“I’ve Never Had This Type Of Energy”: Woman Quits Teaching To Work At Costco, Says She’s Never Been Happier
In a 2022 study of over 4,000 teachers, 81% said their overall workload has increased. Additionally, more than half (55%) said they have less planning time due to staff shortages and other factors. The mixture of extra work and fewer resources has caused unprecedented stress in the profession, which has, in turn, led to increased levels of burnout.
As a result, the education sector has been losing employees. One of them is a woman who goes on the internet by the nickname Millennial Ms. Frizzle. Recently, she quit teaching for a position at Costco and her comparison of the two jobs really puts the aforementioned numbers into perspective.
More info: TikTok
A content creator known online as Millennial Ms. Frizzle got real about how bad teachers have it
And explained why she’s much happier after leaving the education system for a job in retail
We managed to get in touch with Millennial Ms. Frizzle and she agreed to have a little chat with us. “I have been a customer at Costco since I was a child, and I have always enjoyed the shopping experience, and always noticed how happy the employees were at their jobs,” the former teacher told Bored Panda.
“As I grew up I also learned that Costco was a good place to work because the employees are paid well and have good benefits. Even as I became a teacher I kept it in the back of my mind that I might want to work at Costco someday.”
Her TikTok went viral
@millennialmsfrizz I used to be a teacher and now I work at Costco. This is my first year not having a winter break. I do not miss it at all. My pace of my work life now is so much better, I am not sick or exhausted like I used to be when I was a teacher. When I was a teacher I used my winter break basically to recover and go into the next semester of just surviving. #f#formerteachert#teacherquittokc#costcotiktokr#retailworkere#exteachertiktokc#careertransitiont#teachersonbreak ♬ original sound – Millennial Ms. Frizzle
Sadly, Millennial Ms. Frizzle’s case is an illustration of a bigger picture. At least 300,000 public school teachers and other staff left the field between February 2020 and May 2022, The Wall Street Journal reports.
According to a June 2022 Gallup poll, K-12 teachers report the highest burnout rate of all U.S. professions, with more than four out of every 10 teachers noting that they feel burned out “always” or “very often” at work.
The situation gets only uglier when you consider that many of the predominant challenges teachers face, such as safety concerns, low salaries, funding deficits, and declining mental health, are not new issues, but old problems that have spread their roots deep within the classrooms.
So she soon made a follow-up video, comparing the support she gets at Costco versus what she received at school
This video also received a lot of attention
@millennialmsfrizz Are used to be a teacher and now I work at Costco. I finally figured out that the biggest difference in working as a teacher and now working at Costco is the mindset in the environment. When I was a teacher the scarcity mindset was absolutely draining. Teachers are always suspected, rarely supported and in general have to fight for themselves. It doesn’t matter in a school how many credentials a teacher has, how well trained they are, teachers are always approached with this environment of scarcity. at Costco I have the supplies that I need to do my job, I am giving regular breaks, I am supported by my managers, my managers go above and beyond to look out for me, and I am given relevant training on the job during work hours. I am not expected to do my own training above and beyond on my own time. I am approached with understanding, and support. I never had those things as a teacher. #t#teacherlifef#formerteachert#teacherquittokc#costcotiktokr#retailworkersK#KAYKissCountdown ♬ original sound – Millennial Ms. Frizzle
The burnout crisis has been exacerbated by a national educator shortage — enrollment in teacher preparation programs has plummeted, a trend amplified by the pandemic, and schools throughout the U.S. are competing for a shrinking pool of qualified teachers.
Some teachers quit because of the challenges of teaching during a global pandemic, while others, similar to Millennial Ms. Frizzle, took note of the Great Resignation and found higher-paid opportunities in other industries. Those who stick to their career report feeling exhausted and disillusioned with the role they had once considered to be their dream job.
Millennial Ms. Frizzle pointed out that “the most important message that I want to convey is that teachers are not trapped in their job as teachers. A lot of teachers feel like they cannot be successful in another career because teachers have been told that they need to be loyal, and stay for the kids.”
“I want teachers to know how their skills are incredibly valuable and are transferable to other jobs.”
“I also want to convey the message that it is harmful to label certain careers as noble professions (ex: teaching, nursing, etc.) and label others as ‘less than,'” she added. “Service industries are often viewed as less important than noble professions, and this is both incorrect and harmful.”
But some people still don’t understand why teaching is difficult
So Millennial Ms. Frizzle took the time to educate them as well
Image credits: millennialmsfrizz
She uploaded more videos, discussing the topic further
@millennialmsfrizz I do not miss the “breaks” from teaching. I have worked through summer, thanksgiving and winter break now. When I was a teacher I would be at the edge of being sick and then as soon as break started I would immediately get sick. It was more than being physically sick, it was the mental and emotional fatigue, too. I spent my breaks recovering and dreading getting drained again. #CODSquadUp #formerteacher #teacheronbreak #teacheronbreakstuff #formerteacher #teachersoftiktok #teacherquittok ♬ Cool Kids (our sped up version) – Echosmith @millennialmsfrizz Replying to @adjohannes are teacher soft or are you lacking empathy? are teachers too sensitive, or are you completely out of touch? Are teachers whining, or are you refusing to look at how badly teachers and students are treated? ##educationcrisis##teachersoftiktok##teacherquittok##formerteacher##CODSquadUp ♬ original sound – Millennial Ms. Frizzle @millennialmsfrizz Maybe someday I will fully realize how deeply messed up the education system is, but that day has not yet come. I was literally driving home just thinking about how different it is to work for Costco versus being a teacher and this one struck me like a lightning bolt. #costcotiktok #KAYKissCountdown #teachersoftiktok #teacherlife #teacherquittok #formerteachers ♬ Blue Blood – Heinz Kiessling & Various Artists @millennialmsfrizz Replying to @ghoulgirl0129 I understand that my content is really disruptive to peoples ideas about teachers, and what school is. I know that it makes you uncomfortable when I speak this honestly. I’m not concerned with making you comfortable or letting you sit in the dark. Remember the housing crisis? The education bubble is about to burst ##educationcrisis##teachersoftiktok##teacherquittok##formerteacher##CODSquadUp ♬ Hope (2 Min Edit) – Max Farrar @millennialmsfrizz Replying to @vvvalerievvvalerie truly though, education is a never ending parade of being told that someone who had it worse than you managed to figure it out, so you will too. It’s gaslighting, it’s toxic positivity, it’s a scarcity mindset and it’s just abusive. Also, no, I did not have a union in the state where this happened. #teachersoftiktok #teacherquittok #formerteacher ♬ original sound – Millennial Ms. Frizzle
However, there are some things that Millennial Ms. Frizzle misses about teaching. “What I enjoyed most … was the actual teaching part of the job,” she said. “But there are so many additional jobs that teachers are required to do, and all of those jobs take away from our actual job which is teaching.”
“I loved doing projects with students, hearing what they thought about the world, helping them with social and emotional learning, and in general, supporting them as they grew up. I really liked getting to go to their sports games and cheer them on. I miss the kids.”
But now the woman is happy where she is and plans to remain at Costco long-term.