Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Quitter.

I quit my job yesterday.

I was going to say I resigned yesterday. Resignation has an air of authority about it, like I’m relinquishing a throne. But considering I was an office-supply salesman and I only worked there two weeks, it would be absurd to say I resigned. Truth is I quit, cold turkey and without any notice. Took all of five minutes.

Funny thing: I’ve never considered myself a quitter despite a lifetime of behavior to the contrary. Take for example New York City. I’ve lived here for 4 months and I’ve had and lost 4 jobs. Only one of them was not of my own volition. I had a job as a food demonstrator (stopped answering my supervisor’s calls because I deemed the position too “beneath me” to give her that courtesy. I assume she eventually got the idea.) I had a job driving old people to their rec. hall on Long Island (they told me to call back and let them know my availability. I never called back.) I had my temp job in TriBeCa (I intended to ride this job for several years, but they made me leave after two months.) And I had a job door-to-door office supply selling which I did for 12 days, got quite good at it, then had somewhat of an epiphany in the middle of the day and realized I couldn’t do it a moment longer. So here I am in the middle of the day in Brooklyn, unemployed again.

And this is a tradition I’ve maintained through my life. I got my first job when I was 14, ten years ago this spring to be exact. Here is a short list of some of the jobs I’ve had over those ten years:

 Bus Boy
 General Store Cashier
 Janitor at an old person’s home.
 A summer cleaning up department store parking lots.
 Whale Watch deckhand
 After School tutor
 Substitute Teacher
 Yogurt Salesman
 Target
 Video Game Store Cashier
 Radio Station Road Crew
 Trail builder
 Americorps Corps Member
 Case Manager

The list goes on. And none of those jobs I was fired from. Many people spend a decade at a single job, but in less then ten years I managed to get sick of all those. A couple of them ended and I had to leave (Americorps) but for the most part I just decided that I had enough. I even walked out on Target, which has made me ineligible to work there ever again, and in the very-likely scenario Target takes over the world, yours truly is screwed.

So maybe I am a quitter. I do have very particular taste when in comes to my employment. Money has never been much of a motivating factor for me, so it’s hard for me to do anything just to make money. I’d rather do something I like for little to no pay then something I hate but could bankroll in. This probably explains why I could volunteer ad nauseum for two years but couldn’t sell office supplies for more then two weeks. But in New York, I have to make a lot of money to live here and pursue comedy at night. And if I’m looking for a job just to collect a check while I do comedy at night, door-to-door sales ain’t it.

Because I couldn’t do both. I tried to convince myself I could, but it was clear I couldn’t. Sure, I got to an open mic every now and then, but I wasn’t writing, I wasn’t practicing. There was one too many nights where I rushed out of work only to get to a mic and realize I had missed the signup. I didn’t move to New York for that. I was stressed. I was up late thinking about how to work up the nerve to cold-pitch somebody who wanted to murder me with their eyes. I virtually forgot about advancing my comedy career. So after a cold, rainy day in the South Bronx, where I was told to get a real job, told I should be ashamed of myself, told I should watch my back in this neighborhood because people in suits seem suspicious, I realized it wasn’t worth it. Not when I agreed with every word they said. It’s not that the grass was greener in the neighbor’s yard, it was that I felt like I didn’t have a fucking lawn.

I’ll get a job, I always do. I wager that it won’t even take me long. I’ll go into that interview and they’ll ask me where I see myself in five years. And I’ll look them straight in the eye and lie. I’ll give them some bullshit office line. Because telling them I plan on living in semi-squalor, skipping from job to job and still barking at the comedy moon doesn’t have the best ring to it.

At least not to an interviewer. To me it sounds just fine.

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