Existential crisis number 475

Last week I quit my job.

…. I say ‘quit’ but what I mean to say is I resigned (like the gigantic tit that I am) and have since been experiencing a weird week of awkward notice-period chit chat until I *actually* leave tomorrow.

The thing is – I am very grateful to the firm I have been working for for the past year. They plucked me from a faceless crowd of candidates and helped me keep the lights on during covid. Which was amazing.

However, I am also thrilled to be getting the fuck out.

I was overloaded, exhausted and I had a minor breakdown. Which is when I knew without a doubt it was time to tuck and roll.

So much has happened in the past three months – the flat move to Tunbridge Wells, financial purgatory due to the move, lockdown “ending” and then another one potentially due in October, acquiring a stalker, discovering that our neighbour is a passive aggressive old woman who wants to make our life as passive aggressively difficult as possible, my 90 year old Nanna becoming very sick – to the point the family are saying their goodbyes in a morbid round of familial “this is your life,” being in a weird “will they / wont they” perm hiring limbo with my current temp job… it’s been a lot.

Which is why I sort of just exploded. Despite the glory of escaping London for the greener pastures of Kent, I had a general feeling sadness, stress and ennui that I simply couldn’t shake.

Until one day a colleague called me on teams out of the blue… and I snapped.

You see, I have been working for a woman that literally no other EA wanted to work for. She fires up to two or three assistants a year. Long standing EA’s opt out of working with this person (lets call her Sally for the sake of argument) because she is determined to never be happy with anything.

Sally would expect nothing less than telephathy in her assistant and if there is a natural delay in actioning an item because, say, you were on lunch or treating yourself to a toilet break longer than two minutes – she would do it herself and say “I had to do —- myself. That’s *your* job. If I am having to do this myself… then what do I need you for?”

Threats against my job were commonplace and caused a tremendous amount of anxiety throughout last year. I tried everything to decompress from it. CBD, CBD tea, yoga (fuck yoga), going to bed early, joining a gym (I kid you not) – and singing “Move bitch” by Disturbing Tha Peace at the top of my lungs at my desk when I felt particularly depressed… but nothing worked for very long.

Which is why I shouldnt be surprised that I had a break down. I was a ticking time bomb.

Anyway – my colleague called me and I simply burst into tears. I just couldn’t contain myself. It was exactly like getting a case of the giggles, only the complete opposite. I bawled. I DRIBBLED. I was leaking from my eyeballs – and moreover I was scaring my colleague (who immediately thought that my Nanna must have passed away and I had yet to inform her).

Only no. I was simply overwhelmed by a crushing sense of inexplicable sadness that felt like it was sitting on my chest threatening to suffocate me.

Looking back, I think I had gathered up the stress of moving, the anxiety of work, familial concerns and suppressed it all to the point that it festered, fermented and exploded out of me like a jack-in-the-box. And all it took was a benign call with a colleague about nothing in particular.

The worst part was when one of the partners at the firm called to ask how I was and (despite my explaining that I have recently discovered that I have depression) spent the next forty minutes of the call trying to convince me to quit my job. Because – and I quote – “maybe I would be better working somewhere else.”

She called twice more, again convincing me I should quit and that this was an idea I came up with myself without any influence from her – without implicitly saying the words. Because that would mean a lawsuit.

As it so happened I had already been interviewing for other jobs for the past few months and had accepted an offer just before my tearful conversation had happened. So I had been cheering myself up by drafting and rewriting my resignation letter that week anyway with various levels of profanity and implied hand gestures.

What really bothered me this was that – once I actually handed in my notice the next day the same partner called me and asked POINT BLANK:

“Are you sure you want to hand in your notice? Are you sure this is the right decision? I can make this go away if you wanted me to”

Actually, I think I’m fine with it Brenda.

Tomorrow is my final day. I’m not sure how I feel just yet. I feel quite numb and guilty to be honest.

But also (in a way) fucking amazing.


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