Have you ever made a decision that made no sense to other people but felt absolutely right for you? Have you ever thrown your hands up and declared, “I quit!”?
It’s an easy thing to do when you feel like you have the support of the people around you. But when you’re standing alone, with no one to validate your feelings, it can be hard to find the strength to keep going.
When we’re following our hearts and doing what feels right, we can’t help but feel that familiar pang of guilt. Is it worth it? Will people think I’m crazy? Will they question my decisions? When we’re following our hearts, we often feel like there is something wrong with us. And yet… if we don’t listen to that voice inside of us, what kind of life are we living? Are we truly living at all?
Furthermore, sometimes the best decisions are the ones we make on our own—even when they don’t make any sense to anyone else.
On this week’s episode, our host Mica shares a story about when she had to stand up for herself—even though it meant shouting “I quit!” and then quitting her job. And yes, this story involves Harry Potter.
Since childhood, I’ve been interested in dramatic storytelling. I’m a huge fan of opera. Shakespeare is my hero. My love for food photography developed in 2015, after visiting Philadelphia for the first time and falling in love with the Reading Terminal Market. I often say my work is as dramatic as a telenovela. I love to create saturated and vivid images. You can find my work on Texas Monthly, Austin Monthly, Saveur, and The Infatuation. I’ve worked with H-E-B, CAVA, and Saveur Selects.
Mica: [00:00:00] Welcome to the eighth episode of The Savory Shot. I'm your host with the most, Mica McCook. Before I get into today's episode, I gotta ask. Did you listen to the last episode with Kristina? Y'all, if you didn't. Go check it out. Look, I'm not here to tell you how to live your life or what to do with your time.
But when I say that Kristina knows the business. Y'all I mean it. With my heart. My soul and everything in between. Y'all. Y'all. Kristina's wisdom is priceless. You got to go listen to it. But, let's talk about today's episode. Today's episode is, interesting. <laugh>. I debated whether or not to tell this story for a while.
And after some deep thought, I decided, you know what, I'm gonna go ahead and speak some gospel truth to y'all. This story[00:01:00] is a doozy. I'm gonna tell you guys a story about the time I quit my job for Harry Potter. But before we get into that. Let's start the show.
Mica: For those who know me. In real life and online. Y'all know that I'm a huge Harry Potter fan. Fanatic. I read the first book in 1998. And from that point on. [00:02:00] I attended every midnight book release party. When the movies came out, I attended every movie premiere. My wedding was a Harry Potter themed wedding.
It's safe to say I am a die hard Harry Potter super fan.
Let's get into the story. The year was July 2011.
The second. Installment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was scheduled to premiere. July 15th. 2011. In early June three weeks before the premiere, our local theater, Alamo Draft House announced that to come commemorate this historic event. They were going to host a 24 hour Potter A-Thon event.
They were going to show all seven movies leading up to the midnight premiere of the final installment. Y'all <laugh>. I snagged a ticket so fast. I left skid marks on the pavement. <laugh>. [00:03:00]
I couldn't get there. Fast enough. At the time I worked at a daycare center as a teachers assistant. I didn't hate the job, but it wasn't exactly an exciting job to have. It was one of those in between jobs. We've all had jobs like that before? Right? I know I'm not the only one. Anyway. So the time off request
policy at this company required that we make the request at least a week in advance. And time off is given on a first come, first serve basis.
So I put in my request the day I bought the ticket. June 20th, which was three weeks in advance.
My first boss. Let's let's call her Linda. Took my request slip. Told me, my request was approved. Wrote my name on the calendar and told me to have fun. Fast forward to July 1st, [00:04:00] 2011. We get our work schedules for the next two weeks. And, what do I see? My motherfucking name on the schedule for July 14th.
The day I requested off. Three weeks in advance.
At first I thought. Oh, this is a mistake. I mean, I did make the requests three weeks ago, so I'm gonna go talk to, let's call second former boss. Christine. I thought. I'm gonna go talk to Christine and get this sorted out.
I walked into Christine's office. And I said to her, Hey Christine, uh, there's a mistake on the schedule. It says I'm scheduled to work on the 14th, but I requested this day off three weeks ago on the 20th, will you fix the schedule, please? She looks at the schedule. And said, Hmm, no, the schedule is correct. Your scheduled to be here on the 14th.
