Happy Freedom-versary to me!!
What IS a Freedom-versary? Well, friend…..let me tell you!
A year ago I was comfortable. Well, sort of. I mean, there were cracks in the façade, but I was doing my best to ignore them. And I was doing a pretty darn good job too.
I really liked my job. I worked with some great people and I was learning new aspects of different things in the fiber-communication-technology world. I was great at finding discrepancies in the company’s invoicing systems and was getting good at working with subcontractors to straighten out mistakes. I adored working with the team in Atlanta, through phone and email.
And I had such pride working for the company that had been so good to my husband over the years. He had worked there from 1995 to 1999 and again from 2006 to the present. Even my oldest son was working there now. My life was full. I loved seeing people and working with different people throughout the day. I actually liked going to work.
But, there were little things. The money could’ve been better. There was the promotion that went to another person because my boss encouraged her to apply for a new position that she really never mentioned to me. The girl who got that job was able to work remotely and move south with her husband. Then there was the letter. I had written a letter to my boss’s boss. She had been organizing meetings to go over (and I assumed to fix) the processes related to the Atlanta job that I mentioned above. Incidentally, including myself, 3 people involved in those meetings are no longer employed there. I know that at least one of the other two was let go – the Friday before I was let go, in fact.
So, back to the letter. Even though my direct boss had nothing to do with these meetings and ironing out the approval process which was the issue of my letter, apparently writing an email letter to her boss directly was verboten. Forbidden. Seriously, really, bad. I had no idea.
So, I had a couple of “meetings”. They said that they didn’t want to fire me, so they suggested that I have “counseling” with the HR department. (Which they call OD – Operational Development – which I refer to as BS, just saying.) So, yeah…”COUNSELING” with HR at work. Most people have to pick their jaw up from the ground at this point of the story. To which I say, “I know, right?!”
Well, after 8 weeks of counseling, I apparently hadn’t learned my lesson and it was probably clear that I was never going to learn my lesson. I’m still not sure what the lesson is or was or whatever. This is particularly sad because I’m sure I could have learned so much from HR. Particularly the woman who, though married, had the innovative idea to expand her horizons and sleep with one of the other employees who was also married. Her gifted, visionary knowledge was just lost on me! After all that time, I was still only sleeping with my own husband and coming to work to do my job.
No wonder they had to let me go.
So, kidding aside, I want to stress this point above all others: The feelings of being stabbed in the back and completely and utterly betrayed still haunt me to this day. I was devastated. I was completely blindsided by being let go; but I was also extremely confused and troubled. I worried that when I would get an interview, they would ask that one question: “Why did you leave your previous job?” What would I even say? It made no sense. People who worked there and knew all the parties had read that letter. It was nothing to be fired over. I could say that it was a personality conflict – but that would make it look like I was hard to work with. I was absolutely distressed about all of it.
It was kind of nice to be free. I didn’t have to go and pretend like I was getting a lot out of their Corporate Behaviors seminars. I didn’t have to attend 8 meetings to determine that something was a problem that never got fixed. (Oh, yeah, the issue that the letter was actually about – they ignored that for 6 months after I left until there were over 1000 approvals that they didn’t have.) I laughed.
At home, I was busy building my future. This blog was the start of it all. I learned to build a website – and soon this little blog will be a full-service website. I learned about coding and favicons. I learned about SEO and adsense and analyics. I learned the business-marketing side of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. I started a professional LinkedIn profile. I started a fake one too – to look at other people’s profiles without them knowing.
While I had taken personality tests to act like I cared about the counseling at work; I was now free to take the time to do more important things. I took the test and found out that I am a Ravenclaw and that my patronus is a Dapple Grey Mare. I spent time with my adult- and almost adult-kids. I had lunch and dinner with friends. I went Pokemon hunting with Pokemon Go and lost 10 pounds with my daughter. I ate homemade chocolate cake and gained it all back.
I was free to do whatever I wanted. My house was clean. My blog was growing. I was learning. But…..I was also getting antsy. I missed people. I was getting bored. And lonely.
So, after a few months of healing and reevaluating myself and my situation, a couple of things happened.
Number one: I realized that I still believe that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes, that reason isn’t OUR reason, but it’s all part of a plan.
Number two: I realized that I hadn’t done anything wrong. Really. I never thought I did anything wrong in the first place, but “counseling” said otherwise. Now, at home over all this time, I came to associate the brainwashing – I mean counseling – with what it really was. I was a young adult when I learned that my abusive parents had “gaslighted” me. This means that they made my normalcy seem like insanity. They made me feel like I was crazy for wanting to do the things that everyone wants to do. Going to the movies, going to friends’ houses, being in High School sports – all were made to seem like I was asking for too much. HR counseling was very similar. They made that letter seem like I had done something intentionally sneaky and underhanded. I hadn’t.
And so, with the realization that this whole experience was just a change in course and that I had done nothing wrong, I was – at last – able to get out there and start interviewing. When I was asked why I left, I honestly replied that I wasn’t quite sure. Apparently, someone did not like me and, although I was unaware of it at the time, they decided to let me go.
It was early June when I found a job that was looking for someone with web design knowledge. I interviewed on Friday. On Sunday, I went to a church event called “Awaken”. I left with a full heart. I knew my life was about to change.
On Monday morning the director of the chamber of commerce called me and offered me my current job. It’s been 7 months and I still love it! I love getting to use critical thinking to solve problems and creative thinking to launch new ideas. I absolutely adore getting to meet people and socialize with them at various events. I love helping people get the word out on things to do in the area. I love promoting our businesses!
More than the “job” part of the job – I love that I feel appreciated. I am the type of person that puts everything into a job. Here, that doesn’t go unnoticed. I am valued. I am acknowledged. Sometimes, my ideas aren’t the best for what we’re doing right now. Sometimes they get dismissed. That’s ok, because I still know that I am an integral part of a great team and that I have a future here.
At the end of everything I have had to process my negative feelings. I know that Christianity calls us to forgive, but I’m just not quite there yet. My feelings about the parties involved are as follows: My direct boss should have had a backbone and told me upfront what the problem(s) was/were. I pointedly asked her the day after the letter was written. The whole thing was weird and it’s a shame that she couldn’t pull the reins back and recognize it all as the misunderstanding that it was. My boss’s boss – the person to whom I wrote the letter – the person who set the whole thing in motion and then was conspicuously absent as the fallout ensued. She is dead to me. I will no longer acknowledge her existence. Karma will come for her whenever. I will leave it to that. The head of HR – I still will work with her in my new position. I have no respect for her, but I can work with her professionally. She will never know that I find her to be reprehensible in her hypocritical efforts to teach others about corporate (or any other) values. I find her to be pretentious and fake and frankly, scary. The HR assistant – She never struck me as the brightest bulb on the Christmas Tree. I feel sorry for her trying to keep the pretense that she agrees with the head of HR. I think she agrees with whatever she’s told to agree with. Bless her heart. I don’t really ever give her a second thought.
I’m not ready to forgive anyone; but I am ready to forget. It’s all done now.