I Quit

In the tradition of the Armstrong family, I’ve up and gone done it the hard way, once again. I submitted my resignation yesterday and walked out the door of my day job. I did it before I got to the point where it turned really ugly and one starts dropping f-bombs with clenched fists, both arms skyward and calling people cunts. I’ve never felt a more urgent need to leave anything or get away than I have this job.

While Heather and I had discussed me leaving the job after we had amassed some savings to cover us in case of emergency, I ultimately had to escape. I was getting to an unfamiliar, hazy place where I didn’t know which way was up. I told Heather I would try to suck it up until we had some breathing room, much like I had for the past year. I was going to quit last August, right as Heather reached her breaking point with post partum depression and I wanted to be home for her. I decided to stay after her meds started working and the work environment changed ever so slightly for the better. But in the end, you can’t change people who don’t want to change or see the need or value of changing. And who wants to die trying?

I liked most of the people I worked with, and enjoyed what I was doing, even if it was client-side boring stuff and the majority of the job tended to the production side of things. I did do an intranet design that I thought was good and was supposed to launch soon, but for the life of me, I was headed into a very dark place. VERY DARK. So I decided to cut and run before one of the best projects I worked on while at the company came to completion.

Think of the worst kind of corporate culture and that was where I was employed. Political, ruthless, uninspiring and despite all of that, still managed to produce a great set of products. I’ve told HR and anybody who would listen that good people would continue to leave until the culture issues were addressed and resolved. It didn’t help that most of my skills were underused by managers who didn’t know what to do with me except berate me behind my back and speak with utter disrespect about their colleagues and with utter disrespect to nearly everyone they spoke to. Add to that being threatened by the brilliance of others (not just mine [insert emotional icon smile here]) and you have a recipe for a clusterfuck that any MBA school would study as an example of how not to run a company or a department.

One example of the hell, which I’ll share because I’ve never seen anything like it in my life: During a very intense period both at home and at work when Leta was a couple of months old, I stayed up very late and worked at home on a project. Since our brand was very much in flux, I had seen some of the early agency work and decided to be inspired by their work branch out a bit. I stress “a bit,” as this was corporate work for a very conservative company. The next morning I brought in my work files, printed them up and brought them to my boss. She looked at them, asked, “where did you get this from?” paused about .8 seconds to flip through the sheets and say “we’re having the agency work on this project” then throw the printed sheets to the floor, turn away from me and start talking to someone else. I’ve had all kinds of client interactions over the years, but never anything like I experienced that day and on the many days to follow.

Sure, every job has things about it that suck. But this one was starting to affect my health physically and mentally. So. Time to go. Sure, not having a steady paycheck is stressful. But that’s my stress. I can control it and manage it.

I can’t tell you what all of the positive email has done for me. I can’t begin to thank you all enough. Heather has received hundreds of messages of encouragement and she’s shared a bunch of them with me. Thank you all so very much. It’s Heather and her brilliance that’s enabled me to wake up for the first time in a month without a migraine. She’s fought ads (I’ve been suggesting them for about 2 years) on her site, and I can’t thank her enough for being willing to make a go of it.

There will be much to do in the coming weeks, but we have some great things in store and I can’t wait to get going on all the fun stuff.

  • B.

    Go, dog! Go!

  • Observer

    Good luck!

  • LadyBug

    Best of luck to you, Heather, and little Leta. And kudos to you for following your heart.

  • lani

    Been there, done that. Congrats on doing the right thing. There’s nothing worse than feeling powerless. It may not be visible to you yet, but it WILL work out, and you’ll look back on this day (or yesterday) at some point in the future with pride. Trust me on this.

  • Jeanette

    I’m wishing you luck. Big changes are difficult to make. You’re gonna do great, though. :)

  • Zak

    Good luck with the future. Been there, done that. Life’s too short to waste on people like that.

    Freelance, get a couple clients. Recharge for a bit. Write a book on Moveable Type.

  • Johnny C.

    Congratulations on getting out of the hell hole!

    I’m currently in one as well. I feel my departure date nearing as my health is beginning to suffer as well.

    Enjoy your new life!

  • kimberley

    Good wishes coming your way!

  • joh3n

    I’ll raise a glass to you tonight, best of luck!

  • lemissa

    Congratulations on getting out of a bad work situation. It took me nine years!

    Your site as well as your wife’s are an inspiration to a lot of people, but it seems to me ya’ll have only scratched the surface.

    I for one am looking forward to sitting back and watch from these internet sidelines as you cultivate a new garden.

  • erat

    Sounds like me and Caldera all over again… I’d like to say you and I have had unique experiences but every person who is close to me in this state has the exact same story to tell. Seriously, I like Utah, but this truly is a different planet. Jobs suck everywhere, but I think there’s a special brand of suckage that plagues companies in this state. The fact that most folks share the same resume doesn’t help (Novell/WordPerfect/Sanyo Icon/Ameritech/etc.). It’s like the same bad, tarnished penny moves from company to company and it never gets better because folks from outside Utah tend to not want to move here and thin out the gene pool. It’s not a church thing, but it’s definitely a Utah thing.


    Like you, my health went down the crapper as the end of my tenure in software engineering came to a close. I don’t know that I can blame work stress on my current gaggle of health problems but I know it didn’t help. Leaving was tremendously helpful. (Of course, jumping from software engineering to studying graphic design at the UofU is like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. Talk about endless, thankless bullshit…)

    It takes guts to say “I’m not taking this anymore” and leave. Hopefully things will work out positively.

  • dd

    yay – your increasing stress level has been showing; i’m glad you were able to break away from that job.

    I had to do the same thing about this time last year, and it felt so great to be away from that place; congrats again!

  • Beth

    I always think it’s a very brave thing to do, striking out like this. You’re taking care of yourself and in doing that, taking care of your lovely family! You go on wit cho bad self, dj!

  • Kelly

    Very well said. We all miss you, but support your freedom (and envy it a bit). Lunch next week.

  • plethora


    I still think you’re a bastard for leaving us in a pinch!

    J/K =)

    Serious though, good luck to you and your family. As said by others who feel at their wits end, ‘now there is no place to go but up’.

    PS. Am I the first?

  • plethora

    Dammit!! Not the first.

  • plethora

    Serious, last comment, does this mean you’re going to have a new ‘Whore’ this month!!!


  • Chika

    Yay from a lurker!!!

  • db

    Craaaazy. Best of luck. I sounds like what got me to quit my last job. I have to agree with you. Looking for a new job after I quit my last was ten times less stressful than working for assholes. Life is way to short to waste time on people like that.

  • Joy

    Congratulations and good luck! I hope the future holds much less of that kind of stress for you.

  • Lyndsee

    Good Luck John…. to you and your family. I wish you the very best and appreciate all that you have done.

  • Pete

    You go boy! I just quit the same type of cluster – but I put in my two weeks and have regrets – the days suck – 40 more hours and I am THROUGH. The stress of job hunting is way less than the stress of watching people get beat up and abused (I was the supposed HR person and the one who could protect them – not). I have to keep from getting bitter and bitchy. So we set a timer here at the house and I rant for 10 minutes and then I have to let it go.

    Can’t wait to see what opens up for you – rock on.


  • elisabeth

    Tonight we will raise a toast to the blurbodooce empire and will dream of following in your footsteps. I’m sure it won’t always be easy, but I’m equally sure it will be well worth it!

    Godspeed on this new journey.

  • Il D

    Holy crap! I come in to find out that we’re down one of the best people around here. You’re going to be missed! Good luck and congrats! Let us know what happens.

  • bughunter

    Jon – Just a quick note to let you know your job environment is endemic in the SD industry. The situation you describe is standard op – even in this remote corner of northern Michigan. You did the right thing. You may even want to consider sending them a thank-you note for all of the valuable training you received in ‘how not to run a business’ while being paid. You will do better than survive – you’ll thrive!!

  • Amelene

    i’m very sorry to see you leave. you’re too creative, smart, and talented. enjoy the breath of fresh air. i wish you the very best my friend.

  • JR

    Thankfully you got out before you had to either burn the place down or put strychnine in the guacamole… Seriously though, congrats for standing up for yourself and giving corporate america the proverbial Finger. Inspiring!

    I am sure you will have no problem finding another job that you actually enjoy!

  • girlundone

    ugh..sounds like a very very bad work environment and the courage to leave w/o a job already waiting was probably very hard. However your mental health is more important then any of those things.

