Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Chicken Little

I think my hearing is better than I anticipated. Today, day three at Company X, went something like this: Work, work, work, work, lunch, work, work, "can I see you in my office please? We don't think it's working out, your skills are not what we expect for this position, sorry".

Laid off.
Let go.
Given the push.
Pink slipped.
Golden handshaked (without the gold part).
If I was a clergywoman I would have been defrocked. Ooo er.

I've done plenty of sackable things in my 25 years of working. Drunk or hung over on the job - check. Thieving/embezzling - check. Undermining boss - check. Sleeping with boss - check. Misuse of company email and or internet - check. But I was on my best, most honest, straightest behaviour this week and NOW I get my marching orders. I cannot believe it. If my head didn't ache from two hours of hysterical crying and moaning "why me" I might be able to start getting angry and demanding revenge. I just don't have it in me. Starting this job, and trying to build up my confidence and learn how to do the fricken job, has taken all my focus and energy. Shit, imagine if I had KNOWN I only had three damn days in which to impress my new bosses. Even the hypermanic BPD showoff now known as Just Lil would have struggled with that challenge.

I didn't mention before now that one of the guys in my new (now ex) office once worked for my previous employer, and seemed to know people I know, in the way of these things. The paranoid, scared, weak part of me thinks "Did he ask people there why I left?" Did he find things out from Company A that he passed on to the boss of Company X? Or can I really have been sacked because my Excel skills are intermediate rather than advanced? Because I had to ask ONCE how to apply a filter to data?? It's so much easier to dismiss what is probably just a hideous coincidence and believe that this is all due to my breakdown and the relentless cloying stigma of mental illness.

I have not a single clue what I'm going to do now. I put in my first after-hours panicked call to Dr A (and here he was thinking I was high-functioning and not one of "those" BPD patients - sucker), and am trying to get an appointment earlier than next Wednesday night. I will probably try for an extension of my disability, which only finished on Monday. Truly, I doubt whether I have enough left in me to apply for work, let alone walk into another new workplace. Turns out there IS something worse than being ill and leaving a job through your own choice...

So that noise you hear, might be the sky falling after all, folks. Paranoid or not, doesn't mean people aren't out to get us lol.


LoopyKate said...

Lil - this is a terrible thing to have happened and what a blow to your confidence. Knowing nothing about your terms and contract, it's difficult to comment on your position and rights but in the UK this shouldn't happen except with the most casual/temporary types of employment. Even then, the employer should give a more substantial reason for your dismissal. It sounds a bit underhand to me and I'm wondering if you should get some advice on the matter. (I'm a trainee advice worker so I'm bound to say that!).I know it's difficult to muster up the motivation to pursue these things and appeal, especially when you're feeling a little paranoid about the matter but in the long run it might make you feel a bit more empowered.
I'm so sorry for you but please don't think this means you're a dead loss. I for one can't believe that. Hopefully a talk with Dr.A might help you work through this a bit.
Keep fighting.

Hannah said...

Oh Lil, I'm so sorry how awful for you! Can you write and ask for a letter thoroughly explaining in what way you were not suitable for the position? Kind of like asking for constructive criticism? At least this will enable you to come to terms with what happened - and hopefully put a stop to the paranoia about discrimination (if indeed this is the case).
Hope you manage to get some answers - don't let it drag you down, fight it and like Kate says it will make you feel empowered in the long run.

Best wishes

Hann x

tricia said...

I have an awful way of always saying the wrong thing so I won't try to be encouraging (although I would love to), but I want you to know how very sorry I am.

Borderline Lil said...

Thank you K, H and T - unfortunately a similar thing happened to Mr Ex a few years ago, except he was sacked after we had sold our house and moved towns and I had quit a good job. They let him do the job for 2 weeks and then terminated -- it's a "probation period" of three months which is standard in all Australian workplaces, unless a contract tells you otherwise. We got legal and union advice when it happened to Mr Ex as we were devastated and shocked, but employers and employees can terminate a new position with only a week's notice/pay. They are paying me for the week, so I don't think I have any rights. But I might try and contact them for some more feedback. My short-lived boss was fairly explicit about my lack of Excel skills, even though I told her in the interview I was only moderately skilled and didn't have sales admin experience. I think she likes the temp girl they had in the job and might get her to stay on. Guess it's better to know now than to get settled and then get sacked a few weeks in....NAH, I think I would have preferred at least 2 weeks' trial before they decided I sucked )))):

BTC said...

Hi, I'm so sorry this happened to you! I agreed with the others that there should be some kind of further explanation that you're entitled to.. then I read your response. I would think even with a probation period (big companies in the UK have this too) they would have to give you a half-decent reason "why".

Maybe you can think that if this is the way they treat people then do you really want to work there? It's not much to make you feel better but it's something...

I really hope this leads you to better things and better people!

Borderline Lil said...

Thanks BTC - I'm so relieved that you guys agree with me that it seems unfair, and that I haven't been given proper feedback (or opportunity to improve or work harder or get better training). I wish I could take a pill to block out the surreal memory of being told I wasn't good enough...professionally, I've ALWAYS been good enough, it was just personally I thought I had problems. Jeez, now I have professional issues TOO???? Ha.

I agree with you, too, BTC, that overall I don't want to work there if that's how they would treat an employee. My boss was definitely avoided and frowned at by staff in desks around me, now I maybe know why...

Wandering Coyote said...

OH MY GOD! I am sooooo sorry to hear about this Lil. They seemed to give you very vague information as to why...After hearing about your former co-worker being there I am also suspicious if he said anything to the powers that be - I don't think that's being paranoid, I think that's a serious coincidence... Do you think you might have a discrimination case on your hands you can take to your labour relations people (not sure what you call them in Oz, but we have some recourse here where you can file a suit based on discrimination and it's through our provincial labour relations board)?

I can only imagine how difficult this must be on you, and what a serious blow to your confidence this is. I am so sorry.

Polar Bear said...

That's really bad news. I'm so sorry about this. You definately don't deserve this.

I hope you get the support you need to get through this.

Do take care
Polar B

tracy said...

Oh, Lil, i am sooo very sorry. i so wish there were something i could do to help. Work is a bitch. i work in, uh, food services and am lucky to get 12 or so hours a week any more...and everyone there knows i am a nutcase. Doncha just l o v e it? (and i went to college for t h i s...???)

Much love,

Am seriously thinking of quitting come's just not worth it to be at their "beck and call" and get so few hours.....

tracy said...

Ps i love "Black Adder" too!!

preciousrock said...

Ooooooooooh My Dear Lil,
I echo everyone else above who said that this sucks and is unfair and probably unethical. What a slap in the face when you were turning a corner in your life and trying to start over. I'm sorry to hear that you were treated so poorly and unfairly. I have confidence though that you can pick yourself up and start over. :-)