June 29, 2011 by Heather
My mom has always said that everything happens for a reason, and I believe her.
To some, that might seem like a little cheesy saying that only evokes false hope.
To me, it is wise and completely true. I speak from experience.
And here I am, yet again, clinging to the hope that everything does indeed happen for a reason.
Allow me to explain.
Two weeks ago, at my job that I was totally loving, I had an impromptu job review. I was told that my performance was underwhelming at best, that I was “snotty” to customers, walked around the store like I had a basket on my head, had low drive, and was nothing at all like my previous job as a cheerleading coach alluded to (peppy, outgoing, enthusiastic). I was also told that my personality was flat, and that my dry sense of humor was rude.
Basically, it was a total self esteem boosting party for Heather. Not.
So they said for me to fix my problem areas, smile more and act fake, and we would meet again in two weeks to see how my progress was coming.
Cue today at 4:30pm.
Patty, one of the store managers, came into the receiving room where I was scheduled to work until 5 and told me that Carey (the owner) wanted to meet with me real quick before I left to sort of go over what we discussed two weeks ago.
I knew today was the two week mark. I woke up this morning thinking about it. So after she left to head up to Carey’s office, I went to the bathroom, peed, took 3 deep breaths, looked in the mirror and said, “You are about to get fired.”
Call it a woman’s intuition, call it a weird feeling, call it what you want.
Maybe I’m just that smart, ya’ll.
I climbed the stairs to his office, sat down, and braced myself for what I (somehow) knew was coming.
He asked how I felt about the past two weeks. I told him that I had been trying really hard to be more outgoing to customers and more smiley, been doing my very best. He said that he had noticed an improvement, but.
“I’m afraid it’s just not enough. This isn’t going to work out. It’s not a good fit.”
He said I come across better on paper, what with the whole cheerleading bit on my resume and the eloquent follow-up card after our phone interview. Said he can tell I have a gentle heart, but it just doesn’t show in person. “I think,” he said, “that your shyness might be a confidence issue.”
Gee, thanks. If I wasn’t insecure before, I sure as heck am now.
I was real proud of myself with how I handled it all. No tears. Understanding nods. Subtle humor. Final hand shake. I turned in my key with grace, cleaned out my apron pockets. Left the building, walked to my car, and drove home in the kind of silence that is so tense that the breathless uttering of, “I just got fired,” is like the first crack of thunder in a storm.
I took Mayfield for a walk. Googled “what to do after you get fired.” Tried to think of a good way to tell Andrew. (Here is how it ended up coming out: “I know you won’t believe me, but I got fired.” Has a nice ring to it, huh?) Unsuccessfully tried to think of what to do next, job wise. Came up with nothing. Ate some cheetos. Went to the gym and ran a couple of miles, quite angrily. Came home, spilled the beans to Andrew. Even in all of his sweet supportiveness he couldn’t hide his frustration… And I was feeling like a massive piece of old worthless poop, so inevitably an argument followed. When you live in what is basically a dorm room with a stove, it is impossible to hide it when you are mad. So, ever the grown up, I stormed out and walked down the road to the grocery store and used the bathroom and calmed myself down.
In a nutshell, I was fired for not being nice enough.
And now I am unemployed. I spent six weeks at a job I genuinely enjoyed and thought I was doing pretty darn good at, and look what it got me. Two weeks severance.
I wonder how it will come out tomorrow. “Did you hear what happened?” I wonder what they will say about me, now that I’m no longer employed there. I know it doesn’t matter and I shouldn’t care, and honestly, I don’t. I just wonder.
I’m trying to look on the positive side of things, see this as a fresh start. Who am I kidding, we just moved here like a second ago. I can’t already be having another fresh start.
Unlike my darling husband, I don’t have a brain filled with short and long term goals, ambitions, dreams, ways to achieve them. My brain is filled with strange and twisted ponderings that have nothing whatsoever to do with the practical, adult side of life. “What do you want out of Colorado? What do you want out of our marriage? What do you want out of life? What is your 30 year plan?”
I. Don’t. Know. If I did, I would tell you. Actually, if I was that on top of things and with the program, I would probably still have a job. But that’s neither here nor there.
Everything happens for a reason. Everything happens for a reason.
And you know, even if it doesn’t, then thank heavens the good Lord can take whatever mess I’ve made and give it some sort of rhyme.