Holding it Together.
No one expects it to happen to them. We all joke about it. “Oh, I wish they’d just … ” It’s only words, though. If push came to shove, we’d all tighten our upper lip and get back to work. No one wants to be the dumpee. On Tuesday, I was blindsided by the freight train that is the HR-approved “we’ve decided to let you go” speech. There was no real explanation. They praised me for working 60-plus hours a week and continually stated that they “wish we didn’t have to do this”. Well you actually don’t have to you know, right? You do make the decisions around here, you do know that, remember? As they rambled on about my work ethic and how great of an employee I had been, I had an internal conversation with myself about feminism and women’s rights: You cannot cry in front of these two men. You are a professional woman and professional women do not cry. Do not let them see that you are upset about this. Hold your head up, nod. He’s looking at you. Say ‘yes’. Nod, again. Tell him you worked your ass off and he has no idea how much you sacrificed for this job. Tell him you moved cities for this job and they promised to relocate you but never did. Ask him if this is because you asked to be relocated. Ask if this is because you had a few large bonuses coming through the pipeline that they’ll now be able to say did not come through before you were terminated. Stand up. Ask why there aren’t any women in upper management. Is this because you were starting to make a name for yourself there? There’s a tear forming… think about something happy. No more long hours. Yes! Ugh, car payment, student loans, where am I going to live. Don’t CRY! You’re crying… stop! Women fought to get here and you’re going to cry over a job that was killing you physically and mentally each day? Get over it. I found a way to hold it together enough to walk out the door and go to my office – with supervision – and clear out my desk. Then, I was escorted out of the building and to my car. Once in my car, I turned it on, sat back and bawled my freaking eyes out for twenty solid minutes. Being dumped sucks.