Saturday, August 13, 2011

Lesson 11: Blessing In Disguise



Well I got fired yesterday. First time ever. Brutal.

I really can't say I was surprised. I couldn't help but have this overwhelming feeling that I'd been hired as part of a sick joke, and everyone was waiting for me to quit. The first week I felt awkward, but I tried to convince myself it was all a part of just being new. By the second week I was excluded and ignored, then after my boss "had words" with me, I felt like everyone was confused that I kept showing up. If I asked a question I was ignored, and if I made a statement I was met with condescending stares and then a rapid change of subject. The pit of my stomach grew heavier by the day.

Finally, when my boss made a snide comment yesterday morning about whether or not I was "capable" of doing an aspect of my job (something an 8 year old could've done), it was that last straw. "It's a shame you feel I'm incapable of doing my job," I said. "Because I know I am fully capable of doing it, and doing it well. If this is how it's going to be than you need to make an executive decision because I'm not going to be bullied into quitting."

Well apparently an executive decision was made, because as of 2:00 yesterday afternoon, I was told I "Just wasn't a good fit." No sh*t I wasn't a good fit. I was miserable. I've been losing sleep for the last two weeks. I typically go for a run or a swim everyday, but the last 14 days? I've gone twice. On Tuesday my boyfriend and I were driving around town looking at future dream houses when he said, "I wish we lived in that house." I replied with, "I wish it was Friday," and started crying.

Here's something that will put it into perspective. Last Wednesday, after finishing five hours of typing while incarcerated in my solitary cubicle, I opened my notebook and wrote this:

There's nothing quite as depressing as the sound of silence in a cubicle.

The incessant buzzing of the air conditioner and the relentless squeaking of a run-down office chair fills the air, broken only by the telltale sound of an employee attempting to surreptitiously remove the Ceran wrap from her late lunch. Fingers scurry across keyboards, mouses click, and chipper voices answer phones with that identical artificially caring voice they've used for the last 10 years. I sit in the back, as close to the only window as possible, undaunted by the measly view it provides. The sight of the adjacent building, just two feet away, is the only connection I have to a world outside my own. This, ladies and gentlemen, is my nightmare.

I have decided that an office is the ultimate prison; one designed to keep its prisoners willingly confined, brainwashed by the sight of the strategically placed metaphorical carrot just inches beyond their grasp. I feel as if I have signed a contract without reading the fine print, ushered ahead to the next important benefit while passing over the sacrifices needed to reach said benefit. Even the fluorescent lights above flicker to remind me of the task at hand, like the most effective of prison guards; jarring and emotionless.

I stare at the computer screen before me and click my pen against my teeth, the scent of Windex and carpet hanging in the air. This is not my computer. This is not my desk. This is Patty's desk, and hers is the bar to which all following cubicles will be measured. Her functional knick-knacks confuse me, and I feel even more out of place. A container of goo meant to make your fingers sticky (for turning pages) and a bottle of Germ-ex sit directly next to the keyboard. I do not own a bottle of Germ-ex. I welcome the dirt and grime of the natural world. Oh how I long for the touch of grass...

Next to a colorful array of pens (the likely only allowed form of creativity or self-expression), is a palm tree post-it note container, symbolizing the relaxing beach she has probably desperately been saving her vacation days for.  Everyone knows Patty doesn't like to travel though, her cat gets car sick. It's a shame, really. She has months worth of vacation days saved up, and her cat no doubt could benefit from a day outside its one bedroom apartment. Her planner hangs on the cork-board to the right, rows of assignments filling it: typing, filing, interviewing, typing, staffing. Every summer this will be how I spend my time. I am the next generation of Patty's.

But the most disheartening trinket of all, is the digital calender on her computer that displays a different "inspirational phrase" daily.

