"I submitted my resignation to the Board of Directors last night", Becky informed me when we met for lunch a few months ago. "I could not take it anymore", she continued. I responded, "Congratulations" and we both laughed. To understand my congratulatory when someone just sort-of becoming unemployed, you would have to know the "stuff" Becky had put up with the last 10+ years. Her official title is Executive Director at an association. But there was no support staff and Becky wore all the hats.
Becky worked from a home office which was the only great thing about the job. The official mailing address for correspondence went to a post office mailbox. The office phone was set up only to receive messages and then being forwarded to Becky's cell phone. However, frequent callers would call Becky directly, day and night as well as weekend, on her mobile number. The Board set a tight budget so Becky could not get temporary help or outsource even when she needed to get the work done since there would be no "extra" money to pay for the service. Very often, Becky would be stuffing envelopes, running the postage and dropping off the mailing at the post office.
As "executive director" Becky would be required to be present at all the membership events (who else would be there since there was no other staff). The functions were in the evenings from 6:30 to 10 and required long distance driving. Being a salary employee, Becky would not receive overtime pay. Her compensation had been the same the last 2 years because of the "freeze" in the budget.
Last week, when we met again for lunch, I noticed Becky's hands no longer shaking. The dark circles under her eyes have gotten lighter. When she smiles, there was light in her eyes, as if the spirits in her soul have returned. I listened as Becky excitedly telling me about all the things she has been able to do with her son, Aaron. They would go to the park after she helped him with his homework. Physically, her health has improved and the sharp pains no longer there after each meal.
Update - Becky called yesterday to tell me that she has gotten a job near her house. "Just a 30+ hours part time receptionist, office work job", Becky explained, "the pay is good and the best part is I still able to pick up Aaron after school and helping him with his homework". I offered my congratulatory and best wishes to Becky. My wishes were more than just for the job, it was for the health, the happiness, the sanity and most of all, her peaceful soul.