gettin’ fired

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Anyone who knows me (hopefully) knows that I talk a lot of shit but in a good-natured way and that I am intense but not unkind. I like to think that most situations need a little humor and that, in general, we all take ourselves just a little too seriously.

I also am pretty laid-back about everything and even when I do get very angry about something (which is rare), I don’t try to make the person who has angered me feel like complete shit.  Everyone has their own stuff to deal with and the world is not going to be a better place for my being a jerk to someone who is already unhappy as it is.  What angers me most is when people do not think before spewing some shit out of their mouth and into the world.  Like one time at school, some girl was talking about when Kanye West’s mother died and Ohhh he loves his mom so much and he’s going to want to KILL HIMSELF now!  This is offensive to me because I hate that everyone seems to care more about whatever happens to a celebrity rather than what is happening in their own lives, and it’s also offensive because it makes me think that this person has never experienced a deep loss and that people who have should want to end their lives!  I wanted to say, “You should think about what you’re about to say before you go ahead and say it since you could be offending someone” but I didn’t because I have a hard time forming coherent sentences when I am mad, and also because getting mad at an insensitive comment like that would make me seem just a little too crazy and sensitive.

This happened when I got fired, too.  I was really enjoying the (hard and good) work I was doing, I loved the patients I interacted with, and I loved my co-workers.  I felt somewhat useful since I was working in a health clinic, and I was simply happy to be working.  I had been in training for three weeks when one day the husband half of my two bosses made a comment to me around the rest of my coworkers that was unnecessarily unkind.  I was upset about it but didn’t cry about it in front of anyone until later when the office manager who had been training me mentioned that if it made me that upset I should email the wife-half of my bosses.  

So I did.  It went along the lines of, “This happened today and it made me upset and it seems like he said that to purposefully make me feel stupid.  I just wanted to tell you because it made me upset and I thought you should know and so the air could be cleared and I wouldn’t feel resentful about it later.”  I tried to be as honest about it as I could without sounding too sensitive or defensive and I thought that I did.  Later that evening, the wife called me to fire me, citing, when I asked why, that one of their favorite patients had had to ask for my attention when I was working that day and “lots of other things we’ve been noticing like that.”  She then proceeded to talk about how her husband’s comment was basically my fault since a patient could have gone home with the wrong medicine and she could have died.  And that they were both very passionate about their work.  And then she told me that she would be happy to be a recommendation for me because I am so good at learning things and working with the computer, etc.  “It just isn’t a good fit.  Oh, and he is sorry.”

I still have no idea what she was referring to about that one patient (I didn’t ask), and I found it troubling that instead of being accountable for the unkind comment, they chose to blame me and put the whole of someone’s illness on my shoulders.  And I hate that she insinuated that I was not serious about their patients’ health.  We are all dying and we are all suffering and instead of focusing on that, I focus on lightness and I refuse to let the awfulness of human existence be what drives me.  I take any job I have seriously and I work hard and I am good to people, I just happen to be light-hearted at the same time.  I asked for guidance from my boss and instead of taking a moment to give guidance, he chose to say something unhelpful and rude.  I was still in training and still learning and I shouldn’t have felt (shouldn’t have to feel) that not knowing everything all the time would get me fired.  Furthermore, if “lots of other things we’ve been noticing like that” were actually occurring, why wasn’t this brought to my attention earlier than that moment?  Wouldn’t the office manager (who was always working with us) have said something a while back?

So as usual, I could not defend myself but this was mostly due to the feeling I had that they had it in their minds to get rid of me for one reason or another and that nothing I could say or do would change their minds.  Although this happened in November, I still carry the anxiety of the whole situation with me.  Oh god I am such a bad employee, I fuck up all the time, I will never find another job, I should have never sent that email and should have bottled up my emotions for all time!  

It is easy to blame myself for everything awful or stupid that has ever befell me.  It is easy to let people treat you badly simply because they are your boss or your “best friend” or boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse.  It is easy to allow your self esteem to be undermined because other people refuse to be accountable for their own problems.

I am still angry and still anxious, but I do not allow myself to feel like shit simply because someone else says I should.  I stood up for myself the best way I know how (by composing a letter!) and did what I felt was right and good.  So I got fired.  I am sad at losing an income, and especially at losing such awesome coworkers and patients, but I am okay.  I would not have been happy had I continued on in a workplace that seemed to not appreciate its employees’ successes and, quite frequently, was insensitive like I experienced.  I was not asking for something extraordinary, I just ask for decency.  I know it is hard to give patience and kindness but you should pride yourself in your patience and kindness and give it willingly.  Especially if your job involves working closely with people.

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