That’s right. I’m not allowed to say that I’m busy. Not even to head office.
(Amusing parenthetical anecdote:
So, on Friday of my play - when I have the day off - the regional manager sends out a memo. We're not allowed to use the word "busy" anymore. So Monday comes. I'm sick as a dog, and we get EIGHTEEN SETUPS in. Our previous record is 11, and anything over 6 is a heavy, heavy day. We get a request to do something that can wait until Wednesday, and I tell the customer care person relaying the request that there's no way we can do it today.
My boss overhears me, and the following conversation happens:
"By the way, we're not supposed to say we're busy anymore. [Regional Manager] wrote a memo, I'll show it to you later."
"Okay, then how am I supposed to deal with --"
"Can I see the memo? If I'm supposed to be restricting --"
"Okay, but then how am I supposed to --"
"If you want, you can call [Human Resources] and ask if you can say the word "busy".")
So when the crisis initially sprung, I was very much in a mode of “my options are quit or get fired”. This week, as regional middle management started to intervene, it became clear that that probably wasn’t the case. But the initial spur of panic had given me the impetus to review our finances and discover that thanks to Kit’s raise, our gap in expenses would be relatively small and that we could afford to have me quit.
It took some hard thinking – was this really something I wanted to do? But when I looked at the effects that my job has been having on my home life, on my health, on my stress levels, there was no question. Especially when I considered the fact that due to understaffing, the stress was only going to get worse – not better!
There wasn’t any recrimination, which I was half-expecting, and there’s been no attempt at negotiation – which is a relief.
It’s been scary, though, quitting with no position lined up. I’m trying to use nepotism, but I haven’t heard anything yet and the economy is always a factor. I just wrapped up a freelance job, which along with some evening hours I’ll be picking up at a theater box office will cover the bills for March and mean that I can stay home to concentrate on job searching, at least for a month, who knows if I will have found something by April?
It’s hard to remember that I’m doing the right thing. Giving up a secure job is a scary, scary thing. But I have hope that this time I’ll be able to find a job that doesn’t slowly suck the life out of me.