Today's? "Smile. I like your sense of humor." Wait, what? A computer is telling me it likes my sense of humor? I have already discovered that no one in this particular job likes my sense of humor, so it's ironic that a computer would have that opinion. Rather, I think it's mocking me. Mocking my lack of humor and instead exposing my dutiful, uninspiring appropriateness that has replaced it. Within three weeks my wit has given way to internal cynicism. I used to be funny.

My stare is broken by the flicker of the fluorescent prison guard. Back to work. Deep breaths...

So it's safe to say I'm quite relieved to not have to go back on Monday. Also I believe I have now developed an irrational fear of palm tree post-it note containers.

So Followed Saturday Sunday Blog Hop Shibley Smiles

51 comments:

  1. oh dear one, I am so sorry you had to go through all of this. I have been where you are and the relief always outweighs the losing the job!

    hang in there girl!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sending my sincere tap on your back Marlee while saying, "Maybe that boss of yours saw you as the next, most capable woman to replace his/her place. So before things went bad for him/her, her/she has to replace you first."

    Everything has a reason girl, something better's meant to happen...to you.


    God Bless.


    Andy

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks fo rvisiting my blog. Now following yours.

    Write your book!

    ReplyDelete
  4. It seems we're all in different levels of (what word do I want?)....horrible weeks. Lately having a bad week is more norm than having a good one. We sure declare a "Has to be a good week" week sometime before the end of the year.

    Sorry about your job, it may have been a crappy ones, but jobs (here at least) are so hard to come by, so I'm sending good job vibes your way to help with your search.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog...I'm following you back too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sorry about your job, but think of it as a blessing in disguise. You no longer have the stress of that job.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You should totally write a book. :) Sorry about the whole getting fired thing but I think you are right, can you imagine spending any more time at such a horrible place??

    Thanks for dropping by Happy Hour Projects, following you!

    Adrianne

    ReplyDelete
  7. Following you back. Wow...I honestly would have already quit that place....that's just terrible that they would treat you that way. I think it's a good thing! Can't wait to read more of your blog. BTW I love your It's Okay page....I too like to pee in solitude! lol

    ReplyDelete
  8. good vibes your way. I'm a new follower and have been reading through your blog. I am in love with it. I really like what you're doing here, and can honestly say I know how it feels. Things do get better. chin up.

    you rock.

    <3
    tia
    http://twobirdsonwire.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  9. you are probably better off, you will find something better that you will wan to go to work every day :)
    or maybe jus t write that book :)))
    thanks for stopping at mu blog , I am your new follower now !

    ReplyDelete
  10. So sorry to hear/read that you got fired. I am sure a better door will open for you! Thank you so much for the follow. I am returning the favor. Have a great weekend and try not to think about a job to much.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Bless your precious heart....I do believe getting "fired" was a blessing in disguise for you, sweet girl. You hold your head up and know that you're better than that place...make a name for yourself and prove them all wrong...that'll show 'em!!! Sincerely HOPE you're having a good weekend...and maybe you can sleep late Monday morning!!! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have to go with the crowd on this one and say that it was a blessing in disguise!!! If you knew two weeks into it it was bad, then I'm glad it is over. I stayed in a job like that for a year and a half and really was miserable!!! I love the essay you wrote at your desk though, that is great!!!! I wonder where it will all lead you, it's kind of exciting, in a scared out of your pants kind of a way!!! My thoughts are with you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I LOVE your black sense of humour. There was obviously something about it that threatened them. "Many a truth spoken in jest".

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi, Thanks for dropping in my blog :) Momma,and I are now following you :)
    Sorry you got fired :(

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for visiting, following you back...sorry you got fired, but I'm sure there are bigger and better things that await you.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey thanks for visiting Bocci's Beefs-glad you like it! Please stop back when you have a moment and become an official follower, and "Like" our FB page, & Twitter-Just finished doing that on your blog.

    And you wrote an excellent post, by the way. Some work environments can be so harsh-I'm guessing this will work out for the best for you-you won't "be broke" for long!
    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm so very sorry that you lost your job! In this economy, and by the title of your blog, every hard earned penny counts! Don't lose heart, even though I don't know you I do know that this could very well be your "blessing in disguise".

