Author Topic: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter  (Read 11877 times)

Juslookin

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Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« on: January 27, 2015, 08:02:15 AM »
I live in a small town and was elected two years ago to a position of leadership in this town, we are a team of 5 all elected.

There is no pay or perks for this gig, it pretty much sucks. I have put in long hours and spend most days getting criticized and abused by those who don't agree with the teams decisions, while those who do agree say little or nothing.  I know the vast majority of people are happy, we have resolved some major financial concerns. We live under constant threat of being sued.....I simply can't do this to my family anymore.

So here's the question for you, I want to quit....yep I want to be a big quitter and walk away, resign, tell them to take this job and shove it. I am having some health problems and truly believe the stress of this gig is toxic and making it worse.  I will probably be going in for back surgery, I have a child recently diagnosed with a chronic disease, although one she will live fine with, just some adjusting needed.

I was raised to not quit ever......but c'mon how much of yourself do you have to give. I am also being pressured to run again.....no way Jose.

So a couple of options:
1. Walk away now
2. Step down as chairperson, serve out remainder of term as a slacker.

Your opinions?

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2015, 08:07:11 AM »
Quitting is not shameful, and IMHO may be the correct thing to do.

You have health reasons and you have a sick child. Either one of these on their own is a  valid reason to quit.

You have responsibility to your family before the town.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2015, 08:08:54 AM by CowboyAndIndian »

caliq

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2015, 08:11:22 AM »
Quitting is not shameful, and IMHO may be the correct thing to do.

You have health reasons and you have a sick child. Both are great reasons to quit.

+1

Operating under the idea that quitting is shameful is a very dangerous thing to do.  There may come a day when you absolutely cannot continue and are forced to quit, for things out of your control (ie. your health issues worsen).  If you're of the mind that you've "failed" by quitting, that will only make things worse. 

Do what's best for you and your family; it sounds like you've already done right by your town and have gotten them going on a good path, which should be the mission of every public servant. 

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2015, 08:16:27 AM »
Quote
I simply can't do this to my family anymore.

Then stop. Seriously.

If you have any hope of any sort of political career though, quitting would be very negative. 


Just curious- what is the term of the appointment- you said you've already been doing it for 2 years? If there is no pay and no perks, how does the town expect to keep people in this role for longer than that?

Juslookin

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2015, 08:35:32 AM »
Quote
I simply can't do this to my family anymore.

Then stop. Seriously.

If you have any hope of any sort of political career though, quitting would be very negative. 


Just curious- what is the term of the appointment- you said you've already been doing it for 2 years? If there is no pay and no perks, how does the town expect to keep people in this role for longer than that?

Thanks for your responses.

I have one more year to go and absolutely no political aspirations whatsoever. That was never my goal. I think I just thought I could help. I feel like I did and I feel guilty to my counterparts to quit, but I just can't continue to live my life for what others expect.

There will probably be some hard feelings from my team mates...I consider some of them friends, but really only the "seasonal" type friend. We don't socialize outside of this job.


mm1970

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2015, 09:12:39 AM »
I live in a small town and was elected two years ago to a position of leadership in this town, we are a team of 5 all elected.

There is no pay or perks for this gig, it pretty much sucks. I have put in long hours and spend most days getting criticized and abused by those who don't agree with the teams decisions, while those who do agree say little or nothing.  I know the vast majority of people are happy, we have resolved some major financial concerns. We live under constant threat of being sued.....I simply can't do this to my family anymore.

So here's the question for you, I want to quit....yep I want to be a big quitter and walk away, resign, tell them to take this job and shove it. I am having some health problems and truly believe the stress of this gig is toxic and making it worse.  I will probably be going in for back surgery, I have a child recently diagnosed with a chronic disease, although one she will live fine with, just some adjusting needed.

I was raised to not quit ever......but c'mon how much of yourself do you have to give. I am also being pressured to run again.....no way Jose.

