Dejected!, Part Two
Oftentimes Darkest Moments Come Before The Dawn
Finally, at peace! I was finishing writing my horror novella. Suddenly, I heard footsteps and it was my father. My father asked me what I was doing. I replied that I was writing a horror novella. My father just looked askance at me, saying good night.
It was shameful being unsupported for who I was. My parents would have been happier people if I was an extroverted technocrat or corporate type as they were. They have merely tolerated my artistic and creative talents. Initially, they thought it was fine when I was a child and young teenager. Yes, they thought my creativity was a phase I was going through. However, when I became older and more intent in my craft, they tried to dissuade me from the creative life.
It was my father's contention that creative and artistic people struggle socioeconomically through life. He derisely reminded me repeatedly that it was BAD enough that I elected to major in English Literature and Soclology, subjects my father considered outmoded and inane! He queried as to when I was going to be realistic and not live in a dream world. His tirade was so icily blunt that I was completely unnerved. However, I did not cry, becoming increasingly incensed at his total insensitivity to me as a human being.
I graduated from Temple University summa cum laude with special mention in English Literature and Psychology. My mother, Aunt Amelia, other maternal, and paternal relatives attended my graduation. One person was missing- yes, you guessed it-my father! He believed that my majors and minor was an utter waste of time and he flatly refuse to attend my graduation. He stayed home instead.
Schooling was finished or so I thought! However, my father had different plans for me. He selected the Wharton Business School. He contended that my liberal arts degree was total mush and I was little better than an elementary school graduate. I asserted that I was disinterested in pursuing further education. My father would have none of it. He talked to one of his friends, an admissions counselor, and decided to surreptitiously register me.
I was totally incensed to say the least! As a young adult, this was supposed to be MY life, not his! It was HIS dream for me to be an executive, later either a CEO of CFO of a corporation. However, it was MY dream to eventually become a best-selling or at least a bankable horror novelist!
I reluctantly attended the school; however after a semester, I notified my father that I would be no longer attending Wharton. He and my mother concurred that I was to continue attending as it would be to my advantage. I insisted that I discontinue but to no avail. My parents MAINTAINED that I was to CONTINUE with my postgraduate education.
I felt uneasy at Wharton and did not enjoy my courses. Despite the constant hoursi studying, my grade point was a decided 2.55 grade point index. One day during the second semester, the dean wanted to see me, explaining that my grades were abysmal and that I had to improve my grade point if I elected to remain at the school.
At this point, i frankly did not care. I knew that I was neither interrested in business nor cut out to be an executive. I was more of the creative type. Subsequently, I was expelled from the school. My father saw my report card and the ejection letter. He become more incensed than he ever was in his life.
He barged into my room, asking me to explain this. He unceremoniously called me an utter failure and a misfit. He further ranted how was I going to be anything worthwhile in llife. He just looked at me in disgust and left the room! He then returned to my room, explaining to me that my Bachelors of Arts degree was useless and equivalent to an eigth grade education! He then added that I was a LOSER and a TOTAL DISAPPOINTMENT!
That night I decided to leave home, go to New York and live with Aunt Amelia until I could find a job and an apartment. As I was leaving, my father told me that I was going NOWHERE! He stated that he and my mother are going to send me to a secretarial school to prepare me for an entry level job. This was a nonnegotiable order on their parts.
My father again spoke to the admissions counselor of the secretarial school, surreptitiously enrolling me. I frankly did not wish to attend any more school at this point. I flatly told them so and refused to attend. I then left home with no fanfare, moved to New York with Aunt Amelia until I could find a job and an apartment.
When I arrived at Aunt Amelia's apartment, she was so glad to see me. I stated to her that I wanted to start anew and to start writing novels. She did more than encouraged me in that regard. However, writing novels did not exactly generate sufficient income, so I waitressed in the meanwhile. During my stint as a waitress, I took several civil service examinations for positions ranging from administrative clerk to case worker. I passed the latter test, was subsequently employed, and was on my way to total independence.
