Life Updates

Hey everyone. I’ve already mentioned this over on my Facebook page, but thought I would put something here. If you’ve read about this over there, then you’ll find that here there will be a little more detail and process, instead of just the effects that I put over there. This is a life update about my job, my career and my future.

To put it short, I’m quitting my job, and I am not looking for another one.

I currently work for a company that serves as a repository of legal regulations for the environmental and occupational health and safety sectors (we also do some construction and similar topics). I got this job on complete accident.  Two years ago, I was at my wit’s end. My grace period on my student loans had run out, I only had enough money in my account to pay the month, and there was not any sight of a job prospect. Then one day, while I was at my lowest, a staffing company I had never heard of called me and asked if I would like to have an interview for a company I also had never heard of.

The staffers had found my resume on some resume website that I had only put up for one job application, which never went anywhere. The resume they found had the most embarrassing formatting. I remember fighting with the resume importer, getting it perfect, and then noticing that the site had messed it all up. I don’t know why anyone would contact me for an interview based on that resume, let alone hire me. But that was how it happened. It has been a rather wild ride.

When I got the job, I was sleeping on an exercise mat on the floor of my friend’s two-bedroom apartment (I was the sixth person living there). After I got my new job, the six of us moved, renting a spacious 3-bedroom house (I still shared my room with two other people). The drive to work took an hour, but I was just happy to have something.

After about four months, I started inquiring about becoming a real employee (i.e., not a temp). They kept saying next month, for about six more months. During this time, I decided that they may never fully hire me, so I applied to graduate school. In March (last year) I was accepted. In March, also, I became a real employee. I started earning benefits in May. I lost them by August, though, since I had decided to pursue graduate school and became a part time employee.

Last year, too, was when the checks started bouncing. About six times, three pay periods apart, there was a round of bounced paychecks. The first few seemed inconsequential. After that, I started wondering if I should really be staying here.  The first semester back at school was rough, but I managed. The second semester was brutal. I never had time to do anything.

I was juggling a job, school and my career. I aspire to make games, but after all the work for school and for my job, I felt burnt out on doing anything else. The thing I wanted to do the most was being shunted out of my life. So about March this year I started wondering if there was some way that I could do without the job. Rent was pretty low where I eventually ended up living. I knew I could scale back spending if the money wasn’t there. I knew that I could borrow a little more than I usually do for school. I could do it.

But why pass up a job? Why pass up the best job I’ve ever had? I made more in one paycheck than I had in entire months before. How can I be so arrogant and selfish to turn that away? I waited and the tension grew. I didn’t want to stay here, but I didn’t want to leave. I had no idea how I would survive without the job.

Then there was the missed paycheck. We were supposed to get paid on the 16th. It is now the 22nd and we are not paid yet. There hasn’t been any information yet today. It was just enough to tip me over the edge of the camel. I gave my notice on Friday, and I’m leaving at the end of the pay period (the 31st). It has been the most nervous and stressful decision I’ve ever made.

But I know I will survive it. I have some good friends looking out for me. Too, if I’m not making it, then I’ll be able to pull myself out of it. Someone will hire me for something. I’m done juggling, though. I’ve only got two hands. In one hand is my schooling. The other hand is my future.

My future, at this point, consists of working towards getting my game design and programming skills to an appreciable level, so that I’m capable, and appear that way to potential employers. This means working on The Epic of Sadko (like I am supposed to be doing instead of worrying about money and my job). This also means finishing off my book chapter I am writing and sprucing up my journal article to send off places (but this is more on the school side of things). It also means that I don’t have to feel guilty about playing games when I should be working on something. I like my games!

So here’s to my future. Let’s hope that it works out alright.

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