So a couple of options:
1. Walk away now
2. Step down as chairperson, serve out remainder of term as a slacker.

Your opinions?
You were raised to not be a quitter? Wait, how long is this term supposed to be?

Anyway, your health is more important.  Just say NO.  A soul-sucking unpaid volunteer job?  Sounds like my job on the PTA.  Ha! 

Quit.

Juslookin

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2015, 09:39:50 AM »
I live in a small town and was elected two years ago to a position of leadership in this town, we are a team of 5 all elected.

There is no pay or perks for this gig, it pretty much sucks. I have put in long hours and spend most days getting criticized and abused by those who don't agree with the teams decisions, while those who do agree say little or nothing.  I know the vast majority of people are happy, we have resolved some major financial concerns. We live under constant threat of being sued.....I simply can't do this to my family anymore.

So here's the question for you, I want to quit....yep I want to be a big quitter and walk away, resign, tell them to take this job and shove it. I am having some health problems and truly believe the stress of this gig is toxic and making it worse.  I will probably be going in for back surgery, I have a child recently diagnosed with a chronic disease, although one she will live fine with, just some adjusting needed.

I was raised to not quit ever......but c'mon how much of yourself do you have to give. I am also being pressured to run again.....no way Jose.

So a couple of options:
1. Walk away now
2. Step down as chairperson, serve out remainder of term as a slacker.

Your opinions?
You were raised to not be a quitter? Wait, how long is this term supposed to be?

Anyway, your health is more important.  Just say NO.  A soul-sucking unpaid volunteer job?  Sounds like my job on the PTA.  Ha! 

Quit.

Oh my gosh, PTA, that's years back for me and was also soul sucking for sure.

BlueMR2

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2015, 09:58:38 AM »
Just quit.  It's harming you and I doubt you're able to be as effective since you don't want to be doing it (which would then be harming others).  Sounds like it's a long term win/win if you quit (even if there's some short term pain).

ltt

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2015, 11:51:56 AM »
Why do people feel so guilty about leaving volunteer positions?  Maybe people think they are letting everyone down.  You don't say what age you are, but after you are a little older, you suddenly realize that sometimes volunteering isn't even worth it.

You can graciously step down and don't really have to explain yourself.  Just say you are resigning; that you want to do other things.

And please realize that you are not being selfish at all.


Louisville

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2015, 11:59:16 AM »
Two years of community service? That's plenty. If anyone thinks less of you for stepping down, let them step up.

Juslookin

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2015, 12:36:02 PM »
Thank you to everyone for taking the time to read and respond.

I think a lot of my guilt is because it's a three year term and I want to walk away now after only two years.

Technically I would be done December 1st of 2015. I feel as if I made a three year commitment and I should try to fulfill it.  Than on the other hand I go back to the personal cost to me and my family.

I am already being harassed about running for re-election, I clearly need to just say no to that.

You are all right though, I know it deep down.

JLee

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2015, 12:43:40 PM »
Unpaid and stressing you out?  No question, walk.

Static Void

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2015, 12:53:55 PM »
"Due to health and family concerns..."
"...regretfully..."
"...proud of what we have accomplished..."
"...still a member of this community..."

And before that, perhaps discuss it frankly with your colleagues on the team, perhaps one at a time. They will surely understand.

(And, yes, maybe in certain debates your slant will no longer be present. Life will go on.)

Rural

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2015, 04:37:56 PM »
As someone who's spent way too much time doing way too much in unpaid elected positions.. Quit. Do as I say, not as I do. :-)


Seriously, you'll feel so much better. I took a step down ( not all the way out) this year, and my whole life is better.

crispy

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2015, 05:36:12 PM »
During the last couple of years, I took a fresh look at my volunteer commitments and quit a couple of things that just weren't adding value to my life.  It has been a relief.  I found I had been living in dread and didn't even realize it.  It's not only okay to quit, I think it would be the right thing for you and your family.  You have more pressing issues right now and this volunteer gig shouldn't take priority over your family's well-being.

