What's running though my mind comes through in my walk / True feelings are shown by the way that I talk. ~MCA Adam Yauch 1964-2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

When life throws you a curve ball...facing unemployment

Yesterday I went to work as an Administrative Assistant in the HR department of the organization I work for like I always did, with no indication of how it would end.

By the end of the day, I was unemployed.  I was told at 4pm that I was not coming back the next day...do not pass go, do not collect $200.  Eleven days before Christmas, my family's income was slashed in half.

The "official" reason seemed to be that I wouldn't work with my new supervisor.  I worked with my last supervisor with absolutely no problems or no complaints.  It could be that with that supervisor, I knew exactly what I was supposed to do, but she also trusted me to do my job.  My new supervisor wasn't familiar with our organization and since I wanted to keep our department running smoothly, I tried to take care of the every day stuff that needed to get done. Even last week, I thought we were good because I said to my supervisor that between the three of us, we could have a "kick ass" Human Resources Department, and she agreed.  What I thought was initiative and being proactive was apparently misconstrued as "wanting to do your own thing".

I had a half hour to clear my desk and was asked to unceremoniously take the side door out. I'm still not so sure that  I wasn't canned because they either didn't want a throwback from the last HR director getting in the way of the progress of the new one or they are trying to save themselves money by eliminating my position, but instead of being decent enough to just lay me off with notice, they found three relatively minor mistakes that I made, mistakes that maybe warrant a verbal warning, and used them as an excuse to fire me.

Now I am going to admit something....I will not lie and say I was the best employee.  Very frequently I felt like it wasn't a good fit for me and there were many days that I went to work with a sigh, not wanting to be there.  I am sure that no matter how hard I worked, or met deadlines, and tried to convince myself that I had it pretty good, that attitude showed through. I will not sit here and make it out that I was a super employee, because I wasn't.  I did what I had to do for the paycheck.

Nonetheless, I was still stunned...in shock.  I cried on and off for the most of the night...then I was mad...then I started to worry about the financial future of my family...then was mad again...then I was sad.  I told my man how sorry I was...that maybe if I was a better employee, that I would still have a job.  His response was that any agency that would let someone go two weeks before Christmas will always find a reason to let someone go.

I ended my day applying for unemployment for the first time in my life.  Now I can be the draw on society that the Republicans complain about.

Here's the weird part though.  As I woke up this morning, my first day as an out of work 40 year old, I didn't feel heavy-hearted and I didn't feel down. I felt relief and a bit of excitement.  No, not of the prospect of living on unemployment, but for the fact that almost every great epic story starts very similar to what I am experiencing now.  I think this is the Cosmos' way of telling me that my path is ahead and I need to head towards it.  Maybe I will find that job that fits me better or maybe I can finish school and help people like I always wanted to.  Maybe this will allow me to improve my relationships with my children, as I will be home more and not be weighed down by whatever happened at work.

Who knows, but I do know that I refuse to look at this as a disaster. Just a few weeks ago, when I turned 40, I stated, "I feel like I am at the cusp of an epic journey and I am anxious to get on with it." That has not wavered.  

This, my friends, is a journey to be taken!

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