  • Lizard

    Jon-Thanks for all the good times and all the “c” words you would yelled out during lunch. (Insert Laugh)I wish you luck in your new pursuit on life. You are a brillant designer with talent that was being clasped too tightly.

  • erat

    Oh, one more thing: don’t burn any bridges! Especially in Utah where every town is just down the street and everyone has worked or will work with everyone else at some point. You think you won’t ever deal with these people again, but you may be surprised…

    You probably know that already but I figured I’d throw it in anyway. It killed me not to send nastygrams to the bitchy, prima donna developers and inept managers that I worked with when I left the software industry, but somehow I did. I figure if I move out of Utah I’ll be able to say what I want. (I doubt any of them read this blog. If they do, well…)

  • Elizabeth

    Congratulations on putting your health first. It’s so true, you can manage your own stress on your own terms. Good for you and your family. It’s gonna work out just fine.

  • Lacy

    I’ve been in one of those working situations before … I called it the job that “sucked all my joy”. Even the good things about the job were tainted by all the joy-sucking they did … Good for you for getting out while you can still laugh and talk about it. I read Heather’s entry about giving you the time to find out what you love doing … I hope you find something that GIVES you joy 😉 Down with the joy-suckers!!!!

  • Jen

    Good for you. It sucks that things have to get that bad for you to finally make the leap to find out what you love… They are definitely the ones losing out! Everything seems to happen for a reason, and only good things await! Best wishes to you, Heather and Leta!

  • DC

    Po Armstrong, congratulations! You are a hero to many.

    But I do need to set the record straight on your first paragraph; I am pretty sure the quitting took place after “one starts dropping f-bombs with clenched fists, both arms skyward and calling people c@#$%.”

    Lunch at the Rio brother, that’s all I’m sayin… well, except that it was highly entertaining and I laughed so hard I cried.

    Seriously wish you the best. Please keep in touch.

  • sweetney

    best of luck to you both, and let us know if there is any way we can help.

  • urs

    even though the scary woman with the shopping bags scared me too, i’ll deal with the ads- no prob! good luck!

  • Michelle

    Congratulations Jon. I can’t tell you how much I respect you for doing what’s best for you and your family and not following the safe path of staying somewhere that makes you miserable.

  • Jenny

    My last boss is currently being sued for sexual harassment and discrimination (not by me). All I can do is shake my head at the remarkable amount of assholes in the world.

    Good for you. I’m sure this will open the door for something really great and inspiring.

    And, holy crap, there’s someone else from a remote corner of northern Michigan here?

  • blurb

    DC: Yeah, but I was acting Kramerish and not directing it as one would in real life. More of a practice, really. I was trying to hint at what was to happen following lunch.

  • Lala

    Well done John. I admire your chutzpah. Good luck!

  • jane

    So why hasn’t Heather gotten her life story optioned by Hollywood yet??? That’s where the big bucks are.

  • TamaleTorpor

    We all give up a little of our souls when we take a day job. No one should be required to foreit theirs as a condition of employment. Your former employer is diminished by your need to leave.

    Peace to you.

  • vika

    Follow your bliss, man. Reading both your and Heather’s writing has been a delight for almost a year now; I’m glad you’re making yourself happier.

  • Tevilla Riddell

    Jon-I have faith you will do well and get what you want. I quit my horrible job 11 years ago and have NEVER ONCE looked back or regretted it. Being on my own has been hard but worth EVERY moment of the stress. Be prepared–if you set up your own biz you will work harder than you EVER did for a corporation–and love it 100 times more.

    I am glad Heather posted why the ads are up there…It is just a minor irratation and one easily ignored.

    I downloaded 3Hive last night. Too cool. Thanks for putting it together.

    Te, a reader of you both

  • Tracey Marshall

    Three cheers for choosing happiness.

  • crAZy_fan


    I don’t mind the ads either…whatever it takes, you & Heather are so gifted! I love reading both of you guys. Rock on!

  • Torrie

    You did the right thing.

  • Hole in the Wall

    WOW…good for you man!
    Who am I going to ask now how to fix this or that at home?
    You’ll be missed…specially during those moments of home owner distress…
    Good luck dude!

  • Leah

    Congratulations, Jon, and best of luck.

  • Milly

    Good for you! I did the same thing a few years ago. My stress level was through the roof and I just had to get out of there. You seem like a very talented and smart person, I’m sure you’ll do very well. Good luck!

  • sam

    hey jon, good for you. here’s to better! and bigger!

  • sam

    hey jon, good for you. here’s to better! and bigger!

  • Laura Moncur

    Rock on, man! Don’t worry about the money. Simplifying your life shows you that you didn’t need too much anyway. Tell Heather that there is no shame in advertisements. It’s how America works. They didn’t bother me a bit when they showed up on her RSS feed.

  • patatomic

    I call dibs on the 23″ display!
    I call dibs on the 23″ display!
    I call dibs on the 23″ display!
    I call dibs on the 23″ display!
    I call dibs on the 23″ display!

    Seriously though,
    I call dibs on the 23″ display!
    I call dibs on the 23″ display!
    I call dibs on the 23″ display!

    No really,
    I call dibs on the 23″ display!

  • plethora

    Pat, you make me smile with glee.

  • db

    Sorry, Pat. We’ve already pawned it (no disrespect, of course Jon) :)

  • patatomic

    Now c’mon everybody…I was just kidding.

    Jon, when I drove in this morning I was sad that my lunch buddy/tech support best friend wouldn’t be there.

    This is the second time you’ve quit on me (after hooking me up with the job). I just have to ask, is it me?

  • blurb


    Don’t be frettin none. The first time it was a family/me thing. The second time it was a me/family thing. It is not you.

    Good luck fighting over the Cinema Display. I’ll miss her.

  • Tigergirl

    There are no questions in our hearts. And there are never any answers in our heads. You’ve taken the step of unburdening yourself from the barrage of mindfuckwittage.

    Now leave it behind and go forward. And the best revenge is e.n.j.o.y. :)

    Best to you all. Love both blogs! xo

  • Jennifer in Kansas City

    Are you sure we didn’t work together? The last place I worked sounds like their corporate culture was identical to yours…. my hair was falling out, I was taking Excederin Tension Headache medicine every day like a vitamin, and I felt like I was flatlining. And you hit that point like the guy in Office Space, where you say, “People weren’t meant to DO this”, and yet you have responsibilities and all this other stuff making you feel like you should stay. So sweet jesus, man, good for you for getting the hell out before it fried you up like a twinkie in hot oil. Companies like that will suck you dry & toss you aside as callously as a pimp breezing by his oldest workhorse when he spies fresh meat off the bus. I must now stop with the metaphors! So leave it with this: GOOD. FO’. YOU. And for Heather, Leta & Chuck. Everyone’s gonna be a whole lot happier: that’s the cool part – joy’s contagious.

  • patatomic


  • BeeJay

    Cheers! Doesn’t it feel like you’ve been let out of prison?

    All the best to all three of you. If wit and spunk can make life perfect, then you guys have it made.

  • Sarah

    Fabulous, Jon. You deserve this. Take some deep breaths, and take life in. For once, you are not stuck behind an office chair. Spend even more time with Heather and Leta, and simply never let that feeling go.

    Good things come to those who wait. You may be stressed about where your career path will lead, but just take your time. It is worth your time and, ultimately, your patience. Something better than expected will come along for someone like you. I just know it.

    Cheers to all four of you, including Chuck. I’m excited to read about what excitement, happiness, and, above all, rest within the next few weeks. Again, you deserve this, and never believe otherwise. You’ve got the entire support of Internet geeks like myself. What’s more to need?

  • Nathan

    Congrats. The high is surely great right now. In about a week, you’ll feel very scared and paranoid. THAT WILL PASS, I can assure you. I had a similar situation to yours and I left too. It is the best thing I could have done. But, it was scary the first few weeks. Since then, however, all is fine. I even (finally) started a blog ( shameless plug, sorry) I felt so good about the situation. I got my old chipper irreverent self back. You will too. I have been tempted to talk about the previous situation on the blog. Thanks to the advice of your wife (about getting dooced), I have refrained. Good Luck.

  • Mitch

    Good luck and congratulations on your escape! I’ll echo what everyone else has said and say you were right to leave when craptacular starts to get you down mentally and physically. I hope you find everything you’re looking for (and I bet you do!).

  • Candace

    Congratulations! I was in a similar situation where another developer on my team plus a QA engineer literally had nervous breakdowns. My husband talked me into leaving and it was the best career move I’ve ever made. ANYTHING is better than working in a soul-sucking situation like that. Good luck with whatever you do next.

