Confession: I’m a Quitter

No intro or lead-in for this one. I’ll just come right out and say it: I put in my 30-day notice at my job.

A couple of things happened on Monday that left me ready to scream. First, the VP of Finance found a payroll error that left the company owing me quite a bit of money. I’ll get that money on my paycheck this weekend. He also noticed the mountain of billing issues going on in the office and acknowledged that I have been underpaid for months, but told me I would probably never see that money because of the effort it would take to uncover all the billing mistakes.

Second, I was asked to do something that is unethical and could cause me to lose my license. Which I flat out refused to do. I won’t go into details, but it was clear that the company’s position on the matter was different from mine. And I believe they invented this issue in an attempt to get rid of me since I was raising such a stink about my paychecks.

Well, they win. I put in my notice and my last day will be December 15. If I’m going to be broke, I’m going to do it MY way, not theirs. Monday night was the first time in months that I actually had a good night’s rest.

Now What?

I know some of you probably think I’m an idiot, quitting my job when I don’t have another job lined up. And part of me agrees with you. In this economy, having a job at all is something to celebrate.

But I’m tired of working in a stressful environment for paychecks that don’t even cover my bills. I’m tired of being exhausted all the time from a career I hate. And I’m willing to take my chances with unemployment if it means a little bit of peace for a change.

I’ve been applying for jobs for months, and I’ll continue to do that. But right now, my mind keeps returning to the idea of trying to stay home for awhile. Freelancing and blogging have been paying most of my bills since August, so why not kick it up a few notches and see how it goes? Anything is better than what I’ve been doing.

I might fail. I might succeed beyond my wildest dreams. I don’t know. Right now, all I know is that I’m okay with the decision I made. And I hope you guys don’t think I’m a total dumbass, though it’s certainly your right to think so if you want.

  • Carrie Smith

    Girl I couldn’t be more proud of you. Most of the time I’m the “prepare” and have “a backup plan” type of person but in this case I was thinking you should have quit on them sooner. Happiness is more important than a job and peace of mind (and a good nights rest) is priceless.

    I know that you will get your side hustle on, and find something. At least your son also has his dad to lean on a little for financial support. Together you guys will make it through. Thanks for being brave and sharing your story as you experienced it. That takes a lot of courage.

  • Will

    “The hardest thing in life to learn is which bridge to cross and which to burn.” David Russell

  • rhitter1994

    Good for you Andrea! If your blogging and freelance is taking care of the bills, then I say, GO FOR IT! I would NEVER lower my standards and risk losing my license for anything!

  • Jeff

    Ya sometimes you just have to go for it and see what happens, instead of thinking what if all the time and playing it safe. I was in a better place when I left my day job but I had put it off for years cause I was afraid of failure and comfortable where I was.

    I hope all works out for you in the end and you find happiness as well as success!

  • MommaStar

    I think you made the right decision. Life is way too short to be putting up with people/company trying to cheat you, then turn around to ask you to do something unethical to cover their own ass. The best part of it all is you being happy again.

  • Broke Gal NYC

    Go you for being brave enough to remove yourself from a bad situation. Also, since your employer has engaged in wage theft and other sketchy behavior, I’m urging you to contact your local or state department of labor and any other relevant agencies, since usually in situations like this it’s not just one person they’re screwing over.

  • Ann Hartman

    it sounds like you made the right choice! Good for you for standing by your principles - is there an agency you can report them to for what they asked you to do that was unethical? Good luck working it all out.

  • Serendipity Savings

    I’m proud of you. You might not be okay now or for awhile financially, but it you are finding other ways to pay the bills you made the right choice. Heck, you made the right choice because they wanted you to do something illegal! Nothing is worth discrediting you as a therapist or losing your license over.

  • Tanner E

    I am with Broke Gal NYC. Not from the point of view of revenge or anything of the like. But you had them agree that they had been billing you wrongfully AND that they wouldnt fix it because it would be more trouble than not. That is illegal. Doing something unethical enough that would make you lose your license is also illegal and could cost a few of those useless admin people their jobs. I’d say document document document and make a case. Let the agencies investigate. You could be awarded back pay + damages. As far as unemployment, if you are voluntarily quitting, I’d start building your case that you are quitting for a reasonable cause. Otherwise, you can’t be awarded benefits.

    The choice you made is a very hard one, and uncertainty is the toughest of challenges, but keep your head up and I am sure you will find something a lot better. Doing something that was graying your hair from stress and leaving your guts all mixed up just doesnt sound like survival, but more like speeding up natural death. Best wishes.

    • Broke Gal NYC

      It has nothing to do with revenge and everything to do with the legality of the situation (both getting the money owed and stopping whatever other illegal stuff is going on).