    2 years ago my husband was laid off from a job that he had devoted himself to for 7 years! He was a desk lemming, there's no other way to put it, but it was all that he knew. When he was laid off it CRUSHED him. We had just gotten engaged days before and needless to say it put a damper on things. Well we picked ourselves up, went to the courthouse and got married...2 months later we moved to NYC and we haven't looked back since. He's now back in school (after an 8 yr hiatus) pursuing his true calling and loving every second of it!

    Thank God for that pink slip!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. returning the follow thanks for stopping by earlier

    ReplyDelete
  19. following back (the ordinary aunt).
    sometimes it takes changing job/careers several times before finding the one that fits.

    ReplyDelete
  20. thanks for following my blog, I am following back :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Fortunately, I have never had to be in an office. I was a teacher which was constant action. Your description of office life sounds horrible. Go write your book!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Know what? After reading the post about your ex boss giving you that ass chewing, and you maturely asking for specifics so you could correct what was perceived as "wrong", I think your ex boss led you on. You did exactly as you should have done, and that should not have made you loose your job.

    I can only conclude that your ex boss is a deceitful bitch, and that you deserve better!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Write that book! I know full well the lonely, prison feel of a cubicle and people that don't like you "just because". And leaving is always the best feeling! Not much to be said for places that make you love leaving, right? :) Chin up! And indulge in a little "cat nap" haha.
    Thanks for following and I'm now following you back.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I am really thankful for your comment. Your support is helpful.

    I am looking forward to commenting on your posts.

    Lioness-your follower

    ReplyDelete
  25. hey i am a new follower on your blog site could you please follow me back as well thanks so much

    tara

    ReplyDelete
  26. Getting fired just adds character (and gives you some good writing fodder)! Good luck, girl!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Following you back! I'm sorry you lost your job, but there is always a brighter side to things!

    http://smileyboyknowsbest.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. Oh my dear, You are a treasure I can tell. With the eloquence of your words and the of vitality of your spirit you over-run the shallow minds capable of working in such deprivation willingly. You are made for much bigger things!

    BTW, I am returning to grad school now at age 38, as a Mom of 3 kiddos. I blog at http://www.lifestwistedstitches.com
    I hope you will stop by. I can't wait to read more of your blog.
    Blessings~

    ReplyDelete
  29. I really enjoyed reading this, Marlee. I have been there so many times, working at a desk in a place I didn't belong. You have way more talent than sitting in a cubicle and filing stupid papers. I'm wishing you luck.

    ReplyDelete
  30. http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/win/fiction-contest

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hang in there! You'll find something better.


    The Twerp and I

    ReplyDelete
  32. i have worked my share of meaningless gerbil-wheel office jobs, some worse than others. i'm glad you made them fire you rather than quit...nothing wrong with being a square peg when all those round holes are filled with germ-x and inspirational quotes...so happy to 'meet' you...adore your writing style...thanks for linking up to fridays unfolded!

    alison

    ReplyDelete
  33. oh dear! nothing is worst then hating your job and your cowpokes being "jackasses". That happened to me before, so I quite. Didn't want to be stressed and looked at funny and all that! You will find something else for sure. And yes,w rite a book, I loved what you wrote just now! Chin up and smile its a new day...:)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I'm glad it made you smile....or crave coffee...or both. :)

    Just read your post and I wish you'd just up and walked away before the boss had the satisfaction of firing you. Good for you, though, for giving the boss a boundary to the bad behavior. So glad you don't have to dread Monday.

    You write beautifully. Write your book! :D

    http://coffeecupsandcrafts.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  35. Awww...I'm so sorry! :( Hope your next job is a perfect fit!!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Just remind yourself the stress wasn't worth it! It was just as well. I quit a job back in December... the stress wasn't worth it. Granted it wasn't being fired, but it was better all around.

    Thanks for finding my blog. I'm really excited to be following yours now! :)

    See you around.

