An old blogging friend mentioned that it appeared I had less drama in my life. That’s not true. I just don’t blog about it here. I did say on Facebook that I lost my job. Yes, that constitutes serious drama. However, it was due to my foolishness. I lost touch with my empathy. I began to put expectations on my clients, which they never can meet – even the simplest of expectations. And I became jaded.
Mostly, though, I became exhausted. In the Age of COVID-19, the separation between selfless and self-centered has become even more pronounced. Not just with my clients, but with myself. I started to put up a wall to protect myself from the anger and frustrations of my clients. They are not the nicest of people in normal times. In these extraordinary times, they have become crueler and more vicious. And though I knew their comments, their actions, and their attitudes had nothing to do with me, it still did damage.
Then, there was the fact that attempting to deal with my emotional response to these times was leaving me exhausted. I was increasing the amount of exercise needed to deal with the emotions I was experiencing towards the leadership in this country. It only added to my exhaustion instead of dealing with my stress. As a result, I exploded in anger at one of my clients.
I was unprofessional, I was insensitive, and I was judgmental as hell. And when my anger cooled, I recognized my error. And I admitted it to my superiors. I apologized not only to the individual but to the group, making no excuses and blaming no one. And yet, after I did so, I realized I didn’t feel support from my superior, who had joined me in the group. I felt left out to hang. I realized that she did nothing to stop the role reversal that occurred. I suddenly became a client while the clients became the staff. And she encouraged it. Hell, she allowed them to counsel me.
I’ve made mistakes before, I’ve had to apologize, and I’ve had my superiors in the group with me at the time. Yet, most didn’t allow the reversal of roles. They still established the role I played as staff, with my authority intact. They helped with devising the path towards restoring trust. But they never let the clients ask personal questions of me, or to give suggestions on how to take care of myself. That was for a private meeting between them and myself.
And this is where I made my second mistake. I expected my manager to be willing to listen to me. I started to explain how I felt about the group. But she wasn’t having any of it. She quickly took my fear and renamed it defensiveness. She wasn’t willing to listen to me share my experience with the group at all. Then she became condescending and moralistic. I attempted to explain my perception of how she was coming across but got that thrown right back into my face. Her exact words were, “Your perception is wrong.”
After that, she told me to go home. I didn’t argue. And an hour later I received a voice message from Human Resources to call him back. Yup, you got it. I was fired.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I would not have been angry or upset about getting fired on the day I lost my shit. I would have fired me. But two days later, when I attempted to share with my boss how she was coming across, she got angry and fired me on the spot.
Now I’m unemployed. Such is life. I’ve been fired by better people than her. Actually, I had an inkling she wasn’t the best of bosses. She had a tendency to speak over me or raise her voice to the point of yelling when addressing me in staffings. So, I probably am better off not working there.
So there. How’s that for drama?