Monday, September 22, 2014

Update: Enjoying My Day Off

When I found out from my previous employer that my end date was earlier than originally planned, I contacted my new employer HR rep and left her a message that I was available to start a week earlier.

I truthfully explained to her that an interim replacement was brought in earlier than expected at my former employer.  (A retiree who came out of retirement to help out the company since I was leaving.)

My new employer just called and moved my start date in to tomorrow.  In retrospect, I probably should have just let it go and enjoyed the entire week off, but it is too late now.  I am relaxing today, doing some shopping and having lunch with a friend.

I do not anticipate a gap in pay since I am starting earlier at my new job...I am so sorry I doubted God.  He has worked out this whole mess in spite of my fears and anxieties.  Thankfully, He is a steadfast and patient God.  

Everyone in my immediate family, including my awesome boyfriend, has been very, very supportive.  (I have to almost 49 years old I have a boyfriend!)  

He is the special, special man I dated last fall.  We broke up for a time, continued to be friends and realized what we almost lost when breaking up and got back together shortly afterwards.  I am very, very happy with him, and he has been such a rock through all of these ups and downs.

We had a lot of fun on vacation in July, and he has been a great help in transitioning Amy and Stephen to college and Heather to high school.  He has been an unexpected blessing at a season in my life when I thought romantic love was over for me!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Transitions and Forgiveness

The last few weeks have some a lot of ups and downs...mostly ups...thankfully!

My health (colon issues, asthma, depression) has continued to improve and be stable.  No pending surgeries, tests, etc. and all medication is working!

My daughter Amy graduated with honors from high school, and my son Stephen returned from a wonderful summer mission trip to Ecuador with Campus Crusades for Christ.  

This summer we once again vacationed at InterVarsity's Cedar Campus and visited Mackinac Island for a day.  Edward, the special man in my life, was able to come up for part of the week and share in some of our family traditions and biking around Mackinac Island.  I came home to a completely redecorated bedroom that he secretly worked on while the girls and I were gone the first part of the week!

We then got Stephen and Amy off to college in August, and they are doing very well.  My daughter Heather has continued to incredibly manage her type 1 diabetes and her insulin pump.  She is now a high school freshman and has joined HHS Spartan Alliance Band.  It is so cool to see her finally get to participate in that wonderful organization after all the years of watching Stephen and Amy be in the band.

Earlier this summer I decided to explore the job market just to see what else was out there.  My plan was sometime in the next few years to take the skill set I had developed in my position as a buyer for my current company and apply it elsewhere...just to see what else I could learn and accomplish.

So I put out some feelers not expecting anything to come of it for awhile.  I had my resume on several job boards and on LinkedIn.  Much to my surprise, I started getting phone calls and offers for interviews every week.  Eventually, I was contacted by an electronics component company nearby for an interview for a purchasing analyst position, which I what I was currently doing.

I scheduled the interview for an afternoon on August 28 that I already had off for a doctor's appointment.  It was a rigorous afternoon of interviews with seven different people with a salary of at least $45,000.  (My current salary is $32,000).  The interviews went very well, and I thought "If it's meant to be, it will happen."  

I did not mention this to my employer and continued to do my job responsibly as I always have.  Much to my surprise, during the first week of September, I was called back for a second interview.  Out of respect, I made what I thought was a choice of integrity and I informed my current supervisor.

He was surprised and a little angry.  I told him that it was nothing personal, that I had just put some feelers out and this was an opportunity I could not afford to ignore.  I also told him that I respected him and his leadership enough that I did not want to lie by saying I had a doctor's appointment or call in sick.  He said he appreciated that and told me to request the appointment time out via our electronic email.  He electronically accepted the request, and it was confirmed on both of our calendars.

I did not think about it much over the next weekend, but on the next Monday he declined my request via our email and told me I could not take company time for this appointment.

I had consistently worked weekends and late on a regular basis and often did not take a lunch.  I had recently used by own phone and own wifi to manage a supply problem on a weekend.  I had served above and beyond my responsibilities.

I pointed this all out to him and said I would take the afternoon off without pay and make sure everything on my desk was taken care of.  He backed down at that point and just asked that I come in early the day of the interview and work through lunch, which is what I had planned to do in the first place.

