Short answer: I have a work ethic.
Much longer answer: I was fired from a job, not for being incompetent or breaking the law or violating their policy, but for… not making friends. I was never unfriendly or unkind or cold to anyone, but the experienced hires decided I was too “weird”, I didn’t “fit in” with them, and since they weren’t all my new BFFs within the four days I worked, I was let go. Despite the numerous times this job was emphasized as being “life and death” (a description I now know is severely exaggerated), my inability to create instant lifelong friendships and preference to prioritize learning how to do my job competently was deemed grounds for letting me go.
As a child, I wanted to become a veterinarian because I loved animals. I learned as a teenager an adoration of animals is far from enough to consider that career. This is similar. I would say as a teenager I wanted a career, and though I never cared for being part of the “big wigs”, I wanted to be high above entry-level with a long resume of worthwhile skills and a job that allowed to never again worry about money.
What have I learned now as an adult? The job is irrelevant. It’s the management I need to be most concerned with. After nearly three years in retail, and poor management in three different industries (customer service, IT, and security), and managers who are all too obviously on a power play (my boyfriend recently told me of how he was yelled at for something he didn’t do, and yelled at again when he proved he wasn’t at fault; I have too many similar experiences), I have decided I want absolutely nothing to do with a career of any kind.
I want a job that pays well, has good management, has benefits, has a consistent schedule, and has a minimum of two days off. That’s it.
It doesn’t need to be a career. I don’t want it to be a career. If this is what I must deal with – if the being part of the “in crowd” is more important doing your job well and correctly, especially in the early days – I’m content to have an ordinary, nothing special job. Similarly, this is also why even if I had the needed personality for retail, I’d utterly refuse to enter management. I do not ever want to become like the management I’ve dealt with. Never do I want to believe it’s okay to behave aggressively toward those hierarchically beneath me, never do I want to yell at someone solely because I can and allow authoritative power to blind me to treating others fairly, and I absolutely do not want to decide someone’s work ethic is a bad quality (lack of work ethic is bad). I am no saint, nor will I ever be, but I can avoid becoming what I hate and I fear any step into management would force me against my morals. I will not compromise those beliefs for anything.
My new dream is to live with my boyfriend in a comfortable and spacious apartment, and to be home with him as much as possible. Because of all the stress I’ve dealt with, and all the needless experiences I have in my memory I can never burn, my relationship with him is one of the few experiences that consistently proves to be worth fighting for. It seems a career requires me to sacrifice kindness, fairness, and humility, and I am not willing to do that. I suppose there is a reason for the expression “money is the root of all evil”, and it’s very evident, but though I am not flawless, I will not allow a career to change who I am or change me into someone I hate.