How to quit a job someone won't let you quit?
I need some unbiased opinions here...
So I've been with the same trainer for around 3 years now. For the last 2 or so, I've worked off board and lessons from her. She is more than fair with compensation, and the deal has been gone on mostly problem free.
Those two years I was really strapped for cash, and it helped me have some extra in my pocket, and often I overextended myself to help her to earn extra. I suffered in school (I am in college, I will point out) because I was working way too many hours for her in combination with my job - I was always so tired I had trouble focusing and I rarely, if ever, had a real 'day off'. But at the time I was fine with it, it was what I wanted to do. I realized that I should have slowed down and put more time into my school a bit too late and had a passing, but poor grade on my finals.
I'm headed back to school late this year, after having to take a little time to figure out what I wanted to do - I had a change of heart and wanted to switch my major.
I don't want to blow this year by trying to pack too much into my life. I am at a different job now, I make more, and I can afford to pay for the services I get from my trainer and barn owner.
So I explained to my trainer a couple of weeks ago that I would be heading back to school, and I was also working full time and I wouldn't be able to work for her as much. I told her the jobs and times I would be avaliable, and that would be all I'd be able to do unless it was an emergency. She seemed to understand.
However, she has still been asking me to take on extra. Even going so far as to call me at work when I didn't answer my cell phone, to ask me for favors. She's done that twice. She does know my boss, but I found it incredibly unprofessional of her still. Once she wanted me to go and do the nightly chores (and this isn't a terribly small barn - 20 horses) after I got off work - after working a 12 hour day.
I live 40 minutes from our barn, and she knows that. She will call me out of the blue, ask me what I'm doing, and I will tell her I'm at home, and she will still ask me if I will go do a favor for her - what I get compensated just barely covers my gas to get there.
(I should add, the way I profitted in this previously was I tried to go do extra chores before or after work, as my work is closer to the barn than my house by far.)
She is always complaining about how tired she is, and how she needs a day off, ect, when she is around me. I feel like I'm just being paranoid, but I feel like its directed at me. I don't want to have to get sharp with her, but she's not really backing off, whether I blatantly tell her I won't be working as much anymore, or hint subtly and continue to tell her I can't go every time she calls.
I realize she's doing a lot more for herself now, but it IS her business - she doesn't work anywhere else. Plus, its not like I'm not paying for myself here.
The main thing I'm afraid of here is that if I have to be a little more aggressive about this issue, she will, for lack of a better term, "give me the cold shoulder" in lessons. She's a great trainer, she's brought my horse and I far and I am grateful to her for it. I don't want this to change our relationship but it is irritating and hurtful that she can't respect my need to have personal and school time, when I am willing to fully pay her the difference.
You have your priorities straight in that you are finally placing school first. Possibly the best investment you will ever make. Do not stray from that !
She can't use you if you don't let her........and you are.
Ignore her calls (extremely unprofessional & selfish) and let her find another you.
She will and your life will go on as it should.
May your life provide you with the greatest of memories.
That's frequently a no win situation. YOU need to study and get through school so you can support yourself with a career. That's important. No one is looking out for you, except for you.
If she's going to give you the cold shoulder, then you'll know exactly what type of person she is. A user. Hopefully not. She should be supportive of you as well.
You'll either need to have a heart-to-heart discussion with her and set things straight, or look into finding another place to keep your horse. If I were you I would get ANY ambiguity out of the way- pay her the same full board price as every other boarder, and don't do any extra work. Focus on your school, job, and horse instead. If you're paying full board then there is absolutely zero reason that you (or she ) should think that you should do any extra barn work outside of your own horse. If it's an ABSOLUTE emergency (a horse is colicing while you are present or something) then obviously help out like any decent person would, but otherwise ignore her comments and enjoy your time out there like any other paying boarder!
If you still want to work a certain amount to cover board, then I would CLEARLY outline what you are willing to do, and make it 100% clear that you are NOT willing to do any other chores, and that she is not to call and ask. For example, say that you can work Monday and Wednesday afternoons, but that is the only time that you will be available because of obligations. I would be careful with this if at all possible though, as being the barn owner she is more than within her rights to ask for what she wants in exchange for board if you are not paying the full price.
If you can't even get by with paying full board without her expecting extra help then I would look seriously into moving elsewhere. Having that kind of pressure put on you is not fair.
