A long time ago, I got off the phone with a recruiter, marched boldly down the hall to my boss/friend’s office and told her I thought I should quit and become a consultant because apparently I was worth $30,000 more a year elsewhere.
My boss/friend spent the next 10 minutes telling me, in many, many more words: “You suck at this job and the only reason you haven’t been fired is because I am your friend and I protect you.”
I didn’t believe her. I thought she was just mean, or stressed out about things going on in her personal life, or taking out her own frustration with her lack of prospects on me.
The truth is, I had NO IDEA how bad I was at that job.
My performance reviews were always positive, I kept getting raises every year, nobody asked me to leave… All signs that I was worth paying, right? Apparently not.
I have a sneaking suspicion that if I hadn’t eventually quit, I’d still be there. Doing a terrible job, and getting paid lots of money for it.
This was all a very long time ago, back when I was in my twenties, still thinking I was a genius…. Look out world, I’m gonna be running things, ALL the things, before I’m thirty.
Well, thirty came and went… and there goes forty… Still not running anything, except this blog… wooo hoo!
You see, with the big 3-0 came the realisation that my boss/friend was right. By then I had taken that consulting job… and left it after only nine months. Why? Because I was terrible at that job.
Terrible. Awful. No good. BAD.
If I ever saw that boss/friend again, I would ask her why she didn’t fire me and why she kept giving me raises. I’m guessing she would say it would have something to do with her ideas of friendship and loyalty.
But if she were a true friend, (and I have no idea where she is or what she’s doing now) I think she should have fired me, or better yet, helped find be a better job within the corporation.
Because the first time a friend got me a job I wasn’t qualified for, it worked out differently….
In college, my best friend got me a job as a short order cook at the diner she’d been working at for many years. As you can guess, I turned out to be a terrible cook.
Terrible. Awful. No good. BAD.
But this is what happened: Instead of just letting me go along, thinking, ‘I’m great!’ she told me the truth. Sat me down and said, you suck, please quit, now. The owner of the restaurant hadn’t fired me or said anything other than encouraging words to me because of her loyalty to her best waitress: my best friend.
So I quit. My best friend from college is still my best friend today. True friends tell the truth.
Moral of the story – listening to and accepting honestly meant criticism is the best way to learn what you are bad at, so that you can move on and find the thing you are good at.
12 thoughts on ““You suck, please quit, now.””
I LOVE this story! So glad it didn’t hurt your friendship =)
And I’m proud of you for getting out of the jobs you don’t love =) And I’m proud of you for writing! And I miss you. Come and visit!
Your first comment made me laugh! I guess you would know… 😉
I will… but I think it is your turn to visit me!
TRY NOT TO GET YOUR BEST FRIEND FIRED FROM HER JOB BY MAKING HER LOOK BAD IN FRONT OF HER BOSS …
Best tag ever.
HAHAHA! Thanks. 😉
So true, the truth hurts but it’s the truth, we have to suck it up, accept it, move on. Character building is done on the foundation of harsh truths!
Being able to deal with criticism is one of the toughest things there is. I absolutely agree that honesty is best in the long run. But it takes a lot of people a loooong time to realise that it helped them
That waitress friend is a really good friend because that is a hard hard hard thing to do. In many ways I think those hard things are only worth doing with people you really care about.
I agree, so I’ll let you know if there is something I think you are really bad at – ok? =)
Ditto and deal 🙂
Comments are closed.