This week I quit my job.
I have three jobs. I appear to be a workaholic. In reality, I would be more than happy to have just one job but none of the three I have fits these requirements: full time and permanent. Notice that I don’t ask for fun, happy, fulfilling, high paying or high importance. I want a full-time permanent gig. Instead I have a collection that alone are not both of those things and together add up to more than time and a half per week.
I work for a company that ships stuff to Alaska and Hawaii. This job pays well and it’s full time. Someday we are hoping it will be permanent and maybe pay even better, in which case the job collecting can stop. Because I am afraid that they will decide at any point that they don’t need me, I am afraid to put all my work eggs in this one basket. Also, when I started, it WAS actually temporary, as in 3 months and done, so I definitely did not want to let go of the others. It has now extended with the aforementioned hope for permanence. We just don’t know when.
I work for a college. I am a secretary in the Adult Basic Education/English Second Language office. This job pays decently well and I can probably keep it forever. It is also close to home, which is nice. They are understanding of scheduling issues and they love me. Literally. My mom and my sister both work there with me and I have great friends I have made working there as well. The students are great; interesting, sweet and hard working (mostly.) Great job. Fulfilling. Absolutely no more than 16 hours per week. Ever. You can see why this one will not work as an only job.
I work(ed until this week) at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. This place is magic. Ask anyone who grew up in the Seattle/Tacoma area about it and answers generally sound like “Oh wow! I love that place! I haven’t been there in forever!” or “We go every time we have company in town!” Popular, fulfilling, related to the field I wanted to go in to when I graduated college (Environmental Studies, or Zookeeping if I’m dreaming big) and just an all around wonderful place to be. Only problems: seasonal/part-time (only so many hours per year) and over an hour from home. I worked there four days a week through the summer, and at least one day a week for the last 3+years. I love it. I will miss it. This is the one that I didn’t get the promotion from. This is the one I had to quit this week. I am still not at peace with this choice.
If you add up all the hours I work per week (40+16+8) you get 64. If you add the hours I spend driving to get there, it’s around 80. I work six days a week and have for the last two and a half years. I never have enough sleep, I have no social life, my house is a place I sleep and shower, and my family and friends are people I catch up with when I can. This is not sustainable. I can’t do it anymore. The plan all along was to keep three until one became full time and permanent. Unfortunately, I only made it until one made itself know as never available for permanent, or at least not until long after I have worked myself to death. Now I am down to two.
I am leaving in a few minutes to my last employee meeting at Trek. There will be people there who don’t know yet that I gave notice. There will be people who do. There will be lots of food and laughter and some good-hearted anger towards me for leaving. I’m OK with that. I will miss this place and these people immensely. It is rare for me to actually put my health above my desire to work hard and support others but I have to do this. I just don’t want to very bad.