I had been "fake fired" the Friday before. Informed that this was just not working out, I was encouraged to find a better fit somewhere else. My boss gave me one week to decide how long I needed.
My thoughts swung from slithering out to demanding to be kept on until my own baby was born. I went from zero to six months every hour, every day, for a week. It was emotional. It was exhausting. But, I finally decided.
Readying myself for our meeting, I bear hugged my notepad, looked to the drop ceiling, and repeated the decision in my head, "My plan is to stay on two more months. This will give me sufficient time to wrap up this season's big event and find a new job."
My cube was my corner, but it was time to enter the ring. In her office, I was faced by my boss as well as her favorite employee, a fellow forty-something female incapable of finding a satisfying position of power in the for-profit world. I could almost smell the cougar pee.
I was going to speak first. I needed to speak first. I didn't get to speak first. She didn't let me speak first.
"Kristin, before you tell us what you have decided, we've been thinking..."
No, no, no. My decision. My decision. This was my decision. Let me make my own decision.
"We are going to consider this past week the first of your two weeks notice. Next Friday will be your last day."
A powerful pink haze shocked my system. I was going to have my first baby soon. Maybe my baby would be a girl, too. My mind clouded over. I stared straight ahead. I may have smiled. I probably said something. I always say something, but this time I am not sure.
"Why don't you head back to your desk and send us a list of your open tasks? I'll have a copy of the severance terms on your chair on Monday."
Decompressed and finished with the requested email, I hit "send" with vengeance. Somehow I had been fake fired and then forcefully fired in seven short days. And all I had was seven short days left. I exited in a huff to seek solace in McDonald's and then my friends.
But I returned to serve my sentence with all the integrity I could muster. I signed my severance package and delivered it in silence. I stayed for eight full hours Monday through Friday. I finished everything on my list and more.
I packed my stuff. I planned a trip to meet baby Angela and I physically moved on. But nothing more.
I had nothing left. I had let them take my dignity away.
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