      There is NOTHING vengeful about reporting a former or past employer if they are engaging in sketchy behavior. This is particularly disturbing since I know Andreas is a therapist and they could be possibly screwing a number of really vulnerable people. What assholes!

  • Melissa

    Congrats, Andrea! This is exciting news. Scary, definitely, but I’m a huge believer that eight hours a day is far too much time to spend doing something that makes you miserable, especially if you’re underpaid and overworked!

  • The Saved Quarter

    You are definitely not an idiot for leaving a job that is underpaying you and asking you to do unethical things that could lose you your license. Better to be broke on your terms than undervalued on theirs! Good luck!

  • Louise

    good on you!! you can’t work somewhere that expects you do things that could see you deregistered. i’d still go after them for the money though, you earned it. often a letter from a lawyer is enough. Good luck!

  • Bogofdebt

    Good for you! Sometimes gutsy decsions pay off-I have personal experience in that regard. I moved halfway across the country on a whim-I’m doing 10 times better here then what I was doing. So I am wholeheartedly supporting your move!

  • Catseye

    OMG! Not only did they knowingly screw you out of money, they also wanted you to risk your license?!? Of course you have to get away from that company! I’ve been abused by employers but NEVER to that extent.
    I’m wishing you lots of good luck with your freelancing and blogging. I’m hoping this will become your new career until or unless you find something else that truly makes you happy and pays the bills.

  • Romeo

    I’m pretty sure you can’t collect unemployment if you quit. You have to be fired. I hope I’m wrong for your sake.

    • Andrea @ SoOverDebt

      No, you can’t collect unemployment if you quit. Lucky for me I have other ways of earning money.

    • Tanner E

      Actually… you can collect unemployment if you quit under certain circumstances. If Andrea can make a case that she quit her job for “just cause”, which is a bit difficult but doable, they would award her benefits. I am not familiar with KY UI laws, though I scanned their handbook briefly, the laws are similar to that of the other states I work with. If you asked me, it would be a difficult claim to fight against as employer, because you were not paid what you were agreed to work for, they agreed that they weren’t paying you the amounts because of THEIR mistake, and furthermore, were not going to pay you because they didn’t want to fix their mistakes. Lastly, if you can document this ‘unethical’ behavior they asked you to partake in that you refused to and would’ve made you lose your license, you can definitely be awarded benefits on those grounds alone. I work with UI on several states, and I think you have a pretty good chance of pulling it off. However, UI is based on the wages you earned, and you didn’t work there for long enough to make wages that would account to much, so your amounts may not even be that much… I’d still put up a claim just out of spite. Let me know if you need any clarification on any of this. Sorry for the long read!

      • Yakezie

        Sounds like one can bring up the unethical portion as a reason to quit, and then collect UI?

    • Yakezie

      Hmmmm… i forgot about this. Is there anyway to asked to be RIFed (reduction in force)?

  • Kendra

    Wow. Asking you to do something unethical on top of admitting they have screwed up your pay and it’s just too difficult to fix??? How unethical can one place be? High time you got out of there before someone reports them to the OIG and then they’ll be wishing they had taken the time to get their billing practices correct and above board. As one single mom to another, you stick by your guns. I really admire your courage. When one door closes, another one opens. Things will get better!


    Look at all these great comments — Surely that’s a good sign Whether you decide to take a new job or try to do the blogging thing fulltime, I wish you the best. It can be an emotional roller coaster.. as I’m sure you know, but if you can keep your head on straight — as things can get rocky , self employment is a wonderful thing.

  • Cash Flow Mantra

    You did the right thing. There is no reason for you to have to be abused in that way.

  • R evanche

    Ok while not having another job is technically scary, you know you have another income stream and that’s great to shore up part of your needs. But seriously, please take any and all documentation on the billing errors, the hours you worked, anything and everything you have submitted - and I mean every shred of documentation - and take it to the Department of Labor and get them worked over.

    Please please please do not let them get away with having underpaid you and then not paying you the money you more than earned because that’s totally unethical and they should not be allowed to get away with this on top of asking you to risk your license.

  • Insomniac Lab Rat

    Wow, who knows what they would have done next, right? You got out of what was clearly a bad situation, and I’m sure things will be tough, but you’ll make it. Good lluck!

  • MarissaT

    You totally did the right thing. My first job out of law school ended in much the same manner - before I even knew if I had my license I was put in an ethical dilemma so with no prospects was out the door. Good for you for following your gut. You deserve better. Good luck - I know you will make it!

  • Restlessbbwoman

    You’re doing the right thing. I do think you need to file a wage claim/complaint with your state. Here in Oregon we have the Bureau of Labor & Industries (BOLI), I’m sure your state has something of the same. It might be worth looking into. Here’s Oregon’s link to get you started to see what you’re looking for.

