One morning, just like any other morning of the past five years, I got ready, and started on my way to work. I work as a manager in a small company. Since I started working there, I had been giving my heart to the company, working week-ends and evenings very often to match the requirements and be up to the challenge.
I was the company’s rising star, always on the look out for new ideas to improve the quality of the services, the staff performance etc.
The evening before that fateful day, as I got home, I noticed a “registered mail” slip in my letterbox. So I made a point to go to the post office first thing in the morning and collect the mail before starting my day.
To my surprise, the clerk handed me a white envelope containing my dismissal letter with a six-month notice. Nicely written, it stated that I had always been committed and the company was ever so thankful for my hard work, but they simply could not keep me as of the summer, because they could not afford my salary any longer.
I sat there and looked at the letter, wondering what just happened. The letter, and the actual fact that I had to go and collect it at the post office, that no one actually prepped me for this, was shocking. I started to cry and drove myself back home, called my secretary and asked to cancel all my meetings. I first decided to work from home, then I changed my mind and boldly took the day off.
After this memorable day, I had to face several nasty moments. One of them when my boss explained to the other managers that “I had decided to step down,” which I immediately objected. My brave outburst was not well received and my boss told me I should change my ways if I expected to motivate her to find the necessary funding to keep me employed after the six months notice.
After that, I had to sit through a long and painful monologue. My boss was explaining to the staff why it was better to “let me go”. She did a terrible job at this and everyone left unhappy and worried.
Days went by. Some when I was too busy to even take the time to think, some when I was depressed and wondering how I would continue working there for six long months when my faith in this company had been crushed and my loyalty abused.
Finally, four weeks into my notice, I cracked up. Everything shattered around me. I was unable to face another working day and the descent engaged rapidly. Uncontrollable sadness, bathed in tears, became my companion. I felt miserable, useless, lost and totally vulnerable. I stopped working. I stopped functioning.
The doctors helped… a lot, with kind words and compassionate support.
It has been now one month and a bit that I am at home, being kept away from work by my doctors. I feel the same as I did when I first stopped working, but at least I don’t have to face work, and this is reassuring.
I am worried about money, because I don’t get a full salary anymore, but all in one, this is better than the situation I was in.
In a couple of months, years maybe, I know I will write a letter to my “former” boss to thank her for this great opportunity. I am hoping to raise above, perk my head well above the surface line, and look at the horizon stretching in front of me. There is something there, I know it.