He had watched his son lose his appetite for life, having toiled to meet deadlines in a toxic environment, and wanted to help.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on December 9, 2021.
It's never easy to figure life out, especially when it throws curveball after curveball at you. The pandemic disrupted the work-life balance more than ever and many have called out toxic workplaces and bosses while several have quit their jobs. Leaving your job can be a scary prospect, but thankfully for one man, his parents reached out to help him out of a tight spot when he quit his job. His parents had watched their son's job drain the life out of him and when he reached out to his parents seeking help, they didn't hesitate to accommodate him. It just goes to show how important it is to have a support system to back you up.
The parent shared the story on Reddit where it went viral, gaining more than 72,000 upvotes. "He was so excited when he got the job right out of college and my wife and I rejoiced with him. Over the course of the next couple of years, however, I saw the joy—not just about the job, but about life in general—drain away. Over Thanksgiving, he talked about insane deadlines, a boss who micromanaged, and a business owner who ruled with an iron fist. I encouraged him, but could tell he wasn't the happy-go-lucky son I once had," they wrote. They were distraught at seeing their son in this state.
"So this past weekend, when he told us over the phone (he lives in a neighboring state) he walked off the job after a heated argument with his boss, he started sobbing and apologizing. I said, 'Son, you have nothing to apologize for. No job is worth what I see this job doing to you.' His "shame" was compounded by being married for only a couple of years and having a two-year-old daughter," they wrote. He then asked them for a favor, to help him ride out this tough period.
"He asked if they could stay with us for a couple of months until he figures things out. I told him not to worry. We've got a big house and everyone is welcome," they wrote. His son apologized to the parent and promised to get a job as soon as possible. "My wife and I told him not to worry about it." In fact, they went one step further and asked him to prioritize his mental health because the job had taken a toll on him. "We said a condition of him returning would be that he NOT find work until he's taken care of himself. He struggles with depression anyway, so I said he should see a psych/therapist, get the help he needs to recover his mental wellness, and go from there. No timelines. No promises needed. He was beyond grateful. No parent wants to see their child struggle because of their job."
They then pointed out that parents and loved ones with the means can do well to help their children going through tough times, in whatever manner possible. "This is a shout-out to all parents of children regardless of age: We can be a part of the antiwork/labor movement. We can be a "safe haven" from abusive work relationships. We can TRUST our kids to make the right choices and encourage them to do whatever they think they need to to have a fulfilling happy life. The only thing any good parent ever wants from their children is that they have the best of all life has to offer. We should consider it our patriotic duty to help others walk away from abusive employers and demand better," they wrote.
Reddit championed the parent and lauded them. "Yes, you should be proud! I lived 4 years AFTER university with my parents. This is the reason why l’ll retire around 47…But at 24, l had 1$ in my bank account!! So parents, please follow these generous parents," wrote one Reddit user. "Thank you for being some of the great ones. Wish I had parents like you growing up, hell, wish I had parents like you NOW," wrote another user. Some urged those going through tough times to seek help. "Honestly, make the most of it, the pressure of having no choice but to do everything yourself is something you feel every day. Having support is an opportunity to get out of really shit situations, never be afraid of accepting the help if it's there and you're in need," wrote one Reddit user.