  • Lisa

    Though everyone else has already said it, I’ll say it also… good luck!!! I, too, have been in a job where – while I loved the job – the beauracracy/ culture of allowing co-workers to treat each other miserably made each moment at work unbearable. If one cannot wait to leave each day and hates to return the next, then the job is not worth it.

  • Jen

    Best of luck to you in the transition — I know what it can be like to work in hell.

    So, good luck! Better things lie ahead!

  • cameron

    Good Luck! I know exactly where you are coming from being employed in a corp craphole. I know you guys will be fine and go very far in any endeavor u choose to pursue!
    Much thought and good will heading ur way.- cam

  • susan

    Glad you went for it. As for the ads… bring them on. It’s your website, do what you want with it. I wish you the very very best of luck with your future.

  • Michelle

    Good for you. Nobody should have to be in a dark place. Life is too short. Good luck.

  • me

    I just wanted to say that the pic on Heather’s site of you with your arm around the dog on the couch is PRICELESS. You both have the same look on your faces…..

  • lindsey

    hope you get a good job opening real soon! tell heather she can put any amount of ads anywhere she wants to!

  • juli

    …and after being out of the rat race for five years raising a relative’s children, I am diving back in. But this time this rat is in a small town and this race is one in which the rat plays the tortoise to someone else’s hare.

    Good luck to both you and Heather. Guess I gotta go click on some ads now…and with a new paycheck, maybe even buy something.

  • Seattle Reader

    GOOD FOR YOU! Scared and healthy is a better choice than demeaned and confused. My favorite quitting line I ever heard was “I WAS LOOKING FOR A JOB WHEN I GOT THIS ONE.” Interpret as you will.

  • Alley_uk

    Hi Jon,

    I’m so glad that you have made this decision before the job has more devistating affects.

    Hopefully more people will start to re-evaluate their lives (and perhaps some consultant types will take note as well).

    I’m sure that Heather and Leta will provide hours of entertainment to replace the nastiness that you’ve left behind! The RO and I are rooting for you all the way!!


  • lorelei

    Yippee! Now, let the joy take over. Best to all 3 of you.

  • Wen

    Congrats Jon, on doing the best thing for yourself and your family.

  • Jemaleddin

    Wow – congrats on making the big step, good luck on your future, and thanks for being an inspiration.

  • PoeticaL

    Karma….she will like you for going forth into what is right for you, your family and collective happiness will rain down now. Best wishes!!!

  • Judie Ashford

    Best of luck to both of you to make a go of it! As you say, you’ll be stressed at times, but it will be your OWN stress! I enjoy both of your sites and look forward to reading more about your “adventures”! ;->

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie Ashford

  • Livy

    Excellent, well done!

  • John Joslin

    I have been reading your websites for almost a year now, and have really enjoyed them. I wish you good luck in finding the job that will make you happy. I try to live by the saying: we work so that we can live, not live so that we can work. Life is to short to have a shitty job you hate. Good luck. We will pray that you find your new path soon and that it makes you both happy.

  • Lori Gordon

    Huge pat on the back for taking such a big step. I am wishing for you guys all the things you wish for yourself. Maybe you and Heather can finally write a book, or have a documentary made about this crazy and exciting life you’ve had… It is evident that people would be interested in it.

  • Lisa

    Wow. Preach it, brother. I’m a month removed from the same thing. I got tired of being used and abused by idiots in management and quit my job to jump into the uncertain, yet exciting world of freelance work. Sure, you might not make as much money and that’s stressful, but it beats working for The Man any day. I know you’ll prevail- you’ve got a ton of mad skillz. Go get ’em!

  • Jme

    If the job was as big a hellhole as you’ve described, good riddance!!

    As for now, let loose, breathe and have fun with Heather, Leta and Chuck! You definitely deserve it. :)

  • becky

    sounds like the cellular industry, too – i was sick from stress. i work for a university now & i’m much happier. it’s not perfect, and there’s political stuff, but at least it’s not as cutthroat.

    you’ll figure it out. and you’ll like yourself better in the meantime. best of luck.

  • honey bunny

    do we work at the same place?!i deal with that crap all day long, too. i’m working on getting out of here after my wedding next month. new name, noew husband, new life. that means new job, too.

    you and heather will be fine. the most important thing is quality of life. if you don’t have that, you’ve got nothing. you made the right choice.

  • sue

    Been there. Done that. Go for it! You won’t regret it one bit. Love your family… they’re gonna be there for you all the way. Many happy days ahead for you, Jon. I applaud you. Now get busy… 😉

  • Tif

    It’s about time. Maybe you’ll get back to what you do best…politics! DeLay and Frist and all the rest of those fffers have gotten away with so much and you haven’t mentioned it.
    Good for you. You’ll never look back on life and wish you had worked more (and spent less time with the fam).
    Who cares about “stuff”. Money accumulates eventually. Leta doesn’t care about what kind of car you drive. Yet.
    Enjoy yourself for a couple weeks, then get back to work.

  • Bucky Four-Eyes

    You just can’t put a dollar value on your peace of mind. Here’s to a clear head and heart as you look forward.

  • krystyn

    A few years ago, I left a corporate whore job with an advertising agency for a low-pay creative job with a small company. It wasn’t easy, and I accumulated some debt that took a while to pay off. But it was SO WORTH IT.

    What I couldn’t see (until I stepped away from it) was my soul was being poisoned by the stressful and oppressive environment. I would question the good intentions of people even outside of work, and when my life was going well, I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop. That’s no way to live, paycheck or no paycheck.

    I commend your strength and ability to leave while you could still do so in an amicable manner. Now I am going to go get all click-happy on the ads on Blurbomat and Dooce to try and keep you guys afloat.


  • Erika

    You and your dooce and your Leta – one hell of a bunch o’wonderous freaks. I am impressed by the life that I get to glimpse through your words and images, and am thankful that you have the willingness to share of yourselves with the rest of us.

    I never knew how good change could be until I lost everything at the age of 33, and had to start all over again. I am now happier than most people will ever get to experience. Job, love, living – change is good, even though it sometimes feels like it tears us apart.

    Good luck, Mr. Armstrong – you and your gorgeious family will stay in my good thoughts…

  • BoatSailor

    She threw the papers on the floor??? On the floor?? Threw them??? On teh FLOOR?

    How has she survived to rise to such a level of uncivility? How did you restrain yourself?? UNBELIEVABLE!

  • Khali

    Way to go! You shouldn’t have to put up with that kind of crap (Seriously, where does that woman get off tossing your hard work on the flippin’ FLOOR?) because it just wears you down and takes the enjoyment out of everything else. Good luck in your search to find somewhere that will value your skills for what they are.

  • Mari

    Congratulations to you on escaping such a soul sucking environment. I too am in a corporate hell hole which I hope to leave very soon. Best wishes to you. You made the right decision.

  • Christina – delurking (is that a word?)

    I’m so impressed that you were able to put up with such a nasty, hostile work environment to make sure that your family had some savings. You seem like such a great dad and husband and I’m happy that you were finally able to quit that job. You and Heather have a relationship to envy! Leta is so lucky to have you two!

  • late edition

    brilliant! good on you, Jon … i’m tempted to think we’re working for the same company … i’m about at that point too, hopefully things will change for me in the next week or two, or i’m going to have to do something drastic as well … all power to you, heather and leta :>

  • Jessca

    Good for you, Jon! I’ve jumped off the “I QUIT!” cliff several times as well, and it has never turned out as badly as I imagined it. Opportunities are everywhere.

    I’ll make sure to click on all of Heather’s ads if it will help any. :o)

  • Tonya

    Kudos.. great move! I’m a career up-and-walk-outer… and eventually gave up trying to walk back into anything that wasn’t all mine. It worked. Bet it will for you both, too.

  • Mindymax

    Good decision! It will all work out…I’m sure of that. Bring on the ads! Already used Heather’s link to to order and will continue to do so. Good things will come. You and Heather are so great together and so supportive of each other. Everything’s going to be fine! Onward.

  • tk

    Been there!!!! Good for you for having the balls to walk. It’s hard and it’s stressful but it will be worth it in the long run.

    Good luck!!!

  • FF

    Kudos. I did it too. Too much politics got in the way of finishing my graduate degree… 1 class and some data short I quit after they dropped my scholarship after having a baby. So much for laws…
    We have our pride!

