Sloane Crosley: 'In Manhattan, quitting your job is just a bit of paperwork. It registers on the same scale as a flu shot'

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The Independent Online

I quit my job last week. I apologise, but a decade at the same company leads me to begin this column with that piece of Camus-esque drama. I live and work in Manhattan, where people leave and quit everyday. This is cause for neither parade nor funeral. It's just a bit of paperwork that registers on the same scale as a flu shot – a little pain, and soon you won't even notice. Watch, you'll even be able to put your jacket on like a normal person this time next week.

But because I have found myself in a generation where people leave their jobs every two years, start their own companies, or earn their keep from a single freelance job every six months, I'm a bit of an early-thirties anomaly. A company girl.

As I write this, I am looking at a book-shaped crystal paperweight I received from Random House, commemorating my five-year milestone. It's a bit on-the-nose symbolic. You know, because it's a book and all. True, I have gulped down champagne and mini-brownies at more than one 40th anniversary toast in the conference room. Yet even established companies such as mine seem unprepared for people of my generation to stay so long.

Put it this way: what, you might ask, is the millstone gift for a decade of service? The same paperweight, but with a "10" engraved on it. I suppose the idea is that you'll have accumulated twice as much paper that's put in jeopardy by open windows. One would think you'd learnt your lesson with the first paperweight, and just shut the window.

Either way, quitting to write full-time is going to go one of two directions. It's either a bit like a video game that reaches an end unimagined by its programmer, releases some sad electronic swansong because no one imagined my avatar would get this far and the world as I know it has shrunken down to a single white pixel fading at the centre of a black screen of nothingness.

Or, I'm about to go on a (miraculously productive!) binge of whiskey, cereal, bad decisions, bathrobe-wearing and Real Housewives of Atlanta-watching. Only time will tell, but I'll say this now: if I start using the surface of that paperweight for drugs, please, do call someone.

Sloane Crosley is the author of 'I Was Told There'd Be Cake' (Portobello Books)