Getting fired never gets easier even if it is your eighth time. You just get better at pretending you’re alright with the situation. Because I took the news of my incompetency so well, the manager who fired me decided I deserved a farewell party, with chocolate cake.
Attending that party last Friday required intense emotional labour. Going into meeting my former colleagues for my send-off was me getting closure because chocolate cake makes everything better and they owed me. I’d done nothing more or less than my very best. I was left feeling confused why they hired me in the first place, when clearly, they needed to clean up their house, and sort out a messy situation, before worrying about making themselves look good on social media.
As badly as I felt for failing, I donned a shiny armour made up of three positive things in my life. Through this job, I’d witnessed that I am competent at planning, writing, publishing and getting engagement on social media despite lack of prior experience. The chief disruptor who fired me even admitted it to me while executing the firing decision.
“You did have some good ideas that got people involved…” he said before turning his gaze downwards to deliver the blow.
The second thing that got me through the day was a bag of the branded crap they’d given me during my three months of employment. Dumping that in the manager’s room felt as cleansing and liberating as returning an ex’s junk. I even overcame a juvenile urge to change their overly upbeat motto to something that was closer to the truth. I gave myself an imaginary pat on the back for choosing maturity.
But the most important thing that day was knowing that I looked good in my green dress and smelled even better, carrying with me the promise of a new sunrise that would inevitably come. For the first time, a female friend, my brother’s fiance, had gifted me a girly present for Christmas. L’Occitane’s Terre de Lumiere body lotion and perfume. The French name translates to “the golden hour” referring to that time of day right after sunrise or before sunset. The smell and feel of it on my skin made me feel Imogen’s support, who’d wisely picked out this gourmand fragrance for me.
Without these three things shielding me like a golden halo, I would’ve never mustered up the courage to face the people who decided I was worthless to the company.
Somewhere they had stopped seeing me as a living, breathing and growing human being. Instead, they saw a number on the books.
The send-off went fine and the chocolate cake was enjoyed by the dozen or so old colleagues who gathered around. We shared laughs and then it was time to move on. Well, not before my old boss asked me about my little son. Those of you reading this might know that Lucy is very much a girl. So with that I knew and felt in my heart and mind that I was done.
Imogen, I hope you’re reading this.
Thank you for your gift. It’s made a tough day so very meaningful and beautiful. I continue to carry the promise of a new sunrise with me wherever I go.
Over to you…
What was a tough situation you’ve had to face and whose support, words and presents helped you get through it in the best possible way?