I have decided to make some big changes in my life and those big changes start with quitting my job.
Movies always make quitting look so glamorous, like you walk in, tell off your boss, maybe start something on fire and leave, and look never back. In reality, it can actually be very sad saying goodbye.
It’s never the projects, meetings or spreadsheets that keep you in a job, it’s the people. And I am heartbroken to say goodbye to so many people who have meant so much to me over the years.
I work in a paper mill and my coworkers are the most down-to-earth, genuine people I could have hoped to find. I have worked here twice, the first time when I graduated college and then I came back two years ago. There’s something incredibly real here, it’s community and comradery. It has been my home away from home. We’ve fought like family at times. We’ve been there for each other through hard times.
The people here are a little rough around the edges, but if I ever needed help, I know they would be there in a minute, because that’s who and how they are. They are welders, pipefitters, engineers, papermakers and everything in between. They take pride in their work. They get their hands dirty. They work long hours and difficult schedules but they care about what they do.
I’m going to miss coming to work in the morning as the sun comes up, seeing Mount Hood in the distance. I’ll miss driving into this sleepy little town and seeing a trail of guys with their lunchboxes, crossing the street into the mill. I’ll miss the roar of the industrial machines as the day begins. I’ll miss the morning meetings in rooms that smell like coffee and are filled with gruff voices.
I’ll miss the days when the mill isn’t running and it’s all hands on deck to bring the machines back to life. The hands that grip the wrenches and the steering wheels that are rough and stained from days of care given to tired machines.
I’ll miss the jokes I have with people. I’ll miss my department meetings that always digress to inappropriate banter within the first 10 minutes…
These are the moments and people that have been my daily life.
I’ve got to move on to some new pursuits. But I am so grateful to have been here and been a part of this community and to have met these people. They have made my days better and my work meaningful.
Thank you to my former coworkers. It has been a privilege working with you.