  • Susie

    Best of luck to you and Heather and Leta!

    Almost 10 years ago, my husband was stuck in a career he hated. I told him that 30 was way too young to wake up dreading the day ahead. He quit his job and went back to school, while I went and got a temporary, higher-paying gig. He now has a career he loves, and we are ALL happier.

    You and Heather make a great team. Congratulations!

  • Karen Rani

    Best of luck to you Jon…’re a smart cookie, you’ll be just fine! You go girl………er…..never mind! LOL!
    Hugs to all,

  • trudie

    GO FOR IT! good luck–it takes a lot of courage to do what you’ve done. it may not be easy for a while, but the greatest things ever come from situations like this. and it’s even better when you have an awesome person like heather in your corner.

  • pbscores

    I work in a job I can’t stand…it’s soul-sucking, incredibly stressful but somehow still boring, not at all challenging and I feel completely unappreciated. I am sick to death of it.

    But I know what I want to do in the next phase of my life, and I’m working on it. But sometimes it seems hard and I’m so full of doubt about whether I can actually pull it off.

    Thanks for giving me some much-needed inspiration, and good luck to you. Here’s to loving and looking forward to what you do!

  • Em

    After crying at my desk for three consecutive days and realizing “no admin job is worth this” I quit without anything else to GO to. Luckily, I had an amazing overseas trip to look forward to (already paid for) and so I went and had the best time of my life. The 8 unemployed months that followed were really hard but so worth it and so much better than sitting at my desk at a horrible job in tears.

    Anyway, I am sure there will be good and bad parts of your decision but I wish you guys the very best. I think you made a wise move for your life. No job is worth that. Really.

  • Leigha

    Atta-Boy! The hardest part is getting to the point of making the decision to quit. Now they can hire you back as a consultant at 5x what they were paying you before! Many of us have been in your shoes. You will not regret this decision. The opportunities are endless out there.

  • paul merrill

    Glad you did it! I hope the freelance starts rolling in!

  • Kim

    Financial security is one of the hardest things to give up, especially with a family to take care of. But you wouldn’t be a lick of good to them if you suffered a complete break down. As stressful as being unemployed might be, it will also be a wonderful opportunity for you to spend more time with your daughter, who I am sure is growing at an exponential rate! And no doubt you will be back on employed feet in no time. Good luck!

  • Anne


    Walking out the door is the hardest part, because even if it becomes a struggle, that huge weight is off your your shoulders.

    Good luck to you.

  • Billygean


    I don’t know you at all but would like to put forward idyllic view that emotional security is way better than financial. You’ll pull through and be fine, you seem to have your head screwed on and you’ve weighed it up carefully. Also, enjoy the weight off your mind, enjoy your family…


    Gilly (

  • jenn


    I’ve always believed if you do what you are meant to be doing then you will be taken care of.

    I am so thrilled for you, Heather and Leta. It seems good things are about to follow.


  • minxlj

    It will all work out, and you’ll look back and wonder why you didn’t do it sooner! I wish you all the very best. And hey, if it doesn’t work out you can always move in with Heather’s cousin George cos he tells me he’s the world’s best cook!! :)

  • Holly

    Oh, the dreams I have about doing the same.
    Congrats, Jon.

  • melissa

    I’ve done this before, and I hope I never have to do it again. I wish more people would stand up for themselves in this way. Congratulations, good luck, and I’m excited about your future projects!

    -a long-time reader yet lurker.

  • Pat

    Good luck from a considering-whether -to-quit-grad-school reader.

  • archychick

    i definitely feel your pain. my job is slowly sucking the life out of my body. just before this i emailed off a resume. you have inspired me to email off a few more. you are braver than me, though – i still feel like i need that job security. good luck!

  • Belinda

    I admire, respect, and envy, a little, the both of you. You are on your way to carving out something very special and unique, I think. Best of the best for your whole little family, is what I wish.

  • dragonlady474

    I think you did the right thing. There’s nothing worse than getting up in the morning dreading going in to work and when you get there hating EVERY minute of it. Not only does it give you high blood pressure and make your volcabulary colorful, it makes you have the tendency to take crap out on people who aren’t your intended target. I wish you and Heather all the luck in the world.

  • nickyp

    Congratulations! It takes bravery & wisdom to identify the point at which it’s time to go and to go gracefully.

    I’m hanging on in my job for my partner to finish his degree and go back to work and there are days when it feels like the hardest thing in the world.

    Fortunately, the corporate culture here in Australia in not (generally) as brutal as in the U.S. so I don’t have it as tough as you did. It’s going to get brutal, though, when our government gets its IR reforms in and I plan to be self-employed (or self-employable) in the next few years so that I’m not dependant upon it for my living.

  • Heather Newgent

    John– sending love from St. Louis. My thoughts and prayers are with you both. FUCK CORPORATE AMERICA!!!!!

  • Maria

    Congratulations on your great escape! I believe that wonderful things are in store for you, Heather, and Leta.
    With love,

  • Nobody

    Life’s too short for that crap. Go.

  • wn

    Wish you luck Jon on doing the thing that all of us are secretely dreaming (but not gutsy enough) of doing!

  • Jennifer

    Been there, done that….It was such an emotional high for me when I quit…I can still hear the lyrics to “take this job and shove it” playing out over and over in my mind….

    WAY TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Heidi

    Congratulations, Jon. This is something you won’t regret. My thoughts and well wishes are with you.

  • Rachel

    Best to you, Heather, and Leta. I found my way to your site via Dooce–my favourite blogger in the universe. I wish you and your family nothing but the best and I hope it all works out smoothly.

  • Lisa

    I wish the best of luck to you! Here’s to finding a kick-ass job!

  • Maria

    Ive made it to that DARK place-glad you got out when you did. Wishing you the best.

  • the mighty quitter

    i’ve up and left twice now. both times were the best things i have ever done that didn’t involve the removal of my pants.

    i’m only 34, but i have learned one thing. money isn’t all that hard. if you are smart, dedicated and even reasonably connected, money is not all that hard to find.

    life’s far to short to do something you hate.

    i’m cheering for you man. i’d mention the benefits of now chucking the house and the credit rating to go wander
    around a third world shit hole, but i’m pretty sure that would not be the best course of action for a family of three.

    instead when i pass on through SLC sometime next week if you kids have the time, a bottle is on me.

  • Stephanie

    Jon —
    I’d like to say that I know what you’re going through but I think it’s more appropriate to find ourselves in similar situations. I felt the same way about grad school after my first year as you did your job. I was definitely in a dark place and the only remedy was to get out as soon as possible. It was not an easy decision to leave but looking back it was the right one. The road ahead is not easy, I promise you that much, but hopefully it will be well worth it in the end. Good luck in the days ahead.
    — Stephanie

  • Kristen from MA

    Ahhh, there’s nothing sweeter than the feeling you get when you walk out of a job that you hate.

    Congratulations, Jon. I know that you and Heather will be just fine. In fact, I predict that you will prosper!

  • Lauri

    Are you SURE you didn’t work for EXXON? Sounds like the exact same culture.

    Actually, I didn’t work there, but my husband did. They don’t believe in life outside of Exxon, and while I was in labor with 2 separate children, he was getting 911 pages so they could ask him stupid questions while I was pushing baby heads (the actual heads of his babies!) out of my hoo-ha.

    That’s just my own personal horror story.

    Anyway, he finally quit, found a job with a wonderful company, and we are living the life we always dreamed of in Central Texas! And I am wishing all of you the same ‘life of your dreams’! It takes a lot of guts to make changes like that, but it is so worth it. And no one deserves it more than you, Heather and Leta…and Chuck!


  • City Elf

    As someone who walked out the door of my job with no soft landing in sight this past May, I say good for you! It is so much better to be unemployed and happy than working somewhere that makes you miserable. You deserve to do what you love! Congratulations and good luck to you, Heather, and Leta. :)

  • David

    Long time reader, first time comment dropper.

    Jut wanted to wish you the best of luck as you head down that road. It pans out, insert all optimistic advice here, etc, etc, etc… It really does though, and I’m sure now with the job stress of your shoulders you’ll be able to move forward into the best of things.

    So good luck, congrats on the stress dropping, and I’ll still look forward to reading the blog from time to time to see the progress…

  • lotsalisa

    I’m glad you got to a point where you could quit. Similar stuff has happend to me and my husband over the years. It had to do with people who have reached their level of incompetence and are insecure enough to make sure you can’t do your job so they look better than you. Insecure, stupid people. The nice thing is, in the end, they always get their Karmic justice dolled out to them. It may take a few years, but it always happens. They screw with the wrong person and their incompetency is finally revealed. And, for you, when one door closes, another door opens. You will find the right thing to do very soon.

