It is probably the ickiest feeling in the world. Or it’s up there in the top five.
Here’s the short version of the story from my perspective: For the last five months, I’ve worked in development for a non-profit organization in my town. I was courted by the VP, someone I went to college with. I was completely drawn in by this person’s charisma and vision and felt I could really find a career home as one of her reports. My direct manager was a totally different type of person – subdued, mousey, and not terribly creative – but the first couple months were awesome. I felt really at home, I was jiving with the VP doing brainstorming and idea sessions, I was throwing ideas out for ways to push the organization forward and she responded with enthusiasm.
Then someone dumped cold water on the entire situation. I saw less and less of the VP and was pushed away from projects I showed interest in, despite the fact that upper management would constantly tout that “we have lots of needs for people to fill around here.” No more requests from the VP about brainstorming, no more lunch dates to talk shop. Meanwhile, the manager obliterated all my writing projects with ridiculous edits, forcing rewrite after rewrite and resisting any standards for me to follow and despite the fact that I had been told explicitly that I had been hired because of my stellar writing ability. Things can be summed up by the moment I got a coming to Jesus lecture that boiled down to: I asked you to write x. You gave me y. That means you’re lazy and uncommitted and you should do better. I replied that I heard a request for y and thought I was giving what had been requested. Then I pointed out that we had a failure to communicate and that I needed more firm direction so that I wasn’t shooting at a moving target. I proceeded to ask LOTS of questions in an effort to stave off further misunderstandings but the manager grew irritated or flustered with my pressing for clarity.
I haven’t been happy there in months but I kept hoping we’d all settle into a groove. After all, I argued – I’ve never worked in this type of position before. I need time to learn the ropes. And since the manager resisted teaching me anything, letting me fail time after time instead, I stumbled more than I shone.
Fast forward to Friday when the house of cards collapsed.
This time, after the dreaded talk with the HR mistress, there was a box and the CFO sat in my office while I filled it, leaping over the desk to block me when I tried to power off my PC. “YOU CAN’T TOUCH THAT.” I left all kinds of crap in the office that wouldn’t fit in my box. NO WAY was I going back there and NO WAY was I going to let someone send it to me later. Thank you but I”ll do without my fifteen stick note pads and that lamp my roommate left when she moved out after college.
We had a Halloween party anyway this weekend. It had been planned and I couldn’t imagine why we wouldn’t. It was fun. And now, the first day of my latest unemployment, I have cleaned out the front hall closet and plan to start NaNoWriMo later today. I’m also making chili in the crock pot. And I’m trying not to panic. There’s no three-month severance this time. There’s no continued healthcare.
If you’ve been following along the last few weeks around here, you’ll know that the last couple of weeks have been mostly strange, but also kind of crummy. Strange things have happened. Bad things have happened. This isn’t a bid for pity, trust me I’ve got self-pity in spades right now, it’s more an acknowledgement that something is happening, I”m just not sure what…yet.