Even before things got hairy at my job, the stories from the office could have filled novel. The regularly occurring nutty events at work are what caused me to start this blog in the first place; it was a coping mechanism. Eventually it will all come out in writing; it's just too entertaining to keep inside.
One day I will share about the story of "The Hobbit", as I affectionately refer to a character that was a key player in my dismissal (but not the cause of it; I add this in case the poor creature ever stumbles upon this blog). That tale that alone makes this whole experience worth every disturbing moment. I'll have other jobs, other means of income, but I don't know that I will ever again have an experience to share that is as absolutely hysterically, belly-aching-from-laughing-so-hard, funny as the story of me and the Hobbit. But now, just a quick visual image of the firing itself.
Picture me, a woman with many years of experience, skilled, confident, respected and yes, a bit eccentric, in a small conference room seated with a CEO and a young female HR "Director" who is looking decidely uncomfortable. For the CEO, picture someone a bit like Michael from The Office, because that's how I think of him at this point. He tells me "It should come as no surprise to you..." I look directly into his eyes for the length of his monologue, completely calm while he drones on, "You've been disruptive...kept me from doing my job...." "Wow", I think, "I am powerful indeed!" I nod my head in parts "I take no pleasure in this..." I crack a smile but only with my eyes. "I personally enjoyed working with you..." We had no personal interaction in the 7 months he had worked there. I worked with him on a project in the same way I work at all times, professionally. He's firing me one week before a huge fundraiser that I was instrumental in organizing and also the week before the implementation of a major new tool that I selected for our company. He's choosing this timing for something he'd been planning to do for months almost certainly so he can claim all the credit after the bulk of the work that was done. I'm thinking about my performance review, received the day before from my direct manager that was so glowing I got teary eyed reading it.
I am not surprised; I knew this was coming. I am also not emotional, to my great relief. Being fired by this man who had, over months, done the opposite of earn my respect, I could handle. Crying in front of him would have been devastating. Part of my strength to take it quietly and professionally came from years of preparation. Another large part came from realizing my Mother went through this and unemployment with four children to feed and made it. But the bulk of my courage came from the sheer lunacy of sitting across the table being fired by a CEO of a multi-million dollar business with enough time on his hands to print, stuff and then illegally place 200 letters into mailboxes without postage. A man who become indignant when the Postmaster called about this mess. And a woman who once got drunk, took her top off and smoked a whole cigarette in front of a bunch of our male colleagues, allowing them to take pictures which were then circulated around our office not 18 months earlier. You just cannot make this stuff up.
I was just glad to be out of there, and proud that I didn't giggle myself into a tizzy.