Wedding Woes

Write it out, but don't send it.

Dear Prudence,

I am miserable in my current job. I was lied to about the details of the position, and while the workload is fine (even somewhat enjoyable), the company culture is insidious and cutthroat. It’s a tech startup, and the staff insist on a cheery “We’re all family here!” vibe. These people are not my family—we work together! Trying to force that dynamic feels insincere. Social events are framed as fun and optional but are really mandatory. I’ve been told to work Sundays and stay until 8 or 9 at night, even though I can get my work done during business hours, because it “shows dedication.” I was told in plain language that it is unacceptable for me to have a life outside of work and that the concept of a work-life balance was not something that would fly here.

I plan to quit as soon as I have enough money saved up for a safety net. Often I dream of writing a well-worded but harsh letter to my small team of co-workers letting them know what an alienating and crushing experience I had here. This job has convinced me I never want to work in this field again, and I plan on pursuing a career in education. Would emailing this letter and then cutting off contact come back to bite me in the ass? I feel like they deserve to know and understand how much emotional energy I’ve expended on top of my actual work, but I’m not sure if I’m correct or if this is just pseudo-righteous daydreaming.

—Leaving in a Blaze of Glory

Re: Write it out, but don't send it.

  • While it might feel good to write that letter, it will feel better to have a job, references, and a professional network. Quitting in a blaze of glory has zero upside and huge downsides. 
    STARMOON44OliveOilsMombanana468ahoywedding
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    If she hates jobs where you work until 9, have no work life balance and despise the idea of being close with your coworkers, she’s going to hate being a teacher.
    This was my thought. Does LW have a clue what it's like to work in education?
    kimmiinthemittencharlotte989875MesmrEweahoywedding
  • Definitely write it out, but don't send it.

    I feel for LW here, more so because I had 2 previous jobs I thought I would love then didn't. It was mostly the boss. {I could get into an entire monologue but I won't}
    Both places I ended up writing a letter, but never sent it. It helps more than you'd expect.
    short+sassy
  • DH's last job was horrific, as you all know.  He definitely had his thoughts about leaving in a 'blaze of glory', but he didn't because he's an adult and knows it's a terrible idea.  But the brainstorming sessions were fun. 
    MissKittyDangerOliveOilsMomshort+sassy
  • edited March 2018
    This is such an opportunity...I wish LW could see the forest among the trees.

    If LW can swing the long hours and smile at "optional" functions, fucking do it. Get in with the upper management. Be one of them. It's a small organization - climb the ladder by building relationships and doing what they value. Realize this is a tiny blip in the history of your career and, if you can excel, you'll bolster your title and your baseline salary....so when you DO quit (and it will feel so, so good), your new, better, real company will have to match it. 

    Write the I-will-never-send-this letter if it helps you cope, but smile and play the game until you hand them your "regretful" resignation notice.
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    kimmiinthemittencharlotte989875
  • mrsconn23 said:
    DH's last job was horrific, as you all know.  He definitely had his thoughts about leaving in a 'blaze of glory', but he didn't because he's an adult and knows it's a terrible idea.  But the brainstorming sessions were fun. 
    your H should have desk flipped with all the crap he dealt with tbh

    mrsconn23VarunaTT
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    If she hates jobs where you work until 9, have no work life balance and despise the idea of being close with your coworkers, she’s going to hate being a teacher.
    This was my thought. Does LW have a clue what it's like to work in education?



    I worked in software for 15 years and then moved into teaching, so I can appreciate what LW is going through.  

    The last job I had, I was working 16 hour days, 7 days a week for a month.  It was brutal and greatly affected my health.  It was a virtual job, so I had to tell my boss when I'd go to church so she knew not to expect me to answer my phone during Mass (at least they had some boundaries).

    I'm very fortunate that I'm at a school where I like the fellow teachers.  It's not a given, though.  I know plenty of teachers who have horrible coworkers.  We have social events, but there has only been one mandatory one (implicit or explicit), which was our Christmas party.  We're having a happy hour next week because one of the teachers plays in a Beatles cover band, so we're having an unofficial field trip to go watch his band.  I'm actually looking forward to it!

    But boundaries are your friend.  I had a student email me last night at 11 pm asking for help on homework.  I woke up, saw the email, and laughed.  They know that I rarely answer emails after I leave school and not to expect anything.  The only one I even touched last night was one saying that she was going to make up a quiz during lunch.  NBD.    