  • melanie


    Best of luck to you and your family. I’ve quit horrendous jobs before and my, it is liberating…even if the future is hazy right now.

    Thanks to you and Heather for creating such awesome sites. They make my day.

  • LeafGirl77

    Good on ya Jon. I wish the three of you continued courage and love during this ‘interesting’ time!!

  • madge

    Jumped off the regular-job bandwagon almost three years ago and never looked back. There were those times, especially after my husband was home on disability and work was slow that we would look at each other and simultaneously shiver.

    But after the “oh crap, what have we done?” moments wear off and you notice that your eye twitch is gone and you actually sleep at night and you spend some midday cuddle time with your girls you will NEVER regret the move you just made.

    Good work, good luck and good things for you and your family.

  • Julia

    Congrats on taking such a liberating step. I had to chuckle at your MBA comment as I’m halfway through my program and currently am in an “organizational theory” class. All we do is talk about how people suck (and how not to suck) at work.

    Sounds like your ex company needs a swift kick in the ass. I think when companies forget the value of their human capital, they forget how much better everything could be overall.

    Kudos to you and Heather for being such a good team. I enjoy reading about your lives (mostly because mine is boring and yours is ever so much more interesting to read about).

  • DJ Stylus

    Life is too short to waste it on soul-sucking bullshit, even if a paycheck is attached. How much is your soul worth?

    You’ve got too many great things that deserve attention anyway.

  • TB

    Congratulations and good luck. Corporate america blows almost 99% of the time. You are brave and lucky to be out of it. I’m sure you and your family will be better than fine in the end.

  • heather from canada

    you need a big bowl of bouillabaisse to celebrate! as they say, do what you love and the money will follow. all the best!

  • Sandra

    Congratulations on having the guts to do what’s right for you and Heather, no matter what it looks like on paper. Talented, motivated people with a sense of what’s right and wrong will come out on top in the end (or so I tell myself) – I have a feeling great things are in store for you.

  • leigh

    congratulations! the happiness you will feel from being able to truely be yourself will vastly outweigh the stress of not having a steady paycheck. not to say, “been there, done that” but i have. it’s WELL worth it.

  • TripTikGirl

    I’m jealous…I wish I had your courage.

    (and a better savings account)

  • jules

    I just recently quit my job, picked up and moved to Baltimore. It’s hard and you kind of have to clse your eyes and jump. It’s a very brave thing to do, especially when you’re not happy. snaps to you. I was unhappy, but not for the same reasons.. work was actually kind of fine, it was everything else in life that pretty much sucked. So now i live in baltimore with my two main gays… playing housewife and mom until i can land some sort of job that isn’t in retail. I hope everything works out for you, heather and leta. Good luck!

  • Karlene

    I’ve been reading Heather’s blog for a while now. This is the first time I’ve read yours. You remind me of my husband a lot. He works at a job similar to your now former job. We’re right there with you. I hope everything turns out ok.

  • Yourdailyart

    It takes a lot of courage to make a drastic change like that – good luck and I hope your next experience is both positive and fullfilling. It is hard to work for people whose priorities are out of whack.

  • Mel

    Congratulations, and the best of luck to you guys. A good friend said to me the other day, “sometimes, when you’ve reached the apex of misery, just a change is enough… it hardly matters in what direction, but when it’s for the better you feel doubly blessed.” Be sure to watch Office Space a few times, and shamelessly drink a Sam Adams in the middle of the day for no reason.

  • Shiz

    Good decision. This one hits home because my job has been making me sick, too. I’ve taken 7 weeks off this summer (6 sick weeks and one for vacation) and I’m very, very grateful my day job has such wicked benefits that I could actually get paid for most of that time, but when it all comes down to it, I still come back here and get sick again, cry again, get depressed again, and hope to God that my doctor ups my meds again soon.

    Jon, I haven’t been in your shoes, but I know the suckage of which you reference. I applaud you on both giving it your best and knowing the time to leave for your own and your family’s sake.

    Again, good decision. I wish you, heather & Leta the very best. May all your endeavors take off like a rocket.

  • Kma

    I wish I had your courage – congratulations! I will try to be inspired to action, instead of merely jealous. I hope everything works out well for you and your family. I can’t wait to read of all the hilarity that will ensue.

    (And the ads on Heather’s site will be well worth it)

  • Cassy

    Congrats on getting some breathing room! It sounds like you really deserve getting out of there. Best of luck with the new chapter in your lives!

  • Spamboy

    Rock on, honorable one. My wife did the same thing recently with her artistic talents — the stress of the “real world” was eating her soul, and now she is working for herself, doing things for herself, and running her own design company @ Hope you enjoy the same success — and pleasure.

  • anjali

    good work, jon. and to heather for supporting you, as you supported her in her time of need.
    and little leta for having you both.

    you guys are gonna be aaaaaaall right. :)


  • The Daily Ranter

    I’ve read you a few times, but never commented. Sorry, but I usually read your wife’s blog. Congratulations on quitting your job! I just LOVE people that do what is the best for them. I never worry about money. Not where it’s coming from, not whether I have it and not how I should spend it. I have both quit and turned down jobs that just didn’t “fit” for me. My last place of work sounds just like you described yours to be – but on a smaller level. For the last 10 months, I’ve been traveling on the open road with my truck driver boyfriend. After this, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to work a “normal” job again. Good luck to both of you on all your journeys!! It’s going to be great, what you’re doing for yourself and your family and you will ultimately love it. Best to you all!

  • person of interest

    I am happy for you that you were able to get out and NOT have to take another crappy job just to subsist! I am working on that now.

    About a year ago, I left a company at which I worked for a woman who was previously my co-worker and was now a first-time manager. She worked for a prick of a VP who did not care about any personal issues, you get the job done, period. Work was his life, and everything else in his life came second. I lived 60 miles from work, and the commute regularly took 75 to 90 minutes each way because of it’s proximity to a major metropolitan area in the Northeast. This inexperienced woman handed me a written reprimand for a variety of “offenses” within 2 1/2 weeks of becoming my manager, without so much as a WORD to me before that about what she expected of me or what procedures and processes she expected me to follow. I had worked for this same company for 5 years without any prior incident under any other manager. The company was in a hiring and salary freeze so there were no raises or bonuses for a 3 year period. She was a “do as I say, not as I do” type of person but with the added frustration of being able to appear as if she was ALWAYS on top of EVERYTHING, when in fact she took shortcuts on things or left them half completed just to appear that work was being done. She even accused me, to my face, of being deliberately unapproachable (this was after the initial write up when I was afraid to even blink wrong at her for fear of being written up again for no good reason.)

    I got out of there, but it took me about 2 years after she became my manager to do so. What a nightmare. I gained weight, went on anti-depressants, developed thyroid problems, went to therapy three different times and even thought very seriously about just getting in my car and driving away from everything and everyone. It was the worst work experience in my life.

    Unfortunately, I had to take another corporate job, which was initially like a dream job, then turned into almost the same hell I came from. That lasted for about 5 months and is just now showing real signs of improvement. I am trying to hang in there, but I desperately want to leave to do what I want to do. Hopefully my time will come. In the meantime, I will enjoy hearing about your adventures and live vicariously through them.

    Congrats again!!

  • Amber

    Just sending good vibes your way. I have walked out on a job before as well, there is only so much a person can take. I was broke for several months and it sucked, but at least I had a soul intact! I admire both you and Heather as well as being a big fan. Best of luck at finding a job that is something you really really love.

  • Sonia

    Congratulations Jon! My husband made the decision to take a huge pay cut about 8 years ago, for a job that he would actually like. I fully support the ‘Top Ramen For Sanity’ option! It was difficult to deal with the pay cut, but incredibly worth it to see my husband smile again. He, like you, had gotten to the point of physical and emotional illness due to job stress. It just isn’t worth it. Good for you! My best wishes to you and Heather and Leta.

  • Nancy

    This will turn out to be the best thing (career wise) you have ever done. I just know it. Life is too short to spend it in the office of incompetents.

  • funkfugiyama

    I would like to add that no one has ever gone from a job they dispised to one they hated more. Best of luck.

  • Scully

    I admire your ability to stick it out. I also admire your ability to know when to call it quits.

