It’s true–we’re over. I broke up and I’m not looking back. Like most abusive relationships, it took me way too long to get out. Twenty years to be exact. But this week was the final straw. Things got so bad that I’m having tee shirts printed which read, “Life’s too short to be crying in a conference room”.
But wait you say, hasn’t Corporate America supported you for all these years? Put food on your table? A roof over your head? A car in your driveway? To which I must quote my dear friend by answering, “I’d rather eat just one meal a day for the rest of my life than sit in a drab office another day”. And yes, I am fully aware just how privileged I am to be able to quit. My sacrifices will be small compared to most. I understand that it’s not possible for everyone. But what is possible, is for us to acknowledge how we’re treated by the companies we work for and try to improve it.
Here’s a list of reasons why I broke it off (in no particular order):
- Sexism/Boys Club/Bro-Culture/Golf
- Wage gap
- Bosses taking credit for my work. Literally hours and weeks and months of work. Then presenting it as their own on a call with 100 people dialed in and not one mention of my name. While I’m sitting right there.
- No respect for boundaries (curse you smartphones!)
- Feeling like I should be thankful for a job offer and being literally scolded for asking for a higher wage, “Are you negotiating with me???? Look, do you want this job or not?”
- Lifeless, colorless, soul sucking, cubicles with no windows and recycled air.
- Sitting for hours straight, forgetting to pee or eat all day
- Being a full-fucking-grown adult yet asking “can I go to lunch?”, “can I go home now?” “can I just pop into the bathroom?”
- Performance reviews. UGH! Is there anything worse than having a boss tell you your worth? Literally–by way of bonus, and figuratively–by listing off your successes and misses for the year. Kill me now. I’ve had both good and bad reviews in my career, and they both suck. Good ones reward you with a new title and money, but punish you with a disproportionate increase in responsibilities and a false sense of security. A bad one crushes your confidence and will to live.
- Team building activities, a.k.a forced fun
- Sneaking in when I’m late and sneaking out when I’m leaving early. Like a freaking criminal. SMDH!
- Not giving the slightest shit about increasing profits, selling more cars, or clothes, or mutual funds, or greeting cards. But having to pretend 8 hours a day that I do.
- Business jargon/acronyms/lingo/industry-speak…honestly it’s all absurd.
- Inflated egos and unrealistic sense of importance. I’m sorry, but unless you are a doctor, pilot, firefighter, police officer, or anyone who FOR REAL works with life and death, sit the hell down and chill the fuck out. There’s no such thing as a “marketing emergency”. I promise you.
- Missing time with kids and husband and friends. Missing sunny days. Missing the beach. Missing traveling. Missing LIFE outside of 4 walls.
Now you’re probably thinking, damn girl, what took you so long to quit? You sound like you’ve had a fucking miserable work life. The short answer is I was afraid to quit. The long answer is because working in Corporate America is just what I did. It’s what I went to college for. It’s what 99% of my friends do. It’s the first thing you get asked at a party, “so what do you do?” It was a huge part of my identity. Who am I if not a marketing manager? And I couldn’t wrap my head around quitting without having solidified what happens next. Aren’t we supposed to have a plan in life? Isn’t that what responsible grown-ups do? Well my friends, I took a leap of faith yesterday with no new plans. I quit because it was time. I have outgrown Corporate America. I feel brave and anxious and terrified and exhilarated. I’ll be writing a lot more, that much I know. So stay tuned. Until then, remember my wise words, “Life’s too short to be crying in a conference room”.