Sunday, March 25, 2007

How do I quit a job?

It has always been a little embarrassing for me to know that I have never had to tell a boss I quit a job because I was tired of it or didn't like it anymore or was sick of the people and the policies and the work itself and I wanted to move on....I have quit all my jobs for all of these reasons but that's not what I had to tell them...because I am a sneaky thing. What I said was,

"I really love it here but I'm moving. I'll miss you all!"
"I'm GETTING MARRIED!! HURRAY FOR ME! But, I'll miss you all!"
"I'm having a baby and we're moving! I will miss you all!"
"I'm moving....I'm moving...I'm having another baby..."

Starting in 1980 right through 2002. It's an impressive string of lies, really.
Never what I imagine is an uncomfortable yet empowering "I resign" moment in my past...I just shed a few tears, enjoyed my goodbye parties and accepted the gifts and warm wishes of people with whom I worked who felt sad for me because I was being uprooted. Mentally, however, I'm zippity-doo-dahing and clicking my heels together in a victory jump about getting out of whatever situation has grown tiresome, irritating or limiting in some way. I do it every five years just about and it's come due...only no more babies, no more moves, no more excuses. And I don't want to get sick or divorced or anything unpleasant that I haven't tried yet. I am stuck and I am frantic.

At 43 years old, I finally have to quit a job and tell them the truth.
"I don't like being a school nurse. It's making me crazy. Thanks for the opportunities you have given me, and I hope you will consider writing me a nice letter of recommendation some day. Have a great summer. I won't miss you or the job."

I do admire my colleagues who have stayed with it over the years, and find accomplishment in taking kids to the dentist or getting kids put on Ritalin. I complain constantly to anyone who stands still for a moment within earshot of me. I can't stand the sunny, naive dispositions of teachers who think things like breakfast and eyeglasses and alarm clocks are the keys to success even in families where poverty, drugs, neglect and violence are part of their everyday life. And my favorite? All kids are smart! What the hell is that?

The problem is, I am gonna have to just quit...walk into my boss' office and submit my resignation. She's going to be surprised...a little or a lot, I am not sure. But, whether she asks me why I am leaving or she says nothing, I am going to immediately begin to blather about why I can't take it anymore, and how I have never really been happy and all that's wrong with the public school system and society and families are falling apart....and it's all going to be a disastrous, blistering mess of a "quit". I need to man up. I need to make no apologies. I can do this.