  • Amber

    Congrats to you. You can tell from Heathers site that she is thrilled to have you home. If not for the company and help she can at least pee alone again! Congratulations again.

  • Donovan Phillips

    I could provide a bit of “fill in” work, too, if you ever need it. I know several people who need blog software set up. The person I’ve been referring to is just someone I met on ICQ so I’d gladly replace that referral with someone who’s blog (and his wife’s) entertains me on a regular basis.

  • Charmaine Tryon-Petith

    I agree with Scully — and while a job is a job and it’s not always fun, at least you knew when to pull the plug in place of your sanity and happiness.

  • John

    I feel your pain dude. I’m stuck in the same situation! You’re inspiring me to take the plunge and get out while I can still walk upright!

  • Big Gay Sam

    You wouldn’t have been working for a “natural supplement” company owned by a mormon family originally from Louisiana were you?

    I swear that sounds like the only employer that has ever fired me. The firing came about after a certain manager found out I was gay.

  • jezzy_girl

    but weren’t these all inspired Mormon priesthood holders, garment-wearing good Christian people treating you this way? Say it ain’t so! ; )

  • Mme.P.

    Good luck to you — my husband did same about five years ago and has NEVER looked back. Which is not to say there haven’t been scary times inbetween, as there has, but definitely worth it!

  • Evild

    Yay for quitting! I think that this is the first step towards many great things.

  • jess

    congratulations on quitting a very horrible and unhealthy work environment jon! i just wanted to share with you (becuase of the very similar timing) that i just quit a job that i just wasn’t into at all (although not as terribly awful as yours sounds by any stretch). not even a month has gone by and i have found something else that i think i’ll love that lets me do the volunteering that my old job never allowed me to do and live in a city that i’m so much happier living in. best of luck to you and your whole family and i really think that you have made the best move and really great things are going to come out of it.


  • Leilia

    Money is never more important than your health. You can work out the money issues that may crop up.. but health issues are a different matter. Hurray for you! Start living y our life and enjoying your family. Sounds like youve earned it

  • Amanda B.

    The B.’s are rooting for the EyebrowStrong’s. Give ’em hell.

  • brem

    You made a decision I could not make because I loved my work too much. The actual work was awesome, but the company was suffering from what I call an accutre reunionite. 4 days out of 5 were spent in a reunion room, and the goal of the game was to attack other’s ideas and try to defend yours. I grew tired of it, until I exploded. Then I became undesireable because I was empoisoning the atmosphere (ha ha ha). So I sort of quit / got fired (I went to my boss with an ultimatum and to choose between either me and another guy… I lost).

    So anyway, you made the right decision. I was getting aggressive, driving aggressively, speaking aggressively even to my wife. So Effexor came to my life and now things are starting to get back to normal, 3 years after the incident.

    So all I can say is that mental health is the most important thing. Keep sane. Leave before it’S too late.


  • Lani

    I just remembered something to which I think you can relate. As a younger man, the author Tom Robbins once quit a job by calling in well. Brilliant!


  • Tammy

    Lemme be the 90-bajillionth person to say CONGRATS… I’m proud of you for following your dream to not work at a crappy job, and I ENVY you. I think many folks do, and wish they were in a position to put a little distance between themselves and something that just isn’t working out.

  • ladylivewire

    My husband did a very similar thing about a year ago and the last year has easily been our best since we’ve been married.

    It’s a tough decision and it takes a big leap of faith, but getting out of an unhealthy work situation can make every other aspect of your life easier and more fulfilling. Good luck to you, and cheers for being able to do what’s right for you and not just what’s easy.

  • Ed

    As MLK said…”Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty we are free at last.”

  • Tim

    You’ll find something better! And it will be soooooooooooooo amazing!

    Go get em!


  • jenB

    i cannot believe any boss would throw someone’s wqork on the floor. wow. good for you for getting out of there. if anyone can make things work it is you two geniuses. :-) all my best.

  • Ana

    Good for you!

    Sending positive vibes to the four of you 😉

  • madness

    I almost just yelled I QUIT to my boss and I like my job ok.

    Just seemed so liberating and follow-your-dreamish. *sigh*

  • laura

    I’m so happy for you, Mr. Armstrong. I love following the life of the Armstrong family and take the time to think about (and sometimes pray for) you guys as real people and not entertainment. But, I do hope your family is blessed by this decision, and I think it is so amazing that you and Heather both have been blessed so much by your talents.

  • Denise

    Congratulations! I agree with you…sometimes having NO job and NO income is LESS stressful that dealing with the crap at work!

    Good for you! Take a mental/emotional vacation and best wishes to you, Heather and Leta. (I read Heather’s blog religiously!)

  • lisa

    I wish you all the luck in the world. There are few things better in this world than reading about someone who is following that lead — to what they know is right and reasonable and sane for them. The good stuff will come, I just know it. Good luck good luck! Enjoy your freedom.

  • mia

    Good luck! I read yours and Heather’s sites all the time, and I’m rooting for your family!

  • honestyrain

    six years ago i quit my job to stay home and write. this with the enthusiastic support of my husband. 9 months later he presented in much the same way you have described your recent life. he was in a working environment that was – how to summarize – well, you already have. it was like yours. it was awful. he was depressed and awful to be around because of his negativity. having already left the job that was killing me i knew he needed to do the same.

    one day he came home at 1:20pm and that was that. it was the most thrilling thing! i was not able to put ads on a website to help finance the family life but had i that opportunity i would have done so in an instant. i applaud heather for adding ads to her site. why in hell should she not?

    i say good for you. good for you and good for your family. this is excellent news and only good things will grow from it.

    enjoy. life is grand.

  • scargosun

    WAY TO GO! I know I am getting this up kinda late but I just did the same thing you did a few weeks ago and I don’t think I have felt this good in years. It also helps a bit that the team I was on is now floundering about. Best of luck but from what I see and read (both here and on dooce) you already have more than enough talent to spur you on.

  • skape7

    This sounds like my exact work environment. Sad thing is that I work in a child care centre so as much as I try to create the best possible care environment that I can, the director and her butt licking cronies do everything they can to drag the place down – which in the end means less quality for the parents and children. To everyone else who is in a similar work environment, regardless of what your work is, I strongly recommend visiting for support and solutions. It never ceases to amaze me that managment think that this sort of behaviour won’t hurt the company. But that’s my rant for today – Jon, good on you for going but not going quietly – best of luck in all that you do, brilliant and creative people always fall on their feet and in the end you will always be so much bigger than any of them.

  • Lilla

    Well done. Very brave decision. Use your creativity and skills – ever thought about working for yourself? Branch out, try Europe, especially London, it’s thriving. Good luck, love to Heather & Leta.

  • Braidwood

    Oh, smart decision!! I regret the bad situations I’ve stayed in. Once I got out, all kinds of possibilities opened up which I was too down to see while I was in the bad situation. Best of luck!!

  • Grammarqueen

    “Clusterfuck”–yes, that describes pretty much how I feel about the management running the program into the ground where I work. And I’ve been on the end where your boss throws your work onto the floor, only to pick it up behind your back and put his name on it and sell it off as his. And I totally sympathize with what such a f*cked up job situation can do to you.

    But you know what? You’ve proven that you’re like a cat who’ll always fall on its feet. You’ve proven that you can draw boundaries and make them non-negotiable. That in itself is an amazing lifeskill that’s going to get you a new job in nothing flat. Or that’s going to make you a successful entrepreneur in nothing flat. Otherwise, you can always put together movies of Leta sticking her finger up Chuck’s butt and saying “wowee.”

  • Coelecanth

    You sir, have the right of it. Walk away before they destroy your soul, because in the end you define your job, not the other way around.

    Oh, and the example you gave isn’t just bad corporate culture, it’s infantilism at it’s worse. I don’t care how busy, chaotic or stressful it is, adults shouldn’t behave that way.

    You’re well shut of the place.

  • Patty

    Oooooh. Been there, done that. Just to ditto everyone else, you made the right decision. If anyone can do it, you guys can. Impressed, as usual.

  • Turtlellini

    Ah hail, you’ll have a new, better paying, less stressful job faster than Chuck can clean a bowl out! Woo!

  • doglady

    right on. Dad’s home and Chuck gets more to eat! Good for you.

  • Joanna Fletcher

    Right on. Thrilled to hear you made the big leap!

    When you’ve recovered from your personal ‘Nam, I’d be delighted to offer you free life coaching to help you decide what’s next. Check out my site if you’re interested – .

