I Was Walked To The Door
After twenty-five and a half years with my last employer, and six months from my sixty-fifth birthday, I was walked to the door, kicked to the curb, thrown out onto the street like trash. This from a company that liked, no, loved to talk about being a “family company”. At Christmas parties, it’s owners gushed about how much they valued their employees. As it turned out, it was just so much lukewarm air.
In twenty minutes I was standing at the curb. I was angry, hurt and insulted.
Six months before that unforgettable day, there was a luncheon to honor the long-service employees. There were speeches, gifts, and photos taken with the owners who put on their biggest and brightest smiles. What a grand display of deceit. What hypocrisy! How do these people sleep at night?
I was told that my position no longer existed because of re-organization. Another lie. My position, and the work, still existed but were given to a friend of the head of the department. That individual passed away ten months later. Divine justice?
It took hiring a lawyer, and three months of wrangling, before I received a somewhat reasonable settlement. The alternative was to spend years in court. It wasn’t worth it.
Is it any wonder that most companies, large and small, face so many problems today? Or that the world’s economy is in chaos and on the verge of a complete meltdown?
Companies want their employees to be loyal and dedicated to their jobs, but loyalty is a two way street. I was one of the most loyal and dedicated employees. Being from the old school, I walked many an extra mile to get the job done. In my dealings with outsiders, including government officials, I did my very best to present the company’s position in the most positive light.
In the end, all of this meant absolutely nothing.
This unpleasantness occurred almost two years ago and I’m almost over it. I say almost because the memory lingers, and I have flashbacks of how it happened, how it was handled, and the classless way in which the company conducted itself. Surely, I deserved better.
There were many who smiled at me every single day, but none of them contacted me to offer support, except for my manager, who called twice and left voice messages. I returned her call one year later. The other employees were too afraid, or hated me so much, to even take up a collection to buy me a “we wish you well” card at the Dollar Store (cost: $1), and a stamp (cost: less than a dollar), total cost: less than $2. What does this say about these individuals, and the company?
I have kept in touch with two colleagues who were also booted out, and with a few others who are no longer with the company because they quit or retired. I have also spoken a few times with my former manager. Actually, she is a good and decent person.
I know that nothing is forever, especially not a job. However, the parting of ways can, and should be handled in more humane and civilized ways, and certainly with class. But it seems that in this day and age, that is asking too much.
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