On Monday I walked into work right on time. Then I walked pass my boss who had just said “Hey, how’s it going” to the person in front of me, muttering “hi” to me.
I wondered what was up with him, but I soon found out.
Next he asked me if we could talk when I was done. I immediately knew what was going to happen.
When I was first hired I was told that I would work for 6 weeks and then he would reassess how I fit in. It seemed like protocol, something that happens at every workplace. But it started to seem like something else when I found out the people who were hired 2 weeks before me were going to be reassessed in 8 weeks. That meant we were all being reassessed on the same day.
We had all been hired to organize AU members for jobs actions, one on the 17th and one on the fist week of December. Both were over and we were waiting to hear what was next.
I walked into his office, sat down and made small talk saying, “It’s really warm in here.” to which he looked at me funny. “I mean it’s warmer than my apartment,” I further explained. His weird look continued so I continued explaining myself, “We haven’t turned on the heat.”
He laughed, bewildered and asked, “You haven’t turned on the heat yet?”
“Well it gets really warm in the daytime because we get a lot of heat from our windows, so it’s gets up to about 70 and then we just use blankets in the night.”
He looked confused and then tried to stop thinking about how poor I was (and how much poorer I was going to be) and proceed with firing me. “We’re going to have to let you go.” He proceeded to rattle off additional reasons: funding issues, the job didn’t fit me, and again funding issues. He said I was a hard worker, and that I put in the effort and the time, but that this just wasn’t the job for me.
I said “okay” and casually asked him “could you sign some papers for me before I leave?” After he did that I left his office to get my things. I knew this day was coming, I just didn’t think it was going to be today, with such short notice and such little chance to evaluate my efforts.
I said goodbye to my coworkers, explaining that I was let go. People were frustrated and shocked. Most of them thought of me as a hard dedicated worker and had no idea why I was fired. I never acted up, I always showed up on time and I always stayed until close.
A few hours later I went back to get my paycheck and get a proof of termination (so I can apply for food assistance). I ended up talking to a bunch of employees who were still there and most of them expressed frustration I was fired, and were very encouraging. Some of them said they didn’t think I should’ve gotten fired and one even said she was going to talk to the boss about firing me.
I felt happy, that so many people were sticking up for me, and just me. Then I told my mom the news and she and my dad both joined in with sticking up for me. They said that “You should look for something better,” and “You don’t even want to work for someone who let’s you go like that” and expressed general frustration that it happened the way it did in an organization that is about empowering people and standing up for people.
Shortly after 9pm (when I used to get off work) I got a call from the only new organizer Frank didn’t fire. We were friends while we worked there and she expected people go be let go, just not me.
She expressed her frustration at what happened and said that I worked hard and was dedicated to the job, and that she thought my work was excellent. She was adamant that I shouldn’t have been fired, and that I did good work.
I thanked her for what she said “it’s nice to hear.”
She quickly snapped back “That wasn’t just a compliment it is the truth. You are a hard worker, you came in on time and always stayed the whole night (something few others did).” “You worked just as hard as I did and did just as good of a job. Basically Frank shouldn’t have fired you.”
She also explained that everyone empathized with me. Including one of the non-organizer who has been there for a while. She spoke up when Frank left saying that he did right letting everyone else go, but that firing Chris was stupid.
At the end of the night I felt vindicated for being fired. Everyone was put off by Frank. the firing of me and the way he did it. While that didn’t effect my job status, it did make happy to know that everyone else sided with me, and really diminished what Frank did to idiocy rather than me loosing my job.
Now I just need to find a new job and that would be a great uplifting story.