  • 3under3mom

    Wooohooo!! I’m excited for you! While it’s scary to not have a prospective job, I have a feeling things will work out for you. Hooray for a good night’s sleep!

  • 20′s Finances

    Go get ‘em! I don’t even doubt that you can do it! Give it everything you’ve got and I am sure you will make it as a full-time blogger.

  • Yakezie

    I wish you good luck! Would like to read about your experiences. Hopefully you will experience more peace, less stress, and a better opportunity. Sam

  • Andrea @ SoOverDebt

    A lot of you have mentioned filing complaints and/or filing for unemployment. While I understand your anger (because it’s not even a FRACTION of what I’m feeling), there are a number of reasons why it would be impossible to find out how much money I’m owed.

    Basically, I would have to go back through every single appointment since I started there part-time in April. I would need a printout of all the appointments, then I would have to get each client’s chart to see if there’s a billing ticket for that appointment. If not, I would need one of the medical records clerks to look in the computer to see if the client canceled. Once I compiled a list of every billed appointment, I would have to divide them among pay periods, figure out how many hours were clients without insurance, compare the numbers to my paychecks and subtract out what I KNOW was billed…. There’s also the issue of Medicaid and private insurance companies withholding payment for up to 90 days if the billing was put in the system late, so I could have a lot of pending payments as well. It makes my head hurt just thinking about it.

    It’s not that they are refusing to pay me; it’s just that it’s too complicated for anyone to know what’s been done and what hasn’t. And if I spend hours chasing down all that information, that’s time I’m not billing (and, as a result, not getting paid). So to me, it’s not really worth all the effort when all I want to do is walk out on my last day and never think about that place again. I don’t even care anymore; I just want out.

    I truly appreciate all the supportive comments. I was terrified to make this announcement and you guys have made me feel SO much better. Unless I miraculously get a job, I have a feeling the next few months are going to be pretty horrible. But at least when I need to complain, I know you all will listen. And that means a lot.

    • Tanner E

      I don’t think YOU would be the one to figure out how much money you are owed. You just have to show enough inconsistencies and leave the agency to investigate. You don’t have to say “they owe me $4000 from April to August”, you just have to say something like “the pay was not being correctly posted, and though I dont have EVERY single pay stub with the necessary information, here are some examples of how the pay was calculated incorrectly.” It is not your responsibility to pay you correctly, it is theirs.

      Again, unemployment is not the EEOC or DHS. You dont have to prove that your wages were all wrong. Just that you had a just and good cause to quit, and that they messed up your paychecks for that many times with no intention to fix it should be reason enough. I’d love to see them trying to explain a messed up payment system to the UI judge…

  • Ashley @ Money Talks

    Well… I’m jazzed! So curious to see how this all works out for you. I wish you the best of luck!!!

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  • Chellesinmke

    AMEN sister! I’ve only once left a job without another lined up, but it was for my sanity….and, the fact that I was actually losing more money by working as I had to pay my own car/gas bill for business travel. No one said the right thing to do would be the easiest! Sometimes you just have to stand up for things strictly on principle. Sounds like you’ve thought your decision through and I’m behind you 100%!

  • Gpascual3a

    Like the others have said. Good for you! and yeah, I’m pretty sure you can get unemployment because your reasons for quitting are for good cause (unethical behavior by the employer). Also, because you weren’t being paid what you should have been paid, you would likely be awarded the back pay. In Calif, you might even be awarded interest. If your prior employer was billing Medicare, Medicaid (or whatever your state calls it), they could be investigated for poor/inaccurate billing practices, which could lead to them losing their contracts with those payors, which could ultimately lead to them having too shutter their doors.

  • Beating Broke

    We’ve talked about this privately as well, but wanted to publicly say, Way To Go! Better to remove yourself from the situation than to let the issue simmer. The reduction in stress is well worth it, and you’ll find a way to make the money up.

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    It is hard and scary to leave a job now a days. I applaud your decision to do what is right.

    I wish you the best.

  • 101 Centavos

    Good luck on this new chapter in your life. Leaving a caustic work environment can’t be anything but a good decision.

  • The Happy Homeowner

    I think you are brave and wish you nothing but the best!!

  • Marissa

    Im so happy for you!! Congrats! I know people aren’t supposed to say when someone quits but I think you have great things ahead of you. Perhaps start a blogging empire like Crystal;)

  • Sunny

    Good for you for rolling the dice. As scary as it might be to quit without a backup plan, sometimes this is just the kick in the pants you need to truly start on a path that works for you. Sending good karma your way.

  • Anonymous

    I have total faith that you will succeed in what ever you do! Screw those shady bastards