So two weeks ago I had my car in the shop for the third time for over-heating. A week after paying $760 to fix a bunch of stuff it over-heated again. This time it was the head gasket. That took days to fix. I stayed with Old Man Bobby for most of the week and he drove me to and from work. That wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be; it was actually kind of nice. But, I would rather have not had the car trouble and been able to sleep in my own bed. I would rather have not had to borrow money to pay for the $1170 in repairs.

I got my car back Thursday night. Friday afternoon I got fired from work. Like I said, it was the worst week ever.

The handwriting has been on the wall since we got our new team leader in the fall. She seemed to take an instant disliking to me, and I wasn’t the only one who noticed. The original dispute was mediated by her boss and I had hope that things would move forward from there. It was soon apparent that she was playing some sort of game. I tried to pay attention,  to find some reason to bring it back to her boss, but there just wasn’t anything concrete. I didn’t want anyone to think that I was being paranoid or just playing some political game. I tried to keep my head down, and make nice. Until yesterday when she had me fired, just a little too late.

Now I have to file for unemployment, and wait for it to be declined. And it will. That’s how they roll at my former place of employment. They don’t lay people off. Suddenly a lot of people find themselves on counseling, and soon thereafter they find themselves fired. The company doesn’t have to pay unemployment that way. People go to court over this, they sue for wrongful separation, and actually win. Why the company continues to handle it this way I don’t understand. Going to court must still be more cost-effective than paying unemployment.

What I want to say to my former co-workers who may be reading is, be careful. Stay off of couseling. I know it’s extremely difficult with the new policies being what they are, but those couseling plans they put you on don’t go away when they tell you they do. Even though they “expire” in 30/60/90 days, they stay on a “rolling counseling” plan for a year, which means even expired ones hurt you if you get on a new counseling. I did not now this until it was too late to do anything about it. And even though the improvment is obvious and well-documented in my case, it did not help. It won’t help if someone just wants you gone.

My track record with the company also did not help. Until last year I had never missed a ticket in my 13-year career. I had never had a debit memo or a customer service issue. Six months ago I was at Pacesetter, celebrating winning the company’s top honor for my accomplishments the year before, including several quarterly and monthly awards. Until the new team leader came to the team I was trusted to train new hires and cross-training employees, help with recurrant training, and to create and update all of our account’s training materials. I took on all sorts of projects large and small. At one point my old team leader told me to tell him if it was too much, that he just realized how much extra work he’d given me. I assured him I was good. I was enjoying the extra responsibility and learning a lot of new things. Once we got the new team leader, all my projects dried up. Other people were doing the training. Other people were getting the projects, even when I was most qualified for them and I volunteered. It one-on-ones I was told I was a “disappointment”  repeatedly, and that my team leader “expects more from a Pacesetter.” I was told I have an attitude problem. I was told I was negative.

Yes, I was late a few times (a total of maybe 20 minutes in an entire year because of a medication that sometimes makes me ill–instead of calling in sick I was getting to work as soon as I could). Yes, I finally missed a ticket (once in 13 years is well above average). But it’s hard not to see this as a witch hunt, when weighing these issues against my accomplishments, and looking at how fast it all happened. Six months ago, I was the best of the best. Two months ago I was told of a potential problem, and I’ve improved since then. Now I’m fired. Be careful my friends, be very careful.

I know a lot of you are very upset, for me (I appreciated all the texts and phone calls!), and also very worried about your jobs. Be worried, certainly, but don’t do anything rash. If you are going to bring it up, do it right. Talk about it in your skip levels. Get the documentation out there that morale is suffering because of instances like this, but under no circumstances should you give anyone the impression you are siding with me. It will only hurt your prospects.

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