When you've had it, you've had it. Whether it's a bad job, a bad relationship, or a sketchy situation, nothing feels better than freeing yourself from a toxic part of your life. Negativity can easily spread to your core and can leave you in a dark place, so the sooner you can leave it behind, the better.
Most of us have been in at least one situation like this, which means we all know how much unnecessary stress can result from it. Many of the following stories shed light on just how important it is to recognize when it's time to leave a bad part of life behind for good. Of course, it's easier said than done; but even just reading about how others managed their way out can be inspiring.
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When I was a kid, I worked at a garden store as a carryout. During the summer, it was all about loading up customers' cars with sod, river stones, soil, plants, and paving stones. In the winter, it was Christmas trees.
The first year was great; my boss was amazing and the staff all generally got along.
The second year, my boss transferred out and his replacement was horrible. Sales started to dip, and she even joked about laying people off. Employees were freezing because they'd be forced to load Christmas trees outside for four hours in -30-degree weather? If you felt sick on the job, too bad: you came in, so you're staying. Want some water because you're loading cars in 30-degree heat? Nope!
She was just a generally mean person. It got to the point where I was the only full-time carryout left. Then, one day, I finished a shift feeling like I'd been kicked in the crotch. The pain just kept getting worse, so I went to my doctor. Turns out, I'd torn my groin muscle. He gave me a week off, as well as a script for two weeks of light duties upon returning to work.
I gave my boss the script and she screamed at me for causing her extra work. I got back after a week and school was out, so we had tons of staff. I figured I'd be doing light duties, but nope. It was back to the loading area for me, lifting paving stones. I didn't even bother punching out, and as the loading area for customers was right up front, I just walked out and kept going.
The company as a whole went bankrupt a few years later. I actually ended up working with someone who happened to be a manager at another location and knew the situation at my old store. Turns out, my former boss was fired after almost 60 people quit between June and October of that year.
So, one day, I actually managed to land a job! Yay!
I was on the other side of the city, so I had to drive myself. Okay, fine. When I got there, we spooled power cables onto giant pallets for eight freaking hours.
At the end of the day, they told us they'd send a check
A week later, I received it. It was minimum wage, but the company also took their fee out from the total pay. So, I ended up getting paid essentially two dollars below minimum wage.
That's when I said, "Screw this, I'm out."
About two years later, I got something in the mail about a class action lawsuit against them. I can't remember what it detailed exactly, but of course, I signed it.
Six years later, I finally got the payout. $8.
Some girl showed up and some drama ignites with some other guys who were not at the party. They said they were coming over to the party and there was going to be a fight.
Two of the guys at the party went to their cars to grab weapons and an ammo box. There was only one way out of the apartment and I was not going to be there for the fight. We promptly left.
And I was reprimanded!
The director got a nice report after that, and he was fired two weeks later.
A friend of mine asked for my help to move her stuff into a new flat. She promised me a nice dinner as payment. I drove the car she had borrowed, lifted all the heavy stuff, and helped her until way after dark. She made dinner, which turned out to be $1 canned tomato soup. When the time came to return the car, she left me to drive alone for 40 minutes, return the car to people I didn’t know and wait in the middle of the night with no return transport. My dad picked me up, and I never talked to my friend again.
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I was hired to open up a small bottle shop for owners who lived out of state. I did all the planning, hired all the contractors, and built the place from the ground up. I had been managing it for around 8 months with a small staff when I decided the workload was too much.
I stepped down from the manager's position to just a regular cashier's job and one of my employees was promoted to manager. I interviewed, hired, and trained this person from the start and on my first day as a cashier, he handed me a written warning for placing a SINGLE bottle slightly off center. Soon after, I got a second warning for 'arguing' with him.
I said, "Screw it, have fun running the place without me," and walked out.
I said, "Screw this," and dropped that class.
The guy I dated for years ran through the front door of our apartment, yelling, “Honey, I know you don’t approve of illicit substances, but I just did some and it was AWESOME.”
I went to a borderline abandoned mall in my town and started exploring one of the empty restaurants. When I got inside, I walked into the back where it was dark and noticed the words "GET OUT" written in red on the wall. I turned around and walked straight out.
He failed to disclose that the evicted tenant was a hoarder.
I pretty much left when I first opened the door.
This happened years ago while I was working at a Safeway in the produce department. I worked from 1:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., 3 days a week. After 4 p.m., I was alone in the department and as it got later in the evening, I would spend my time helping the night manager with his duties because everything in my area was handled. I would help stock other departments and clean the warehouse, all while keeping my department perfect.
I asked the store manager for more hours after about two months of doing this extra work. She told me, “If you worked harder I would consider it." So I turned around, clocked out, and never came back.
I went to a friend's birthday party at his favorite club. I found out he'd not only invited my abusive ex but also paid for her train ticket. One of my good friends let me know that she was there, and the friend I rode with was like, "Nope, screw this. We're out."
We went back home.
A group of friends and I were invited to an off-campus house party and we walked into a completely silent house with a bunch of dudes sitting in the living room. They were using the floor since the couches had been packed. The host and the rest of his frat buddies started handing out paperwork and applications so we could join their fraternity.
No, sir. We bailed.
I was sitting at a red light in the worst neighborhood in Baltimore when a group of young men started to slowly crowd around my heavily-modded car. One of the guys came up to my window which was slightly open and started asking about my car. During that conversation, another one tried opening my passenger door, and when I looked at him the guy I was talking to tried reaching in my slightly open window to grab me. I hit the gas and launched my car through the red light and didn't slow down till I got out of that neighborhood.
