An Open Letter To the First Person To Fire Me

it started with the words – with all due respect

I know I am not a perfect human. In fact, most days I can be resentful, fiercely independent, and act in uncontainable ways that then haunt me long after they should. I understand that some people believe in forgiveness, but for many things I have done – big and small – I hold on to them as reminders of a person I never wanted to be. I believe in asking for forgiveness, but I prefer to ask for permission first – this is how I have always been at work.

Personally, I have never had an issue with respect. My bosses, my supervisors, I have always known the chain of command and how to follow it – but to that same end, respect is earned and it needs to be mutual for a business to work properly. That being said, disrespect is something I do not tolerate when I have earned the opposite. It took me too long to know my worth and know it shouldn’t be questioned or overlooked – so when it was, I acted in a way that was respectful, but demanded answers in a way that no one before me had dared to.

i do not regret being my own advocate

I value myself a thoughtful person, but back in the beginning of this year, after working myself ragged for an employer who did not know my worth, I played my  hand and lost.

Before February I had never been dismissed from a position. In my lifetime I have worked countless jobs, constantly doubted myself, thought of occasions where I didn’t deserved to be dismissed but was disappointed in myself and thought I should be – and through it all I kept working, kept striving to be better, kept improving and then – my streak ended.

If I am being completely honest, I kind of appreciate failure. I like the lessons it gives me, and the lasting feeling that I have to do better than before. If I am being completely honest – I love failing once, because it means that I will never let it happen again.

to the poet, educator, boss, and executioner that allowed me to realize what my skills are truly worth. thank you.

The reason I write this to you all today is because the other day my past came up in a conversation about someone’s present. You see she now holds a position I used to, and like me she was not trained and she now knows the weight all of us have bore.

It isn’t an easy job – but I picked my replacement wisely. It wasn’t an easy exit, I lost a lot of friends – But I did what I did because I knew I could do better, and I knew we were going no where fast if we continued the way we were going. Unlike a lot of people who may not understand this [understand what I did] I knew the risk of hitting send, and I nailed my coffin accordingly.

looking back

Despite popular opinion, I loved my job. I loved the torment of formatting, the pain of wordsmithing, and more than anything I loved designing – covers, websites, social media and more. I loved being in control of something with so much potential because no one around me knew about it.

I put hours, countless hours into designing, playing with techniques, making a product from nothing [while at other jobs], networking and [regrettably] sending emails from behind the wheel, restaurants, the dinner table, you name it.

and yet after all this I was asked to step down – not for being incapable, not for missing a deadline, not for hurting the image of the business, but because I asserted myself from the corner I was backed into. And none of it was legal – but it also wasn’t worth the fight or the fallout.

how did something so wrong allow me to feel so right??

Well, the day before I was asked to step down [sorry not asked, demanded] I sat in front of my employer who told me to sit down, be quiet and listen. Anybody who knows me knows how hard that blow hit. I was so excited about what I was doing, how could I not have so many ideas, so many plans? I talked fast but only because I was passionate, and to me that wasn’t wrong it was a benefit of someone who loved her job.

It didn’t matter.

And while most would be mad about that moment, for me it was a catalyst – it started the gears in my head. That day I was ready to conquer all of my plans. Then advice came – advice that didn’t read like advice and I cracked. I knew the trust was not there, the respect was not there, I knew I was meant to be a lap dog – but I am no lap dog.

Long story short I was fired days later [told to step down] and while at first I was utterly crushed. While I walked out of that room broken for more reason than one. I COULDNT BE MORE GRATEFUL FOR THAT DAY.

thank you

I think it benefits everyone to lose a job they love – to lose one thing they love – because it teaches value. That day I learned my own value, the value of my skills, and honestly, I would not be where I am today without that time I got fired.

So to the first person to fire me, I am sorry – because I don’t think I will ever be able to thank you enough for not only teaching me what I am worth – but for setting me free to do and continue to do what I have always known myself to be capable of.

-R

pexels-photo-1153838

 

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