“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
— Mark Twain
It’s amazing to me how relevant quotes by this man show up at just the right time in my life. My current boss, a manager at Starbucks, has regularly made me feel belittled. He often brags about how little education he has, yet he’s the one in charge (though, cringe-inducingly, he also says he’s the “stupidest” one there). I tend to think of him as someone who has overcome hardships—something I admire, to a certain extent— but he also says and does small things and acts like a small person when talking to me.
My ambition in the last few months has been to pursue my photography and to finish my Master’s degree. I did the photography thing and loved it, but his distinct lack of interest (despite butting his head into my personal life all the time otherwise) was disappointing. But worse has been the attempt to finish school. I’ve almost felt he has been actively blocking me from working on it. I asked for closer to 30 hours at work, instead of 40. Instead, because I have open availability, I get more hours than most of the other partners at Starbucks. He does nothing but roll his eyes when I bring my laptop to work on papers or study.
To top it off, he makes me feel small by sometimes insinuating that I am stupid. My least favorite thing in the world is when he says, “Y’all are special” in his typically Alabaman accent.
That, among myriad other reasons, is why I am proud to say I have put in my two weeks’ notice and will be done at Starbucks by 12:15PM on Friday May 10.