Corbin H. Crable
It must be nice to feel like you don’t need to answer to anyone.
Late last month I was shocked to get a text message from a friend who also is a co-worker at one of my three jobs. My friend told me he was sick of the job he had and that he simply wasn’t going to come in anymore. He didn’t call our boss. He didn’t answer the multiple calls placed to him by co-workers on the day he decided not to show up. I was the only one with whom he communicated.
My friend – whom I’ll refer to as “Scott” – told me that as he was driving down the highway to work one day, he approached his exit, and simply decided to
keep driving. As simple as that. He kept driving and ended up at a movie theater, where he watched movies all day long.
I talked to him a couple more times after that, waiting for him to ask how everyone was doing at work and waiting for an admission that he had made a huge mistake without quitting his job properly, but nope. He didn’t seem to regret his decision in the least and showed no remorse whatsoever.
I had to keep in mind that my friend worked for this business for seven years, and in a management position. I fought the urge to remind someone in his mid-20s how hypocritical it was to walk out on a job when he has probably fired teenagers 10 years younger than him for doing exactly the same thing.
I received another text message from Scott a couple of days ago that said he was hopping in his car and taking a road trip for an entire month. He said he didn’t know where he was going; he only said that he “needed it,” and that traveling was now his “main priority.” Last time I checked, he was in Pennsylvania.
I’ve tried to be supportive of Scott and assume that he’s going through something quite difficult in his life right now. But he’s made this exact same move before, and only about a year ago. He will shut himself off from the world and not answer any phone calls or text messages. I consider myself lucky that he’s still communicating with me, to be honest.
We’ve all had times when we feel like life becomes too much to bear and we need a break from the rigors of our schedule, our jobs and other commitments. But for an adult to simply drop these commitments and walk away from them is not only grossly irresponsible but also just plain stupid during an economic recession, when you toss away a job for which other people would clamor. And to take a monthlong road trip when you have no funds coming in? Forget about it.
As I write this, I feel a range of emotions for my friend. I feel glad that he’s safe out on the road. I feel angry with him for abandoning everyone in his life right now. I feel saddened to know he feels like he cannot talk to anyone about what’s bothering him. And I feel disappointed in him for shirking his responsibilities and going out on the road alone when there are plenty of people here at home who are willing to help give him some time off at work if he gets burnt out, or listen to him if something’s wrong.
I can only hope Scott comes back home refreshed after his monthlong soul-searching stint. Although his job won’t be waiting for him when he returns, I know I will.
Column: Friend teaches lesson in irresponsible behavior
Corbin H. Crable