I should have written this a long time ago but thought I should wait just in case he showed up outside my house with a boom box above his head and made this story a lot more interesting. But alas, he did not. I am officially free of this horrible man with his “how to text your way to sex” ebooks and “you’re too newly married to realize how amazing I am” comments.
Gah. I’m going to miss that guy so much. And by “miss” I mean “shop at a different Whole Foods so I don’t have to worry about running into him.” <— But who am I kidding, he hires 20 year old girls from Craigslist to do his grocery shopping, just in case they might also fall in love.
So here’s how the quitting went: I was a total coward about it. Wait, wait— let me reframe this. I was a total NINJA about it.
I waited until 8PM on a Thursday to sneak back into the office and pack up all my stuff. I didn’t want to brag about this before (I totally wanted to brag about this before) but I had a pretty kick-ass office. Nice desk, view of the mountains, a person to bring me coffee. But let me tell you: The exchange rate between “I feel fancy” and “I spend 50 hours a week trying not to murder this person” is not favorable for people with even the slightest desire to maintain their mental health.
So I packed everything up— the color coordinated lamp, IKEA paper holder, and my gold stapler with it’s matching paper clips— and peaced out before sending a 9PM two week notice in the form of one sentence. And then… I waited. I waited for some sort of angry phone call (he’d never been above calling at all hours of the night) or some sort of “don’t even bother coming in” response.
But there was nothing, which made it extra awkward— what if he was busy and didn’t see the email until we were already both at work tomorrow and my office looked all post-apocalyptic and he was like “we’ve been robbed, they stole your gold stapler” and I was like “I’m going to go to the bathroom while you catch up on e-mails.”
That didn’t happen. Instead, he sauntered into my office two hours late with bagels and a heartbroken expression.
“I can’t believe you’re leaving behind everything we worked so hard to build. I thought we were doing something amazing together.”
If he’d had a hat, it would have been in his hands, clutched to his chest. He asked why I’d already cleared my office out.
“I thought you might throw all my stuff into the parking lot and catch it on fire.”
His expression was pained, his voice low.
“After all this time, you still don’t know me at all.”
It went on like this for the rest of the day. I wanted to talk about transitions and he wanted to sit in my office with his feet up, sighing wistfully about all the things that could have been. He kept asking “why” I was leaving— I don’t know dude, maybe it has to do with all the times I told you how much of an asshole you are?
But he wasn’t being an asshole now, definitely not. He was on his best behavior. For at least two days.
Then it began:
“You’re really screwing me over. So much of what I’ve built was about how you like to work. And now you’re abandoning me.”
I am not abandoning you. Believe me, I would abandon you if I could— like, in an old mine on the side of a mountain.
“People in management are supposed to give more than two weeks notice. If you were being a professional about this, you would give me six months.”
Let me give you a different kind of six months notice: You’re probably going to hire and lose at least three more employees within that time frame.
I’m not even exaggerating. When he hired me, I thought I was his first employee. But it turned out he’d already had a “me” + an assistant who’d both quit after three months. In the eight months I worked for him we hired three people— all of whom quit before I did. That’s six employees in eleven months. I don’t know dude– you’re probably better at math than I am– but maybe this should tell you something.
As appealing as it was to leave him alone in a large unstaffed office building by himself, I went ahead and hired a new assistant before I left. She seemed pretty assertive (which my boss interpreted as meaning she was a lesbian) and her social media told me she was an outspoken feminist. This seemed like amazing retaliation for all the hell he put me through, though I had to advocate hard for her because he didn’t like the shoes she wore to her interview.
On my last day he tried to convince me to keep my laptop in case I changed my mind or wanted to keep working for him as a contractor. Using my savvy backpacker skills, I pretended like I was in a 3rd world market and waved my hands while backing away slowly like we had a language barrier.
“You’ll regret this ten years from now,” he said.
I don’t know dude, the only thing I regret so far is that I can’t keep using my amazingly photoshopped business cards. At least I’m improving my ARTB (Average Response Time To Bullshit) because I only stayed in this job for 8 months– instead of four years. And no one accused me of flashing them before I left.
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