Quitting can be wise

Posted by | February 22, 2022 | Human Thinking and Behavior, Work | No Comments

I went to see my GP recently. I had a book, Wolf Hall, in my hand, and he told me he had read it and its sequel. He added that he disliked them both. 

I must have shown puzzlement, so he explained that he never stopped reading a book he had started. His statement left me astounded.   
 
I have quit books, articles, and movies. I once walked off a badminton court during a game when another player annoyed me. His offence was that he took a LONG time to serve — on every serve. I now see the same pointless delay at times in tennis, but I just stand and wait. 
 
I have quit obnoxious jobs and work roles. Life is too short to suffer needlessly. Quitting usually has paid off well for me. 
 
Once when I quit a job, the boss held up my final cheque. It was in the early days of phone message systems, and I left a voice message for him saying: “Henry, this is your conscience calling. Pay John Malouff what you owe him.”
 
He paid. 
 
You might call me a quitter. And you would be right — at times.
 
But I have held the same job for 20 years. I have rooted for the same sports teams through thick and thin. I have read every Harry Potter book. I have watched Doctor Who for more years than I remember.
 
Prince Harry said it is good to quit a job a person dislikes. He was talking about his job as a prince. I agree with him generally about quitting, but I think I would enjoy a job as a prince. How about you?  
Why do people quit a job or a marriage or anything? 
 
Usually, they feel displeased and hope for something better. 
 
Some children hear this injunction: Don’t be a quitter. 
 
Life is not so simple though. Quitting is sensible when you are beating your head against a wall. Quitting is good if you change to something else that is better for you and others. 
 
The decision to quit a job is momentous. Because of the social effects of Covid, many people are considering quitting. 
 
Jobs that used to be reasonably safe and secure, such as teaching and providing health care, are more dangerous now. Jobs in hospitality and restaurants seem both unsafe and insecure. 
 

Quitting a job has risks worth considering. Quitting a book does not. 

 
 
Photo by mk. s on Unsplash

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