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2015, 06:51:59 PM »
Not too late to weigh in?  Okay then, here we go. By the sounds of it if you quit this job you will be a quitter. However, if you don't quit this job you'll be quitting on your health and quitting on your family.  Not to mention the possibility you continuing to work may actually succeed long enough to ultimately fail because the stress and frustration affect your decision-making capabilities and work capacity.  In summary: get out while the getting's good.

KBecks2

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2015, 07:11:36 PM »
Get out now.  Help a little w transition for a defined number of says, 30 - 60 and transition the workload. 

YoungMoney

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2015, 07:59:59 PM »
1. Quit. You don't need an excuse, but "quitting due to health reasons" is the perfect excuse.
2. Someone else may be thrilled to have the honor of filling this position.
3. You can stay involved in the community by being that positive voice that you are lacking now (and urging others to speak out, too). Do a little from the sidelines--it sounds like it will mean a lot to the folks serving in this thankless position.

Bob W

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2015, 09:07:03 PM »
Run!

Juslookin

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2015, 02:18:35 PM »
I really thought I would get dragged through the coals by folks about this. I am surprised, not one person told me to stick it out.  And I especially liked the advice "Run" from Bob W.

I must really have a skewed perception about this.  Thank you.

LouLou

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2015, 09:12:16 PM »
I really thought I would get dragged through the coals by folks about this. I am surprised, not one person told me to stick it out.  And I especially liked the advice "Run" from Bob W.

I must really have a skewed perception about this.  Thank you.

No, you are just a considerate person. It is good not to quit generally. But it is very good to quit an unpaid position that is making you exhausted and sick.

Allie

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2015, 10:30:17 PM »
My husband could have written this a couple years ago.  He was in a volunteer position trying to balance the needs of many.  The people who were disappointed threatened to sue, filed ridiculous ethics complaints, harassed him, and made the whole thing awful.  He stepped down because it was having a negative impact on his family, work environment, and experience in the community.  It was absolutely the right thing to do. 

My opinion is that your first, and most important obligation is to your child.  To be supportive of your family you need to have good health, focus, and low stress.  Maybe I'm wrong, but I would venture that you were also raised to be a good father and husband.

innerscorecard

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2015, 11:00:02 PM »
You shouldn't be bound by how you were raised. If you were, you would never make any decisions that are good for your current situation based on the current facts.

Dicey

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2015, 11:09:37 PM »
There's a world of difference between quitting (and calling yourself a quitter) and resigning. You can resign because you need to focus on your family and your health. That's NOT quitting. At the end of your life, you are more likely to cherish the time spent with your family than your service to your community.

In my city, the entire City Council is made up of adults whose children are grown and gone, not young parents. Occasionally a younger person with higher aspirations wins a seat. Their work and their family life always suffer. If you resign now, you can always serve again after your kids have flown the coop.

You're a winner in my book, because you are smart enough to realize this isn't working before it's too late.

norabird

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2015, 09:44:30 AM »
At the very least step down. Don't let a sense of obligation make you miserable.

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2015, 10:02:35 AM »
Do you know anyone else that has aspirations to fill the spot...or wants to run for the position in the next election? Maybe you could spend a month as sort of a transition period and suggest to the others that that particular person should fill the spot temporarily as you leave.

That way
1) You have a person ready to fill the void that knows what they are doing
2) That person will appreciate what you did for them

dios.del.sol

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2015, 10:13:29 AM »
Y'all might enjoy this podcast.

Guses

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2015, 10:43:24 AM »
Not only would I quit, buit I would also make it very clear that the reason for quitting is the toxic environment and constant criticizing by stakeholders.

You are doing a volunteer job for FREE and not getting ANYTHING out of it!!!!

