Today I walked out of my job for the last time. I quit. Done, finished, complete. Me, the girl who has held shitty job after shitty job since she was 14 and 9 months said nope, that’s enough. It’s time to live a little–it’s time to quit crap job number 5 without a plan.
Throughout the entirety of my last shift I battled with fluctuating emotions. Was I happy? Was I sad? Or was I shitting myself because I no longer have a steady income? But by the time I walked to the computer and clocked off, the stand out emotion was relief–I was actually glad to see ‘no rostered shifts’ plastered across the screen.
It was obvious that I was ready to finish because I hadn’t bothered to wash my apron in three weeks–it had begun to form a crust of spilt food and drink, and smelt mildly of onions and coffee. As I took off my wristband and placed it in the safe, I knew that soon the name Tahlia would be erased and replaced by the pub’s newest employee. And I really didn’t care.
For the past 3 years I’ve worked at an upmarket ‘hotel.’ Working in hospo is something heaps of people have done, will do and are currently doing, so I’m sure a couple of people reading this will agree that it’s the worst. Customers seem to believe that if they buy an overpriced schnitzel and pint that they are suddenly your boss and/or master. I’ve had people whistle at me like a dog, grab my arse, and even had one guy write that a co-worker and I were ‘GARLIC BREAD SLUTS’ in permanent marker in the toilets. I’m not sure if he was asking for ‘garlic bread, sluts’ or if he really thought we were ‘garlic bread sluts’–but either way, what a jerk.
Walking upstairs to grab my bag was when I really started to think “Oh shit.” By the time I hit the landing it progressed to a “shit, fuck, crap,” kinda thing. It hit me that I’m actually unemployed. I literally quit and am now floating around with nothing but loose plans and a depleting bank account.
This job has been the most consistent part of my being since I turned 18. At this job I knew that every Monday I’d serve 100 pizzas because we sold them for 8 bucks; I knew that every Wednesday was going to be boring and I was going to spend the majority of the night watching TV; and I knew that every Friday was going to be busy and I was likely going to be yelled at by a rich man in a suit.
But with nerves comes an immense sense of excitement. I’m free to focus on the things that are important to me. I can write all day if I please; I can find time for a real social life; I can (but won’t) work on becoming somewhat fit.
And besides, I’m overreacting–I do have some plans. My boyfriend and I have bought a van and are gonna go around Aus until we run out of money, blow the car up, or break up.
I owe myself this time. I’ve always pushed myself and I want to take a minute to stop pushing and just… stop. Stop and enjoy a little. I’m gonna take this time to ‘centre myself’–which is very inspiring, I know. Maybe I’ll book a one-way trip to Bali and find myself whilst on shrooms at a beach club in Kuta?
Whatever I do, I hope it doesn’t end in crappy job number 6.
Words by Tahlia Svingos
Feature image: The Sound Of Music