Friday, June 06, 2014

I Resign.

Today, I wrote the following letter, put it on letterhead, and sent it to Human Resources, copying my bosses: 


And with that, it is over.  I resign.  Thank you. Sincerely.

I've resigned positions before (as you all well know, since I have blogged about it here).  But this time it's different.  I am not leaving this job in order to go to another job like it.

I'm leaving this job.  The whole job.  All of it.  Full stop.

I am done with working in Business Affairs, in Legal Affairs, in law offices, answering other people's phones, minding other people's Outlook calendars, filing other people's paperwork.  As far as full-time, permanent employment goes, I'm done working for lawyers who are working as lawyers. 

I quit.

I'm a writer.  I write.

I have a couple of freelance jobs lined up, but they won't be paying much.  I'll take my final check, put it in the bank, be all miserly about spending it, and try and crank out the scripts that have been eking horribly toward their conclusions as I try and pluck what little energy and willpower I have left into a sentence here, a slugline there, a bit of action in the corner to your left.

I have been advising young artists lately NOT to get "fallback" jobs.  I don't mean, don't wait tables.  We don't want any truly starving artists here.   I mean, don't get too comfy in your fallback job.  One of the reasons waiting tables is so ideal, aside from the flexibility of hours, is that the job is, by most accounts, so wretched and offers such meager compensation, the idea of turning into a career would never occur to most people. 

But my fallback career offered a modicum of security and comfort that lulled me for years.  I made really good money, had full benefits, worked -- at least for 13 of the 22 years I've done it -- in a place that felt (and still feels in many ways) like home, amongst friends who are still my friends today.  Even in this job, where I've only worked for a year, I have made friends that I will take with me.

But if I get too comfortable here, I will never leave.  And I cannot afford to never leave.

I wanted to be an actress.  I wanted to be a singer.  And I was good -- very good -- at both.  But I waited too long to take the leap and throw myself into those jobs, and now those opportunities have passed me by.

I cannot throw another gift away because it's reached its "sell by" date.

It's crazy for me to do this right now - to leave a job that pays well, that offers benefits, that is in the industry of my choosing -- to risk being un- or under-employed again.  In a moment of hyperbole, I mentioned to someone that I'd rather sleep in my car than continue doing what I'm doing much longer.  He pointed out that, as a grandmother, this would be inappropriate.  He has a point. And I drive a clown car.  Even as short as I am, it would make for less than lush accommodations. 

Still, in spite of the risks, in spite of the uncertainty, it feels crazier not to.

It feels like the time is now. Or never.

And "never" seems like a place too dark and dense to contemplate.

So, "now" it is.  I quit.  I resign.  I have no idea what's going to happen. I guess, if I stayed here, I'd still have no idea what was going to happen.  At least now, there's a possibility of something better.  And really, isn't that what it's all about?


  1. I dunno girl. I have so many friends who are writers who had successful fall back jobs IN WRITING. For newspapers. Now they can't get a job nor can they get published. There is a glut of writers. There are not a whole lot of well paying jobs with benefits.

  2. I'll take that chance. I'd rather be dead than continue hating what I do every day.

  3. I get it. But being dead isn't as much of a possibility as being a burden on our kids, etc. I'd rather die than be THAT, I guess.

  4. Burdens come in all shapes and sizes, and there are plenty of gainfully employed folks who qualify as such. Miserably unhappy people whose misery loves company can be as big a burden as a happy person with fewer resources.

    If I had my druthers... I "druther" be a happy burden than a miserable cussed person with dental benefits.

  5. This is one of the most glorious things I've read in a long while. You've written your own emancipation proclamation! You rock, lady. Write on. :)


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