I was 23, on my way to becoming 24. It was my first job, and I was about 6 months into it.
9.30 pm at night, and I was still in the office processing a stack of paperwork for new engineering samples on my desk.
I was alone in a big office full of office tables, with the exception of one of our engineering managers who was still at work running some tests in the production area next door. He came in and out of our large office a few times. Other than his desk, the lights were only on above my own, and the rest of the cubicles were empty.
It had already been a long day.
I was a fresh graduate and I was doing whatever tasks that came with the job I had, big or small. My supervisor was on maternity leave and I was holding the fort down at work.
At that moment I was stuck in the midst of a task, and I called her out of desperation to inquire about what to do next.
Thankfully, she answered me.
After clarifying work matters, she asked me how I was doing.
Clink. I started to crack and my gates opened up.
I started to release my frustrations, and the next thing I know, I started tearing up, and then I told her that I will quit my job.
I ranted and ranted about how things had been and the problems I faced at work, and I said I was going to give my letter of resignation to our superior tomorrow.
The engineering manager was back in the office at this point, and he was 8 tables ahead of mine, but I didn’t care what he thought about my conversations or about me quitting.
I wanted to release my bottled-up stress and he could hear all about it for all I cared.
After 20 minutes on the phone, we ended the call, and I hastily shut down my computer, grabbed my things, and left the office at 10 pm. I had had enough for the day.
I drove my old car to the nearest KFC restaurant (known in the past as Kentucky Fried Chicken), went in and bought a 3-piece fried chicken set, coke, and fries, and drove home to have my late dinner. All the while, still holding my tears in.
I was pretty resolute by now in my decision to quit.
Once home, I consumed my dinner amidst tears rolling down my cheeks. It was too late now to even see my boyfriend. I went about my night alone in my rented room.
I then took a long shower, dried off, and laid in bed while listening to John Mayer’s ‘Who Says‘ and tried to relax.
The lyrics of the song went like this.
“Who says I can’t get stoned
Turn off the lights and the telephone
Me in my house alone
Who says I can’t get stoned
Who says I can’t be free
From all of the things that I used to be
Rewrite my history
Who says I can’t be free”
Song and lyrics by John Mayer
I fell asleep shortly after that.
The next morning, I woke up fresh, washed up, and went to work as usual.
I didn’t quit my job.
In fact, I stayed on for another 2 years and worked my butt off there, learning about the job as much as I could until a better offer came along from another company that headhunted me.
I was glad I didn’t quit because the credentials and experience I received while working at that first job were what opened the doors to me getting into other more established companies after that.
I never thought of quitting my job again ever since that night.
Even up to today.
It was a moment in time that I was pushed to the edge.
But after food, rest and reflection, I managed to calm myself down and reset my head, and my energy reserve.
I guess as with a lot of things in life, our feelings and emotions may get hot and high due to the difficult situation we were in at that moment, but that does not mean we need to be impulsive and take the nearest, easiest exit out.
Because that may not be the best decision for you, and big decisions like this are better to be reconsidered once you are calm and are feeling less prone to pull the plug on things in the heat of the moment.
Looking back at this time, I felt myself to be really dramatic.
I never thought I would cry while eating tasty crunchy fried chicken. But I am an emotionally driven person, the only difference is I have better reign and control over my emotions now, due to experience and motherhood.
I hope this short sharing was at the very least entertaining, and maybe it gives a small piece of advice to those who are starting out at work and are trying to make it to a year or more at their current job, if that is what you need to do.
Things can change over time, and keep in mind that for most people, your current job is not your only option. So persevere on as long as needed and when the time is ripe, look into other work options.
Maybe by then, you might have had enough work experience under your belt to get into the other companies and have a wider pool of jobs that you are now better qualified to apply into.