Thursday, August 07, 2008

My Surreal Life

When my alarm went off this morning.. I couldn't open my eye. Not that "I'm so tired, I can't open my eyes" feeling -- but physically. I could not open them. They were swollen.

Then I remembered.

Was it a dream?

A nightmare.

I was fired.


It still seems so unreal to me... I came into work yesterday, got busily to it since I'm going to be away on vacation from Friday the 8th until Monday the 25th. My supervisor calls: "New situation. People upset. Agency upset. We have to meet.& talk about this video. "But, but" I said "I thought you said you understood? That mistakes happen. That it was good that I rectified it..." And she was all "yes, but I was distracted when I was talking to you -- and I told my boss... and now it's gone all the way up the food chain.


And then I knew. I told the woman I share an office with & she says: "You won't be fired. You made a mistake, you owned up to it - you might get a suspension." I talked to an old co-worker -- "You won't get fired... maybe just a suspension..." But. I knew.

So, fast forward to 3:30 yesterday. Meeting with my supervisor, division head and Director of HR. I told them: "Yes, I made a mistake,but... explained how I had been so involved with the client, so happy to see she was doing well, wanted to save the moment, naively thought that other people would see/appreciate it the way I did. That they would see it/take it in the same sense as I did. That I felt that you could not see the client's face, and I used no identifying information. (As I can tell from the comment on one of my earlier posts... that's not the case.) and once I 'snapped out of it' took the video right down. There was absolutely positively no malicious intent.

But - in the end - what it came down to was the Agency. Protecting itself. I took an agency client, took her photo, and put it on the Internet. No matter who - if anybody - saw it or not. That's a liability. Period. End of story.

I said "But I always thought, was always taught, that if a person makes a mistake - that if there was no malicious intent.. that it was forgiven. A mistake." Nope. I said "What about all the good I've done? I love this job. I love this Agency." Nope. I said "You know, this agency has no soul. What about the people? I thought we are a social work agency?" Nope.

They gave me a letter. They took my ID. They took my keys. They told me my health insurance will last until the end of the month. (Which is when I lost it - I cover the kids X is on Cobra....) and I'll get paid for my vacation days.

My supervisor walked me back to my desk - to clean it out. But when I got there I realized I have too much stuff. I said I'll have to come back another day. I thought I would go back today.. but you know.. I can't. I'll go back. With J. Next week.

And J. J.... I know some of you remember other times I've lost a job.. or been job hunting.... and how X was. Yelling. Berating. Even after we split. Even though he's been fired from more jobs than I can count. But J. Calm. Supportive. Came over last night. Took one of my bills to pay. (Took one of my bills to pay!) "We will get through this. Together. You will be fine." I've never had that. I've never had the luxury of really being able to feel sad & voice it. To feel... supported.. taken care of... I mean - ok - I have my parents who are always there & I've always felt their support... But this. Being in this team. The way it's supposed to be...

So I had a pretty bad night last night. Cried a lot. Walked around like a zombie a lot. Today I'm here by myself. Kids at camp. They are over at X's tonight & tomorrow X gets married & we leave for Long Beach. I'm feeling pretty down... and I know that's normal. It's funny 'cause it used to be my regular state of being - with X. And I realized I haven't felt this way in a really long time. (Can't say I've missed it!)

I'll get through this.

And my kids. You know, my kids are my saviors. They make me smile. They're doing so well.. they make me feel so good. Today is their last day of camp & it has been such a summer of growth for them. You know, Nathan began the summer not wanting to go into the pool at all -- now it's his favorite activity. AND -- he wants to take swimming lessons over the school year! And Max doesn't! It's the First Time Nathan wants to do something that Max said No to. The first time. He always follows his big brother...

Ahhh... so - this coming year (because, well, I always seem to count the years from the start of the school year...) will be good. Different. But good.


Gwen said...

Oh, Amy! That's awful! I am so very sorry!

(but happy to hear that J is a real man.)

Magpie said...

Crap - I'm so sorry.

tracy said...

OMG -- I had no idea it would really come to this! I'm soooo sorry!! But I'm so glad you have J, and he's right... you will get through this. You'll find something even better.

Hang in there!!

niobe said...

omigosh. What a nightmare.

Anonymous said...

I am very sorry this happened to you. You did the right thing by bringing it to their attention. Humans make mistakes but most would sweep it under the rug. Not you, because you truly care about doing the right thing.
There is a great job out there for you. ~Waldo

Poker Chick said...

oh! I'm so sorry! Fired a day before X's wedding, what an awful August. You will get through this but I know that's bs to hear until it happens. Hoping you can enjoy your vacation and that things will work out SOON.
Your strength amazes me.