    Delighted for all of you. Security is an illusion. It’s not a choice between freedom and security, because if you choose the latter, you lose both. Here’s to freedom!

  • Aitch

    Without telling me exactly what you did I am going to assume you were either an art director or a creative director. I am a lowly production/graphic designer and have been in the field for 5 years. I started at a small time, ad agency designing pizza coupons for Pizza Pipeline right outta college. Add another bigger yet shittier ad agency with a fancy office space (like a fancy office makes fancy work…sheeya!) to designing an in-house mail order catalog to my repertoire …Now I am ain real live design house where they murture your skills and help you bloom. I have been here for 5 months and they have been the best 5 months of my working life. When you got somewhere good it sure makes you appreciate what you had to do to get there.

    So enough about me. I am proud of you for stepping out gracefully before losing it. It’s hard thing to do. But you did it. Hooray!

  • Kelli

    I’ve been in that situation before, almost a year ago exactly, and did the same thing. It was rough for a bit, but it all worked out and I have been much happier since. Good luck to you!

  • Monica

    Everything will work out just fine, it always does! You are a good person, with a good family, no worries!

  • Kassi

    Rock on Jon…good luck. My prayers to you and your family!

  • Margaret

    Woohoo! Wow, that takes guts. I wish you the best of luck. It’s really nice, as a college student, to know about people like you and Heather–y’all are kind of role models, you know? Okay, you can stop laughing now. Really. :)

  • tsayad

    Jerry Mcguire is that you?

  • Carolina Wren

    I quit my job on June 13th after being in a nasty environment for way too long. I am a professional and was treated like dirt and finally confronted my boss on June 13th – refusing to take any more abuse – and walked out without a job, any income, not much savings, and feeling heartsick about the disappointment of having invested so much of myself in the company to only get dumped on to the point it was unbearable. I am doing fine now – and you will too. I resented everyone who told me (or hinted with suggestions that ) I should have sucked it up and taken the abuse until I found something else. There is no reason ANYONE should go to work with a knot in their stomach and dread the coming of Monday morning so much that it ruins their Sunday.

    I’m proud of you. And to hell with them. Stick to your guns!

  • margalit

    Congrats on leaving the software design industry. I left 4 years ago and it was the best thing I ever did for myself and my family. There are some wicked nutcases in software development and since I left, I’ve come to appreciate normalcy in a big way. I think way too many engineers have Aspergers and have no clue of social interactions and don’t know how to be nice. I’ve had jobs that defy description after working in the field for 21 years. I never ever ever want to see another piece of code again as long as I live.

    Mazel tov on your freedom!

  • Brad

    I admire your willingness to recognize when to get out. I hope I do when it’s time. Calling your management a bunch of cunts is generally not good for building references. I’ll keep that in mind. 😉

  • septeme

    I’m only a p/t reader through dooce, but I have to say how impressed I am that every comment about quitting the job was positive–and I can’t agree more. I went through a total career change about a year ago and don’t regret it for a second. It’s all so inspiring.

  • j2

    you did the right thing. good luck with what lies ahead and open your gifts one day at a time.

  • L

    I don’t know why anyone would say no to ads on Dooce…both of you give so much – clicking on an occasional ad here and there is the very least I can give back.

  • Sunshine

    Welcome to a life of leisure! (That’s what I’ve come to calling my days now that *I’m* unemployed since I let the door slam behind me in March)

    The saddest thing that all these posts across the country and around the world make it look like we all work for the same bunch of fuckwits at the same clusterfuck of a company.

    A friend/coworker called after I left and said that he meant this as a compliment — that I made my own life more difficult by succeeding in SPITE of the jackass we worked for. No matter what headuphisass new direction I got handed, I found a way to make it work every time…until I got sick of it and walked.

    Love to you and the girls and Chuck — if good wishes were money, you’d be wealthy indeed.

  • Zee

    I read Heather’s site regularly and I think it’s great that you’re both pursuing paths that make you wake up excited to greet the day. It’s taken me a while to get to that point too and it sure feels good to be in control of one’s own life. Your work situation sounds unbearable – good for you for telling them where to stick it!!! :)

  • col

    go team armstrong! :)

  • Lisa

    Well done, you! Here’s my 2 cents: when you are doing work that is in alignment with who you really are and what you are really meant to be doing with your life, the work is not a struggle and never feels like hell on earth. But when you are in the wrong place, a place that doesn’t fit who you are and what your talents are, it’s like wearing a shoe that’s 5 sizes too small, and getting smaller all the time. It hurts, and it hurts a lot, as you clearly have experienced. The fact that all your good efforts meant nothing to those people wasn’t about how good you were – it was the Universe telling you GET OUT NOW. You were getting “signs” about this all along, probably, but you were trying to do the responsible thing for your family. Well, now you’re out and you can pick a new direction, one better suited to what you want to create for your life. Congratulations, this is the start of many good things. Enjoy yourself!

  • sabrina

    Congratulations on getting out before corporate hell completely sucked out your soul. I think anyone who has ever worked in a corporate job can empathize with the mind-numbing irrationality of the environment… it’s maddening. Good luck in your endeavors and let us all join you in a collective “FUCK YOU” directed at corporate america.

  • Rich

    There are worse things in life than working for idiots. But not many. :)
    Sounds like you’re going to be just fine.

  • Chuckles

    You did the right thing. It won’t be the easy thing, you’ll trade one sort of stress for another. Yet the job you had was poisoning you, and you took the only medicine you could. You have a strong family dynamic, which is a great and necessary foundation. Now you can do what you’ve wanted to do, and if that doesn’t work out right now there are other companies, good, reputable companies, that you can find a salvation from the mind-numbing corporate madness you were swallowed up by. You’ll be fine.

  • Grub

    Good for you for knowing when to save yourself. I wish you and your awesome family all the best.

  • Mark

    A few years ago I took a job in Tennessee that caused me to stress out big time. It wasn’t the work I hated but the backstabbing, unprofessionalism and good ol’ boy politics. Being in the same room everyday with bitter, burned out sociopaths who were hell bent on making me the same way…nobody should have to live with that. I’m in my 20s and was having panic attacks even on the weekends. Congratulations for getting out before you lost even a tiny bit of your humanity.

  • Sue

    Ah I still HAVE your old job…I get condescended to every time I open my mouth to ask a question…I have only been there 10 weeks and I can only say RUN JON RUN! I know you and Heather can make a fabulous creative life together.

  • emdot

    Jon — that was one of the most cathartic things I’ve ever read about being overworked and underappreciated. I really feel like I could have written every word you just did — but never as eloquently or to the point. I didn’t leave my job when I should have and so I call it “the job that sucked my soul dry” and it took me almost two years to recover. That might sound lame, but it’s the god awful truth.

    I would like to heartily congratulate you for having the sense to get out while you did. That is called being true to yourself and I really admire it.

    And yea for you and Heather!

  • pat

    Been there, done that… you will never regret anything about having quit – except the companionship of the good colleagues.

  • Steve

    Wow! Well done. You have the balls to do this where many (including myself) have not. Good luck to the three of you.

  • girlplease

    I totally understand your frustration and leaving. I wish I could leave my job. I’ve been reduced to a typist even to the point of some “marketing person” (with no marketing background) wave their hand at me and say, “Well, just type it up, that’s what you, do don’t you?” Yea 10 years a copywriter, that’s what I do.

    I hate that place with my living soul but alas, being essentially the only bread winner has resulted in us not being able to save shit. And so I drive 110 miles round trip a day on 4 major highways hating my life. Tally ho!

  • Ewan

    Very brave, very honest, very right. Best wishes for the future – and thanks for making me appreciate my great job in a whole new way :-)

  • Kimberly

    wow, we work at the same company. congratulations on doing the right thing!

  • Rome

    Going against the grain puts you in a rare class – pro-active and self-determinate. A scary place, but wonderful to. Thanx for proving that it’s possible. I love both your blogs – I think your relationship/life rocks; it’s real and funny and aware. Thank you.

  • Nadine

    Congratulations. I resigned recently myself due to similar circumstances. When its the right time to go, you feel no regrets, just relief.

  • tracy

    Question about the ads… do you guys get paid for views, or only for click-throughs? Cause I’d be happy to do a little judicious clicking in a subtle, non-suspicious manner.

  • Denise

    It’s the culture. I work at a company exactly like you described, yet it has nothing to do with design.

    Find a nice non-Mormon boss. They are the best!

