Wednesday, September 11, 2013

words every father longs to hear

I lost my job in mid-July. They processed it as a layoff, but that was just them being nice, because as far as I can tell, my boss just didn't like me. This happened at my previous job as well, which makes me think a bit about how I might manage my managers more gently; unfortunately, there are no obvious lessons. I could be a different person. Except I can't.

This is the fourth time I've lost my job, and while it always sucks, it does get easier. You start to see it coming: if you have a meeting with your boss and HR shows up, you're screwed.

In this particular case, I'd already gotten a remarkably dumb ultimatum:
"I'm really burned out and I need to take a break and work on something else."
"Nope, you can stay where you are, or quit."
So I was already interviewing, and at most two weeks away from giving notice when they let me go. In fact, I got two verbal job offers on the same day. (It was a lot to process. I got home that night and literally couldn't form sentences.) Had they talked to me honestly, we could have had a smoother transition and the company could have saved a month's salary. Not that I'm not grateful for the money, but all told I would rather have had time to say goodbye.

Managers are, so often, so stupid.


Yesterday morning I told J I have a new job that's closer to home, except for the days I go up to the city.
"Do you still work at [old job]?"
"No, now I work at [new job]. I left. Well, I was removed."
Anna chimes in. "He was fired."
"Well, kind of. Technically I was laid off, or terminated."
"What's the difference?"
"You get fired for cause, you can't collect unemployment--"
"Oh, right."
The child is a little agitated at this point. He has a hard time remembering arbitrary facts about people, and he's comfortably known where I work for years now.
"Why do you keep changing jobs? Why do you keep getting fired?"
"Huh? I don't keep getting fired."
"Yeah you do. Amalgamated Video, and Mathematica Inferna, and Unlimited Hazards..."
"I wasn't fired from Unlimited Hazards, I left."
We all had a decent talk about how this is just a thing that happens, that we change and our employers change, and sometimes even a smart, hard-working, generally nice guy like me just gets shit-canned sometimes. And my job-changing is at a pretty normal rate for the industry.

"Why do you keep changing jobs? Why do you keep getting fired?"

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