Job Switch


You can’t see it, but Brutus is holding the red coffee cup in one hand.

You know that feeling when you really need a job change. Everyday on the old job feels like you’ve done the same thing over and over again with the same result. You see the same people. You fake laugh at the same overused jokes. And the most obvious indicator that you need new employment, is a continued fantasy of smashing your boss’s favourite red coffee cup into one hundred million pieces.

I clearly remember the feelings of hostility rising up as I saw my boss sit down for the umpteenth coffee break of the day, and start to chat up yet another visitor to the ranch. I envisioned my hand snatching his coffee cup away, “No more for you, you coffee whore.” I see myself flinging it onto the cement floor of the garage, the liquid from his half-filled cup spraying upward as the shards fly across the floor.

I see myself putting my hand to my mouth, as I feign being sorry. “Oops did I do that?”

And then, my hand would fall away, and a devilish grin would find it’s way upon my lips, twisted horns would sprout up out of my forehead, and I would chuckle with evil intent, “Yeah, that’s right, I smashed your cup on purpose, and I’m not sorry. I’m glad. I’m so flipping happy. I could do a little jig with cloven hooves on your future grave. Because this job is hell. It’s sucking every bit of oxygen from my life. I can’t breath here. I’m dying. I quit.”

My boss would only hear half of what I said, because we’re like an old married couple already. He would reply, “Oh no! You’re dying! What are you dying from?”

With a look of disbelief, I would clarify, “I’m dying from watching you drink coffee all day, while I bust my hump doing all the work. I’m dying of working a job where I will never have an opportunity to do anything other than what I am doing now.”

At those words, I would see his face flush all the way up to his ears, and watch in amazement as his cheeks suck in with pointed anger. He resembles a rat with whiskers. No harm is meant by my words, he was a nice man, and a decent boss. It’s just that sometimes, if you stay stuck in a job that no longer holds value for you, the little annoyances become insurmountable. At that point in time, change is always a good decision.

I found a new job

My real resignation was much less showy, I would even say boring. (At this point in the story I’ll use a fake name for my boss, if he’s still alive I don’t want to hurt his feelings. He probably isn’t, but just in case, I’ll call him Brutus.)

I tracked down Brutus in the garage. It’s our makeshift coffee room on the ranch. He’s sitting at the picnic table with the newspaper, and steam rises from his freshly filled red coffee cup.

I sit across the table from him and greet him in an upbeat tone. “Hey, Brutus, I need to talk to you about something.” My insides are quaking.

“He looks up from his paper, bits of grey hair poke out from under his cap, “Sure, what’s up?” He pushes his glasses back up on his nose with one finger.

“Well,” I begin by looking into his tired eyes, “You probably noticed, I haven’t been myself lately— “ I take a deep breath solidifying my decision, “I know this’ll come as a shock, but I have a new job. I’m giving you my two weeks notice.” I drop my gaze to the floor. The floor is pretty quiet.

Everywhere there is silence.

I finally raise my eyes to his. He looks like he was just kicked in the face by a horse.

He leans forward, and stutters, “But, what— Are you sure? Is it the money?” The question hangs in the air, and then he goes on, “Maybe we could figure something out.”

I squeeze my hands together looking for strength, “No. I just need a change. My new job is in Florida, a long way from Calgary. It’ll be a big change.”

He shakes his head, “But you’re like family— I’m shocked. What’ll I tell everybody?”

His face crumples into a frown.

My chest hurts, “I’m sorry Brutus, I wasn’t going to stay forever. “ I could see him searching for the words to change my mind.

I stand up before he can continue. “Well, I better get back to it.”I hoof it out the door feeling like I really did smash his coffee cup.

My new job is full of change— venomous snakes, fire ants, poison toads, stolen horses and a death threat.

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