I thanked Aunt Amelia, left her Greenwich Village apartment, and moved into my own apartment in the Clinton area of New York, formerly known as Hell's Kitchen. I started to work for the New York City Department of Human Resources Administration as a case worker and gained several promotions until I become an outreach counsellor at a very high level. I initially loved this job but now I utterly detested it! I wanted out! This attitude was seriously affecting my health and work performance.
I had seventeen years before retirement but I could not STAY in this job that long. If I did, I would be crazier and more demented than I am right now. My health was so precarious that I took months off. My supervisor was concerned. He knew that I did not like the job and considered me an outsider, not the typical civil service bureaucrat devoted to red tape.
I further knew that he was instrumental in my not being promoted to high positions despite my highly effective work performance appraisals. He indicated on several occasions that I was not administrative materials in that I was more interested in the needs of the clients than I was in production goals. He further added that I was TOO compassionate and soft. He told this to the higher ups so despite my high marks on promotional civil service examinations, I was NEVER promoted.
People I have trained and/or with poorer work records than I were promoted, some over me. Yet, I continued to work hard. One day, I crashed. I had to get away. I had the first of a career burnout which was going to continue.
My supervisor become even more hostile and less sympathetic to me as time progressed. He relentlessly criticized everything I did from the way I conducted interviews to my reports. He indicated that my work performance SUCKED! SUCKED! Yes, sucked big time according to him. Nothing I did was right anymore! I asked for and got a two month leave of absence!
Upon my return to work, the harassment escalated. Everything was wrong. I was even being blamed for mistakes that I was not a part of. Then the write ups began. My supervisor started to write me up for the most insignificant and trivial matters that other employees were not written up on. My break and lunch times were even being monitored. There was no use in reporting the incident to the higher administration because my supervisors was in cahoots with them.
I was in a Catch-22 situation. I just continued to perform my work come hell or high water. Then on that Friday the 13th in November 2009, I reported to work as usual. I was instructed not to report at my office but to the administrative office located in the City Hall area. I took my things and proceeded downtown.
When I arrived at the main administrative office, I was told to go upstairs to the fifth floor. There I saw the Human Resources Director who informed me that my employment was summarily terminated. Of course, I fell to the floor! This is totally unreal. My work performance was at least satisfactory; however, I did take off a lot. The director explained that I was totally MENTALLY unsuited for the position. Then a report was shown detailing this which was signed by my supervisor. Yes, I acknowledged going to a psychiatrist but this was because I was stressed. I admitted this to my supervisor not knowing that he was going to use this information against me!
I left the office, proceeding to hurry home. I was totally enraged and in tears. How dare they cursorly terminate me after years of service! They can and do this all the time. You known that New York is an at will termination state. This means that you can be terminated at ANY time for any reason whatever as long it is not blatantly discriminatory. Wait a minute I was discriminated against regarding my termination.
I laid low for a week. I was still in emotional shock. They told me that I would receive my retirement benefits at 55 years of age. That was a decade from now! Thank God, from my part-time freelance writing assignments on the internet, I was earning quite an equitable salary. I also had investments which could tie me over for awhile. There was nothing from my parents, of course, they have disowned me when I left home to be on my own, following my own lifepath. That in addition to my failing the Wharton School. Well, their loss, not mine!
I then consulted my friend, an employment attorney, regarding my wrongful termination. He informed me that my boss was within his right to terminate me by demonstrating that my disability clearly INTERFERED with my ability to properly perform my job. I was at a total loss. What was I to do? I applied for unemployment benefits and received them. The unemployment counsellor gave me some shocking news. She detailed that because of my "mental" problem which was the reason I was terminated, it would be difficult for me at best to find a job. She added that employers are highly skeptical of hiring peope with mental deficiencies as she politely put it......................
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