Yep, you read the title right this is an article about me quitting my job. Over the last four to five years I haven't had a wide variety of jobs. I've been very fortunate to find places of employment with welcoming coworkers and managers. I have countless stories from my adventures as a camp counselor at the zoo and I am starting to create a catalog of tales from my library jobs. A few months ago everything was normal and we were all living our lives, but then COVID-19 happened.
Obviously, the entire world knows the ripple effects the spread of this virus has caused to the world with thousands dead and many more becoming infected with each passing day in the United States; so there is no need to brush over all of that. As summer 2020 rolled around, my job at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo decided to not hold any summer programs this year resulting in me being officially laid off as a seasonal worker. My friends and I were deeply saddened by this news and all had to go our separate ways. This also forced me to find a new form of employment.
Job hunting during a pandemic is very stressful. For years my parents always told me to work during the summer so that's what I did. I spent weeks job hunting out of desperation just so I didn't become a lazy sack of nothing stuck in the house all day. I'm very particular about jobs as well as I don't want going to work to become a chore. A lot of people from older generations I've noticed have that mentality with their jobs, as they grow to be miserable at them with no real joy in their life once they return home as well. For many weeks I had this mindset in place but eventually, I got a job offer. Instead of sending my applications online, I went in person to this smoothie place on the border of Lakewood and Cleveland.
Cheers Strawberry GIF by Just Salad Giphy
I've never worked in food before but I felt it would be a good introductory job for me in the food world. As well as a good job for me to just get my bearings straight while this pandemic continues. The owner and staff were really nice to me and welcoming, there were even some people from my old elementary school that recognized my name on the application. The work was intense, however, as I spent pretty much 6-7 hours on my feet making smoothies. I'm used to long hours with work, I mean I work 40 hours a week at the Zoo in 90-degree heat, however, this job felt different. There wasn't really any enjoyment in me making these smoothies. And even though I was new, there was one particular manager who did not like me at all.
I have a very chill personality; I like to process information and create plans for the best effective workflow. I've done this with my other jobs and over the years this has benefitted me and my resume extremely. However, this one manager would constantly critique my smoothies and force me to become self-conscious. Understandably this is a fast-paced environment, however when you have a manager criticizing not just me but other employees in front of customers it can bring morale down a ton. On top of that, he seemed to just target me specifically. He said I lacked "energy" the first day I worked and since then he was just overall rude expecting me to know stuff even though I started a week or two ago and had no proper training.
The final straw came one Sunday shift. For some reason, I wasn't feeling myself and this manager's over criticization of me was getting to my head. He would complain my smoothies were sloppy or too soft and yell at me for putting the ingredients in the wrong order despite it all measuring out correctly in the end. The whole system was a mess, as smoothies weren't labeled resulting in a slowdown in the process as we all tried to debate whether or not the Raspberry Ravage was the smoothie that was the slightly darker pink one and not the strawberry citrus. A lot of the time I would have my back turned and my smoothie partner would create a combination and walk away, expecting me to finish it even though I had no idea what he just made.
The whole situation just all boiled over to that Sunday shift where the manager moved me aside from the smoothie station because I made an "illegal technique" with my smoothie making (even though I saw him do it my last shift). I was literally pushed to the side like I was a child and just washed dishes for the next twenty or so minutes as the rush continued. After that, his voice was very threatening to me almost as if he was going to fire me on the spot; mind you this was in the middle of the restaurant and not in the back in a private discussion. Basically he embarrassed me in front of everyone and said that I did a terrible job that day, and said even though I was new there was no excuse for me to be making mistakes. He left after that and at that moment I decided that would be my last day.
friday im free GIF Giphy
I don't want this to be confused as me not being happy I wasn't the top-dog at the smoothie stand. I could care less about being number one and a lot of the time I ask for help/input from my coworkers in situations. However, I also know I am not a teenager who never worked before. I'm a grown man who has worked better jobs and with better working environments. I don't care if that manager yells at everyone like that, I don't want to spend the rest of my summer miserable.
And with that, I texted the owner and told him I was resigning. It wasn't my preferred method of quitting but I literally had no other contact info. I didn't even have an employee mailbox after working there for two weeks. I think the lesson from all of this is that I should've listened to my own advice and not pick a job that would've left me miserable. And that now more than ever I need to make sure I have the best possible career options available for me and my major. Since that day, I started working on myself and my work and I am happier than ever. And while one global pandemic may make everyone a little bit more depressed, I think it's time for me personally to get out of my funk.