    Also, do you do freelance work, and if so let me know, I’ll pass along your name to our marketing/design guy.

  • maarmie

    What you have experienced is called bullying. Those who have it together or who have qualities (honesty, integrity, etc) the bully desires but doesn’t have are targeted. Been there, done that. Xanax is not fun. Am glad to be out of there. You will be fine!

  • Hilly

    Good Luck! Gambatte ne!

  • http://htp:// centuri0n

    In spite of your site being powered (apparently you are proud of this) by “ass clowns” (what kind of branding is that?), I am a fan of you and Heather — and this is the first time I have ever visited your site.

    I dunno if you guys care, but I’m praying for you and also glad that you had enough self-respect to speak the truth instead of allowing stupid people to ruin you. There is work to be had, money to be made, and things you can do.

    I also don’t want to get all sloppy on you, but the most important thing is this: in every minute of your life, you are making a decision about who you are going to serve. You can choose to serve someone who doesn’t even think about you when you’re not there (which is suicidal slavery), you can choose to serve yourself (which is a more-fun kind of suicide, but it still ends in the box), or you can choose to serve your wife and your child in a sacrificial and loving way (which is not suicide, but the definition of love). You seem like you could be the last kind of guy, Jon.

  • barbie2be

    jon, i wish i had the courage you do. being trapped in a job that affects ones health and mental state just to be able to live REALLY sucks.

  • Kala Lily

    I did not get to read all 200 or so comments, so just in case anyone else didn’t say it I will. Jon, I hope to God that you told that women to Go Fuck Herself!

  • Your Dog, Chuck

    WOOF WOOF! My Dad has more time to play with me!!! (wagging tail happily)

  • toolbox

    Fuck The Man. You have to do what makes you happy… I’ve been in the same place. It sucks. It will get better!

  • crazydogmama

    I have much respect for those willing to leave their comfort zone (of money, that is). It took me 10 years of putting up with the same bullshit to grow a spine. You are both so uber-talented, you have nothing to worry about! I really enjoy both blogs (yours & Heather’s) – it is usually the highlight of my day. Take care and have fun with Leta while you’re off!

  • Ray

    You know, in a year, you’ll wonder why it took you so long. Best move I ever made. I’ll wager it’ll be the best you’ve made.

    I made mine only AFTER my marriage tanked. I’m not certain it would have made a difference, but you know, I could have been less of a bastard in the process.

    You appear to be doing the right things, in the right order.

  • Creatrix

    Good for you! I’ve worked as a graphic artist for newspapers for 20+ years. A few years ago I had the job from hell, with a supervisor who would scream obscenities in my face, and for very low wages. (Picture Rosie O’Donnell with a very bad case of PMS. The resemblance was uncanny.) I lasted 6 months but my only regret is that I put up with her abuse for that long. Hubby and I started our own business since then. Nothing beats the feeling of empowerment, and the knowledge that you made the right decision, like walking out of a bad job. You’ll always look back on this decision with a warm feeling of rightness and accomplishment. …I’m a big fan of and I don’t think the ads were a bad decision.
    –fan in Penticton, BC, Canada

  • becky

    as i read the comments, i thought about my husband’s sitch. he was a mechanic for 20 years, but the place was sucking the life out of him. since i had a good job, and his income was actually declining anyway due to the cutthroat tactics there, i encouraged him to make a change. he started working on a fishing boat, which was his dream. yes, his income dropped. yes, it sucked for a bit. but he is so much happier. i get to see him smile and enjoy life again. i’m so proud of him for making such a drastic change later in life.

    it is so worth it, jon. so worth it.

    best of luck.

  • Erika

    I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about with the I-could-stay-for-the-paycheck-but-there’s-a chance-I-may-go-utterly-insane-in-the-process feeling. It’s uncomfortable, but once you leave, you don’t hate mornings because it means you have to walk into hell. I took a job that paid half what I made before, and I’m much happier. Best of luck to you! You made the right decision!

  • Christine

    Good for you!

    I am home with my 19 month old daughter but I swear, if you were in NYC I would bet you worked at my previous employer, the corporate office of a clothing company (sounds like Hay Screw). To. A. Tee. Management was crazy, mean and unprofessional, scheduling that made it impossible to get work done. I could go on for days with the crap they pulled in that place – it was the absolute worst working enviornment I have EVER been in (and I worked in fast food as a teenager!)

    When I was supposed to return from materinity leave, the woman I was supposed to work for QUIT and no one called to tell me. I showed up to work and they just were going to gloss right over the fact that my old manager was gone. And after almost 7 YEARS of that kind of crap, I just quit right there. Best decision I ever made.

    Good luck – you guys will be fine!

  • http://N/A jhairsi

    Life is truly too short. You inspire all of us to put ourselves first (listen to the little voice), for a change. In the end everyone can reap the rewards, family included!


  • jimmyd

    hell yeah! i went through a similar situation a couple of years ago. i was feeling like shit all the time, i was at the office all hours of the day, and i couldn’t take even a half-fucking day off without being paged 3 or 4 times.

    so good for you man…find another income source soon, but enjoy the silence for now.

  • Jamie

    Well done, Jon. There’s more to life than any job. And you should never have to put up with treatment that makes you ill. Bastards. Karma will get them. In the mean time, I’m looking forward to what you and Heather cook up in the coming months.

  • Alexis

    Way to go! I have worked at a job like that before so I know how miserable it can make you feel. Best of luck to you, Heather and Leta. I’m sure you guys will do great things!

  • Miguel

    Leta and Heather are blessed for having such a responsible father/husband. Now it’s time for you to move on to better things. I don’t know all your skills Jon, but I’d suggest you add to the pile of ideas you probably have now, to do a startup or something like that. You guys are great bloggers and take beautiful pictures… what about doing something related to blogging ‘r somethin. Whatever, just a thought. Good luck man. And enjoy your beautiful family especially now. That’s what we live for.

  • Lala

    No wonder I’m getting so many hits, I’m the idiot who put an “H” in Jon. Sorry, I’m a little tired these days.

  • Murphy

    Yea for you! My husband quit a job he hated and it was the best move he ever made. It took him a couple of years to wind up in a really incredible job (where he is now), but that journey was very valuable, and was a HELL of a lot better than what he had been in. You’ll be fine!

  • Lolo

    Good for you! NOTHING is as important as your health and happiness. I’m a big believer in quitting AS SOON as you feel like driving off a bridge on the way to work. I did so last spring, and I’ve never been poorer or happier.

  • Renae

    You totally rule. Good luck to you and Heather! 😀

  • Valerie

    Congratulations, the lack of migraine is proof positive that you made the right choice.

  • FH

    Good Luck to you and Heather both. Sure the ads are a little annoying, but if it allows you both to be happy and spend more time as a family then I can manage an ad here, there or even on my rss. All the best…

  • Jill

    I love it when a creative, intelligent, hard-working person tells soul-sucking Corporate America to fuck ice and strikes out on his own. Beautiful, Jon. That took some balls. Our house is pulling for you guys 100%.

  • jimmy

    five syllables: blurb-o-mat t-shirts

  • cd

    I hear ya on the migraine thing. I worked for a company where I was waking up with ragers at 3am 3 times a week. I actually talked to a lawyer, to see if, under the ADA, I could compel my company to make me work no more than 54 hours a week: 5 10-hour days and half of Saturday.

    My doctor was more to the point. She recommended I just quit.

  • kdunk

    i wish you luck. it sounds like you made a fantastic choice based on what is best for you and your family. i think it’s easy to get stuck on the miserable work train because it’s what you ‘think’ you should be doing but it sounds like you had the balls and a supportive wife to help make a change right in time.

  • Mrs. Paul

    So both Armstrongs are in da’ house. This should make for interesting blog entries that I will devour with glee.

    As I’m reading the comments, I have this mental image of Scarface in Half Baked as he quit Heifer Burger —

    “Fuck you, Fuck you, Fuck you, You’re Cool. And fuck you, I’m out.”

    That’s all. I have nothing to say that noone else hasn’t already said. Although I do want to second the “whores” comment. It’s been since June, Jon. Come on. The media is FULL of whores. Pick one so we can gnosh on it.

    Good luck and all that other stuff. Just try not to get hooked on watching the Price is Right. Mr. Paul spent a good deal of his recent unemployment stint dreaming of Plinko and prize packages. Needless to say, the house was never vacuumed until I got home.

    One other thing…What are you going to do about health insurance??? You’ve got me worried a bit dear.