I'm in that awkward position again--time to leave another job.
Since starting my new position at Sweetie's old workplace (ITG), I've found that they have a lot more for me to do than I originally anticipated. They hired me on the premise that I'd spend the summer on a couple of professor's websites, maybe a little photography...but the projects are much bigger than they thought and miscellaneous jobs pop up every day. In my first couple of days, I sewed up a security hole, made an application for faculty to modify web content, took and put up new photos of conference rooms, and met with a professor to redesign his laboratory website.
I'm happy to be needed, especially after spending the past year and a half begging the staff at Lilly to pretty, pretty please look at your own website. The problem is, I still have my internship and the position at the Lilly, which only leaves two days of the week free to devote to ITG. Not only does that schedule short-change my supervisor at the ITG, who has to schedule meetings for the days I'm there and keep track of the tasks piling up for me, but it's stressful on me, too. There are too many projects crowding the space in my brain, and I haven't had a proper lunch break (or any break, for that matter) since Sweetie and I went out on my first day of work.
The solution is simple: leave the Lilly. My supervisor there has to strain to find things for me to do, anyway; they pay more than a dollar less per hour and have such little interest in their website (and an excess of concern for others' opinions) that applications I completed months ago are still gathering dust in the test environment "pending approval." Sweetie has been urging me to quit for months, and now that I have a more lucrative source of income it's difficult to come up with reasons why I shouldn't. The only thing stopping me is guilt for giving the impression that I'd be around for years during my masters program. Frankly, that's a weak reason too, because there's a plethora of wannabe web monkeys walking around campus who would jump at the chance to put links on pages for a little above minimum wage.
So the question is, how does one pull out gracefully? For one thing, I have to corner my supervisor in person, who even when I was there almost every day was only "cornerable" once a week. For another, we don't have the friendliest relationship. It's not antagonistic, but I do get the impression that I intimidate her. I tend to intimidate a lot of people, which would be great if I was in the position of power, but isn't so great when I'm trying to get them to like and/or trust me. My personality is also good for doing a job, but terrible for dealing with sensitive situations like quitting one. I'm inclined to be honest, which wouldn't be good at all. Example:
"Hi, E. I'm fine, thanks. How was your meeting? [Pleasantries, pleasantries.] So, um, I think it would be best for you to find someone else come fall. Someone with an undeveloped skill set and low expectations. See, when you hired me I was stupid, and I thought all I was capable of was fixing up some text with HTML tags and putting it on the website. But I went out of my way to learn a lot, and now I'm too smart for this. I'm under-appreciated and under-paid. Someone else is going to give me more opportunities AND more moolah. So, sorry, but goodbye."
Imagine the response when a future boss calls for references, eh? But glossing over it leaves a bad taste in my mouth too:
"Hi, E. I'm fine, thanks. How was your meeting? [Pleasantries, pleasantries.] So, um, I think it would be best for you to find someone else come fall. I have this other job now, and I'm taking classes and have a zillion other obligations. I'm just not strong or mature enough to handle it all. And I have these bills, you know, and my poor aging parents are supporting my two brothers through school and won't be able to retire at this rate [*tears up*]. Other people need me. I'll be so sad to leave because the staff is like my family and I love it here, but fate has other plans. Goodbye, my sweet Lilly."
Of course, I could always do what I did when leaving the worst job of my life last summer: send a two-line email.
"Hi, E. Thanks for employing me for the past year, but I won't be coming in after next week. I'm grateful for the opportunities you gave me, but this library isn't the best environment for me anymore. Sorry for being too chicken to look you in the face to say this. Yours, Tamara."
Have you ever had to quit a job nicely? How did you approach your boss?