“People don’t ever seem to realise that doing what’s right’s no guarantee against misfortune.” – William McFee (1881-1966)
The above quote is infallible. Or at the very least, many of us can attest to its relevance. I’m used to doing the right thing and having substantial opportunity cost and a decreased desire to attempt to be a somewhat decent person. However, I’d like to share a scenario that happened recently that reaffirmed my belief in doing the right thing no matter the cost.
A few months ago, I started my current job. As soon as I was finished training, I was offered a job that would allow me to enter the company I’ve always wanted to work for. It was legitimately the stuff my hopes and dreams are made of. I was filled with excitement, after all, I had just graduated college and had filled out 70+ applications for positions at this institution. Thankfully, my former boss worked there and was able to recommend me to the person I would be working directly under. All that was left was to wait for the call for an interview.
But I couldn’t seem to shake the feeling that it wasn’t right. After all, I had just started my current job and become acclimated to the office atmosphere. Not to mention the job itself is difficult and not one people would fight to get. To leave my boss without someone to handle claims (meaning there would be no money coming in) was irresponsible. I couldn’t find a replacement and it would take about two months to train someone new. The same thing would happen with my second job, which would have been worse because I’ve worked there for years. The family I work for is like my own family, they let me work flexible hours throughout college, and they still allow me to go on vacations whenever I want. I believe that will never be replaced at that job based on the fact that it’s taken me years and years to learn everything I do.
So I turned down the dream job by saying I wasn’t interested. Too many people were counting on me, and I just couldn’t look at myself in the mirror if I left abruptly like that. So, I said goodbye to my health insurance, goodbye to my office, a set schedule, a 70% pay raise… And I’m not even going to say it didn’t hurt. I thought about it every morning I sat in rush hour traffic.
I found out today that the former boss that recommended me for the position ended up taking it. She had to have a surgery and while she was gone, the people she supported transferred or retired and the company brought in someone to restructure the entire department. A few people were laid off, and being the amazing intelligent woman she is, she saw the writing on the wall and jumped ship. As she was telling me this, I almost cried because everything started making sense. Thank God I didn’t take that job, it was never meant for me. As her coworkers reapply for their jobs and look for openings in other places, she’s sitting in a comfortable position for the exact same pay and benefits.
Tonight I started thinking about all the other times I’ve done the right thing and passed up opportunities that would hurt the people I care about… I wonder if those choices impacted any of their lives? I think they did. But no matter what, I’m happy I got the chance to see this one choice I made make a real difference in the life of someone I owe the world to. I’m happy at my current jobs and I’m able to gain experience and travel more. Plus I graduated with my bachelors three years ahead of time, so I was so focused on classes I never got the chance to do internships. I honestly do need the experience more than the money right now.
So what I’d like to say to all my readers is that there is hope. Always do the right thing, even if you were like me before today: thinking that it never mattered to anyone except yourself. Because it does matter, it can make all the difference in someone else’s world. We don’t often see how it impacts the world, but every once in a while, we get a glimpse.