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Day 18 — Fired, Part II

First, I got fired by my company.

Then, I got fired by boyfriend, and he did it in such a classless way—by email—after almost two years of being his lover and friend.

In both cases, I was left shattered and emotionally distraught, like I didn’t see it coming. But I had, sort of. With my company, I had known about a budget shortfall. With my boyfriend, he stopped sending emails about how much he cared about me and saying, “I can’t wait to see you again” and “I love you.” Maybe loving someone is implied after a while, but for me I need to hear those three little words because they make me feel special.

Getting dumped by your employer and boyfriend, I’ve come to realize, have other strikingly similar parallels. There’s the matter of your stuff. In the beginning, when you get hired, you want your office to look cheery and a bit homier with the addition of pictures, maybe a throw rug or something kitschy.

Then you might start bringing in more and more and putting tampons and hand cream in your office drawer—things that you might not immediately think to grab when you get the boot. But they’d be embarrassing for the next person to find. I mean the tampons. Do you really want the HR person to know that you’re a Super Plus kind of gal?

As for my your boyfriend, I, like a fool, began to leave some of my stuff over at his place until I think it got to be too much. First, a frock, then shoes, makeup, and then more clothes and shoes. Every time, he said it was okay, but then I think he freaked out because it looked like commitment, and guys run away from the “c” word. It’s not until much later, and I want to believe this is true, that they will come to realize what a mistake they’ve made by treating someone who truly loved them like cold leftovers.

You might feel that way about a company, too. That you’re indispensable, but for every person that takes home a check, there’s always someone, somewhere, who can replace their skills. I’ve become much more cautious in employment situations. I’m in. I leave. I do my job. I keep my mouth shut but am friendly. I draw a line between work and home life, no matter how “family friendly” a company pretends to be.

I don’t, however, feel that about relationships. I think I’ll always take a chance on love because if I don’t, I could pass up the love of my life.

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