True Story©… You’re Fired!
Not to let anyone in on more than they need to know about me, but in my adult-adult life, I have worked full time for three companies. I will not name any of the three, but you’ve assuredly heard of all of them. I will cross fourteen years with my current employer next week. More importantly – to me at least – each of my prior two company changes was of my own volition and I was not removed from the premises by any security folks for cause or anything such.
One benefit of being
consistent with a place of employment is the accrual of leave time. With my first real full-time (as in with a company that I didn’t work for
when I was 18 and actually offered benefits) employer there was no
expiration of leave time and I was so busy with school that I never had time to
be far enough away to warrant taking time off for any real reason.
A couple of years in, I found myself staring at WEEKS of accumulated off time and no real reason to use it. Add to that the fact that I didn’t see myself leaving the place until I found myself unable to stand to walk in the building anymore near the end. Again, I had a favorable schedule and could get away for a long weekend only taking one day off at a time. I devised a plan.
Stick a pin in that, we will circle back to it.
My second real-world full
Fuck that place, it didn’t exist and couldn’t sustain where it was when I worked there.
So now we’re up to my
From the moment I called out of work at the last place to interview here, I was advised of how generous the place is with leave time, that the amount granted moves up quickly with seniority and it is not difficult to take time off. They were talking to someone who didn’t need it, as I had habitually become a head-down-get-it-done kind of worker and really still never took a bunch of time off. Needless to say, I got the job and began amassing generous paid time off.
Almost two years after
starting, I met
my ex-wife a woman I had a wedding with once. With her I did a little traveling and
entertaining and made some use of my off time. We had a kid two and a half years later and
that in and of itself naturally leads to the necessity of time away from the
But that was it, still not quite enough to eat it all up for reasons other than what I call “mental health days,” where I just kind of chill and don’t do much of shit.
Less than two years
post-kid and leading into my first increase in off time, we were no longer
together and sharing custody. That meant
that every other week of my life coinciding of precisely when I would have more
and more time to take away from the office.
The difference between my current company and my first is that it is
clearly written in the handbook that you use the time or lose it. With that in mind, supervisors absolutely
remind people to take off of work.
One problem though… I am newly single, have the whole expenses of the house on myself. Wait, I had that on me in the first place. Where the shit am I gonna go?
Remove that pin from after the second paragraph, I came up with a plan back then and had used it various times through the years. This one was just the most fun.
Despite not being
interested in jobs external to my company, I applied my ass off to a TON of
jobs I was clearly overqualified for. When
I could get an interview scheduled, I would go to the interview and kill shit
as if I actually wanted the job, because I kind of did.
… except not for the reason of accepting a job that would ultimately pay me considerably less than I was currently making.
I would go through the
process, totally not needing to omit my current employer from my resume or
anything like that. In fact, the amount
of time with the company was more than likely a positive in the grandest scheme
of things. Inevitably, considering how I
aimed low, I would get the job.
And that is invariably where the fun would begin.
The first one was with a
general support call center that had recently opened but apparently has an
insane amount of turnover according to the reviews that Google had led me
to. I took two weeks off of my day job
and showed up for orientation and training.
The training schedule was favorable and in line with what I normally work anyway, where the “normal” schedule would be something incompatible with what my life has become. It wouldn’t matter.
I went through orientation, signed all the paperwork, “signed up” for benefits, sat through onboarding presentations, yaddayaddayadda. And then we were up to the fun part. Day two began the first day of training.
It was chilly out, so I had cooked curried meatballs and rice with broccoli the night before, which naturally meant I also carried it to lunch with me on Tuesday. As people in a common training class will generally be on the same schedule. That said, the teams of single women with Lean Cuisine and Michelina’s frozen meals lined up for their turn at the microwave will eventually gather and want to converse about it. Wednesday, lunch was a parmesan crusted chicken quarter and Brussels sprouts. Thursday was a baked pasta that I planned to eat on for the rest of the week/end.
A random woman approaches…
Woman: “Your wife must love you!”
Woman: “Your lunches, somebody is feeding you good. Your wife takes care of you.”
Me: “My what?”
Woman: “Your… wife?”
Me: “My who?”
Woman: “I’onno, maybe your mom?”
Woman: “Y-you cooking all this?”
Me: “Most nights, youbetcha!”
Woman: “And you ain’t got no wife!?”
Me: “I did until March”
Woman: “Wow, what the f--… What’s wrong with her?”
The rest of the
conversation was pretty pedestrian small talk.
Thank God she didn’t get too deep into information about me, lest my
eventual plan might be foiled.
The following week, I had my daughter with me so the meals were less spicy and more kid-friendly, but still all home cooked. Interest from the gallery was still there. About Wednesday as I began to need my “out,” the woman from the previous week approached.
Woman: “What we got today?”
Me: “Drumsticks. Green beans. Light work.”
Woman: “Ahh, not digging in like last week?”
Me: “I have my little this week.”
Woman: “I see. So you have an ex-wife and a daughter and make home cooked like this?”
Me: “Most days, yes.”
Woman: “Crazy world. If you don’t mind my asking, what do you do with your weekends?”
Sweet, this is it, I will now have my way out!
Me: “I’m into rural sex.”
Woman: “I-I’m sorry… Did you say ora--…”
Me: “… no, I said rural.”
Me: “I surf dating sites and meet women, then I convince them to come with me to sneak onto a random farm uninvited and we--…”
Woman: “OH MY GOD!!!”
I had said it loud enough to be heard not only by the person I was talking to, but everyone within about 15-20 feet of me. The lone male in the room was red in the face laughing, and all of the women were mortified.
Finished with my meal, I went outside to put my lunch container in the car and to call my granny to check on the little before headed back in to the training class. I badged into the building and headed toward the room before I looked up to see two of the women from the class with the one I had been talking to, plus the trainer and the HR person I had met with during the hiring process.
Trainer: “Could you come with us please?”
Me: “Is there something wrong?”
Woman: “Yes, there is something wrong!”
Me: “Let’s be honest, here. If I ‘come with you’ what are the chances that I remain employed here?”
He looked at the HR lady. She wouldn’t make eye contact with me.
Me: “So I’m being fired here, no?”
No one uttered a word, and now the trainer was looking at his shoes as well.
Given that I had no personal effects in the training room, I simply handed them my badge and bounced from the building, then came home and played Lego Batman II before picking my daughter up from my grandmother’s house.
Not that I thought of or
even remembered having been there a couple of weeks later when the check came, but
they PAID me for those eight days(!!!)
I was so surprised when I got that check in the mail a couple of weeks later, remembering that I was also being paid from my normal job at the same time. I used the money to buy me and the little sneakers.
How many times have I done
shit like this? I cannot admit aloud, as
these stories are publicly available be shared and viewed. Therefore, they could find the eyes of
someone who became a victim of my shenanigans, or worst still someone who
WANTED the job I only took to eventually and purposely fuck off. At the end of it, what have I had to
lose? It isn’t like I haven’t remained
gainfully employed in the meantime or will ever have to EXPLAIN that I have technically been fired a few times over the
past 19 years. And even if I DID have to
explain it, what interviewer could honestly sit through a story like that and
not laugh their whole entire ass off?
The supervillain in me is kind of curious to hear the OTHER side of the stories. Periodically, I go to Google or the FaceBook search and throw in specific elements of what I did to see if anyone has ever talked about it.
As yet, my searches have been fruitless.