Let me ask you something. If you learn that you were going to lose your job, how would you feel?
(a) Jump for joy?
(b) Shed a tear?
(c) Smile and calmly accept your fate?
(d) Flip your manager the bird and strut like a boss out of the office?
Or all of the above?
Or, go through the seven stages of grief, like yours truly?
To be fair, I haven’t lost it yet but the way things are going now at the office, it sure looks like it. Let me tell you why:
A year and a half ago, I was hired to do content marketing and campaign marketing. It was a symmetrical split of the role. 50% of my role required me to write and publish articles, as well as to post topics on social media, while the other 50% required me to plan and execute the campaigns. But the manager who hired me left the company for another and a new one took her place. I understand that new managers will always have their own plans for the business, but I was clearly cast aside by the one who came onboard. At first, I thought my role would change under the new manager. But as the weeks flew by, I realised it had little to do with a change of roles. There was just no room for me. I wasn’t included in any of the meetings that involved my teammates. I wasn’t included in the emails that used to involve me once upon a time. My new manager rarely asks me about anything, preferring to refer to my senior teammate instead. My teammates felt it was strange too, and tried to include me in whatever they did. However, the new manager neither blinked nor agreed with their suggestions to get me involved. It was business as usual for everyone but me. I don’t know if I had stepped on his toes. I don’t know if I had dented his pride and ego. If I did, I hoped he would man up and tell me what went wrong. I don’t have a sixth sense and I cannot read minds.
So it isn’t really set in stone yet that I would be leaving the company. But judging by the icy cold situation now, I wouldn’t be surprised if I was told to leave. I suppose they would give me their answer during the upcoming employee appraisal that is due to take place anytime this week. The truth will be revealed to me then, whether I want to know or not. The truth of whether I will stay or go.
Though, believe it or not, I actually went through all seven stages of grief last Friday. I didn’t know why this was happening, but I completed all seven stages within three days.
At first, I was shocked.
Why was this happening to me? What did I ever do to the new manager to the point of alienating me? I am not the confrontational type so everything I was given to do, I did it. I never argued nor talked back. I took it up the ass and did what I was told to do.
Then the shock gave way to denial.
No, I refused to believe that I was being left out of work. I refused to believe that I wasn’t involved in the meetings that my teammates attended. I tried to reason with myself that maybe it wasn’t something the manager wanted me to do. Maybe there were other plans for me.
But it couldn’t stop me from being hopping mad.
The reasoning stopped and gave way to anger. I was at a loss. NO! It’s a conspiracy! It’s a mutiny! I was livid! I couldn’t fathom why my manager refused to respond to my texts or preferred to communicate with my teammates and leave me in the dark. WHY?
So I tried to compromise and meet the manager halfway.
I was afraid that maybe my manager wasn’t “seeing” me, that I was somewhat invisible. So I made sure to repeat myself at least twice to ensure that my manager heard or saw me. I took liberties to put myself out there, in the open. I took the initiative to clarify with or ask the manager questions instead of the other way round.
Nope. It didn’t work. On the contrary, it made me feel even worse.
And then I got depressed. I was upset and disappointed with the way things turned out. I was so affected by it that when I came home from work on Friday night, I had a migraine and my eyes were too tired to stay open. I hardly ate a bite for dinner and went straight to bed. I didn’t feel like showering. I didn’t bother eating properly. I just wanted to sleep.
Then I thought, maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel for me.
Well, I managed to stay here for almost two years, learning all that I could. It was still a job and I had the opportunity to learn, which meant that I’d be walking away with added skills and knowledge that I wouldn’t have, had I not been hired earlier. I wasn’t the loser here. My company would lose another talented employee, while the new one would gain my skills and talents.
But all I want now is peace. Peace, the truth and closure.
Okay, so there are things that we can change but there are those that we can’t. If they want me to leave, so be it. There is nothing I can do about it. But when I leave, I’m a better person now than I was before I worked here. I have what it takes to do well at my next job, to succeed and go further than I did here. All I want is the truth. If they want me to leave, I want them to tell me why. I need some closure to all the mess that’s left behind.
Strange how once upon a time, I never liked the job. I tried to leave a couple of times but my former manager stopped me. She knew I had the potential and wanted me to harness it. I may have found the job demanding and challenging but I stayed anyway. I never left in the end. So I’ve gone through all seven stages over the weekend and you know what? I will quietly accept my fate if it really happens. But it doesn’t mean I fully agree with their decision when the time comes.
I don’t suppose it would be a good idea to send a scathing farewell email, though, would it?