2010 Blog Share

Monday, May 24, 2010
Today is the 2010 Blog Share. Based on the rules of the event, the following entry has been written by a fellow blog share participant, and my own entry is being hosted on another blog. In order to maintain the anonymity of the participants, please do not identify the author of any entry, even if you guess correctly.

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I thought I was going to be fired on Friday.  I HOPED I was going to be fired on Friday.  And I know to say that at a time when SO many people are unemployed is just unconscionable, but listen to my story and then tell me if you still think I'm the worst person in the world.

My job has made me sick.  Physically.  I've been suffering from so much stress and anxiety that it's affecting every area of my life.

And this is not because of the work itself, but rather the management, who either have no clue what they're doing, or they're absolutely aware of it, and don't care.  I've felt for months that they hope to get rid of me somehow - I think I now spend more time answering emails from my manager, demanding that I explain my work and my time, than I do actually working.  And last Thursday it really started to catch up to me, when I started having heart palpitations, and last Saturday, my fiance and I went to a party, and in the short hour we were able to stay I nearly threw up twice, and spent the rest of the time on the verge of tears, feeling uncomfortable and nervous and just plain out of place.  We left early because all I wanted to do was take some anti-nausea medication and go to bed.  Only I don't sleep anymore, so after the anti-nausea medication wore off, I laid awake feeling worried and upset.

Those are just a few of the symptoms I've experienced, and some of them have been so strange that last Monday I called my doctor and essentially begged to be seen. He did fit me in at noon that day, and when I described my symptoms and the problems I've been having, he put his pen down, looked at me and said, "this is awful.  You need to quit your job."  Understatement of the year!  He followed that up with, "you need to go home immediately," and wrote me a sick note for work, and has also sent me for several tests to determine what the other problems I'm now experiencing are.

I returned to work to submit my note and email my manager and our Executive Director to let them know what the situation was.  And just as I was about to hit send, I received an email from the ED that just said, "could we meet about 4:30 today?"

I KNEW I was about to be fired, but I wasn't feeling well at all, so I left without answering, and emailed her later to say I had gone home but could return if it was important.  She said not to worry about it and to take care of myself.  I called a coworker who has had similar trouble at work, and told her what had happened.  Her response was, "that's weird, because I've been called in for a meeting at 4:00."

And wouldn't you know it, she was fired.

So I knew for a fact that they had planned to let both of us go on Monday afternoon.  I spent 3 days at home trying to rest and dealing with the medical issues that have cropped up in the last few weeks, during which time the ED emailed me to tell me that my sick days had been exhausted (unbeknownst to me, they credited me too many sick days this year), and that the organization could provide me with information about applying for short-term disability.  I told them I would be back on Friday, and sure enough, I went in that day fully expecting to be fired - and, like I said, hoping that I would be.

You might be wondering WHY someone would hope to be canned, even under these circumstances.  It's because if they let me go without cause, I'm eligible for unemployment, whereas if I quit before I have another job to go to, I am not.  Short term disability would provide me with some unemployment benefits, but not enough.  So yes, I just hoped that they would let me go.

But it didn't happen.  Instead, my manager and the ED met with me on Friday morning to "make sure that I'm doing okay" and that I have all of the supports I need to make the transition back to work. The ED also wanted to let me know that she knows - through "office chatter" - that I think she has a negative opinion of me, and that it's "just not true."  Which is funny because when my former supervisor (who LOVED me but HATED our ED) quit, the ED said to me, "the downside to [supervisor] being really enthusiastic about you is that I'm not enthusiastic about you at all."  So, you know, I don't know what would make me think she has a negative opinion of me - OTHER THAN THE FACT THAT SHE TOLD ME SO HERSELF.

I'm positive they were going to fire me last Monday afternoon.  And I think going on sick leave before they could do it threw a wrench into their plans and now it would just be totally uncool of them to fire someone who was freshly back from sick leave.  I also think they were hoping they wouldn't HAVE to fire me, and that I would just not be able to return to work - evidenced by the fact that when I walked through the door this morning one of my coworkers looked like she had seen a ghost, and then threw her arms around me and said, "oh my god, thank GOD you're okay! We were told you were on extended, indefinite sick leave!"  Extended, indefinite sick leave.  My email to my boss actually had just said that the doctor had informed me I couldn't work at the moment and that I would be in touch shortly - which turned out to be a day and a half later.  I don't know what is extended OR indefinite about that, but I'm sure they were wishing I had just not returned.