In high school, I was a nanny for this family during the day. The mom would later drop me off at Cold Stone, my first real job. The assistant manager who was always there was a completely horrid person. Looking back, she had to have been under 24 years old at the time. She was rude, invited guys to come and hang with her during shifts, and they were always kind of sketchy. She had it out for me because I was a first-time employee who was overly keen on doing a great job! I remember dreading going to work and getting that pit in my stomach because I was so terrified of her. She would always threaten to cut my hours or just do things to screw me over.
One day, the mom was late to drop me off at work. She came in with me because she knew I was scared of this girl and would get yelled at. She went up and apologized for me, saying it was completely her fault. The girl lost her mind!! She called the mom names to her face and went on some rant that I don't remember because I was in utter shock. The mom looked at me and said "You done here? I think you're done here." She turned to the crazy manager and said, "You are the rudest person I've ever met. I'm sorry for how insecure you must be to act like this. She quits!" She grabbed my arm and we stormed out! I was SHOCKED and horrified... At the time, I thought she had ruined my career by quitting my first job for me. Looking back, I think it's hysterical and I wish I had a recording of it.
I went on a date with a 33-year-old girl I met through a website. We had talked on the phone and texted for three weeks before meeting each other. She lived an hour away, so we decided to meet in a bigger town fifteen minutes from where she lived. I rolled up and she very clearly didn't look like the person from her pictures. They must have been five or six years old because she really let herself go. I decided to say screw it and just sit with her for lunch. After we ordered, I excused myself to the bathroom and came back to see our table being joined together with another table. Apparently, her grandma, brother, and three friends had "just happened to show up." She had told them I was her boyfriend.
Anyway, I sat through lunch for about fifteen minutes and quickly ate my food. The moment I finished eating, I went and tracked down the waiter, paid for the meal with a hefty tip, then bounced.
I used to have a scooter as an undergrad because it made it super easy to park on campus. One time, I took it to a coworker get-together downtown that included beer. I went to go home and drove probably a quarter mile before I realized I was too tipsy to drive. I got off and pushed my ride on the sidewalk for another quarter mile. Eventually, got fed up with that. There were at least four more miles left to go.
This was before Uber but after smartphones. I posted a Craigslist ad for anyone with a truck who could take a tipsy guy and his scooter to the south side of town for $25. I sat down in the dark staring at the stars kind of tipsy until some other college student showed up and did exactly that. I like to pretend that he went on to invent Uber.
I was raised as a Mormon and was heavily invested in that lifestyle. Then, several years ago, I was sitting there reading The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan. I came across a passage where he gave examples of how 'faith healing' had about the same success rates as no action at all, whereas specific doses of certain substances had a vastly greater effect on those with certain illnesses.
For whatever reason, that was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back and I almost instantly de-converted from both Mormonism and theism in general.
I decided then and there that I was going to sell the place in the spring, pack my stuff, and move somewhere new to start the next chapter of my life.
It was unbelievably liberating, and I was extremely lucky to have been able to do it. Most people never have the flexibility, financially or emotionally, to do something like that.
I answered a job posting for a telemarketing job. On the first day of training, they told us to make a list of the five most important people in our lives. Then, they told us by the last day of training, that we were to cut these people from our lives.
They were definitely recruiting for a cult.
I worked a job as a waiter at a fine dining restaurant about 15 years ago. During a particularly busy night during the holidays, the owner of the restaurant put his hand on my back, pushed me and said: "Move faster." Instead of punching him in the face for being totally disrespectful, I finished my shift, went to his office and told him that his behavior was totally unacceptable. I quit right then and there.
I had the whole of the holidays off which was awesome.
One time, I was applying for a job at a furniture store in Philly. The store was owned by some Russian guy and because I was also Russian, I had an upper hand and got in. During my third day of getting trained, a group of large dudes in black leather jackets showed up at the place. They started demanding some money from the owner that he apparently owned them. They smashed his fish tank to pieces and left. I promptly got up and left without saying a word.
My friend and I were waking at like, 2 a.m. to go back to his house and I heard something behind us. Just in case, I turned on my flashlight behind us. There were five sets of eyes staring back at us from about 20 feet away and another pair of eyes in a tree.
We ran as fast as we could.
I’m pretty sure they were raccoons.
I was just a tween when the church I was in told me they frowned upon interracial dating. I was shocked. Left that cult a few years later at 18.
I went to a girl's house to watch movies. I asked about the photo of her with the kids on her wall. "Yep, those are my babies. I had those three until CPS got involved."
That was that.
I became a software engineering manager at a Fortune 500 company. I have a unique team because we are remote so I can literally hire the best in the world, whereas our main office basically gets the people who couldn't get a job at Facebook or Google.
So when I found out we do stack ranking and that no matter how much my team accomplishes, I still have to give a bad review to someone and torpedo their bonus, I said screw that.
I accepted a job with Google a couple of days ago.
During the Sunday sermon, the pastor began his preaching by saying Trump was bringing Christianity back to America. I got up and excused myself as soon as he uttered those words, no cares given.
I went to my ten-year reunion around Thanksgiving. I didn't like anyone I went to school with but it was an excuse to fly back and see my parents. I lasted maybe 30 minutes at the reunion.
My professor said, "Nobody ever gets an A in my class." So I dropped his class.
I saw a white van parked out front.
Hollywood movies played through my head.
I got out of there right away.
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