It’s still kind of crazy to me. After 12 years in the advertising/marketing/branding/experience business, I finally quit (or retired as I prefer to refer to it as) in pursuit of something more meaningful. I’ve been extremely fortunate, and have absolutely no regrets. But the path to get here was tough…let me tell you a story.
It was 2pm on a Monday afternoon when I received the call. An alarming and frantic call where Danielle was screaming “come home”. When you hear that, you drop everything you’re doing and you move quick. I alerted my team, ensured all was covered and even sent a quick follow-up email to communicate the situation. Mind you, at this time I had no clue what the emergency was but knew it was bad.
No more than 10 minutes after I was en route home, a notification hit my phone. It was an email from my “boss” (I use quotes because they lacked any form of leadership qualitiy – completely incapable of understanbding or respecting people, period). For those on the current Theranos/Elizabeth Holmes hype…picture that environment and leadership, minus any genius at all whatsoever.
Her email went something like this:
I understand your family emergency.
However, I will need real-time updates on the status of projects. So when you get where you need to be, be sure to send updates.
To say I was upset would be an understatement. I was fucking furious. I was hurt. I had given this company my all. And while I already knew my time was limited and I would be resigning, it wasn’t going to happen the way I had planned.
Danielle and I talked about the situation, and agreed it was time. There was no point in waiting it out…the time had come. I responded to the email and cc’d all leadership and HR, to ensure they saw how business was being handled and the repercussions of doing so in such a way. With a generous 5 weeks notice I had officially quit advertising and was on my way out. But even the transition started off a bit chaotic.
That Monday night, Enzo got the stomach flu. We had one kid in stiches and the other on the toilet. Sweet. No more than 45 minutes of uninterrupted sleep and I was on my way into an office not knowing what my resignation email would result in. Silence…silence was the result. Except from my team who all knew. It was the talk of the office. But “leadership”, pshhhh, in their minds talking about it would be an admission of defeat. The day was eventful to say the least.
But I didn’t feel right. At the time I thought it was a lack of sleep but would soon realize it was far more. That night I got home as I normally do, did dinner and bedtime with the boys, and took it easy with a glass of bourbon (or 2) eventually making my way to bed. I figured a good nights rest would put my mind and stomach at ease, but 2am rolled around and I was awaken in a deep sweat. Running to the bathroom as quick as possible I knew I was going to be sick. I felt completely drained barely being able to hold my body up. I remember screaming for Danielle and then everything went black.
I had gone unconscious and fell to the floor. Clearly I do not recall this, but Danielle and the boys were there to see it. I eventually came to, got in the shower to wake my body up and relax and made it back to bed. The next day an appointment with the Dr. was inevitable. They said that this is a case that occurs commonly in men when their mind is awake but blood and oxygen can’t keep up, so the body simply shuts down. The more I thought about it I believe that this occurrence was my body releasing all of the stress, anxiety and anger that had been built up over the past year…a natural cleanse so to speak.
At Danielle’s recommendation I stayed home for the rest of the week. It was essential looking back at it. We needed the time to process all that had happened so rapidly and unexpectedly.
So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this factual tale of events. Please comment with your thoughts and/or stories of leaving your job. I’d love to hear them!
Til next time…