One week ago today, I quit the casual job I had been doing after a really negative and draining experience. I wrote about it here.
I’ve had a tough week in the days since for various reasons – but ultimately, I know that I have done the right thing for myself. But that hasn’t made the process any easier.
I handed in my resignation at the start of the Easter weekend so I was aware they weren’t going to pick up my email until at least Tuesday. So I went ahead and enjoyed my weekend as I intended to; a mini-break to the coast with my partner. It felt good to get away, enjoy myself and forget about everything that was going on back home.
When Tuesday came and went, I still hadn’t received a reply to my email. I was feeling anxious as my session was due to run that evening and my session members still didn’t know I was leaving. To be professional, I wanted to wait until I knew the management had received my email before telling everybody else but that acknowledgement never came through. So, I decided to call one of the girls who had been shadowing me – and told her everything. She was upset and shocked, tried to talk me into coming back but I explained that I needed to stay true to myself on this one and not let my emotions control my mind and my heart. She understood why I needed to move on and respected my decision.
I advised her that because my email had not been responded to, there was a chance they hadn’t read it yet so I asked that she didn’t say anything until I had heard back and had a chance to speak to everybody. She was going to take over my session for the evening with my guidance.
2 hours after that phone call, I got a text message to say my manager had gone into the session and told them all that I’d resigned – and gave them a bullshit reason that I could no longer cope with the bus journey in (it’s 15 minutes long..). I was horrified that this was his heartless choice of words – and I wasn’t surprised that for the following night and two days, I was bombarded with texts and messages from the kids and their parents saying how hurt and upset they were that I hadn’t told them. I was heartbroken – not only for me, but for them, too. The way my manager had gone about the situation made them feel abandoned and that for the whole time I have worked with them, I didn’t care. I explained as best I could without slandering the business but that showed it wasn’t because of travel but because of issues out of my control.
The reason I left was because management would make mistakes and blame me instead of themselves for their wrongdoings. I had accepted it on other occasions before, but it got to the last straw and I decided enough was enough. But here we were; they were still turning it back around on me to make me look like I had done them wrong. They have not learned from this – and that makes me mad.
See, I had comforted myself with the idea that what I was doing, by leaving a session they knew I was passionate about and wasn’t doing for the money, would teach them the importance of respecting their employees and treating them well – not to assert their authority just because they messed up. But it upset me that this lesson had not been learned – instead, they continued to push the responsibility back onto me and punish the kids instead.
I received an email on Wednesday acknowledging my resignation – from one of the manager’s wives. The managers were people I considered close friends; family, even, at one point. But they haven’t even had the decency to email me back or even text me to say ‘I’m sorry you’ve decided to leave’ or anything. This experience has proved to me that you can’t assume your worth or importance based on how you feel about somebody. I shouldn’t have assumed that because I cared for them, that they also cared as much for me. But – on the flip side – though I have hurt the kids by leaving, their reaction showed me that I made a difference in their lives if only for a few months and that they appreciated the work I did – even if the managers did not.
I wanted this to all be over by now – however the email I received advised that a letter will be arriving in the post addressing the issues I raised in my initial resignation. So for now, until I receive that letter, I can’t put this to bed. I have felt down since returning from our trip – and have struggled to manage my emotions surrounding this. I adore those kids and I’m sorry I’ve hurt them. But I have to be proud of myself – for once in my life I have stood up for myself and said ‘no’. I’ve stood up for what I believe in, and I believed in myself. I told myself I did not deserve to be treated that way and I decided it was time to think about me for a change.
But for now, I will sit and wait for this letter that will likely be them making excuses in the eyes of the law for their behaviour – their favourite thing to do – to make me feel even worse. But I can still sit back and say ‘I did it – I did what was right for me’ no matter what they throw at me.
As for the kids, I have told them since that they don’t need me to get them through; that everything they have learned with me – they have learned for themselves. They are capable of anything they want to achieve because it’s down to them. They just needed someone to give them that confidence to start off. I’m glad I was able to give them that space to be themselves and open up; I just hope they can use that and keep making progress. I have every belief that they will. I will miss them.