They'll wait me out now - my contract expires in August and of course they won't renew it - and I'm sure they won't make my life any easier until then, but you know, it doesn't really matter.  I feel like I can't really lose now.  I WANTED to be fired; they didn't take the opportunity to do so.  I can hold out for 3 months (or sooner if I find something else in the meantime), and walk away feeling fine about it.  I may be stressed out, but I'm quite sure that they're feeling more stress than I am right now.  Because how much does it suck for them that I went on sick leave ONE MINUTE before I was able to agree to attend a meeting where I was going to be fired?  And maybe, just maybe, I won't be the one losing sleep anymore.
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The 2010 Blog Share sites:

A Little Coffee With My Cream and Sugar
And You Know What Else
Another Bloody Mary
Bright Yellow World
Cake or Death
Dispatches from the Failed Mommies Club
Feel Me Don't You
Heidikins
Hot Chicks Dig Smart Men
Kirida
Malfeasance
My 33 People
Nothing Is Easier Than Self-Deceit
Postcards from Inania
Rediscovering Me
Snow Covered Hills
Tales of a tree-hugging 2L
The Gay White North
The Little Goat
The Opposite of Classy

11 comments:

Warner (aka ntsc) said...

There are drugs for anti-agitation, I;m taking something called: Citalopram Hydrobromide.

I personally don't notice that much difference, but my wife, who has a much better view, says I'm a different person when I come home from work.

After a few months of:

'Why did you do it that way?'
'Because you told me to.'
'No, I did not'.
'Would you like to see the e-mail,with my response that it wouldn't work?'
Silenced

Week pause:

'Why did you do it that way?'...

I was very glad to be fired.

Lauren said...

i hope you don't lose your mind in the next three months...just take it one day at a time...and good luck. i hope you find what you are looking for...

Courtney said...

If you can hold out until August, do so. If not, screw the unemployment and QUIT. No job is worth risking your health!

Karan said...

Toxic workplaces are an epidemic in North America. I am surprised there are not more lawsuits based on the "my boss is a bitch" cause of action! It's like going to school and facing the playground bully. Every. Day.

Keep your chin up. August is coming soon.

Megan said...

August is perfect. You've got just enough time to clean out your office and find a new job.

The new job will be great.

Laura said...

I've been in a job in the past that sucked out my soul and left me a bitter, depressed and unmotivated person. I'm glad you've taken back control with making the decision that you'll be leaving by August at the latest. I sincerely hope you have enough motivation left at the end of the workday (or, heck, DURING the workday if you must!) to job search for something better so that you will have another job to go to, because it's not the greatest economy. But yeah, this is not worth your health.

Michelle said...

Awesome story. Well, except for the whole, "my job is making me really sick," thing.

I had a job like that, once. I started drinking a pitcher of beer at lunches with a coworker to make it through the rest of the afternoon.

I quit with no job lined up.

Then I decided to go to grad school.

And now I teach high school. And I L-O-V-E what I do. Every day. And come August, I'll be sipping iced tea (or perhaps white wine!) on the porch, enjoying my summer days off.

Things get better.

NGS said...

I'm choosing unemployment over staying at my current job another year. I think that's telling. I understand about stress and fear and how it can really hurt your overall life and health.

Good luck. I wish you well.

Miss Pants said...

I've been through this before. I had major anxiety issues and was able to make some big changes in my life and escaped from my cubicle farm prison. Hang in there, it's rough.

-R- said...

Oh, God. I hope you feel better and find a much better new job.

By the way, I don't think it's bad to want to be fired. I completely understand, especially in this situation.

Janiece said...

For the record, the Smart Man has had jobs before where he wanted to get fired. Eventually, he was laid off, and he was grateful.

And so was I.