Workers are rage-quitting crappy jobs as COVID pandemic slows

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As COVID-19’s stranglehold on the economy weakens, employees are releasing pent-up anger — by rage-quitting gigs they hate. 

“By the time you get down to that lowly stay-at-home mom that just wanted a part-time job — who is earning less than a hundred dollars a week because she’s making $7.25 an hour and only working 10 hours a week — it’s not worth it,” a former discount-store employee told Insider of her mentality before rage-quitting the job this spring. 

Stress had begun to “roll downhill” through management ranks during the coronavirus pandemic, and while Kendra (a pseudonym) told the publication she’s not the “type of person” to act out in the heat of the moment, she was eventually pushed to. A constant barrage of passive aggression finally got to her when, in what ended up being the final straw, she said her manager refused to explain what the problem at hand was during a particularly heated conversation. After that, Kendra walked out, never to return. 

Former fast-fashion retail employee Helena isn’t the type to rage-quit, either, but was also recently moved to. After seeing Helena checking her phone — a relative had just suffered a stroke, and she was looking for updates — her manager made a staff-wide announcement that workers should put their phones in their lockers. That was followed up with a patronizing text about staying off phones on the job, which made Helena question why she was “working so hard” for a company that paid her $10 an hour and didn’t care about her. She wrote a resignation letter giving two weeks’ notice but was unable to deliver it when her manager yelled at her again during her subsequent shift. 

So, she rage-quit — and didn’t come back. 

“When they texted me to ask me where I was, I told them I was revoking my two weeks’ notice. It felt so good to know that I would never have to work there again,” she told Insider. 

“There is this tendency — especially when we’ve been sheltering in place for so long — like, ‘I’ve just got to get the hell out of here,’” human-resources expert Laurie Ruettimann told Insider of the possible reason for recent rage-quittings. “But that instinct to just flee is always the wrong instinct.”

That’s not the only way the pandemic has changed workers’ outlooks. Many employees who have needed to work from home for the past year-plus are showing an apprehension to return to an office at all. A recent poll found that 39 percent of employees might quit if they weren’t allowed some remote work flexibility. 

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