For those of you who have been reading this for a while, you’ll notice there were cryptic references to looking for a job and having a new job in the last six months.
Well, what happened is that I was fired. Not something I ever envisioned happening to me. I’m an overachiever. Lots of school. Many scholarships. Always accolades in my job. Heck, I was a supervisor in a nice-enough Best Western when I was 15. Won a trip to the West Indies for my work at one company (where we reclined on a pleasure boat while hearing about the latest round of layoffs, but that’s another story).
I can’t for (obvious) reasons disclose what went down, but four months later, I have had the time to think about what happened. I know that I could have avoided it. I’m a political animal and can tell you which way the stale air is blowing on any given day. But here’s the thing: I chose to do the wrong thing.
I think I can say that the numerous email from co-workers and friends and family were of immense help. So many WTF questions helped me to realize that my shock had a genuine foundation, and that it really didn’t make any sense :)
The why I chose to go ahead on the bad-for-me path? I guess part of me knew I’d only get more frustrated. I know my body was telling me to get the hell out. The job previous to this one? I finished it by leaving on my own steam, soon after I got the extra-special task of walking out most of my team in a huge layoff. I left with messed-up guts and a full-time headache.
This time around, I’ve developed something called Meniere’s Disease, whereby I got vertigo so bad that it affected my ability to walk or look at Powerpoint presentations (though, maybe silver lining and all that). I’ve had stressful situations since I walked out that door, but never had the same intensity of symptoms (drugs help too).
My biggest sin was telling the truth. To my boss. Sometimes, this is the stupidest thing you can do; sometimes, it’s the only thing that keeps you looking at yourself in the mirror.
There will be lingering effects. Sure, I’m at a company that seems refreshingly interested in what I have to say, but my desktop stays clean, most of my desk toys stay at home, and I’m always ready and packed, so to speak. I wake up sometimes and wonder if that email I sent about what we can do to improve things is pissing off the wrong person as I sleep, changing the terrain such that I need a new and paranoid gameplan to survive.
I told myself when I started, though, that this was a clean slate… for them. I would not bring my fears or political defence/offence postures through the door. Spidey senses, sure. But work with the assumption of goodwill.
My early assessment is that my good karma approach was a good idea. Being an optimist when you’re a born-and-bred cynic is hard work, but a good life lesson.