How To Leave The Rat Race A Winner

Tactics that I used to quit working and was able to leave the Rat Race behind to enjoy life and live life on my own terms


Shane Lifeman

3/14/20235 min read

person holding brown leather bag
person holding brown leather bag
Walking Away To Start A New Life

The last job I ever had, was working for a well-known international manufacturing company. I held a key position where I provided technical support for the manufacturing production floor. This position was a salary position where I was financially compensated reasonably well for a 44-hour work week.

I was assigned to a team of equally qualified individuals where we were all tasked to do the same goal, keep the production floor running with minimal downtime during our shift.

The team worked well together as each member of the team excelled in different skill sets. The skill that I excelled in was diagnostics. Something happened on the production floor. I was the first person in assessing the situation and then relayed what I figured to be the problem, to the others.

I felt like I was a model employee. I would always show up on time. I never left unless I had finished my tasks at hand which meant there were numerous times I would stay late without compensation, sometimes up to an hour past my scheduled sign-out time

I excelled at my job. I never took any unscheduled time off, always working my 44 hours per week, sometimes more. I also got along great with my fellow team members. I was content performing the job and I was happy with this company.

This all suddenly changed in a matter of several minutes during my 3rd performance review.

My Performance Review That Made My Choose Life over Work

When I was hired. It was explained to me the company’s expectations of its employees. I had no problem with these expectations, they seemed reasonable to me. They also explained that within my first year of employment, I would go through 3 performance reviews.

My first 2 performance reviews went well. The company was happy and so was I. I left each review with the reviewer saying to me, just keep on doing what you’re doing. Each review also came with a slight pay increase.

I had now been with this company for a year when I entered the meeting room for my 3rd performance evaluation. Right from the start things were different. Instead of the person giving my review. Sitting at the table was also the human resource manager and my direct supervisor.

My supervisor started the meeting by stating we have a problem and simply stated to me, I’m not a team player. This statement floored me, so I asked him to please explain to me what he meant by this statement. I was shocked by what came out of his mouth next, this is what he said

  • I don’t arrive early, I arrive just minutes before my scheduled start time

  • It’s rare I stay later than my scheduled shift

  • I don’t assist my other team members with their assigned duties and tasks

  • I never answer my phone when the company calls after hours

  • I never volunteer for extra shifts

  • I don’t provide moral support for my other team members

The list went on to include a total of 13 items. The biggest statement he made in this list, now get this, he stated I don’t make the company a priority in my life.

It took me several moments to recover after hearing all this. Once I recovered, I said to myself, ok, now it’s on. I told my supervisor if all this is correct then please answer this for me

  • Do I always arrive before my scheduled shift — His answer — yes, but you should be here at least 45 minutes prior and not 5 minutes

  • Okay, so I arrive 5 minutes before my scheduled start time, Do I start work right away or just hang around — His answer — You start right away but you should be here earlier to socialize with the other employees and team build

  • Do I always answer my phone (which was mine and not a company phone) when I’m working — His answer- yes, but I should be available after hours as well, like other team members

  • Do I always complete all the tasks that I’m assigned, above and beyond what is required and on time — his answer- was yes and sometimes sooner, but then he stated I don’t assist my team members with their assigned tasks. I just leave and go home, especially after hours

  • Do I ever take on extra duties when other team members are absent — his answer- yes you do, but I don’t work extra shifts

  • It was explained to me during the hiring process that my salary was based on a 44-hour work week. Will I be compensated in any manner for working extra shifts and answering my phone when I’m not scheduled to work — his answer — No, but you will be helping the company out

  • Am I not the lowest-paid member on my team — his answer is, yes you are and you will always be unless your attitude changes

This guy then went on to explain how working for this company should be a priority in my life, I should be happy and grateful to be working here. After that last statement, all I heard was just more B.S. and I just let him ramble as my mind was already made up.

Once he finished, then it was my turn. I then spoke calmly as I spoke and asked. Just so I understand this correctly. I have to be available to the company 247 whenever they call and or need me. I am to sacrifice time away from my home life so I can come in early and or stay late just to… socialize. I am to assist other team members when they have problems whenever needed, even though they are compensated more than I am. I am to stick around later than what’s needed until everyone is all finished, even though there is nothing I can assist in. I won’t be compensated any more than my salary for working more hours… His answer to all this was just, yes

I ended the meeting by saying, starting right now I’m taking my 2 weeks owed vacation time, and also right now consider this time to be my 2 weeks’ notice, I am terminating my employment with this company.

They were all shocked when I said this. My supervisor said, you can’t do this, what are you going to do for employment, the company needs people like you. To this I replied — I don’t really care as I have and always will have options. I grabbed several personal items from my desk and walked out, without looking back

I Said No To Corporate Life Forever

I decided to take several weeks off. The company called several times leaving a message which I never even listened to, I just deleted them. I sent out several resumes and received an interview very quickly. It was during this interview that I made the decision never to work for another company again. The interview went well until they mention that the job was shift work. They were 12 hours shifts with what was referred to as a rapid rotation over a 2-week cycle. They then mentioned that the company has set up a training program so I can establish my home life to accommodate these shifts. I simply turned them down. Since that interview to this day, I have remained self-employed and never looked back

Living Life — Living Free

Shane Lifeman

Why I Quit The Corporate Life To Live Life On My Own Terms