Thursday, March 22, 2012

seriously, I could quit at any time

I recently got a new iPhone from work.  It's a 4S, which means it has a robot voice who answers me when I ask it questions (or when A asks it questions, although it has no opinion of what she should be when she grows up and it is not in love with her).  Surprisingly, my biggest concern when I got my new phone was not robots becoming animate and taking over the world, although I heard on the radio earlier this week that scientists suggest that is actually one of the more likely world-ending scenarios, if we are to believe the Mayans and such a thing is imminent. 

No, instead, I was slapped with a feeling of guilt when I opened the new iPhone box in my office last week.  "They probably wouldn't have given me this if they knew I could quit at any second," I shocked myself by thinking.

Now, first.  Yes, actually, they would give me the phone if they knew I could quit at any second.  That's why if I quit in less than six months, I have to pay for the stupid phone myself.  They would not have policies in place for this kind of thing if they didn't anticipate it happening, at least some of the time.  Anyone, with any job, could technically quit at any second (so long as you are an at-will employee, I suppose).

Second, why was I thinking I would quit at any second?  Didn't I just start this job?  I realized I felt a little tug of guilt with each benefit or perk I enrolled in at my new firm.  Not as though I didn't deserve them for working there, but instead because I didn't feel loyal enough to deserve them.  The funny thing is, it's not like I wanted to quit.  I didn't -- I don't.  It was as if I was afraid I would accidentally quit.  I felt like something would happen that was too similar to the old place, I would have some kind of post-traumatic stress type reaction, and before I knew it I would be handing over my badge, grabbing my potted plant, and heading for the door.

When I started at my last firm, I was wholly in-it-to-win-it, so to speak.  I enthusiastically signed up for the 401(k) and the blackberry and the gym membership and all the other perks that came with my shiny new career.  I thought I would be a lifer.  After my summer associate and law school experience, I thought I had met my match, job-wise.  That turned out to be, um, not right.  I ended up quitting much earlier than I anticipated, although for a lot of very good reasons.

So it's not that surprising that I learned something from my previous experience.  I really like my new job.  But I'm not fooling myself into thinking that will necessarily always be the case, or even if it is, that I will always stay here.  I certainly intend to stay here, hopefully for a long time, but things do change.  This necessary temporary-ness translated into regularly thinking I was about to inadvertently walk out the door never to return, and that as a result I did not deserve all the fun perks that coming with working in BigLaw (there have to be some benefits, right?). 

Now, approaching the one month mark at my new firm, I'm a little more settled.  After the iPhone incident, I no longer think that I am going to accidentally quit (although I do look with longing at the monitors listing departing trains when I arrive at Grand Central each morning and briefly contemplate just getting on one of them and going home to my old, unemployed life).  I joined the firm's LGBT group in an attempt to "integrate," and signed up for the gym membership regardless of the 12 month commitment it entailed.  And I bought a case for my new iPhone.


  1. Holy crap. You posted this at 2:48 am. When do you sleep woman?

  2. Ha, you would think that. Posting at 2 am means I wrote it a few days before and scheduled it. When I schedule them I always post at 2 am (and some minutes, because I am quirky like that) so they are up in the morning in Europe. Shout out to the London readers!

    Look at me, giving away my secrets. What I really meant was, yes, I am superhuman and most certainly did not go to bed at 9:53 last night.