I allowed the sage words of wisdom from my mother marinate as I made my way to work. She was right. Unless you have a strong chance of getting a better job elsewhere due to established contacts or credentials/skills set, it is always a good idea to stick with what you have until another door opens. Its kind of an unspoken rule among hiring managers and job seekers alike. It is definitely the rule than the exception. I decided to collect all my feelings about management and the job itself and file them somewhere deep in my mind. New motto: Go to work. Get the job done. Hope for the best.
But this motto was getting more and more difficult to abide by as rumors of lay offs and budget cuts spread through out the company. Of course, we were advised to just ignore to rumors,keep calm and carry on. This was hard to do as more and more representatives were unceremoniously escorted out the building daily with their belongings in tow. In spent many lunches following my decision to not to quit, listening to the grievances for coworkers who needed the job to make ends meet. Case in point, my fellow trainee, Bethany* expressed her concern. With a unemployed live in boyfriend and two sons to put through school, she needed this job. So you can imagine my surprise, when days later, she was escorted out the door by a supervisor with her head low. When I inquired about why she was let go, I found out it was for reasons that normally would have handled with a verbal warning. But hey, whatever justifies making cuts I guess.
Nothing solidified my potential departure from this job than when I returned from my lunch break to find my boss’ space empty. Completely empty. Except for the plastic plant and the computer monitor , it was as it he was never there. Reason for his departure? Issues with management. I guess this was their politically correct way of saying that he was too expensive to keep as an employee. He was far from perfect but for the most part, he was not a horrible boss. But like I said earlier, any excuse necessary. All I knew was this very fact, my days as this job were numbered.
My team got a new supervisor. This supervisor had a reputation for ruling with an iron fist and letting people go without a second thought. Word on the street is that he once let someone go for coming in late, even after it had been established that the representative had a flat tire on the way to work. I caught myself looking over my shoulder multiple times a day, wondering when , for whatever reason, he would tell me to come into the office to speak with the operations Manager. I was starting to get more and more paranoid by the day, but I decided that so long as I was doing my absolute best, I was not going to allow things that are out of my control affect me.
Funny enough, the day that I was finally let go, it did not happen as I had expected. No looking over my shoulder or expecting a call from my supervisor to come into the office. In fact, for some reason, I dressed up the day I got laid off. I applied a little more make up than usual. I had one a pair of khaki dress pants and a pink silk blouse. Why? I don’t know but it if were going to be show the door , I was walking out in style. I walked into the building with my coffee mug in tow and was told immediately by my supervisor to not turn on my computer. Yep, it was time.
I walked into the operation managers office and sat down. Long story short, management changes , budget cuts, mistakes made on my part, you have to go. Trust me, I was not even arguing with them. I was at peace. I no longer wanted to fight for something that never wanted in the first place. I allowed them to complete all the formalities for my termination while I sipped my cappuccino. They promised me unemployment benefits and a good recommendation for my next employer. Its the least they could do I guess.
As I walked down the long hallway toward the door leading to the parking lot, like many of co-workers before me, I felt like a kid on Christmas day. I was excited. Excited that the next day, I did not have to come back to this job that had pretty much sucked the life out of me for close to a year. I didn’t look back to see my fellow co-workers who were arguing with toxic customers on the phone. Not even to make eye contact with them as I did whenever I was leaving for the day. I was moving forward.
I drove out of the parking with a sense of relief. I was done and happily so. As I made my way home, I had some business to take care off.
Stop by favorite bakery. Pick up two cupcakes- Check
Fajitas to go from my favorite Mexican Restaurant -Check
Celebratory “beverage” purchase- Check
Optimism that my sad days are done and better days lied ahead of me – check and CHECK!!!
* – Name changed to protect identity