Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How do You Spell Relief? Your last day is December 31st!

Its finally come to an end.  The movers came and picked up all of the office furniture, the last few cans of soda have been put into the frig, apples have been tossed, and baskets that once held gifts have been thrown in with the rest of the discarded remnants of my office. During the move yesterday one of the other assistants asked me how I was doing, I told her " I feel like I'm cleaning up at the end of a vacation." There have been no sheets and towels to wash or suitcase's piled at the door, but I was throwing away items that would spoil, couldn't be shipped, or simply were no longer wanted. New renters will be occupying the space eventually so all that is left is some paper, staples, and shipping material.

So this is how the last couple weeks panned out. Ten days ago (it was a Friday) I emailed my boss and nicely asked if I could get clarification on my last day, year end bonus, and severance that had been promised. Monday morning I arrived and directed the movers where to put hundreds of pounds of packaging materials, then the packing began.

Tuesday afternoon I was finally called into my bosses office and scolded for asking questions. When I tried to reason with him explaining I had assumed that when the movers came I would no longer have a job. He said, "you have a job until I say you have a job." When I asked him what I was suppose to do? he replied, "maybe you'll just sit there and smile." He also made sure to note that any bonus or severance would reflect the job and hours I was hired to do, not the job I was currently doing, or the hours I had been working for 6 month's.  At this point I noticed he was starting to lose it, and this was also not about me. I just sat back and listened. What I heard was month's worth of frustration, sadness, anger, disappointment, and confusion although aimed at me had little to do with a part time hourly receptionist wanting to know her last day. I was told I was expected to work through the Holidays and return on January 3rd.

At least the ball was in my court. I was the one who got to decide if I wanted to continue to work in insanity with the job description of "sitting and smiling" or call it quits and give up any financial reward for sticking around. I decided to return on January 3rd.

Yesterday everything was loaded on a semi truck after a 12 hour day and the office was empty.  I was also told my last day would be December 31st, I would have that bonus, and some severance.  That is how I spell relief. Apparently I made sense to my boss and he admitted to just wanting to hold on as long as possible to an office he built less than 3 years ago. After surveying the empty office and lack of staff, having someone sit at the front desk was not practical.

As I have chatted with other exiting employees over the last few months there was always that same feeling of relief and excitement. Each time I would feel a little jealous knowing that I wouldn't know that relief until I was walking out the door. And here I am, amazed at how good I feel, how free, and how excited I am about the future. I knew I wasn't in a good place and now I'm done. No more wondering, and no more questions. And that Dentist appointment? How about 10:00 am.

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