I said, wait a minute. I requested this day off three weeks ago. Linda said I was approved.
She says. [00:05:00] Well, you were approved. But other people needed that day off too. And their reasons for needing the day off are more urgent than your reason.
I was like, I don't care. <laugh>. I don't give a shit. I requested this day off three weeks ago. Linda said my request was approved. She said. Well, you need to discuss that with Linda. She's not in today, but I'll give you her cell number and you can talk to her about it. Okay. So I called Linda. And I got her voicemail. I called again.
Got her voicemail again. So I left her a message. And waited to hear back from her. About an hour later. I got a text from Linda saying I'm dealing with a family emergency. I can't talk right now. You're going to have to talk to Christine about this. I reply back to her. Hey, I mean, I asked her, would she call Christine herself?
Because I'm getting conflicting information. Didn't hear back from her. [00:06:00] So I went back to Christine. And I said to her, Um, Linda told me to to talk to you. Christine I requested this day off three weeks ago. Before anyone else. Christine said, I realized that. But again, the other people who need that day off
have a more appropriate need than you do. They're going out of town to visit family, but you're going to see a movie. I'm sorry, but that's not an urgent need.
The audacity. Y'all, the audacity. Oh, my gosh, just retelling. This story is like, Woosah. Woosah.. It's been more than 10 years and I still get so pissed about this whole thing. So I said to her, as was told to me and everyone else, requested time off is given on a first come.
First [00:07:00] serve basis. And what you're telling me now is that even though I requested this day off first. You are denying my request. That's not right.
She said, well, I'm sorry, you feel that way.
Nothing. Nothing angers me more than statements like in theory, feel that way. Y'all is so disingenuous. Oh, so fucked up.
So <laugh>. After taking. A few deep breaths. To calm down center myself. You know, I walked out of her office because I was two seconds from cussing this woman out. I went back to my station.
Remember just being. Really pissed really. Angry. And I was trying not to cry. Have you ever been so mad? That you [00:08:00] cry because it just, it takes all of your energy to keep your anger, under control. And, and to keep it from just. Overflowing and burning the motherfucking hell stone. <laugh>. You know, like you just, all you can do is cry.
Because, um, you know, the other thing you can do is smack a hoe <laugh>.
Well, that's how I felt at the moment. Like I was just so pissed. That, um, all I could do was cry. So one of my coworkers. Let's call him Joseph saw me and he noticed I was upset. So he asked me if I was okay. And I said, no, I'm, I'm really upset. And I told him what happened.
So just a little context. He is also a big Harry Potter fan. I don't think, I don't remember him being like as hardcore fanatic as me, but like he was a big fan of the movies at least. So first he [00:09:00] was like angry for me. He was like, that's bullshit. Second. He was like, oh crap. I forgot to request the teenth off. I'm going to the midnight premier. I don't know why he needed the 14th off if he was going to the midnight premiere. I don't know. Not my place, not my judgment.
But I told him, well, you know, good luck cuz. Christine rejected my request and I requested this, you know, three weeks ago. So I dealt she'll approve yours. He's like, well, I'm gonna go ask anyway. So he leaves. And y'all not even 10 minutes later, this bitch <laugh> this bitch comes back a elated.
He was like, she approved my request. She gave me the 14th off.
Mm. Mm. Y'all.
Y'all. Oh, my God.
I was already pissed off to begin with, but now I was like next level let's burn this motherfucking place down, angry. Like the anger I [00:10:00] felt. Flames for my eyeballs. Like I was. So pissed off. So angry and confused. So I marched right back into my boss's office.
I stood at the doorway. And I just looked at her like, What the fuck.
I said to her, you approved Joseph's request for the 14th, but not mine. I requested this day, three weeks ago. He requested it just now. Why why? I don't understand, like, why are you doing this?
Once again, Christine was like, I realized that. <laugh>
I realized that. But I still need you to come in on the 14th.
