Today I went to pick up my second and final check from my former employer. After being laid off on Tuesday with no warning, I’ve had the past two days to let my negative feelings fester and grow into a vengeful beast of horrifying size. I had fantasies of extorting money or sabotaging the business somehow, and I carefully planned out what I was going to say to the boss when he handed me my check: that he had handled laying me off incredibly poorly and unprofessionally, that I was glad to no longer be associated with such a sketchy business, that I was going to tell everyone I knew about his company had treated me.
But when the time came, all I did was take my check, say thank you and walk out the door. Sometimes I wish I had the cajones to say all of the things that I want to say to people who have wronged me, but most of the time I’m grateful that I have enough self-control to be discerning in situations like that. There was really little good that could have come from me letting my angry words spew like venom onto the man that deprived me of my livelihood (meager as it may have been) that spent three months trying to get. Would he have been scared by my threats to bad-mouth his business? Probably not. Would he have handled things differently the next time he had to lay someone off? It’s unlikely. And saying all of that wouldn’t have made me feel any better about not having a job either. I feel satisfied for having taken the moral high ground.
As Romeo Montague would say, I am fortune’s fool. I did everything I was told to do at that job, and I worked hard to learn quickly and do well. The boss realized, after he had already hired me, that he wanted someone with more sales experience, so what else could I have done? I can’t go back in time and change my job history. It’s unfortunate that this was the job I fell into, and subsequently was pushed out of, but I guess that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. It wasn’t a job that I adored or could see myself doing for more than a year, but it was money. Now, I’m back to square one, trying to stay optimistic and laughing to keep from crying. I almost feel like I’m running on pure animal survival instinct now, wild-eyed, hoarding my food because I don’t know when I’ll eat again. Okay, it’s not that desperate of a situation, but it feels like it sometimes.
So now I’m back to scouring Craigslist every day for jobs, checking my inbox to see if any potential employers have responded to my emails, and feeling like a worthless human for not working and contributing to society like everyone else. As the Beatles would say, “HELP!”