Why I Was Fired
I worked for a grassroots nonprofit for three years as the admin and media person. I wasn’t that surprised, as I have been fired once before and already knew all the signs. My former boss didn’t go over too many past actions that led to my dismissal, but told me that the orgs priorities and my position were changing and they needed a person with better expertise in office management and organizing. She said that if things were different and if they could afford more employees they would gladly keep me on as the media person. She even suggested I occationally work freelance to help keep up their website.
What Being Fired Has Been Like
Getting fired is always a painful big shot to one’s ego. At first I was hurt, but understanding of the decision made. I also understand it was a hard thing for my employer to do, as it was a very close working environment where all the employees generally liked and cared for each other.
But those feeling were soon to be charged. My last day at work was Aug 31 and I didn’t receive my final paycheck until early October. And this was after sending them several emails about the issue. After I sent one email telling them the grief I had to deal with because I had not received my final paycheck, I received a nasty reply from my ex-boss explaining how I was a horrible employee, what a horrible job I did closing out my job (even though I did every thing I was asked) and that the reason it was taking them so long to get me my final paycheck was because she was considering not paying me at all. Hoping to not burn any bridges and to not provoke any power tripping that could keep me from getting unemployment, I apologized for my shortcoming, thanked her for paying me and went in to pick up my final check (handwritten, not the norm). Even after all that I still had to wait another month and had to send more emails before I was able to receive the pay stub to that final check so I could apply for unemployment.
In addition to this, while talking to a former employee, I found that that my ex-boss had told everyone that I was fired, even after she told me she wouldn’t. For some reason I was still on the orgs mailing list after my firing, and I received a email announcing the newly opened position. When I was working there my position was only half time, and this new job was ¾ time, and addition the job didn’t require any of the media responsibilities that I had. This validated my suspicions that I wasn’t given enough hours to do the job properly.
I could understand my dismissal, but they way my ex-boss treated me afterward left me feeling greatly betrayed. I considered my ex-boss as a friend. I even invited her over my house on a few occasions, and she as well as my other co-workers were a great support during my pregnancy. It’s just really saddening how this all turned out, because of her actions after the firing I’d lost all respect and goodwill I had towards her.
To add, this is a social justice org, and my former boss understands how systems of power and oppression work, but still chose to abuse her power over me anyways.
- Understand that sometimes things need to be cleared out of your life to make room for better things.
- Believe in Karma. Unprofessional attitudes will only serve to come around to bite your former boss in the future.
- Take an honest inventory of what you could have done to prevent your dismissal, as well as things that were out of your control. Make it a priority to change the parts of you that lead to your dismissal and refuse to feel guilty about what you couldn’t control.