And y'all, it just, it went back and forth like this. Like we would just going back and forth, back and forth. Continue arguing about this. I just, I didn't understand. Why she was doing this. I felt like I was a good employee. I always showed up to work early. Filled in for coworkers [00:11:00] when they needed someone to come in.
I stayed late, never complained. I just did my job. So I. I could not understand why. This had become a huge problem.
So Christina and I were just, we're going back and forth. Back and forth, back and forth. I requested this off three weeks ago. I understand that, like it just kept going back and forth, back and forth, and we were getting nowhere in this conversation. And I think she realized that I was not gonna let this go.
I stuck my heels. This is the hill that I'm gonna die on and there's nothing you can do about it. Like I think she realized that. Because she like.
In a really loud, aggressive tone. She's like my decision is final. Either you come in on the 14th or you put in your two weeks notice.
I was quiet for a few seconds.
I took a deep breath. And I said, fine, I quit.
She was shocked. <laugh> like [00:12:00] genuinely shocked. She was like, what, what do you mean you quit? I say, yeah. Yeah. I quit. I quit. I quit. I'm putting in my two weeks notice. You're screwing me over and I don't like it. So I quit. She was like, well, we would need it in writing. And I said, gimme a pen and paper, like I quit.
So I put in my two weeks notice.
I quit my job.
Ironically my last day was the day before the Potter marathon event.
So I worked my last two weeks. I, you know, Finished out the last shift and after my final shift. Before walking out the door for the last time. Uh, Christina approached me. And she said, you know, I'm really sorry. I went this far. I put in your file, that your eligible for rehire if you ever want to come back.
<laugh>. What <laugh>
I thought to myself,
Hell no, [00:13:00] I ain't coming back to this shithole. <laugh>.
But I didn't say that y'all I. I said to her. Thank you. But that won't be necessary.
And that was it. I quit my job.
I learned three things from that whole experience.
One. I would never request a day off ever again. These companies don't own me. They don't own my time. My energy or my life. Cause I'm not a slave. I'm not bound to whatever company I work for. It's not up to them to decide when I get to take a break. When I say I'm taking a date off. I'm taking that day off. This isn't a request. It's non-negotiable.
I don't care who you are, how high up the corporate ladder you've climbed. You will treat me, respectfully. Cause I have no problem walking out that door. You don't own me.
Second thing I learned. The fish stinks from the head. Meaning [00:14:00] nothing kills a good team faster than a bad leader. If you treat your team like shit, you will get shit in return. The best leaders know that if they want to succeed. They have to put their team first. Bad leadership is showing preferential treatment to one person.
And then treating another person as you're punching back. The third thing I learned, never pass up a once in a lifetime opportunity for a company. For a job. Y'all there will be other jobs. I went to that Potter marathon. And I had the best time of my life. Y'all that thing started at four 30 in the morning and it went
all day, all day. All night leading into the midnight premiere. It was a, a moment that I will cherish forever. Like I made some memories, that till this day, makes my heart swell. I had so much fun.
I know that I [00:15:00] would've regretted it. If I had chosen work, instead of going to the Potter marathon.
Yeah, I would've regretted it for the rest of my life. Y'all it really was a one moment, never to be repeated again, kind of event and I'm so glad. That I didn't miss it. I didn't regret it then.
And I don't regret it now.
What I want you to take away from today's episode, is this.
Make sure each decision you make is based on what you believe is best for you. Never regret standing up for yourself, even if it has consequences. Don't wait for permission. A good leader knows how to make decisions based on the needs of their team, rather than just themselves and their own opinions.
Your feelings are valid and important and you are allowed to feel them.[00:16:00] And y'all most importantly, if something isn't working for you. Or it makes you unhappy, walk away from it and find something better.
Sometimes I think about my former boss Christine. I wonder where she is in life. What she's doing. If she remembers this event, as vividly as I remember it. Or if this is just like a bleep in a moment to her.
And. I'm glad that I could share it with y'all.
So that's the show.
Now that it's gonna be out there in the world. I'm very curious to listen to your feedback and see if anyone has any similar things that have happened to them.
Well, y'all. That's the show. <laugh> thank you for listening.
Be sure. To [00:17:00] check out episode nine. We have a very, very special guest that am super. I'm super excited to announce.
But till next time.