Thank God it’s Friday – almost, I thought as I shut down my computer at 5 P.M. on a Thursday evening. Tired – as always at the end of a day, I looked forward to the close of another work week. I was beginning to believe that perhaps my co-worker was right in her insistence that I was not going to be fired.
“That’s just him, that’s just the way he is,” she told me on more than one occasion.
“I’d like to speak with you before you go,” my employer said as he walked toward the conference room. “Come in and take a seat,” he directed.
As I entered the room I couldn’t help but notice that he had placed several file folders on the table.
Oh, oh…guess he’s going to outline some work, I decided. It’s a good thing I’m not in any hurry tonight.
“Carol, you’ve been here three months,” he began, “and I like you very much, you are a delight to have in the office, but I have to let you go. You are ’just not a good fit.’”
From that point on, and for at least the next several minutes I don’t think I heard his words – something about “…it’s business…” to the best of my recollection.
Oh my God I’m being fired….what am I going to do?....will “it’s business” impede on my collecting unemployment…will I be able to find another job?....Ann was wrong - he is firing me….why couldn’t he allow me to help organize the office?….it is such a mess….files and papers all over his desk and office floor…I’ve made suggestion after suggestion regarding filing redundancies, simple organization and space saving procedures – all to no avail…I’ve proven that I can do the work….what about all the overtime hours during the tax season that I haven’t been paid for?…I’m sure I won’t be paid at an overtime rate…but will I be paid?...I’m glad that I listened to my instincts and retained copies of my time sheets…at least I’ve got proof of my work.
I took a few deep breaths when I became aware of the sudden silence. I wanted to respond even though I knew it would not change the predetermined reason for this encounter.
Tears welled up – tears that I couldn’t hide, but I did not allow myself to be overcome by my emotions.
I’ve done my very best,” I began. I’ve enjoyed the learning environment and risen to the challenge.”
“I know,” he replied. “Again, it’s just business.”
“I have to say that I don’t deal very well with being screamed at – I’ve become a ‘basket case’ on more than one occasion,” I continued.
“I can see that you are not very happy,” he replied.
Once again his words made me acutely aware that defending myself was not going to change anything. I was fearful as well that making him angry would in fact impede on my final pay check and delay unemployment benefits. Gathering all the strength I could muster, I stood up, reached out and shook his hand.
It’s business, I scoffed to myself. Tears flowed freely as I drove toward home. I was weary to say the least.
Where will I go? Will I find another job? With the help of God, I know that I will. For I know that He is with me always.
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