I am inspired to chase my dreams by a series that I watched; a woman was a day away from getting evicted, then she took a leap of faith and gained an empire.
I was inspired to be humble and appreciative of life, as I drove past a woman sitting over a fresh grave.
I am inspired to be something, every time I open my eyes in the morning…
BUT WHY ISN’T IT HAPPENING FOR ME ALREADY?
I have the ambition, I have the determination; hell, I even have the fear. But I have been missing patience in every aspect of my life. From my relationship with God and my parents, to my relationship with my man. I have been looking up and waiting for my moment to fall into my lap, waiting for someone to give me an opportunity to prove myself to them. But maybe I was never meant to prove myself to anyone else. After all, you can’t force people to like you. You can’t measure the amount of success you’ve achieved by looking at someone else’s standards. Maybe the success story is in the making of the woman. Perhaps this is my making, my follow up on a promise I made to myself as a young girl: to be truly happy.
And with that, here’s why I quit my job.
I promised myself long before I stepped foot into this particular restaurant, that if I got the job, it would be the absolute last time I ever dawned an apron and spec pens. The last time I would be called “kiddo” by mediocre people who could barely be considered my elders. This would be my last stop before I made it big, I just knew it.
I was wrong. My bliss lasted almost eight enjoyable months, before mediocrity and insecurity ruined great work relationships.
My location was run by two very temperamental white women, almost middle aged with something to prove. So naturally, any friction would be met with hostility – as it always was in that place. Now for the sake of integrity, I’ll always be honest with you all. I was slightly hungover this particular shift, due in part to a birthday celebration my coworkers had for me the night before. I still woke up the next morning feeling fine. I got dressed, and arrived on time for my 10 a.m shift. Noon rolls around and the pace picks up, but at this point, my stomach is doing somersaults. I’m throwing up now, and have done so at least 8 times. I tell management I need to leave, it was extremely obvious to my coworkers and tables that I was ill.
Next day, I’m on their shit list and inconveniently working a double. Which is fine, totally expected it – knowing their power trippy nature. So I’m given the literal worst section in the place for the lunch shift, even though I’m one of the best servers there. I suffer through it, until I’m given that section again for dinner shift. Not Ok for numerous reasons, but let’s start with the fact that sections are supposed to rotate. You do not bring me in on an opening double, and intentionally screw my money over to “punish me”. So I say something to J-face (floor manager), and she immediately says I can sit down and have a conversation with her if I want to address the issue. Negative. If something was going to be said to me about the incident, it should’ve been addressed when I arrived that morning. Including any consequences that were to be carried out.
She apparently didn’t take my rejection well. She then proceeds to involve the general manager, who kicks my coworker out of booth we’re having lunch in, so they can talk to me. They tell me that they don’t like my attitude, I’m spoiled, and that it was my own fault for getting drunk so they had no sympathy. Now I can be a smug little thing, especially because I’m not very easily intimidated by harsh words – high school prepared me for mean girls. But I suppose my smirk bothered the duo more than they’ll ever admit, and the disrespect began.
I was told that I was “going to answer callbacks, going to have a positive attitude, and going to do it all with a smile on my face”, all of which is literally my job description. So if I’m already required to do these things, why was she talking down to me? I met this hostility with another smug glance, I don’t take her tone well.
The GM decides it is then necessary to say “You’re going to fix your attitude. Yeah? Because if not, I will replace you. You are replaceable.” She tacks a condescending laugh onto the end of that, and proceeds to walk away.
Now if you’re anything like myself, you would’ve stood up and walked right out the door. But God tells me to stay still, my limbs are honestly quite frozen. And I am quiet for two reasons: first because I can’t believe she actually said that to me, and secondly because I know once I sway my spirit in a direction, there’s no stopping the current from following.
I have known disrespect and hurt for some time now, and decided too long ago that people can only do what you allow. In that moment, with my coworker there for comfort and my heart heavy with hurt, all I could think about was just how right she was. I was replaceable. I had played myself, and there was no one I could blame for allowing myself to get comfortable. Every word my mother had ever uttered about how the ‘real world’ would treat me came rushing back, and I knew in that instance that I could not and would not accept that. I did not have to be treated that way, in my mind I am special. I am set apart for a higher purpose, even if I don’t know what it is just yet.
I did not have to stay stuck in a role that took away from Ashley, and what Ashley Knows to be true. People are what make everything in life worth doing or having, and no one is replaceable. Not even the frequently forgotten small times workers, such as myself. So every twenty-something that will ever come across this, whether you’re getting it together or already have it; I don’t care how corny it sounds: YOU ARE LIFE. YOU ARE IMPORTANT.
Too often we allow the weights of this world to diminish us. Some of us allows parents to hold us back from our wildest dreams, with their limitations and dreams for us. While some of us allow ourselves to liquidate into expectations that never should’ve bound us in the first place.
Adulting is hard, and it’s hard enough without shitty people actively trying to make you feel worse about yourself. I couldn’t go back.
I was sick with anxiety the next morning, Easter morning. My stomach churned relentlessly and my mind replayed their words over and over. My heart pounded, and every ping from my cell phone raised the hairs on the back my neck. My shift was at 10 :30 a.m, it was somewhere close to 9, and I knew I wasn’t going.
I turned off my alarm, threw my apron out, and decided I could do better.
They never called, and I only emailed the owner an explanation…
Looking back on it, I take the silence as a sign from God. Sometimes, He has to force us out of our comfortable pots in order for us to grow into bigger ones. I was willing to come out of my comfort, face my roots in the mirror- quite literally, and decide that I wanted to grow into something bigger than a worker.
I am proud of not allowing myself to be tarnished, I endured too much pressure not to become a shining diamond. I’m inspired by my own courage, and by support from those that love me truly. I have no regrets.
So there you have it, the longest post that I’ll make for quite some time. Feel free to send me an email, or leave me a comment if you’ve ever walked away from a job. What was your experience? Did I make the right decision, what do you think?