    Re: the letter, this reminds me of my mom.  My sister had a bad breakup and my mom was really upset by it (the whole situation was shitty).  She was angry and yelling that she had no idea how this guy's mother could raise a son who would treat women this way.  I told my mom that it may help to write a letter to get her emotions out and then delete it.  Later that night, she called me.  "I wrote an email to his mom.  But I HAD to hit send to feel like I got it off my chest.  So I sent it to you."  It was entertaining reading the email she wrote to his mom (pissed is an understatement).  Now I want to search my Gmail to see if I still have it ......

    OliveOilsMomcharlotte989875short+sassyahoywedding
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    LW needs to write her Blaze of Glory letter.  But never send it.  However, I feel that when she does leave and they ask her why, she should be honest.  She should say that upon hiring, she was promised x, y, and z.  Then once she started work quickly realized that none of that was the actual work place practice. But she needs to do it in a more factual manner than a F-U manner.

    The latter allows LW to officially say her peace to the employer without burning bridges.

    charlotte989875ernursej
  • She should write her Blaze of Glory letter (loving that phrase, lol).  But, honestly, I would use it as a base to give a substantially more tempered and professional exit interview and/or reason why she is leaving.  Like, "I've really appreciated learning/being a part of X,Y,Z.  But, as much as I've enjoyed many aspects of my position, I need more of a work/life balance then the 80+ hour/7 days/week that is expected here."

    I've heard horror stories like this about Enterprise RentACar.  They are one of the biggest hirers of new college graduates.  And you need to be that young and fresh-faced for the brutal schedule they expect, lol.  Put in an 11-12 hour day, 6 days/week, and then expected to socialize with your coworkers for a few hours at Happy Hours/bars/restaurants.  That last part doesn't need to be every night, but it needs to be most nights if you want to be promoted. 

    Oh goodness, this letter is taking me back!  One of my first jobs out of college was being an asst. mgr. at a Footaction store (oh yeah, I'm naming names).  It was a salaried position, but only $24K/year, plus commissions (very minor).  Which, even 15 years ago, was on the low side for someone with a degree.  But I was okay with that to get some managerial experience as long as I wasn't normally expected to work more than 40 hours/week.  I very SPECIFICALLY asked this question in my interview.  I even phrased it something like, "Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely not a clock watcher (cue charming smile).  But I do want to make sure that the hours required are only around 40 hours/week.  Boss:  Absolutely!  I also asked if it was possible to have most Sundays off, though I wouldn't mind working an occasional one during busy seasons like before the school year starts.  Absolutely again!

    My very first day, I walked over to see my schedule for the week.  55 hours and I was working Sunday.  I spoke to the store manager (same person who interviewed me) about it.  I'll spare you all the b.s. excuses and "oh, but I meants".  It took every fiber of my being to not walk right out the door, then and there.  But I really couldn't afford to.  However, in my scarce spare time, I immediately went right back to job hunting.

    A month later, I found a new position and gave them notice.  The look on the manager's face was priceless.  I waited for him to ask me why and he did not disappoint.  Other than not raising my voice or using an angry tone, I did not hold back.  I told him (paraphrase), "I found a much better job.  I've been very unhappy here since the day I started.  In our interview, you led me to believe this was a 40-hour/week job.  Obviously it is not, despite the fairly low salary.  In fact, I actually calculated out what I would have been paid if I was an hourly worker getting time and a half.  You all barely met the minimum wage requirement."

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    MesmrEwe
  • If she hates jobs where you work until 9, have no work life balance and despise the idea of being close with your coworkers, she’s going to hate being a teacher.
    This was my thought. Does LW have a clue what it's like to work in education?
    Bingo!  The area of education I was originally starting college for was a "your life-work balance is your work and other teachers are going to use you as their example for at least they don't work your hours and never complain about their pay level because you're both being paid the same.." department (it was surprisingly consulting for a few teachers that the dealing with administration paperwork that got me out of that field)...  This is one of those "know thy self" and if LW is writing off the entire industry based on one company, they aren't seeing the forest through the trees and equally won't see it until they get into the other field with the same work/life parameters if they change fields.  It's like someone dating "the same wo/man" over and over and not recognizing the pattern!  

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  • My H has spent his career in the IT field.  I don't think he ever had a job that bad.  But every once in awhile, I'll read an article or see something on tv about amazing perks companies have like: on-staff masseuse, coffee cart with barista, nap rooms, video game rooms, etc.  I'll be so jealous and "man, why can't my workplace be like that."  And my H will give me a side-eye and tell me, "Because those are tech companies.  And they don't let their employees leave, lol."
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    holyguacamole79MesmrEwe
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