I’ve resigned as a taxi driver. After 14-ish years, I didn’t ask for a long leave of absence, I quit.
Cooperatives are sometimes wonderful, sometimes broken, and sometimes both. One characteristic of the cooperative business model is that they take forever to make decisions because everyone tends to be on equal footing and everyone wants a say because they have a right to be part of the decision making process. When a cooperative cab company- which is full of alpha personalities (it’s almost a requirement to be successful as a cab driver)- is faced with a plague of a competitor, not only does our slow and deliberate business model get swept away in the market place but our members get really fucking cranky about it. I’m no exception.
We have so many members who care so much. Mostly alpha people, all caring an almost unhealthy amount about the company we’re all working for. With so many people, we have a wide array of opinions about everything and we’re not very good at being civil after the stresses of carting around drunks and dealing with the loss of wages to companies like Uber and Lyft, who gorilla-marketed their way illegally into our share.
Someone yesterday in our private business Facebook group threw out a thoughtless passive-aggressive “request” for our IT department. Having been in the IT department for almost 8 months, I got incredibly defensive and snarked hard at him. Someone else came to his defense, saying snarking back isn’t good for morale and I might have been the straw to break the camel’s back and make him quit. I rolled my eyes, thinking why was this man worth more than me? Why does he get to throw out regular, flippant demands on people and we can’t say, “enough.” Why is it that it’s my snark making him quit when he’s the one who has repeatedly been the first to offend, why isn’t anyone concerned that *I* might quit because of *HIS* remarks?
Because I’ve already accepted a full time job in a NOC, maybe. I’ve only got 1 scheduled driving shift per week to help me pay for the full-time school I’m also attending, making me look like I’m out the door already. I’ve got a third job, too, at the college’s help desk. There’s so much stress eating away at me that my digestion has been effected for over two weeks.
And there it was. Why don’t I quit? It would put aside a sizable chunk of stress that I didn’t need and wasn’t seriously vested in any longer. It would be better for my physical and mental health to not work six days a week and I could extract myself from so much work place friction. Money might be a little tighter, but I would get more sleep and have the energy to be gentle with myself and others.
This job has helped me grow in glorious ways, but it’s also stunted me horrendously. I’ve become a strong woman who knows her boundaries and how to defend them subtly and overtly. I can see bullshit from a mile away when before I was blind to it. I’ve gained a world of experience with human nature. I’ve lost nearly all of my empathy and patience. I have walls for miles. These last things are probably the root of why I can’t hold my tongue when I feel like someone is being unreasonable and thoughtless in a Facebook group. I’m a bit anxious that this is the reason long-time friends/coworkers haven’t kept in touch with me the past couple years. I’ve become too caustic to tolerate.
Time to focus on a gentler career that doesn’t carry the weight of baggage from 14 years working at the same company alongside the consistent undercurrent of (mostly) low-grade sexual harassment from passengers.
I’ll keep this blog up for a couple-few years, and maybe even update it again with dating bloopers. Maybe they’ll just be about how hard it is not to antagonize my dates and how judge-y my thoughts are.