When I was brought into the office with the owners and the door was shut behind us, I thought I was going to be reprimanded, but when I heard the words muttered above amid “budget cuts,” and “cut-back on staff,” I knew I was about to get fired.
I maintained a professional demeanor during the apologies and even managed to make us all laugh. I asked if there was anything I could improve and was told I was doing really well. I then jokingly requested that if that was the case, could they please fire someone else?
Then I went to my desk, packed up all of my things and handed in the key, saying goodbye to no one. As I got into my car, I suddenly had the urge to cry, but I didn’t. I called my son, then my daughter, then a friend, and then posted a picture of the box with my Christmas decorations and belongings to Facebook.
I began to feel nauseous before I was even aware that every insecurity I’ve had for the last 50 years (I am 56) had begun to struggle to be first and foremost in my consciousness: I sucked at this job; they heard me complaining, God is punishing me; I made a giant mistake leaving my last job; I’m going to lose my place to live; I am going to have to find homes for my pets; I’ll have to sell everything; I’ll never have anything again; I’m going to die in poverty, miserable and alone.
It had been 15 minutes and I have already struggled, died and been buried.
A few hours later, I applied for unemployment and two jobs online.
The truth is that I hated that job and almost quit twice. The ironic thing is that I had just made my peace with it and had finally felt as if I had begun to get a rhythm.
Getting fired, for me, is a surreal experience. The closest description for it is a fog-like splotchy grey-out, bungeeing between being a survivor and terrible imaginings.
Is this where “the rubber meets the road,” as one of my friends so often said? Is this where I “find out what I am made of?”
On Facebook, friends have assured me that something bigger and better is going to come along; when one door closes…I wonder if these are just the platitudes that friends throw out to console, meaning nothing, with no ingredient of truth, or if they truly believe that? And if they do, is it because they have one experience or more than one?
I guess more will be revealed, huh?