I worked three and a half years for a company where I met and worked with some really great people that turned into great friends and a lot of real douche bags that (quoting a former co-worker) “if I saw dying of thirst in the desert, I wouldn’t even spit in their mouths.” Gross I know but I think it gets the point across perfectly if not just visually.
As time went on, a steady downward spiral occurred as management changed hands again and again, taking moral with it. Those employees that worked hard got fed up of being overlooked and left (with the exception of one other person besides me) and those that were lazy and only out for self gain were promoted.
During one Christmas season, I was asked if I would come into work by 6 because we were so busy we needed to split into 2 shifts. I didn’t even hesitate to say yes and was there before 6 and would even put in some overtime. By the next Christmas I had been put in charge of all the scanning done in the lab and we got slammed with work. I had to train and oversee 7 temp workers, hire and train a new full time employee, maintain the equipment, and keep up with the work flow so it went out in the aloted days we promised. Did I do it? Yes. Were any of the orders delayed in my area? No. Without being asked by my boss, I stepped up and for four months worked nothing short of a 12 hour day and many times exceeded that. I came in every Saturday and worked a full 8 hour shift by myself even though technically the lab was closed on the weekend. The longest day I put in was on a Friday when I worked a 19 hour day. Folks, that meant I didn’t leave until almost 2 in the morning! Only to get up and be back in the lab with the machines running by 8 that Saturday morning and work a full shift that day…by myself.
In all this time being employed with this company I took 2, count them 2, sick days and only a handful of vacations. And just to add a little insertion here about when I would go on vacations, I would stay late the day before if I needed to so that I could clear out all of my jobs so no one would have to cover for me while I was gone. Just because I didn’t want someone else to have to do my job when they had their own to do. Because the lab was shutting down, the work flow tapered and the last couple of months I was the only employee doing all of the scanning and editing that the lab receives. And I still got everything done when it was due.
I was told a few months before the lab shut down, the exact date of it’s closure and therefore my last day of employment. Only to have discovered a week before that date, that they had to maintain the agreement they previously made with distributors and would be keeping the lab open for a little while longer. But that my last day was still the date they had originally told me. Which meant that I was the ONLY person that no longer had a job. I wasn’t upset to find myself out of a job. The place was a real shoty place to be at the end but I was a bit ticked that my boss couldn’t just come out and tell me to my face what was going on. Instead, he had this diluted idea that I was moving to CA in January so I would be quitting anyway. What? I believe what really happened was back when he told me when my last day was, I said that I didn’t know what I was going to do. Maybe stay in Utah, maybe move to CA with my sister, maybe move back to Arkansas or maybe move somewhere entirely new all together. I didn’t know and wasn’t going to commit to anything until the new year. Gee, I can sure see how he got “I’m moving to CA with my sister in January” out of that.
I know you may be thinking, or not, “Nandango, you were justified in being upset about losing your job and how it all went down.” And true, the whole thing had proven to be shady but that’s not why I was upset. This just provides a very brief glimpse of the background.
On my last day I went to work before 7 like I’d been doing for two and a half years (when no one else shows up until 9 or 10) and worked to make sure I got all of the orders out of my area before I left so no one would have to finish my work. By early morning everything was done and as it turned out I didn’t receive another order the rest of the day. Instead, I sat there doing nothing because I couldn’t go home because I was supposed to meet with HR for my exit interview and I was waiting for my boss to show up so he could tell me what time I was to meet with them. He came in at around one in the afternoon but promptly went into a meeting. At 2:45 I closed all my stations down and collected my things because my eight hours ended at three. I walked out, found him, and asked about my meeting. To which he told me that he would have them set up something for when I came back from Christmas break. Seriously? So I could have gone home today rather than sit doing nothing? Deep breath. Then I felt like I was pulling teeth to get him to tell me what that would entail. The conversation went like this, “So I come here like normal on that Monday?” “No, you’ll go over to the other building.” Pause. “First thing in the morning?” “Oh they’ll set up an appointment for you.” Pause. “How am I going to know about the appointment when I’m out of town?” “They’ll probably just give you a call on your cell phone.” Pause. “Ok, so do I just wait and give them my badge? Or do you need to take it now?” “You can just wait and give it to them in the interview.” Good grief. This would have been much simpler if he would have said, “I’ll talk to HR and let them know you cell phone number and what day you will be returning so they can call you and set up a more specific time for you to meet with them for your exit interview. At that time, you will want to turn in your badge to them.” Another deep breath.
Still this isn’t the part that had me upset. It happens now. After that exchange I started to walk to the door when he tried small talk and said something like so you leave for CA tomorrow? Do you have a ride to the airport? I responded yes and he said well, have a safe flight, Merry Christmas and I’ll see you later. And that was it. I don’t know how I managed to get downstairs and to my car composed, but once inside I just teared up and started to cry and cried the whole way home. I could not believe that after all of these years, after the hard work and dedication I gave to this company, I didn’t get the one thing I wanted most – a simple thank you.
I woke up in the morning still feeling pissed at the whole thing but as I was relating what happened to my mom I found myself tearing up again, obviously still hurt at what had transpired. I suppose I will be for a quite a while. But I leave for my vacation to CA and try to do so with another deep breath. This time not out of frustration but with the hopes of letting go and moving on to something better.