If you feel bad for quitting, just volunteer somewhere else where your contributions will be recognized.

zenyata

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2015, 10:47:13 AM »
At the risk of getting too philosophical - in my now approaching 50 years of kicking around aboard the planet there sure has been A LOT of credit given to "not quitting" and endless anecdotes related about just what has been achieved by that good old puritan work ethic etc.  It has surely produced some amazing results that have led to hyperinflation of importance of the "don't quit" attitude as a foundation of the American (and probably elsewhere) myth.

Far more difficult to compile - due probably to selection bias and the sample population quite possibly being dead / insane - are the negative outcomes for people not quitting.  From firsthand experience and being witness now to more than my share of problems resulting from "not quitting", it's my opinion that it's likely about a wash now whether we stand to gain more from not quitting or from quitting.

Fun example:

Commercial fisherman is interviewed regarding some recent restrictions put in place by NOAA to help stabilize fish populations that had been over-fished.

Interviewer asks what the plan is now and do they think they can survive these latest restrictions to which the fisherman responds (paraphrasing) - "not sure what we can do - this has been the family business for generations - we're just going to have to fish harder..." 

Which I suspect means go beyond the restriction zones / find some other work around - to probably further the depletion that is causing the problem in the first place - but by God don't ever quit...

In fairness - I'm not a quitter on many tasks - I get very stubborn until I get them figured out or something breaks ;)   But when I take stock of a lot of those tasks - whether I ultimately solved things or not - I very often look back and think "well that was a stupid waste of time..."

So yeah - I won't be on here telling you to suck it up and not be a quitter...  Very much the opposite (especially since your health is being compromised).

MrsK

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2015, 10:53:12 AM »
I find it interesting that so many of you have experienced what amounts to volunteer abuse.  What is it about our society right now that is so uncivil and unappreciative?  We have TV shows where talented people bake wonderful things, but the whole purpose of the show is to criticize the person who did all the work (this is just one example in reality TV, but really the whole genre has fostered a heartless tear-down others mentality.)  On the internet I read wonderful articles and then read the comment section full of hate and judgement and criticism.  I see our local town council abused and criticized constantly--they really can't win--no matter what they do there is someone shouting and bitching and complaining.  And of course, just turn on the TV to see critics everywhere.  The Obamas can take a sip of coffee without 25 pundits weighing in . . .  I actually heard an entire debate on weather or not a beautiful actress should have worn gloves or not.  Sigh.

So I say hold your head up and walk away.  It is your community's loss after all--here they have a hard working person willing to donate time and ability and they punish you for it.  How to we get civility back?  It makes me sad that we are losing it at even the local level. 

My small revolution is to try to post a few kind things each day and now I am going to add to that--I am going to send a kind note to my local leaders this week and show my appreciation. 

Juslookin

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Re: Volunteer job sucking the life out of me - I wanna be a quitter
« Reply #30 on: January 29, 2015, 02:03:38 PM »
I find it interesting that so many of you have experienced what amounts to volunteer abuse.  What is it about our society right now that is so uncivil and unappreciative?  We have TV shows where talented people bake wonderful things, but the whole purpose of the show is to criticize the person who did all the work (this is just one example in reality TV, but really the whole genre has fostered a heartless tear-down others mentality.)  On the internet I read wonderful articles and then read the comment section full of hate and judgement and criticism.  I see our local town council abused and criticized constantly--they really can't win--no matter what they do there is someone shouting and bitching and complaining.  And of course, just turn on the TV to see critics everywhere.  The Obamas can take a sip of coffee without 25 pundits weighing in . . .  I actually heard an entire debate on weather or not a beautiful actress should have worn gloves or not.  Sigh.

So I say hold your head up and walk away.  It is your community's loss after all--here they have a hard working person willing to donate time and ability and they punish you for it.  How to we get civility back?  It makes me sad that we are losing it at even the local level. 

My small revolution is to try to post a few kind things each day and now I am going to add to that--I am going to send a kind note to my local leaders this week and show my appreciation.

I assure you that they will appreciate that beyond belief.