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I Quit My Job Today

June 15, 2018

I quit my job today.

That’s how the guy sitting next to me on the plane from Richmond to Atlanta opened our conversation.

I normally don’t talk to people on planes. I travel a lot and I have a routine. I have a nice neck pillow. And I’ve modified it to allow my noise cancelling headphones to fit easily. I bring my own water bottle and typically set my iPad to my Jazz collection.

Oh, and then I often will go to sleep.

I generally don’t have any interest talking to the people around me. It’s not that I’m not sociable. The problem talking on a plane is you can hear great at the gate. But, once you get into the air, it’s really hard to hear.

But, we were sitting at the gate and the guy in the aisle seat seemed to be looking for some validation.


He didn’t seem to need any encouragement to continue.

My wife is going to kill me.

Yeah, that’s not a conversation you should have over the phone.

He explained that he was a stats guy. He’d been working for an insurance company and just got to the point where he couldn’t take it anymore. He was working for a company that didn’t value his role. Well, they valued his contribution, just not him.

When I got there they had processes that would take two hours to run. By the time I was done with them, they were running in less than a minute.

I thought about the times I had struggled with managers or companies. As a Program Manager solely responsible for the technical relationship between my company and our biggest client, I found myself working for a man who was new to being a manager.

Like my seatmate, I was also incredibly good at what I did. Our client paid us over $100M per year. I was a large part of our team keeping them happy. And yet, my manager didn’t want to talk about my success with the client. Despite the fact I was oncall 24×7 and a salaried employee, my manager insisted I be at my desk no later than 7:00am and leave no earlier than 3:00pm. The company didn’t have a comp time policy. If I spent 4 hours working on an outage the night before, I was still expected at my desk at 7:00am. He claimed he needed to be able to contact me.

I don’t understand. Why don’t you just call me if you need something from me?

I don’t feel like I should have to track you down via your cell phone.


My seatmate went on to explain that financially he would be fine. His home outside Chicago was paid for. He had plenty of money in the bank. Nice cars that were also paid for.

It was clear that it was more a sense of failure than anything that was distressing him. The economy is booming. He’s highly skilled and won’t have a problem finding another job.

I can afford to be picky.

But, I could see that it was coming to grips with the fact he’d made a mistake and now had to fly home and explain it to his wife. I felt for the guy.

It was at that point that the person for our middle seat showed up. She was a flight attendant on her way to work in Key West. I adjusted my neck pillow and slipped my headphones over my head. As I did, I heard him strike up a conversation with our new row-mate.

I quit my job today. My wife’s going to kill me.

I hope he finds a position that he’ll enjoy.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2018 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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