That Time I Was Fired for Being Nice

Too NiceI used to have a job as an assistant to a very high powered woman.  Think of Meryl Streep’s character in “The Devil Wears Prada”.  It was intense.  I was excited to get this job and attacked it full force, but I never received the proper training on the software we were required to use, so I was always kind of a step behind.  Not a good thing when you are working for a high powered executive.  I asked for help, and it was given (not without some grumbles), but nothing ever stuck.  Maybe I had a mental block about what I was learning–I don’t know.  What I do know is I tried my hardest to do the best job I knew how to do for this woman.

That job lasted about nine months.  Then I was called into the HR Department Head’s office where he and my direct boss were waiting for me.  They went on a whole diatribe about how I worked so hard and I was very resourceful about many aspects of my job, but I was just not “getting it”.  Then they said, “But you’re so nice!”.  As if that was supposed to make me feel better.

Around this time, my husband and I were about to sign on the dotted line for a house we were trying to buy.  Literally, the next day we were supposed to begin closing proceedings.  I was shocked, devastated…pretty much every emotion one feels when being fired from a job you have worked so hard for.  I promptly called our realtor and told her the deal was off, that I had lost my job and we had to stop all proceedings.

Looking back, I realize I was starting to become manic while I was working for this woman.  Hindsight really is 20/20.  But, at least I know that I’m a nice, professional person and I realized through the process of working, quitting, and being fired from a handful of jobs surrounding my break that I want to work with passionate people who aren’t just married to his or her job.

The last job I had was working for a silk screen printing company.  I don’t typically have allergies, but I was allergic to that job.  Literally allergic to the paints they used to print those shirts.  So much so that I missed work.  They told me they were okay with my absences, and I was finally getting my health under control.  Then, they fired me.  I wasn’t as shocked this last time.  I’ve come to accept being fired as a huge possibility when working for someone.  I sometimes feel like I just can’t catch a break.

HOWEVER.  I had a job interview today. It was with a temp agency, so basically, I’m hired but they have to place me in jobs.   I’ve been out of work for about 9 months now.  I was registered to work with a temp agency before, but haven’t had much luck working temp assignments through them.  I took a break from sending out my resume around the holidays, but I’m back at it full force again.  I really hope that this new gig can help me gain full time employment – I have had success with temp agencies in the past.  Let’s hope this one sticks.  Wish me luck!

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Friends

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We had friends, my husband and I.  We moved to New Orleans from Texas–we always loved the city and after I had completed my master’s degree, we decided to leave everything behind in that West Texas town and move to the Big Easy.  We had an ongoing love affair with all things New Orleans from the moment we set foot in this place.  Things were jovial and we were ready for whatever life had to throw at us.  It was exhilarating and scary at the same time.  We were able to make a few friends when we first moved here and that provided great comfort and a social life for both of us.

We visited and partied with our friends constantly.  After all, New Orleans always has a party going on, even in the most dire of times.  Is it Wednesday?  Let’s celebrate!  A hurricane is coming?  I’ll grab some supplies and we can hunker down together.  We were taking this city by storm and having a fabulous time doing so.

Then, things were becoming stressful.  My husband was working the over-night shift at one of the hospitals here, so I would only see him in passing.  We still hung out with our friends, but I was quickly becoming stressed by not seeing my husband and was having a difficult time keeping a job.  I have been fired from more jobs than seems possible in the time we have lived here.  I used to chalk it up to my big Texan attitude, but have since realized it is something more.  Yet, we still maintained our friendships.  They didn’t judge–at least to our faces.

Little did I know, my mind was spiraling out of control.  I had just gotten a new job and was attacking it full force.  I was so proud of my new position and was dedicating all my time to learning more about the industry I was working in and trying to be the most creative, best employee they had ever hired.  I was also not sleeping.  I would work and do research and then stay up late watching ridiculous documentaries that would warp my mind.  Did you know that people with bipolar have a hard time sleeping?  (I think that sleep is also evasive for those who experience anxiety in general.)

That’s when I had my break.  I hadn’t been sleeping or eating and I was working out constantly in an effort to calm myself.  I was becoming a waif of a person and while I still thought I was fat, I looked like a skeleton.  I thought I was doing an excellent job for my new employer, but I had started to slip.  I wasn’t making sense and everything was running together.  I didn’t know if it was day or night, other than the sunlight or moonlight.  I wonder what I was really like looking in from the outside…

Our friends were trying to stick by me.  At this point, they fired me from my job for inconsistent behavior and that was within their right because I was still within the 90 day introductory period.  I didn’t realize I had been fired.  That was a Thursday.  I really lost my shit on Saturday.

I melted down and thought I might be dying.  That’s when my husband took me to the emergency room.  I was hospitalized.  Our friends stood beside us.  I got out of the hospital with a handful of medications to take.  Our friends stood by me, but I think they had started to question their involvement with us.  More drama happened.  I was sent back to Texas for about 5 months to recover.

When I came back, our friends were gone.  They had stayed in contact with my husband while I was on my sabbatical, but when I tried to contact them, they told me they didn’t have time to be bothered with me.  Even a couple of friends back in Texas walked away.  It was too uncomfortable for them, I suppose.

Long story short, I believe that the cream rises to the top.  If a friend can’t handle you at your worst, they have no business seeing you at your best.  So, it’s just my husband and myself living our life in the Big Easy.  It’s not so easy, but we have each other and I for one am a lot more hesitant when it comes to opening up to someone in real life.  I have to be.  I’ve worked too hard trying to regain my sanity to have fair-weather friends and my husband deserves a gold medal for sticking by my side as well.

We will make new friends.  It is just hard to make friends as an adult.  Hopefully, true friends are still out there to be had.  If not, I have the small few that have stuck around and have come to terms with the fact that those individuals that we called friends prior were never really our friends.  It hurts, but I have managed to move past those situations.

Have you ever lost a friend over a life changing event?  Have your friends stayed by your side through thick and thin?  Tell me in the comments!

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