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Getting Fired

July 23, 2014

July 17, 2014

After one of the higher ups at work gave me a heads up that my boss might be replacing me, I decided to be proactive. I decided to get it out in the open and offer to talk with my boss about the department and my position. I told him I wanted to talk to him. I e-mailed him……repeatedly. No reply. The situation was weighing heavy on my mind, so I decided to lay it all out in a long e-mail.

I told him that I understood if he didn’t think I was the best fit for the marketing position. I told him how much I loved working there. I offered to work with him towards a goal of transitioning to a marketing professional, even if that meant I had to go. I committed by best efforts to continuing to in the marketing position for another year at the most, and as little as a few weeks, if that’s what he thought was best. I was frank. I was honest. I was direct. I gave him an out for letting me go, amicably.

I heard nothing back. A week went by. I mentioned it to him. “Oh, I haven’t read it yet. I flagged it.” Great.

Two more weeks and nothing. I bemoaned this lack of communication with my co-workers. They were having similar problems. I asked him again to meet with me. He committed to a meeting at 2:30pm one afternoon, then cancelled. Finally he offered to meet me last Friday morning at 9:30am. I walked into his office with a list of questions and concerns on a notepad. I had my ubiquitous sharpened pencils. I sat down at the table behind the wall of glass. Two of my co-workers were just outside. They could hear and see everything. Before I could say anything, he looked at me and said, “I’m going to have to let you go.”

“What?” I asked, incredously? “Why”

“I can’t tell you for HR reasons,” he said. “It’s just not working out. I’ve been thinking about it for a while.”

“You mean, now, today?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said.

“Well, I didn’t see that coming!” I said.

“Did you read my e-mail?” I asked.

“Yes,” he admitted.

“Well, then you know I agree that it’s not working out. I wish you would have talked to me about this. You won’t even talk to me about it?”

“No, I can’t.” he said.

“Not even for my own benefit?” I asked.

“No.” he said.

“Can you give me time to get a box and get my stuff?” I asked, in shock.

“Yes.” he said.

I got up and went to the bathroom to collect myself. My co-workers were looking on in shock. By the time I came back, he, of course was gone. I packed my stuff  as my co-workers looked on and asked if there was anything they could do. I tried not to cry. I emptied the trash on my computer. I gathered my personal stuff in a daze. At one point I stopped and put my head in my hands and said, “That was really crappy.”

I rode my bike home and got my car, so I could take my camera and box of shit. The office manager had paperwork for me. She was crying. “You know I had nothing to do with this,” she said.

“Of course.” I told her. “I really liked working with you.”

Our office manager was an older, very elegant, very cajun lady who was quiet and reserved, did what she was told but had a sarcastic streak that came out in quips in staff meetings. I loved to see her cynical side come out and encouraged it at every turn.

Now, she was standing over me as I tried to fill out paperwork. She gave me an exit interview. I was so upset I couldn’t fill it out.

Despite the fact I had been warned that this might happen, I was stunned. I didn’t think it would happen like that. I thought we would come to some terms, work out a transition, discuss things openly. I didn’t think he would just kick me out one day. I had hoped for the dignity of two weeks notice, for Christ’s sake. It was badly handled. It was bad form.

My co-workers were floored. I spent the remaining 30 minutes or so there consoling them, saying, “It’s ok. It’s going to be ok. I will be alright.” Later, I had to console Pickle and other friends. That afternoon, the blog-reader, the former co-worker who now hates me (I think I called Carrie, here.) sent me some not-so-subtle texts, extolling her joy over my demise. I wished her well and deleted the texts. Lafayette’s a small town.

That was six days ago.

I’ve a bit lost since then. Bits of information have trickled my way. When I think about the amount of planning that I now realize was going on while I went about planning for the upcoming season, I’m hurt. I know I shouldn’t take it personally but I feel a bit bruised.

And then there’s the practical implications. I’m jobless again.

The good part is, I’ve been down this well before and I know how to get out.

The urge to travel is once again pulling me stronger and stronger.

So, I filed for unemployment, updated my resume, mailed in my passport application and I’m making a very long list of to-dos. I have no idea what I will do next.

Oh, and I bought some ramen noodles. Don’t tell Pickle.

Last night my former co-workers hosted a dinner for me. We picked apart the organization and series of events and laughed and drank. They were incredibly kind and supportive. I’ve been in this spot before but the view from where I sit is completely different this time.

I guess it’s time to find out what I’m made of.

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