Well F*@#

For the second time in my life I have been sacked. Let go. Fired. Terminated.

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.



  1. I am thinking about you. I had the same thing happen to me several years ago and it sucks. I am still scratching my head wondering how all was well one day and then… not. You are an excellent writer and they didn’t appreciate it. When a manager is threatened by a better employee they will do whatever it takes to get you fired including throwing a curveball in order to make you look bad.

    As Emma said, the employment world is fu**ing crazy these days. If I had a job opening for a writer, I’d hire you in a second.

    Hang in there.

  2. No lie, but there is a movie exactly like this. It is a bad movie, but I saw it. With hubby. When he gets home I’ll see if he can remember the name because you should rent it.

    Wait, maybe it wasn’t a movie. Maybe it was a book that I read, and I just saw it so clearly that it played like a movie. Hmmm.

    Either way, I’m sorry to hear about your job – but I really do believe that better things are around the corner. It sounds like they were setting you up to fail. Who needs that kind of environment. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you. Remember, you have mad writing skills. You will be fine. 😉

    Come visit: http://rasjacobson.wordpress.com

  3. Every time I start to feel sorry for myself and the five different classes I have to plan for, and the lazy kids I have to teach, and the pressure of all the expectations of raising test scores, I will think of you. I’ve never seriously worked in the “corporate world”, which is what I think of any job that is in an office, and I don’t think I ever want to. I hate this for you, Sara, but I do think that something else is working its way toward you. Is this the universe giving you a big hint??? I wonder…

  4. Oh no! I hope that you manage to get by. I guess the job just wasn’t meant to be and something really awesome is around the corner. Not trying to be flippant – just trying to be supportive.

    You are an awesome writer so something will come up

  5. This sucks so much I don’t even know what to say. You’re one of the most creative, brilliant, dynamic people I know and I truly believe that you will achieve amazing things one day soon and we can look back on this and laugh. In the meanwhile, you and Dave can start a work-from-home sanity group and I can at least treat you to drinks.

  6. I have to say I agree with Emma: I think your boss was jealous of you. She didn’t like you have a direct pipeline to the VP, and she was jealous of writing ability.

    It’s no lie that it is tough out there (I know because I am working at Home Depot because I can’t find anything else right now with a MA in English and editing experience), but…you are clearly talented and you have quite a following. The Universe has something better in store for you!!

    Come visit me one of these days: http://sued51.wordpress.com

  7. I was so shocked and on the verge of tears when I got fired, all I could do was grab my lunch and my iPod dock and run for the parking garage. They must have had some amount of trust in me, because I still I had a key to the office. I came back on Saturday afternoon with Mike to clean out my office. The senior partner was there, but he’s practically deaf so he couldn’t hear us skulking around and carrying stuff downstairs.

    It’s been just over six months, and I am still bitter. I hated that job, but I’m still irritated about the entire situation. I’m sure this has something to do with the fact that I haven’t found anything else. I arrived on time, did my work, kept my clients reasonably happy, and didn’t bug anyone I worked with. In my place, they hired a guy who never called his clients and forgot court dates. My former assistant let it slip that they fired him a couple months ago. I had a little nyah-nyah-nyah moment.

    It sucks to feel like you’ve failed at something when you’re used to being successful and overachieving. I wish I could say it gets better…but I’m not there yet.

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