So today was my first day back to work after having been out sick for over a week. Soon after the day started, I was called into a meeting with the Admin Assistant and my direct supervisor (who usually works from home but comes in once a week). There I was told that unlike originally planned, my short-term contract was not going to be turned into a long-term contract after all (my current contract was for 3 months and ends on November 30th but it was always said that I would be hired long-term at the end of it).
AA went on to explain that they did not feel that things were working out and that I did not seem to be getting any more familiar with the job than when I first started. I told them I was stunned that they did not feel necessary to talk to me about it earlier. If you are unhappy with the performance of a new employer, would not it seem rational to have a conversation with him/her about it and make sure that goals and tasks are identified clearly for all? To this they admitted that they indeed did not really take the time to communicate with me because things had simply been so busy!
Then they told me that they did not feel like I was totally committed to the job and that I seemed unwilling to give my all to the company. I could not really disagree with that: they gave me as an example the time when they asked me at about 1pm to stay later that evening so that the employee leaving for the Florida office could give me details on this one customer. Given that I had already worked 1 1/2 hour overtime the night before, I remember thinking that I was not willing to give up my running day to them, especially since this did not look like an emergency to me, more like a total lack of organization given that she had known for weeks at this point that she was leaving the country 3 days later. I offered to make myself available on another day but I now wonder if I had sealed my fate right there and then. It is clear among other employees that they do expect us to always agree to work overtime without necessarily asking to be paid and I will admit that I am just too old to put up with that kind of demands. I was taken advantage of in my early 20s but these days, I actually do expect to be paid for my work and unpaid OT is not something I will accept, especially at the salary they are paying me.
Then they told about my unwillingness to agree to work overtime for some training and I told her that I was never once offered to be trained on anything and she did not really have anything more to say about that since it was true so she moved on to talk about how I was sighing a lot… I could not really disagree with that one either: I do tend to take deep breaths every now and then (habits from a yogi) and I have been made aware in the past that those deep breaths could sometimes be misinterpreted, so much that I have told close friends in the past than me just sighing did not necessarily mean anything beside for the fact that I enjoyed a deep breath every now and then. Furthermore, I do believe that sighing is still way more appropriate to express potential frustration than the curses and vulgarities I have heard in that office!
Then they told me that I did not seem to be very dedicated and I told them that I could not see how they could say that since they had both witnessed how I was always willing and available to help the newer employees whenever they ask me for help (major turnover going on these days so 3 persons have joined the team over the past 2 months). Last week, they asked this new employee to take care of an order, something he had never done before, without explaining to him all that entailed to. I felt so bad for him that I actually IMed him from my desk to explain to him all the steps involved, etc. Of all the newer employees (although pretty much everyone is a new employee these days0, I am the one who knows and understands the most about what is going on and I will always happily share any piece of information I have.
So once I refuted all their arguments, they conceded that it all came down to the fact that I simply was not a good fit for them. And I have to say that I could not agree more… I have heard them talk about this one graphic designer they work with regularly and proudly share how they were managing to pay him so little while making him do so much. And when one employee talked about how it was so cold where his desk was because of the poor window insulation, they shared how the employee who previously sat there indeed was cold the entire winter last year. They briefly discussed how they could maybe have the new employee sit there in the future but the conversation was soon dropped, unresolved. I have caught every single one of them lying or backstabbing another employee. So yes, I do agree that I am not a good fit for this environment. As I have written before, I do believe that we should always treat others the way we want to be treated, that honesty is always the best policy and that kindness, understanding, and open-mindedness go a long way! I am a little sad because I really like the job! And yes, maybe I did not always look happy to come to work but that’s because it is difficult for me to really love a job where I have been told that we sometimes knew we were delivering poorly executed projects to our customers but that there was simply no time to do everything right and we just had to hope that they would not notice.
I did like the job! But I guess my biggest mistake was my inability to conceal how much I disliked the way things were handled and managed.
So to sum up, today, someone who I feel does not have many redeemable qualities as a human being told me she did not really appreciate me. Turns out, I have a hard time getting too upset about it! I called my boss from this summer and I will be most likely be going back there in December. It feels a little bit like a blessing in disguise.