Goldi's Locks of Yarn

My place to discuss my raging obsession with yarn and crochet along with happenings in my life and the world at large

Monday, November 07, 2005

Seven minutes

It's amazing how quickly a life can be turned upside down. I can even give you the exact amount of time it takes: seven minutes.

That is how many minutes late I was this morning, this despite the fact that I had left the house and started my journey at the exact same time I had all last week and managed to be up to 10 minutes early that whole time! But not today. Today, the highway was a veritable parking lot for nearly a twenty-mile stretch. I've been trying to avoid the local route lately thanks to the ever-present construction which has had that snarled for some time now. Today was just one of those traffic days, ya know? According to the traffic reports, it was bad everywhere.

But that was no excuse, not for me anyway. I am supposed to know when it's gonna be a bad traffic day and plan accordingly by leaving a half hour early. Either that, or magically have my car sprout wings. I don't get the traffic reports until I'm in my car. The radio reception in my house is lousy, and I can't pick up anything but local stations which give me no information (I live 40 miles away in another state from where I work). I did used to have a link for traffic online but that was a few computer crashes ago and besides, it only reported on the highways, not the local routes.

Regardless, the traffic reports were practically useless this morning anyway. They reported that things were clearing up on my route when in fact, they weren't. Once I got onto the highway, I was stuck. It turned out to be due to construction, a new project, just started today! A fact which the traffic reporter failed to report.

By the clock, I was 7 minutes past my starting time when I punched in, having lost an additional 3 minutes getting off the tollway because of a slow-moving vehicle ahead of me, causing me to miss the green (and it's an excruciatingly long light, especially when you can hear that clock ticking), and another minute and a half scrambling through two password screens and waiting for what seemed like an eternity (but was, in fact, a minute and a half - I was watching the clock as I waited impatiently) to be able to hit the "punch in" button.

Seven minutes.

Our time-keeping system will automatically mark you as "tardy" at 8 minutes, as it rounds the time out to the nearest quarter hour.

Seven minutes.

Even if I hadn't lost the additional 4 1/2 minutes, I would have still been clocking in "late" at 32 or 33 minutes, and the outcome probably would not have been different. Maybe.

Because I had numerous things to do to get ready for my trip in addition to my regular work, I wasted no time jumping in and getting to it (after making my mad dash to the restroom, made more urgent by the extra time spent in traffic). About an hour later, my phone rang. It was my boss, calling from her "other" office down the hall (she has two). She had been in a meeting in the office next to mine when I arrived, and then had disappeared so I hadn't had a chance to even talk to her. Sure enough, when I got to her office, our "Human Resources"*
person was sitting there waiting with her, yellow pad on her lap. I knew what this was about. (*I put that title in quotes because this gal was formerly one of our receptionists and has had no formal training in Human Resources, just to be clear. She's just another "go-fer" for my boss, with a fancy title to help her feel like she's important)

Seven minutes.

I am not allowed to be ONE minute late anymore, let alone seven. I had been told that the next time I was late, I would be sent home for two days without pay. A second incident would see me fired. This is what has been hanging over my head for the last three months. It has brought me to a near nervous breakdown and definitely has damaged my health. I was told it was "corporate policy". Only problem is, there are a LOT of people with tardiness issues at my company (even my own daughter, lately). I was the ONLY one living under this decree.

What I was told this morning was that I would be sent home - without pay - through Wednesday. And that my trip was canceled.

For seven minutes.

Seven minutes that I had absolutely NO control over.

Angry doesn't even BEGIN to describe my emotion at that point. I stormed out and returned to my office to pack up my things. At that point, all I wanted was to get the hell out of there. My boss had followed me back to my office, and I made some remark (can't recall exactly what I said) to the effect of she knew where she could stick that "corporate policy". I'm pretty sure I didn't swear, but I might as well have.

She said. "You're fired."

And so I packed some more, gathering up what I'd had left of over nine years working there and dragging it all out to my car while she stood and watched my every move (like I'm going to start destroying company property or something). I had previously filtered a lot of stuff and reduced the amount, knowing that this day would probably arrive sometime, but there was still alot there. I hope I didn't forget anything important if I did overlook anything.

