Why I’m volunteering for a buyout in this cruddy economy

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From the tone and subject of my posts over the past couple of weeks, you may have guessed this was coming. Yep: I’m sacking myself.

What kind of brainless ninny would volunteer for unemployment in an economy so crappy we’ve run out of hyperbolic adjectives? If my mother were alive, she’d ask the same thing. Or, rather, she’d ask, “Daijobu?” — “are you okay?” — in a voice that indicated she didn’t think I was at all.

Believe me, I’ve questioned my own sanity. Following are just a few reasons why leaving a good job in this economy is totally mental:

  1. There are no other jobs. Period.
  2. Health insurance is still not universal.
  3. Pampers still cost money.
  4. It’s illegal to force a four-year-old to get a job.
  5. Daytime TV isn’t really that good.

Like any TIME writer worth her salt, my next paragraph will begin with “On the other hand…”

  1. I’ve had a great run — 12 years — and it just feels like time to go.
  2. The buyout package will keep my family insured and my baby in fresh diapers. For a while.
  3. I’ve survived five layoffs already, and I don’t want to white-knuckle it through one more.
  4. My industry is undergoing seismic changes, and my strong feeling is that sooner or later, we’ll all be free agents.
  5. The cafeteria isn’t really that good.

Over the coming days I’ll analyze what my new work status will mean in this economy, and I don’t doubt there’ll be times when I’ll feel nauseous with anxiety at my decision. I’ll ruminate over the many, many things I’ll miss about my company, my brand and — okay — the cafeteria.

But right now, I feel pretty good.

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