It has been a long time since I quit a job. Too long.
When I worked for Annette, I must have quit a half-dozen times. She has a folder of those emails. At that point, I had bought the house in Metamuville and was ready to leave Microsoft. Every irritation, every asshole, every utterance from marketing twinkies was instantly The Big One. "I've fucking had it," I would write. "I'm done. Set a date." And then Annette would guilt me into staying so that I could quit again another day.
Over five years ago, I started a gig as a consultant. They piled work on me until Amy came on board to help. The business continued to swell until one year, we employed some 23 people. For a company run off servers in my bedroom closest, it was massive. I found myself appointing leads, attending meetings with platitude-regurgitating executives, and getting farther and farther from contributing anything meaningful. If you've ever worked with me, you can guess how unhappy I was.
But this time was much, much worse. Friends depended on me. Their mortgages and children depended on me. Specifically, they depended on me not quitting. I was trapped there for years. Amy proved invaluable counsel. "I need you to talk me down from a tree," I would tell her in a rage, and then she would calmly talk me through whatever was pissing me off that minute. It worked for everyone for a while.
And then "everyone" slowly drifted away as work slowed down, until it was just me, Amy, and an intermittent smattering of misfits. And now Amy's leaving, and I'm back to where I was in 2010. I knew it was coming, but still, when I heard, I was inconsolable. I don't know how to do her job. And I sure don't know how to talk myself out of a tree. What will I ever do without Amy?
I'll fucking quit, is what I'll do!
Free of Amy's mitigating influence, I am now in a three-point stance, poised to quit. This is the role I was born to play. The decision has been made; I'm just waiting for a suitably satisfying provocation. You know, for maximum anecdotage. Stay tuned.