Thursday, April 04, 2013
This is an easy post to write. I was supposed to do day 3 of the challenges; I didn't.
OK, yes, there's more to it, and no, there are NO excuses. I woke up with a couple of hours to spare before I had to be at my folks' house for the rest of the day. I told myself I should do the workouts because I probably wouldn't have time later. I'm very sore from the past 2 days workouts, so I "let" myself sit around for a little bit...which turned into me getting up just in time to leave the house a few minutes late to get my folks'.
When I got to their house and found myself snapping at Dad, I realized that the depression I've been successfully fighting off for the last few days was picking up steam. I thought about it and realized I'm still hung up on my lay off. I know the "official" reason I was given for my lay off. I also know, and my former employer knows, that the reason was crap. I know there's more to it, and I think I have a sense of what it's all about, and it just leaves me depressed.
I worked for the agency for 16 months. I worked pretty exclusively for and with one woman for 14 of those months, and we developed what I thought was a good, respectful working relationship. While she was younger than me and a first time, inexperienced manager, she knew her stuff regarding social work, policy development, and quality assurance and I felt that I was learning from her. As with any boss, we had our ups and downs and, according to her, we grew a lot in working together and were developing a great rapport.
Beginning of January, she went on maternity leave at the same time I left for Florida for 2 weeks to run Ragnar (fattofinish.com). Minus the 1 week I was in New Orleans for a training, I was in the office 6 weeks with my boss on leave; during this time, I reported to her boss, the COO of the agency, and someone with whom I'd really never interacted.
I was laid off on a Friday. The previous Thursday and Friday, I'd been in Philadelphia, speaking at a conference at the invitation of both a national and state agency, representing my agency. Monday of the week I was laid off, I had a meeting with the COO and CEO and was told that my position was part of the future of the agency, that the agency was moving in a direction where my position would be integral. Five days later, I was told my position was being eliminated due to budget cuts.
Yes, there is an extenuating circumstance that contributes to this story. I had attended a training at another company's office (we’ll call them XYZ) mid-February. During that Monday meeting, I was told that the president of XYZ (a primary consultant and major contributor to and sponsor of agency fundraising, BTW) had said that I acted unprofessionally in the training. Anyone who knows me knows how absolutely insane that allegation is. I've been accused of being TOO professional (aka, a little uptight) before, yet suddenly I was swinging the other way and disrupting meetings?
There were 6 people in the training, including the trainer, including me, and including 2 of my coworkers. I begged my CEO and COO to talk to these people, to get me details, to help me figure out what was going on. Later that week, I had 2 more meetings with the COO, both at my request. Both times, I asked for more details and only had "unprofessional" reiterated; I was given no details or examples of what I allegedly did. The last meeting with the COO was on Wednesday when I was told the president of XYZ had written a memo, but my COO couldn't provide me a copy yet. I expressed my interest in continuing to work for the agency, to grow my position, to be the person they were looking for to fill the role. She said we'd talk more at our next meeting; that turned out to be my lay off meeting.
I'm incredibly disappointed that the agency, and its leaders, aren't what and who I thought they were.
Most of all, I'm disappointed in my boss. The last time I heard from her was the night before I left for Philadelphia when she IMd me from home to wish me luck at the conference. I've e-mailed her twice asking for a written letter of reference and she hasn't acknowledged my e-mails.
I was told I was being let go because of budget, not performance issues; this point was stressed to me. I was told I'd get a positive recommendation; now I can't get a response to my e-mails. I have no idea about the allegations from XYZ; despite repeated requests to my former agency, I've not received a copy of the memo, or even a reply. I feel like I've been blacklisted.
Really, all I know for sure is that I was laid off for a truly bogus reason. And I may (will) never know the real reason. And I have to figure out how to be OK with that. Today, on my old agency's Facebook wall, I saw a post thanking XYZ for sponsoring the agency's main upcoming fundraiser. I think that might be the only answer I'll get. I feel like I was a victim of politics, or personalities. And yet, despite all that, I still feel like it's somehow my fault.