The day after the September 9 interview he and I had our usual weekly meeting to discuss work projects.  During that meeting he asked how the interview had gone and when I thought I would hear something.  I told him I thought it went well and was expecting to know more in the next couple of days.  He asked that he be given the right to counter any offer I was given, which I respectfully agreed to.

On September 12 I was offered the new position with the $45,000 salary, 401K contributions/vision insurance/more vacation/paid sick days...none of which is provided at my current employer.

I gave my boss the information via email, and he in turn took it to his supervisor for review.  My boss was out of his boss's office very shortly and very professionally said to me, "Let me be the first to congratulate you.  I encourage you to accept this offer."  He then asked if I could give him two weeks before moving on, which I agreed to, and we briefly discussed some plans for the transition. He then replied to my email that he was accepting my resignation and that my last day would be September 26.

This week I found that I needed to leave at 3 p.m. for a drug test for my new job, and I asked if I could leave early.  I had come in early, worked through lunch, etc.  I was told I could not leave and that I was needed in the office.  I told my boss that the lab hours were business hours and I had to be at the lab by 4 p.m.  There were no other options.

He let me go, and I didn't think much of it.  By that time, the company had brought in a retiree who had trained me when I first started and I was working to transition my work load to her.

Later in the week, my boss unexpectedly moved my exit interview in by a week and asked me to bring in my personal laptop by the end of the week so the IT department could remove my work links and connections.  

When I asked why we were moving everything in, I was told the company was expecting several customer visits the next week, and everyone involved was going to be busy.  

During my exit interview I was respectful and participated in what I thought was professional, constructive conversation.

However, yesterday, about an hour before my work day was to end, my interim replacement told me she was going home early.  I was finishing up my day and making notes for what we needed to work on together next week.  Much to my stunned surprise, with no warning, my boss and our HR manager walked into my office and said the company decided to end my employment that day.

I was told to pack up my personal items, not go out on the factory floor, not talk to anyone and when I was ready I would be walked out.  I was so shocked and stunned.  I vaguely remember packing up everything, walking to the car with my boss without saying goodbye to anyone and driving away.  I was so upset I could hardly drive.  

I saw my boss head out shortly after I left.  I stopped at a nearby park to try to stop the shaking and to catch my breath.  It was so surreal to be treated so disrespectfully.

I told Edward right away, and he was upset for me but admitted he suspected it was coming.  He said he didn't want to say anything to me about his suspicions because he didn't want to worry me in the event he was wrong.

I pulled into a local gas station to get something to drink, and several people leaving work saw my car.  They stopped to see me to share their outrage and incredible moral support.  I started getting phone calls and texts from co-workers who were furious for me.  They had all been planning a surprise going away party for me the next week, and right then in the gas station parking lot they decided they would still do something for me at a local restaurant the next week.

I have no idea what will happen to my second week's pay.  I have decided not to fret about it.  God has always provided, and it will put me a little behind...but I know I will be okay.  

I had some time away this weekend at an already planned personal retreat, and during that time as I was processing all of this, God really kicked me hard in the behind for worrying about the money...because my concern about the lost paycheck was absolutely doubting all He has already done for me.  

I am such a slow and forgetful learner!  It is so easy to allow myself to forget that money means absolutely nothing to God.  It's our attitude about money that He is more concerned about...and I left myself forget that...what a dumb head!

What is so sad is that I think my boss was pressured to let me go...and it was not in his character to act this way.  

I later found out from a co-worker that people at work are starting to collect funds out of their personal finances to help me recover the week's loss of pay...I don't know if that will go anywhere, but their reaction and support is worth more than gold to me.

Even though I have been unbelievably hurt by people I trusted, I am choosing to forgive. 

Please, please pray for me as I work through this forgiveness process.  It is not going to be easy, and it is a conscious choice I am going to have to make every single day for awhile.  I am making the courageous choice of forgiveness.  (Click on link for wonderful article on forgiveness!) 

I have also allowed what has has happened to crush my spirits a bit and hurt my self-esteem.  I cannot let outside situations define who I am.  I have done that far too long, and it has to stop.  Pray for me that I can break out of that terrible habit.