    Marlana
    http://storywritermama.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. Happened to me last week too! They found out I was looking for a job and decided to "cut ties with me". My husband gave a good example of the situation.
    Lets say you have a boyfriend that you kind of like, but you are looking to break up with him soon and he finds out. He decides to break up with you first so he has the upper hand! (:
    These things happen for a reason and I know you will find something better! You will be happier somewhere else! Good Luck!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thank you for your wonderful comment on my blog. I looked at your blog title and thought how boring, lol, but I always check new people out. This post is amazing!!!written from the heart. I know too well what you are writing about in this post...part of my past life. Now you know what you don't want, so I hope your new job search works out well. You're definitely worth a follow, and I'll be checking out your other posts as time permits :)

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hi,thanks for following my blog. Already a follower. Look forward to reading more from your blog.

    http://freedelicacies.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  40. You're a fantastic writer, I think the book is an excellent idea! :) Sorry you got fired, but it also seems fitting to say, YAY you're free!! :)

    Thanks for stopping by A Simple Life and leaving a lovely comment and following along. I've been following you for a little while now and loving it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  41. I'd say go for the book! This post was soo well written. :) The job I had before the one I'm at now was like this. I was absolutely miserable and had anxiety attacks every day before work! My blessing in disguise was mono...which forced me to quit. I've never ever been so relieved in my life. It also taught me that some managers don't understand the concept of treating employees with respect and that using them as a "guinea pig" for criticism in front of the entire staff isn't a good way to go! haha Needless to say I know how you feel! Thanks for sharing and thanks for stopping by Third Floor Design Studio!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hi, I'm a new follower via Super Stalker. I am so sorry that you got fired. Just reading your post makes me feel like you have a little in common with me & my bestie! We both work in cubicles...I call it my gray cube...ha~ha. I love your little picture of you & the door...nicely done...just remember~ that when you get kicked thru one door another opens with lots more opportunity! Keep your head up! I know it's easier said than done~but remember~when your job is making you sick or sleepless~it's probably time to go ahead & move on...Good luck to you!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Wow, I must say you handled that comment from your boss with poise, and professionalism! I commend you for sticking it out too, and not being bullied into quitting. You deserve something much, much better! Treating employees that way will come back to bite your former employer when they don't have high quality help. I'm new to your blog, but I'm quite impressed by your writing! Write your book!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Thanks for following. I will gladly follow back. Love your blog. That being said, I am so sorry you got the boot. It's their loss. Hope you land your dream job soon!

    ReplyDelete
  45. WRITE YOUR BOOK! Wow. You're an amazing writer.

    As for the shmucks that fired you? Good riddance, I think you're destined for bigger and better things.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I remember my first time getting fired. I was fired from a bakery for stealing cheesecake slices, that someone else was stealing. I cried the whole way home, then laughed when they called to apologize and ask me back. NO FREAKIN' WAY!!! Hang in there. Thanks for joining in my Planet Weidknecht Weekend Hop!

    ReplyDelete
  47. I'm sorry about this. But, I do have to say, good for you for saying that you won't be bullied into quitting.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I'm so sorry about your job. But... it could be the best thing if it was making you feel that way. Sending you positive thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I so feel your pain. A few years ago I was fired for the first time (I managed to get through 32 years of my life avoiding the F word) and once the devastation of the event passed I came to realize that I was better off. That I wasn't a right fit for the position or the company. You will find a job that is a better fit :-)

    BTW - thank you for visiting my blog. I am back to return the favor and to follow.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Bless your heart! I hope something better comes along for you soon!! :)

    I'm stopping by from the Super Stalker Sunday Hop! Thanks so much for linking up with us and stalking around! :) Be sure to come join us again next Sunday for a fun filled day of stalking! =D

    Kortney
    Kortney's Krazy Life

    ReplyDelete
  51. I'm so sorry...sounds like it wasn't a fit...but regardless...it still hurts.
    ~Kara @ The Chuppies/NOBH

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...