First of all, let me say that it feels really weird asking for job-related advice on a site about penises. But I figure this site is as good as any if I want advice from a random group of strangers on the internet. Plus, you guys seem fairly mature, intelligent and level-headed, generally speaking, especially compared to other internet forums that I frequent. Also, I will warn you that much of what you're about to read is my ranting. It's probably more appropriate for a blog than for this forum. I really haven't had any other outlet to express these issues with anyone else and I don't have a blog or diary or anything so I'll force it on you guys (sorry!). So here's the problem: It has come time for me to take my career a little more seriously. I've finished school and am looking for opportunities within my discipline. The current job that I am on is by every definition of the phrase, a dead-end job. There is really no potential for upward-mobility from where I am now. So I know I have to leave the job. The question is how and when. The problem is, the owners have been fairly decent to me thus far. They hired me without any experience (though, to be fair, the position I was hired for didn't really need as much experience as they expected when they were hiring) and have been really accommodating while I was in school. They quite literally worked the entire company's employee scheduling around my school schedule to ensure that I could work when I wanted. I've quickly risen through the ranks and am essentially the "general manager" at the company (we don't have formal titles so I'm not sure what the appropriate one to match my job description would be). If nothing else, its been a great learning/character-building (lol) experience. I'm now convinced that I could honestly run my own business, which is essentially what I have been doing for them for the last year. That being said, I don't really like my job at all. First of all, the pay is horrible, especially for what I do. At even the worst performing of our competitors, I would be getting paid 2 or 3 times what I am getting paid now. Much likely even more than that. I've always been somewhat dissatisfied with my pay but that dissatisfaction was compounded by a recent discovery. Going through some paperwork and tax documentation in the office, I discovered that the owners literally take home more pay than every other employee within the company....COMBINED!!! Yet they pinch pennies (at the expense of the employees and customers, of course) and constantly complain that we aren't making them enough money. At first it was simply annoying, but now its down-right insulting. Secondly, despite the fact that I essentially run the business and they do nothing at all, they are quite antagonistic to most of the business suggestions that I offer. They are true back-seat drivers. Yelling in my ear through a megaphone. I have offered them several suggestions (for instance, revamping our pricing strategy and renegotiating a few contracts we have with suppliers) that I'm fairly certain would improve business and they flat-out rejected them. And its not like this would benefit me in any way, it would only fatten their pockets. I feel completely useless as management if I'm not allowed to manage. I feel like I'm becoming less of a manager and more of a supervisor (aka babysitter/house-sitter). Third, one owner within the ownership team is beyond disrespectful. He is openly disrespectful of myself, my co-workers and even (believe it or not) our customers. Its really disgusting. In his defense, though, myself and my co-workers hypothesize that he is not intentionally a dick, but that he may, in fact, just be a natural-born asshole. He can't help it, really. That being said, why is this even a question? Well here are a few issues: I'm really the only one within the organization capable of running the company. They have really made no attempt to allow another person to become familiarized with how the company runs. I suggested to them that I train another person to do my job, just in case I'm ever unable to do it, and they pretty much dismissed the idea. My predecessors have all left so I'm pretty much the only one with the know-how. I'm the only one with any relationship with the suppliers/venders, any financial knowledge of the company etc. All the owners know is that "revenues minus expenses equals the down-payment on their new condo." I've grown very close with some of my coworkers. They're good guys. Most of them dislike the job, too. Some of them have already told me they intend to leave soon and many of them (most of the workforce) have openly told me that if I leave, they probably would not stay around. The unfortunate thing is that I actually believe them. I'm quite sure many of them would leave, because they dislike the situation as much as I do. We all kinda stay for each other. However, while I have other employment opportunities, many of them don't. I would feel bad if they were left without a job because of me. My immediate predecessor, who is no longer with the business, has a fairly close relationship with the owners. His family, and the family of the owners have shared a really closed friendship/relationship for, quite literally, almost 150 years. They owners have helped him financially in the past and he is quite loyal to them. If I were to leave, they would ask (make) him come back and work for them. And he would hate it. Just like he hated it then. But he would do it out of loyalty; that's just the kind of person he was. He's a fairly good friend of mine and I would hate to put him in that position. I'm really concerned that if I were to leave (and for some reason my predecessor did not return) the company would not survive much longer. (and I seriously don't mean to think too highly of myself, its more a reflection of the ineptness of ownership more than my ability). Its odd listening to the owners talk about the future of the company and they almost always include me in those plans. While at any other job, it would seem flattering that they value you enough to include you in future plans. But for some reason it feels the exact opposite in this situation. Its like they value me so little as to take for granted that I will be here for the long haul. As if this is my only option. I probably shouldn't, but I feel almost insulted. For whatever crazy illogical reason, I really don't want to see the company fail, despite the fact that I have no financial stake in its success. Maybe its just that I've invested a considerable part of my very short adult life here. On the other hand, it just feels like I'm in one of those bad relationships where, despite some of the reasons for staying, I kinda just know there's no future in it. So what would you do in the situation? Staying is not an option. What would be the responsible way of exiting the situation amicably? I really don't wanna leave like, "F U Guys, I'm out of here!" HAHA. I want to leave in a way that causes the least amount of damage, especially when it comes to my coworkers. I've thought about sticking around long enough to train someone to take my place. But that could be months. I don't know if I could take it that much longer. I'm really becoming miserable here.