I was looking for a wedding registry, and an old one came up for a different person with the same name. On it were his-and-her bicycles, a video game system, a $500 DVD player, video games and DVDs, exercise equipment, and a $2,000 gift card. Literally, they specified that the gift card should be for $2,000. I love registries, and I love choosing what to buy (one big thing or several smaller things? the pretty bowls or the pretty towels? something fancy or something useful?)—but let me tell you, that one would have been a toughie.
The company I work for recently sent out two emails to all caregivers. In two fell swoops, those emails demolished my last remaining feelings of loyalty. This is not a company I want to work for. They are icky. Paul says any other company offering entry-level work would be just as bad, but if that’s the case I’d rather find something that’s just as bad but without the constant calls to fill shifts.
The decision now is how to proceed. Because even though my intention is to leave the company rather than to try to get them to stop being unfair and stupid, I still don’t want to leave either of my two main clients. One of them I could leave with very little discomfort for either of us, but I’m happy and comfortable working for him now, so I’d prefer not to leave if I’m going to be working for the other client anyway. The other client, I feel like I CAN’T leave. I know I literally could, but it would be so, so, so much better, for me and for her, if it didn’t have to happen.
If I could have things exactly as I wanted them, this is how I’d want them:
1. I’d continue with my usual schedule, with just these two clients.
2. I’d be called to fill shifts ONLY for these two clients, no other clients.
3. I’d be taken off the texting list, so I’d no longer have to pay per text to receive multiple bulk-sent texts per day asking for people to “step up” and take shifts.
4. When my favorite client no longer needs me, I’d leave.
5. The knowledge that I am staying only for the clients and not for the company, and only until the clients no longer need me, would free my mind to stop having mental arguments about everything my supervisors are doing wrong. The dramatic decrease in one of my least favorite parts of the job (getting continually asked to work extra shifts) would dramatically increase my job satisfaction levels / decrease my stress levels.
6. All of this would be accomplished with no explanations or confrontations or discussions.
I can have the first four, I believe. The fifth one is a hope, but we won’t know until we try. The sixth is the one I can’t have. If I want them to stop calling me and stop sending me to new clients, I have to tell them so.
Whenever I turn my mind to the issue, my first thought is, “This is not even hard: all I have to do is explain it and tell them those first four things. Ta da!” But then I start to try to write the email, and I get stuck. It only seems easy until I try to write the next word after “Dear Supervisor,”.
There are so many options for how much and what kind of WHY, and so many options for how to say it. I could go with an “It’s not you, it’s me” explanation, but that’s so unsatisfying. On the other hand, it kind of IS me, insofar as “I can see other people are willing/forced to put up with something I hate, but I am not” is “me”.
I could go with a mild “It’s you, and here is why” explanation, but I believe in this case, with the particular people involved, this would lead to further pointless and frustrating discussions. Like when you’re trying to break up with someone and they keep wanting to discuss it, acting as if they just want to understand / fix things, but actually wanting to demonstrate how reasonable/easy they are, and to explain to you why you’re wrong about everything and there’s clearly something wrong with you.
I could hit reply on one of the recent awful emails, and start with “I have recently come to a decision about…,” without referring to the email itself, but letting the implication stand.
I could leave it as explanation-free as possible, basically saying the four things that I want, not saying why, and saying I hope this will work for them. It’s still hard to figure out the first word after the salutation. …Actually, what if I started just as I started here: “If I could have things exactly as I wanted them, this is how I’d want them”? And then edited the four items to be more neutral (removing the reference to how much I hate the term “step up,” for example), but left them in a list just like that? I also might want to edit #4, so that I’m not promising to stay even if this goes on for years and years and other circumstances change. Hm. That has potential.
There is also the option of NOT telling them. I could just keep saying no to all other clients (“Oh, no thanks—I’m really happy with my schedule right now”), and volunteering to take fill-in shifts with these two clients. This would give me #1, half of #2, #4, possibly I’d still get part of #5, and #6.