I hereby declare that I’m officially starting a job hunt. Fuck this place. Today, I asked our HR-ish person (who is cool) if we get MLK Day off because I couldn’t remember and was trying to make a plan, and she says, “[My boss] specifically says we need to work harder that day.” Not getting that day off is whatever, I don’t care, it was just a question. The mentality has me outraged.

Now, before you go, “come on, Hello, you could interpret this a variety of ways,” I assure you, with my boss, what she means is, “work harder because fuck MLK Day.” HR-ish person was on my wavelength about that.

I have to get the fuck out of here. I purposefully moved to New Orleans to be active in the community, be around diversity and art and music, and I pay higher rent and deal with more inconvenience to live there, yet I ended up commuting a long way to an outside suburb full of white people who ran away from New Orleans.

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My lifestyle is at odds with the life I had taken purposeful steps toward. It happened slowly, but an opportunity came to me and it was right for the time being but now I need to move along. I posted about this about a month ago, weighing it out and trying to see if this is a phase. But like, fuck this. I can’t do it anymore. I don’t want to support this company. I know that I am valuable to them, and I have come to resent that fact somehow.

I have been here almost 7 years. I feel mostly respected, I’m happyish with my compensation. I like a lot of the people that I work with. I have been here from its startup moments and have gotten to largely design my department. I work with little supervision. The company is owned by women and mostly women work here. Our “product”/baseline of the business is something that is healing, makes people feel good, and that I believe in. They did awesome things like continue, unprompted, to pay the full salary of someone who had to take 6 months leave due to a brain tumor, or give us all paid volunteer days. This past year, I got a raise and a promotion. After the temporary high, it didn’t help me much, morale-wise. It was too little, too late. This is why I’ve held on so long, and why I’m giving up on waiting for this job and this company to be, for my life, what I keep seeing its potential to be.

The second-to-last straw was when my bosses blew off an important meeting I’d set a few weeks ago. They pretty much blow off most meetings at this point, but this meeting was a, “I am noticing a problem, have compiled data, and have come up with some solutions to fix it, and I need your approval and expertise to help” meeting. It is a big, important problem that they were very interested in when I brought it to their attention. I took the initiative to do this all, without supervision or prompting. I spent a lot of time getting prepared. They have no respect for our time, efforts, or dedication.

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I moved to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina with the spirit of activism and altruism in my heart. I worked with various nonprofits on rebuilding, using my skills as a budding architect. My main project was adapting surviving rental properties to accommodate people with disabilities and the elderly at little to no cost to the homeowners. I ran out of money, entered the private sector in 2010, and have become more and more distant from these roots as I’ve gotten more and more involved in this company. I’ve got to get back; I don’t know if the nonprofit sector is a place for me to work (I know that paid positions are difficult to come by and I’ve been out of it for a while), or if I just need to get back into the community so I have more volunteer time, but fuck this. My nonprofit experience has not been super organized, except for supervising volunteers in the chaos following Katrina. Regardless, I’m not wasting my mental and creative energy on these people any more.

I am a valuable employee. I am a self-starter, a quick learner, a creative problem-solver, and I am organized, efficient, and punctual. I know I can thrive somewhere else, whereas here my talents are overshadowed by my exhaustion and frustration from commuting, and my anger at the people in charge.

So here we are. I have been stuck here, thinking “but I don’t want to give up this advantage and I don’t want to give up that advantage” but really, I’m goddamn miserable, don’t get compensated enough to make up for that, and that’s the bottom line.