There are a couple of people at my barn who receive some sort of cut in board (usually those with multiple horses), and my barn manager is always making comments about how no one (especially those with cuts) helps her around the barn, how tired she is, etc. She especially makes these comments when it's stall cleaning time! Being a full paying boarder on my horse, I feel zero obligation to help her with any regular care aspects of my horse. I will do things such as feed him, turn him out if I'm there, dump his water bucket to help her out, etc, because he's my horse and I like to give her one less thing to do sometimes. However, I have always stopped short of cleaning his stall. It may sound snobbish and rude to say so, but I don't want her to expect me to do her job just because I happen to be there on that day. There are plenty of boarders that almost never come to visit their horses, and she expects nothing extra out of them. However, because I come to visit my horse on an almost daily basis then she makes such comments indicating that I should clean my own stall when I'm there. I wouldn't mind cleaning his stall once in awhile if she's having a hectic day, but the first time I do that I know she will start expecting me to clean my horse's stall when I'm there. You should not be expected to do extra work to make someone else's job easier on a daily basis when you are paying for the ability to ensure that your horse is cared for in your absence!
I have to admit the possibility of leaving has crossed my mind, if things really did get ugly. I guess I'm just hoping they won't. Truth be told, I really don't want to leave the barn, or even her training as rude and presumptuous as she may at times be...
Maybe part of the problem is me. I feel bad for her (although, I know, I really shouldn't), so when I do have spare time and I'm already there, early for a lesson, ect, I do what she calls "random acts of kindness" - set up her stalls with feed and grain for the night, blow the debris out of the aisle, ect. And I don't mind, because I volunteer without being asked WHEN I HAVE TIME...she asks me at times when it pushes me to the max.
Keep this in mind.. people that truly appreciate your efforts and sacrifices TELL you to go home and live your life; those that don't are just taking advantage of you.
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As long as you have some agreement in place as to the amount of board you are working off you have some responsibility to do that level of work. Whatever you do, make sure you fully document what you do so you have a full accounting..use a spreadsheet or some other method of recording. If she asks for anything extra, politely refuse. The titel of your post here was trying to quit a job when someone won't let you. If you are paying the full board and training/lesson fees, then agreed, you need to have a polite and respectful one on one chat about things and make it very clear you are no longer available as what I would refer to a working riding student (meaning working off board/lessons etc). I agree with it being unprofessional that she is calling you at work..which could result in getting you asked to leave if it is interfering.
There are other trainers out there. If she doesn't stop what is nearly amounting to harassment in my mind, I'd start looking for another trainer/boarding situation..it doesn't have to happen yesterday but you need to have a contingency in place.
Frankly, any adult that would pursue a college student so relentlessly to try and get them to work when they have already clearly stated they can't do it is lacking in their own responsibility. If she is that desperate to get a break or whatever, she should be pursuing other options..like hiring someone part time.
Duck made some excellent points as well. I pay full board and as such expect the full board services. However, if I am at the barn and waiting on one thing or another, the most common is waiting for my horse to digest his dinner, I may do something like neaten up the wash rack or help the staff get school horses ready for the evening lessons. I also tend to pick out my horse's stall at night..call it room service, and the few times I have actually cleaned the stall from the overnight hours the staff was very effusive in their thanks..they don't expect it, they simply appreciate it.
Like I said, even if you are willing to help out sometimes you need to cut back for your own benefit. If you stop helping altogether then she may be initially miffed, but past that point you should no longer have the expectation. If you keep doing what you are doing, then she will keep expecting these "favors". Don't act like you have a stick up your butt if a tiny task needs to be done once in awhile, but don't feed into her expectations! If she truly cared about you as a person then she would be very grateful for the help that you do provide, and understanding that you have other obligations. It's possible that she just doesn't understand that she's asking too much, but I doubt it. My feeling is that she is just trying to take advantage of you, but you won't know until you talk to her and see the results of the talk.
I completely understand where you are coming from. I drive home 2 1/2 hr every weekend to work at my barn. I handle everything from maintenance to feeding from Friday night to sunday morning and balancing that and school isn't easy. but I fortunately don't have your problem. if I did I would have a sit down with my trainer. explain to her that you can not have her calling at work and that she needs to have another person for backup not just you. just make sure to show her your side and explain to her that you don't want it to hurt your relationship. also make sure to talk to her calmly and don't make your life seem harder, in respect to school and work, even if it is. she might get defensive at that and shut down.
Tell the trainer that under no circumstances is she to call you at work. Period. Home calls on weekends only because of your study load. If your cell has call display, don't answer. There's no law says you have to. Give her the ultimatum that if the calls don't stop you will be forced to move your horse. End of conversation. You've put the ball in her park. Tell her in person, in private and use body language that shows you mean it.
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