“So, I’ve quit two jobs actually, one at [a restaurant] and one at [a general store] just right down the street. So, [the restaurant] I quit because — my parents are divorced, so I would have to go to my dad’s every other weekend, and so they had a really hard time getting a hold of that and putting that on the schedule, and they would schedule me every weekend. So that was, like, frustrating when I would have to skip my dad’s to work since I’d, like, made another commitment. So that was really annoying. So I just eventually kind of quit because I just couldn’t take it anymore, and I wanted to spend time with my family.
“So, I’ve quit two jobs actually, one at [a restaurant] and one at [a general store] just right down the street.”
Chloe James, senior
I didn’t love [working at the restaurant]. There’s, like, a lot of different people that come in [to the restaurant]. There’s all kinds of different people, and they can be in a wide range of moods, you know? Like, some of them can be really, really mad a lot or just grouchy with you, and, like, that would be kind of a daily thing, which I didn’t love. And then, I mean, other than that I just kind of hosted, so I would take people to their tables, and I would clean tables off once people were done. One thing we had to do that people think is really funny is we had to take the lobsters out of the tank at the front of the restaurant.
I think [my parents] were kind of happy [when I quit] to be honest because they’d known it was stressing me out, and a couple weekends before I quit I was trying to get rid of a shift because I had asked for that weekend off, and they gave me a shift anyways. And I emailed them, and I was like, ‘Listen, I asked for this off, and I respectfully ask — I really don’t want to come in. Is there any way that someone else could take it?’
And they were like, ‘Absolutely not. If you don’t come in, like, it’s gonna be a problem.’ And it made me so upset, and I think after that they kind of realized they were taking advantage of a student kind of, almost.
It made me so upset, and I think after that they kind of realized they were taking advantage of a student kind of, almost.”
Chloe James, senior
So, like, when I sat down with him I — It made me a little mad with some of the things that he said kind of because it kind of seemed to act like it wasn’t their fault, almost. So I sat down, and I told them the reason why, and I told them that I was going to quit, and I kind of already had [the general store] lined up, so I was — so I told him I was going to quit, and he told me that I needed to, like, work on my time management and make sure I was communicating to him days off, even though they were the ones scheduling me, like, on the days off. So that was a little frustrating; I was a little frustrated, but I felt so relieved because I did not like that job. I was not happy, and I was excited to do something different because I was not a fan.
[The transition between jobs was] pretty easy. I mean, yeah, it was fairly easy. So mainly I stood up at the cash register the whole time, and it was kind of nice for me because I’m an ag kid, so that’s kind of, like, what I like to do, all that stuff. And so we had, you know, we had the chicks — at that time it was like springtime, so we had the chicks — and so we got to take care of the chicks and all of that fun stuff. So it was something that I enjoyed a lot more because it related back to me a lot more.
But it was basically being a cashier and just, like, stocking shelves occasionally, but that was about it.
I actually ended up quitting [the general store] because it was right before the summer, and I had two summer jobs already kind of lined up, so I was going to have to pick between, like, basically pick one to throw out because I couldn’t do three.
So, basically we were stocking shelves — and it was the first time I’d ever done it, like, I guess they have a system or whatever, so one of the girls was trying to teach me the system — and so I had a piece of trash in my hand or something, so I went to throw it away. And my manager and then one of the other employees walked off, and they went to go do something else, and the manager asked, ‘Where’s Chloe?’ and the employee was like, ‘Oh, she’s just throwing something away.’
And he was like — what did he say? — I mean, he just insinuated I was a dumb blonde, basically, and that I couldn’t do anything. And I was like, ‘Did you just call me a dumb blonde?’ and he was like, ‘Um, well, if that’s the first thing you thought of, then you’re probably used to hearing that a lot,’ like that’s what he said back to me. And I was like, ‘OK,’ and then, like, just [a] bad taste in my mouth.
I felt like I was new, and I was learning, and it just kind of made me feel like it wasn’t OK to be, like, learning, or it wasn’t OK to ask questions, which I feel is never an environment that, as a manager, you would want to create in a workplace. Like, that should never be — if it were my store — that’s never something I would want any of my employees to feel. So, you know, just, like, being so frustrated that you’re new, and you don’t know anything, and they haven’t really taken the time to walk you through very much, but they still want to say that you’re dumb for not knowing how to do it. It’s just frustrating.
So, basically I had a greenhouse job over the summer and a teaching job. So, teaching was full-time, like seven hours a day, like summer school, so I was a teacher’s assistance, basically, for that. And then I had a greenhouse job at the Career Center. And then that, [the general store], was kind of like the third pick, and I knew for sure that I didn’t want to be there surrounded by that.
I mean, I just feel like [a] high school job is — you know, it’s entry level work. It’s never gonna be that much fun, but if you’re really to the point where you absolutely dread going to work, and there’s a valid reason [to quit] — I feel like a lot of times employers will kind of take advantage of high school employees because, you know, they’re new. They don’t really know what’s fair and what’s not in the workplace.
And so I think, just if you feel like something’s really unfair, like, I think that’s a sign something’s wrong, and you should kind of, I don’t know, take those signs, I guess.
I feel like I have a really hard time, one, saying ‘no,’ and two, disappointing people. Like, it makes me feel absolutely awful when I disappoint someone, especially because a job is a commitment, and I’ve always been taught you need to follow through with your commitments.”
Chloe James, senior
[The hardest part of quitting was] just kind of the courage to do it. I feel like I have a really hard time, one, saying ‘no,’ and two, disappointing people. Like, it makes me feel absolutely awful when I disappoint someone, especially because a job is a commitment, and I’ve always been taught you need to follow through with your commitments. And so I feel like, you know, I spent a lot of time thinking about it and how it would disappoint this person and this person and this person, so it was just, like, it was just hard to work up the courage to do it because I didn’t want to say ‘no,’ and I didn’t want to disappoint anyone.
“… you do have the ability to do everything that everybody else in that workplace is doing, whether you’re new or you’ve been there for a long time …”
Chloe James, senior
I think it’s taught me that, like, I’m a good worker. I have experience, you know. And I don’t want it to be like, you know, ‘Everybody in a job is out to get you’ because that’s absolutely not how it is. Like, not everybody’s out to get you. But just knowing, like, that you do have the ability to do everything that everybody else in that workplace is doing, whether you’re new or you’ve been there for a long time, so I feel I want to take that into any jobs that I have and just, like, do the best that I can. And if I feel like [if] something’s unfair, just have the courage to at least say something. Maybe not quit, but at least say something.”
What have you quit? Let us know in the comments below.
Senior Bailey Stover is one of two Editors-In-Chief of "The Rock" and "Bearing News." As a journalist, she believes her job is to tell the truth, even when it is uncomfortable to read. Her goal as a writer is to reach the heart of an issue and present it to readers in the simplest and most honest way possible, even when it would be easier for the world to merely look away. Some of her favorite pieces are here. She is passionate about telling the stories of marginalized groups and hopes to do international aid work in the future. In her limited free time, she is the leader of multiple cultural and service organizations at RBHS, and she plays competitive volleyball.