I did.

You probably know how this ends. The boss got her glossy report, which made her look great to her bosses. I got a phone call saying he died at 2 pm Monday. My last words to Grandpa were "I'll see you next weekend, OK?" My entire family was up there except me.

My resentment towards my boss and the job was so bad I got fired within a month. If you are so important at your job they can't handle the upcoming projects without you, they will find a way to let you telecommute. And don't think for a second that management will lose a night's sleep if business goes downhill and they lay you off...all that matters to upper management is profit. (No offense, but I personally think real estate will be in the crapper here soon, and for a long time.)
posted by Sorcia at 7:12 PM on August 30, 2005 [1 favorite]

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