Ok, I don’t know if I’ll even hit publish on this, but I’m just going to write and see what happens. Usually, I think of my blog as a place to reminisce about funny stuff, motherhood and running, but hang on to your butt; shit’s about to get real.
I was laid off from my job 48 hours ago. I should say, my dream job. The job that I worked hard to get. I had 3 interviews at this company before I was hired. And the day I got hired was one of my most thrilling ever. It felt like all that struggling paid off. And I was hired for the flagship magazine of the company. It. Was. Awesome.
Over the 2 1/2 years I worked there (yes, that’s IT), the company went through major changes. Bankruptcy, layoffs. The magazine went through a lot of changes to make it more appealing to advertisers. If you do’nt work in the magazine industry, let me tell you a little secret. Just about every article written in a magazine is done to sell advertising. It’s insane. But, if you can charge $80,000 for one ad, you write whatever they want you to write.
Ten months ago they brought in someone from a much bigger magazine. He talked about making drastic changes to the magazine. But he began to talk with me and my boss about something else – the possibility of promoting me. They told me what I’d have to do to get myself to that level. Work ahead. Make decisions on my own. Show leadership skills. My boss said that’s not something she can tell me how to do it, I’d have to develop instincts. It was all very cryptic, but I tried my best.
Then it came time for raises. Other people in the company who work on smaller magazines and don’t do the management work that I was working towards got 2 or 2 1/2%. I got 1%. I went to my boss’s boss and asked why he only gave me 1%. He said it’s because my “work isn’t there.” Shocked to hear these things, he proceeded to tear me a new one, telling me that he doubts I can do this job. This was the first I had ever heard anything like that. Fighting back tears, I told him I would step up my game.
Two weeks later, I was called to the HR director’s office where he was waiting. I don’t know what he said when I came in, but within 10 seconds he changed my life.
“Today is your last day here,” that was it. No emotion. No explanation.
I stared at him, not moving. All I said was, “Why?” He mumbled something about restructuring and then said he had to go. He was in the office for 3 minutes, tops. He changed my life and refused to give me the respect I deserved. He let the HR director pick up the pieces. As soon as he closed the door to her office, I began sobbing.
Yes, there’s 4 weeks of severance. My insurance ends in 2 weeks. I have an 18-month old baby and I was working more and making more money so my husband could watch Riley during the day. This shit is real.
They offered me a small glimmer of hope – an equal job opening in the books department. I can apply. Gee, thanks.
The stuff I found out from my awesome co-workers has made me wonder if I even want to work for this company. They moved many people around, but they moved my work BFF into my position. She cried. Said she didn’t want it. Asked them how they could do this to me. They told her this is how it is now. Take it or leave it. Literally. They woudln’t even tell me that. She was forced to. I know she’s really suffering right now, alongside me.
So as sad as I am to be forced out of my “dream” job. Knowing what I do now, about how my boss threw me under the bus. That my boss’s boss obviously wanted me gone two weeks ago, but for some reason reamed me out and then waited two weeks to lay me off, while telling me it had nothing to do with my work. It makes no sense. They’re blowing smoke up my ass. And I know this.
So is this the kind of company I want to work for? No, not when I look at it that way. But here’s the thing. I’m an adult; a mom; a wife. We have a mortgage. We have to buy dog food, organic whole milk for my son, and chocolate milk for my husband. I like picking out a nice outfit for work every day. I like kicking ass in a meeting. I like writing clever headlines. I like that since we both work, my husband and I have money to do things like our trip to Key West in a few weeks. But now things are different. I feel like less of a person.
I know that sounds incredibly dramatic and stupid, but this is seriously the lowest I’ve felt in my life. I guess through writing this and reading it back a few times, I’ve come to a realization. Besides the fact that I’m too nice of a person for the corporate world. But also, I’m an adult. And even though I was treated like shit by many people at this company, I’m an adult and I need a job. If they decide to hire me for the books job, I’ll take it. I’ll do a good job and hopefully enjoy my new job. I will see those bastards in the hallway and I will smile and say, “Morning!” I will never let them know about the fact that I can’t sleep or eat anymore. That I had to hold back tears passing the Lean Cuisines in the grocery store. That my copy of “Working Mother” magazine came in the mail today and felt like I was getting kicked in the gut. That my baby boy saw me sobbing into my hands on the couch and looked at me wide-eyed and said, “Owwie.” This shit is real.
And this shit is new. I will get over this because I have to. I owe it to my husband and son. And fuck the people who screwed me over. My new motto is living well is the best revenge.
And I’ll get there eventually. But I’m going to spend the next couple days crying, FYI.