Two years ago today, I had what can arguably be called one of the worst days of my life. After working for 13 years at the law firm of (name deleted), giving them every single ounce of my energy,they paid me back by firing me.
Ya, I did bring it on myself, by sending an e-mail complaining about money being taken out of my account, and admittedly used the word asshole in it, which is the reason they fired me, called it behavior unbecoming a supervisor. And you know what? Maybe it was, but they never followed their own internal processes, which I had used myself when dealing with other employees who the firm had problems with. They never began the write up process, something they’re supposed to do, according to their own employee handbook.
I never even got the chance to tell them why I sent the e-mail worded the way I did.
I worked the night shift, weekends. Thursday from 7:30 pm to 8:00 am Friday, Saturday from 7:30 pm to Sunday at 8:00am, and Sunday from 7:30 pm to Monday at 8:00am. On Sunday, my boss Mike called me and asked me to stay on so I could meet with him. By the end of that shift I’d have been awake for 42 of the last 48 hours, and tired as hell, just being awake that long, and being at work for over 24 hours of that time is tiring, but I told him I’d drink extra coffee and agreed. He never said about what, but he sounded serious on the phone and I knew it was about the E-mail just from that, he never said anything to let on. I figured I would get a reprimand of some type, be put on probation, asked what the hell I was thinking sending that. I remember joking with some of the people who worked there about it, saying to them “Ya, that’s my ass, they’re gonna fire me for this shit.”
I didn’t know how true those words would turn out to be.
I remember the time being exactly 9:53 am. I remember my mouth going dry. I remember thinking “How am I going to make ends meet now? It was bad enough when they took away overtime, but now I have nothing. What do I do?” I remember being unable to talk, so even had they given me a chance to talk, I’m not sure I’d have been able to say much. I remember walking out of the building, escorted by security, being in a fog, a complete daze, almost walking into people, and columns and the like. I remember reaching for my phone, shaking.
I called my wife. I don’t remember what I said to her except “I just got fired. What the hell do we do now?” I remember her being supportive, saying it wasn’t your fault, they’re a bunch of assholes, and I don’t remember much else from that conversation.
I remember listening to the Metallica song “All Nightmare long” at the ferry that day coming home. Hearing the words “Luck. runs. out.” And almost exploding. It was as close as I ever got to violence over it, I gritted my teeth, snarled, bit down on my anger, walked with my head down, like the defeated man I was, and walked towards the 10:30 am ferry, bound for Staten Island, and home.
After I got home, the next few hours were filled with me just walking back and forth around the apartment in a daze, unable to sleep, despite my sleep deprived state. I drank coffee, went to the computer and sat for whole minutes at a time, and tried, unsuccessfully, to lose myself in something or other. I looked at my wife every once in a while, and apologized. Just apologized. She didn’t deserve what was clearly going to be a bad time to follow, she had done nothing wrong. I felt horrible for her.
I knew in time I would be fine, that the emotional storm I was trying to ride out would eventually calm. It’s the aftermath of the event itself that I was concerned about.
It’s two years to the day later, and I still haven’t found full time employment. The storm isn’t over. I’ve had some temp work, some part time work, but nothing full time.
That’s it for now America. I have to get back to looking for work. Haven’t seen anything good yet today out there, but there’s always hope. Wish me luck.