If your job sucks, quit

March 4, 2004
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That’s what Mme. Paquin did. What was supposed to be 20 hours a week picking up some extra dough on some paper’s copy desk turned into a migraine-inducing trainwreck. She stuck it out for most of a year, which sounds like far more than her employer deserved.

Another reminder that a lot of us don’t have cushy jobs at metro dailies with union-mandated 37.5-hour workweeks, four weeks of paid vacation, healthcare and pensions mostly paid for, etc. For lots of us it’s 50-hour weeks, 30 stories a night, idiot chain-mail managers, crappy-to-nonexistent benefits and paychecks a schoolteacher would turn down. (Tim Porter wrote a great article about working for squat in small markets.) Sure, it makes you stronger if it doesn’t kill you, and it provides healthy perspective for when you finally get a job that doesn’t suck the life out of you. That’s the upside. The downside is being pushed to the breaking point for months or years. If you’re in one of those situations now, the best thing you can do for everybody involved is quit. Someday you’re going to be on your deathbed, and to paraphrase the cliche: you’re not going to be wishing you’d put up with more newsroom bullshit.

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