You have all heard the story of the frog in a pan of water.
You place the frog in the pan of water onto a heating element, and you gradually apply heat to the frog and the pan of water.
Gradually is the key.
As the story goes, if you throw a frog into a pan of boiling water, the frog will go into survival mode, and do everything he can do to escape the death pan.
But, if you put the frog in water, and gradually apply the heat, the frog won't notice the gradual change until he is....well....dead.
As with all stories.....I told you that to tell you this:
At 0730 on December 20, 2016, I resigned by position with the Federal Government.
I had been on the job since March 17 of 2007. I was about 90 days from my ten year anniversary, which would have provided me absolutely no additional perks to the job, whatsoever.
For my five year anniversary, I received a non-insulated, metal water bottle, emblazoned with my name and the logo of that institution to which I apparently gave everything.
And for that duty, I gave my eyesight (two cataract surgeries with really fun complications), my relationship with time (I know longer can sleep for than four hours at a time), and my sense of safety, and in return I received what seems to be a permanent sense of paranoia, a contempt for the entire organization's management, and a loss of innocence I would have liked to have kept.
The whys and wherefores of the sudden decision are immaterial; suffice it to say that my integrity was questioned in a way that was impossible for me to refute (the governmental equivalent of "have you stopped beating your wife?") and since they questioned it, they no longer held it in esteem, and it was time for me to leave.
I always thought that this was not a job I retire from, it was a job I quit; and I always fantasized that my resignation letter was a doozy. In fact, I once suggested to a really terrible manager that my resignation letter would consist of two words; and one of them would be, "you." I left him to guess what the other word would be. Instead, it was one line, twenty two words, a comma and a period.
Make no mistake; I spent the first three days curled up in a ball on the couch, watching my psyche go from terror to relief like some masochistic Wimbledon match. Add the usual Holiday stress and a blizzard, and I find it comforting that I was taking pretty good care of myself, otherwise I would have been a prime candidate for an embolism.
A couple of things helped.
The fact that nobody I have known who has quit this job has ever, EVER, stated their regret has been a big help.
The fact that everybody that I talked to about this situation has specifically mentioned that they missed the old me, and are glad I was finally free of that oppressive malady has also been a big help.
My Older Brother offered some advice that was very comforting.
I just deleted a whole paragraph that went off on the way the organization is managed, but it's immaterial, truly. Suffice it to say that in my opinion, the worst thing that ever happened to the three-lettered organization that you run into every time you enter an airport happened in its first days.....the idea that former Military and Law Enforcement were essential to head an organization that would be dealing with the General Public....well....what you often see is the result of mixing passengers that want to know why you're running your hand up their inner thigh with the Officers that don't feel the need to answer those questions because it's none of their business.......I'm glad to be done with it.
So. Bottom line is that I have not found another job yet. But there is a kind of safety net available and I'm still owed some money by the organization.....and I need to detox just a bit more before venturing.
I don't know.
But I can tell you that Walmart sounds like a vacation compared to what I just left.