So remember how I used to be a barista? Well, I tried to quit my job a few months ago because I was taking 6 classes this semester, had a volunteer position at a non profit that I loved and wasn’t willing to give up, and was losing my mind from stress. I had student aid money that I could live off of and I desperately needed a break.

I say “tried to” because my boss somewhat unexpectedly showed me a big turn of compassion and was like “look, natface, I know you’re really stressed out and so I sort of saw this coming, but how about this: you take the rest of the semester off and come back in the summer time. You’ll have a job waiting for you and you can focus on your schooling until then.” He told me to think about it, and that he’d keep me active as an employee and just not schedule me. That means I’ve been able to get my employee discount still, and my stocks are still active.

I will be really honest and say that although I accepted his offer and said I’d come back at the end of the semester, I’d always kind of had it in my mind that I’d do some job searching and remain open to finding something better paying and lower stress, and would let him know in a timely fashion if I decided to not come back instead. I thought I’d have some time to do that right around this time of the year, but of course school work has taken priority, and now my old boss actually just sent me a message saying that he needs my summer availability by Monday so he can plan ahead, because some people are getting ready to leave next month.

There are some definite benefits to this job. I can essentially make my own schedule, and any day I have EVER asked off for I have always gotten. I know everyone that works there already and have a few decent friends in the mix. My boss and I have always had good rapport and he’s tried his best to be good to me (as evidenced above). I wouldn’t have to train on anything, I know all the ropes. Also, I am moving out of my city in six months when I transfer to a 4 year university, so I would not feel as bad as if I got another position elsewhere and had to jump ship in a relatively short amount of time- I could be upfront with my boss about that, and I could transfer to a location in the new city I am moving to fairly easily. Not to mention, if I go back, I will have (very good) health insurance again by the end of the summer and can go get the Gardasil shots and an IUD for free, which is something I would like/need to do very much. It makes me very nervous taking a gamble on not having coverage (Texas voted to not expand medicaid coverage so I get zero breaks on an obamacare policy since I’m single and childless) and this is one of very few jobs where I can get coverage while still being employed part time. I get free food and free coffee there (good when you’re a poor ass student). Also, it’s sort of the devil-I-know- I know what the major drawbacks are and I know how to handle them to a point. (more on that below)

On to the cons: One of the early morning shift leads, I did NOT get along with at all. She singled me out pretty regularly, as she’s almost a decade younger than me and got the job through thorough ass-kissing, yet did some really shady shit when the big boss wasn’t in (taking 90 minute lunches, telling us to just lock the front doors and run drive thru only if we were too busy and understaffed, not giving breaks appropriately, throwing people under the bus for her mistakes on a regular basis.) and I would consistently call her out on it, because fuck that, I do NOT make enough money there to be treated like that. I actually called HR and gave them documentation for her erratic and entitled behavior because I was not satisfied with what my boss had done to coach her. I was not the only person who felt like this by a long shot but was regularly the only one who would say anything. She also got one of her friends a promotion there and basically conditioned her into behaving the same way, so she’d do the same stuff. The store is also in a pretty rough/shady part of town and was CONSTANTLY busy. We were/are one of the busiest locations in the entire city because we were close to the intersection of 3 major highways and saw tons of commuters. It’s high stress, it’s loud, you see hundreds of people a day and so many of them are shitheads because they’re not yet caffeinated. Also, the pay is shit. It’s nice getting cash tips, but hourly is godawful pitiful. They justify it by pointing to the other benefits (food/drinks for free, health coverage, 401k etc). The work is hard and physical, I’m on my feet all day and running back and forth, and I come home completely wiped.

I used to work a skilled position making very decent wages in an eye doctor’s office but I’ve had no luck finding any place like that who wants a part-timer, and I can’t be full time while I’m in school, and again there’s the whole issue of me moving again relatively soon. Job searching is a pain in the ass and I’d just be back in the same boat again before I even knew it. If I say I’ll go back, I’m pretty sure I can say I’ll work M-F from 6 or 7am to 3pm and have weekends off (commuter store means we’re dead on sat sun and I could avoid a lot of the scary weekender crowd which consisted mainly of grifters, homeless people, and drunk patrons stumbling to and from the adult clubs down the road), and be able to take one or two classes in the late afternoon/evening, which would be nice because boyfriend will have the weekends off from grad school and his job too.

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The reality is though, if I go back on my word now and say I’m not coming back because of the reasons why I was unhappy before, not only will I be burning a major professional bridge, I will be turning my back on guaranteed work on the off chance that I’ll find something better in three weeks, and chances are I’d still remain uninsured for god knows how long. I can’t do that. I’m near the end of my school grant money.

I think I’m just a little frustrated at myself for not looking for other work sooner, but it is what it is at this point. Class work really needed to come first. I can’t gamble like this and turn down a job.

I am worried about Asshole Shift Lead, though. I don’t want things to be the way they were. What would you guys do? If I’m going to go ahead and go back there I want to protect myself and have it be as positive of an experience as it can be.

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It would be really dumb for me to not just take this, right?