Friday, November 14, 2014

Have You Ever Been Fired?

Bloggy challenge continues...

Have you ever been fired?

Why yes, yes I have and thanks for asking!

I can think of three jobs I was fired from, two of which I'll discuss here and one I won't. :)

My sophomore year of college at NC State (circa 1998), I worked at Rock-ola Cafe as a server.

It was my first waiting-tables job.  I'll be honest...I was not exceptional at it.  Although I wasn't the best server in the business, I was reliable.  I didn't call out sick or not show up for a scheduled shift.  My coworkers did all.the.time.  One particular time, I had an opportunity to work a one-time weekend serving job through NC State (Madrigal dinner, I believe it was) and earn $300.  That seemed like a million dollars to me!  The catch was I had to participate in a mandatory training session the Monday evening before the event.  I was scheduled to work at Rock-ola on that Monday evening.  I tried to find someone to switch shifts with me.  Nobody was available or willing to switch.  I talked to my manager about the situation.  He basically told me I needed to show up for my shift or I was fired.  So....I made my decision.  I did not show up for my Monday shift.  And I was fired because of it.  My very first and only no-show shift and it cost me my job.  In hind sight, I shouldn't have made the decision I made, but younger me was not so wise.  I worked the Madrigal dinner, made my $300 and got another job to replace my Rock-ola gig.  I found out later that two weeks after my manager fired me, he got fired.  I might have been able to go get my job back, but I didn't try.  Instead I moved on to another job...

...which leads me to my next 'getting fired' story.

After Rock-ola I worked for an emergency vet clinic as an animal assistant.  I was one step below the vet techs.  They told me what to do, I did it.  When I was hired, I was pursuing vet school.  I worked every other Saturday and Sunday nights from 6p-12a.  Twelve hours every two weeks.  Somewhat understandably, my learning pace was a bit slllllllooooowwww.  They would teach me how to do something one weekend, but after two weeks, they would have to show me again how to do it (like starting IV's and such that requires more practice than every two weeks).  I never had my three month performance review that I was supposed to have.  Instead, after working there for a year, I received a call from my boss.  In short he said that as a result of my three month review that happened after a year, they were letting me go.  I tried to ask for an explanation right then on the phone.  He wouldn't answer me specifically about what the issue was leading to my firing.  He kept referring to the nebulous review I'd had.  When I hung up, I cried.  Getting fired hurt my feelings. :(  Especially when he wouldn't give me any hints about WHY I had been fired.  If I was a dreadful employee, I needed to know it!  I made multiple phone calls and wrote a letter to both of the owners of the clinic, the one who fired me and his business partner, asking for clarification about my firing.  After receiving my letter, the business partner owner called me to say he was unaware I had been fired.  He stated he would talk to his partner and get back to me.  I never heard back from either of them, despite a few more phone calls.  (not psycho 34 in a day...just two or three calls over a few weeks)  I had a couple speculations about why I was fired.  1)  This was a great job for a pre-vet student.  Since I had started working there, my trajectory had changed from pursuing vet school to applying to work for a campus ministry after I graduated.  Maybe they only wanted pre-vet students and so I needed to go because I was holding a valuable spot?  2)  Although enthusiastic, as I mentioned earlier, I was a slow learner at this job.  They had to teach me things again and again.  Perhaps that led to my poor review and ultimately my termination?  3)  The boss hated my hair.  Or I smelled funny.  Purely speculation, but I'm grasping at straws here...

So there ya have it.  Two of my three firing stories.  Is it awkward to talk about this? YES.  Getting fired isn't quite the badge of honor one might expect...  I feel okay writing about all of this since it happened in 1998 and 1999.  I (hopefully) have proven in my last ten years of employment to be a trustworthy, reliable employee.

How about YOU?  Have you ever been fired?  Why did they say they fired you?  Why do you think they fired you?

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