I have been in a habit of quitting jobs. Not many jobs, just a couple of jobs in the last year, but enough jobs that I have called to question whether I hate money, repel security or am just plain going crazy.
As I get older, things become clear to me that I never even knew were in question. I guess a few walks around the block will force familiarity with each slab of sidewalk and the most hidden tree.
I have only been fired once. As a telemarketer selling newspaper submissions. I was terrible at it and it was a brutal slog, 6 hours straight combing through a phone book and hearing the most amazing tactics and tellings as to why I should fuck right off.
“Hi, I am calling from The Daily Planet*. Can I speak to Mr. Ryan?” “He’s dead.” “Alright then, have a great day.”
“Hi, I am calling from The Daily Planet*. Can I speak to Mrs. Snow?” “This is she…” “I am calling about a new subscription offer…” “I am not interested… I am blind.” “Understandable. Good day.”
“Hi, I am calling from The Daily Planet*. Can I speak to Mr. Snelgrove?” “What are you wearing?” “Goodnight Sir, Thank You for your time.”
The team leader would leave a granola bar on each of our desks, and explained that we were able to have the granola bar if we made two sales. As a treat. I came in one morning and felt a little cloudy from 5 cent draught night at Turkey Joes. And I had yet to make a sale. My decision to eat the granola bar without said sales provided me with a closed door meeting and a warning.
The next day, I was on the phone with a gentleman who said he would love to have the paper delivered, but lived on the third floor of a building and was too old to make the trek downstairs each morning to claim his paper. I asked my team leader if there was a solution and she told me to assure him that our delivery people would bring it right to the door. He was ecstatic and ordered a subscription.
At smoke break, a coworker told me that it was a lie. I marched in and told the team leader that I thought that these claims were wrong. I was fired before the door could shut. And I took a granola bar for the road on my way out.
Fired after only two weeks.
I try to remind myself of how sad I was on the bus ride home that night. In the dark on the Metrobus. The loser cruiser, as some downtown poets would say. I was broke and embarrassed that I was fired. Now I am patting my back that I lasted that long and didn’t quit.
I go on job interviews every week. Each audition can often feel like that. I spent the day today waiting for the phone to ring inviting me to play a character on a TV show that doesn’t even have a name.
And I really want the part. It’s a great part.
I am working a double tomorrow at the restaurant I quit last year. I’ve been working there at least once a week since I quit, picking up shifts here and there. Looking back, I don’t even really know why I quit. Great owners, security, money for cool things like rent and eating… I was just tired.
I think I just needed to fire myself to prove to myself that it’s okay to be a little crazy.
*In order to protect the identity of my past employer, I have chosen to refer to the paper as ‘The Daily Planet’, in homage to my crush of 1996, Dean Cain. I used to record each episode of ‘Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman’ on VHS, rewinding to scenes of Lois and Clark stewing in romantic tension. My crush was on Clark, not Superman. It is important to note that.