I had to stop for gas on the way home, and a couple of things at the grocery store (critically mindful of the fact that every penny is now precious), finally reached sanctuary around noon. I've tried not to think too much about all of this all afternoon, burying myself in my Seraphina project. I did talk to my daughter, though. She said my boss called her down to her office to let her know that this would in no way affect her job, that she was considered a valuable member of the company. Needless to say, she was not very happy about it all (she told me she'd spent about a half hour in the bathroom afterward. Even though she didn't say so, I know she was crying. She also mentioned she'd spent a considerable amount of time sitting in her car "venting" to her girlfriend), and again suggested I look into a possible harassment lawsuit. I have evidence that I was definitely singled out, which led me to the conclusion that getting me out of the company was the goal for some time now. Why? I haven't got a clue, to be honest. This originates with my boss, a singularly passive-aggressive woman who is seriously ambitious and neurotically addicted to her job and all the power and control that came with it (she is, in addition to being the accounting department manager, the Controller of our branch of the company). For whatever reason, she seems to have thought that I was some threat to her, which couldn't have been further from the truth. Ambitious I have never been. I just wanted to do my job to the best of my ability (and, until recently, thanks to the unrelenting stress, I was damn good at it) and go home. But logic has never been a party to this whole sorry mess. I could speculate on that forever and probably never come up with a satisfactory answer. The closest I can think of, off-hand, is that she knew she couldn't control me, and that I was very much aware of all her shortcomings business-wise (I forgot to mention the ego about the size of Lake Michigan), over the years I've helped cover many many mistakes she'd made. Expensive mistakes at times. I guess I was dangerous in some way. Who knows?

So now I have to figure out what I'm going to do. Starting tomorrow.

Today will be given completely over to crocheting, and browsing. (and will continue on for as long as I feel like it, seeing as how it is now around 11 pm, several hours since I wrote this post and then let it sit while I crocheted and played. It's all good.)

Of course, this means no more yarn shopping for awhile. Maybe that's why I've been stashing like a madwoman these past several months - I knew this day would come. With the terms that had been set for me, it was inevitable. I just wish it hadn't happened until after the trip. I really needed that money. And I do feel bad for the folks that are going to get screwed (and there are several of them, both involved with the onsite job and back at the office) due to her decision. But I guess that's not any of my concern, or should be...

I did talk to a co-worker friend a short while ago to let him know what was going on. He works part time there and has also been receiving a lot of pressure from her. If I didn't know any better, I'd be thinking she was trying to push the whole department out. But that makes no sense at all, as it could conceivably destroy her job too.

While talking to my friend, I casually mentioned a fact that he was unaware of that then seemed to take on more significance, in light of everything. She's on antidepressants, has been for several years. Having been on them myself for a period of 6 years straight, I recognize signs of instability in her that I experienced myself due to the drugs. It's very subtle stuff, and often can only be recognized in hindsight, as it was in my case. That's why I won't touch them again, no matter how bad things get. But I can definitely see the effects on her, especially in hindsight. Maybe someday I will compile the info I have on these drugs, much of it has been censored in this country. But not tonight.

Maybe I'm still in shock. Or maybe, despite the pending panic over my financial situation, I am merely feeling a burden has been lifted. All I know is that once I got over my initial reaction, I felt fairly calm and... okay. It did occur to me that she probably did me a favor by cutting me loose today, as I was too fearful to do it myself.

I may be thinking otherwise by tomorrow, lol! But I'm going to enjoy this feeling for now. Tomorrow is another day...


  • At 1:55 AM, Blogger Marvie said…

    What a royal bitch! Thought I think you're going to be better off in the long run to be away from her. Sending you lots of positive energy for job hunting! You know the old saying about how when one door closes, another one opens? Well keep your eyes open chica, you never know what kind of door it might be! {{HUGS}}

  • At 2:29 AM, Blogger Wendy said…

    Document everything. When you go to file unemployment you will probably have to fight to get it. If you document it all now it will be easier to remember and look back on if you need it. Sorry you were fired, I was fired once about 10 years ago unreasonably. Try not to get to stressed over it.

  • At 6:18 AM, Blogger Kari said…

    You'll be ok. Just keep tellig yourself. She sounds like the counter part to my hubbys ex boss, it wasn't being late with him it was him blaming my husband for every mistake he himself had made but seemingly forgot it was him that did it. Hubby started pointing these things out and the pressure was on.
    *hugs* Sending positive energyyour way.

  • At 8:21 AM, Blogger Deneen said…

    Oh Goldi, that bites, really bites. Wendy is right, document everything. Write it all out, everything, even the most insignificant thing right now.

  • At 2:46 PM, Anonymous Harmony said…


    Your boss sounds like a bitch- and the working atmosphere sounds so poisonous! While I understand that it is quite a shock to be unjustly fired like that...still I can't help but be relieved for you at the same time.

    THIS IS SYNCHRONICITY, too... My husband just quit his job of six years this week! The man he is working with (he is not my husband's boss, because he insisted on hiring my husband as a private consultant so that he could avoid having to pay benefits,etc). anyway, the man my husband was working with has a rotten attitude (yes, big ego too)..and has exploited my husband, taking 65% profit off his work and giving my husband 35%.

    We understand very well the panic that can set in... but even so, congratulations at least for being out of JOB HELL...

    and may you find a more creatively fulfilling one (closer to home and minus the traffic jams) deserve the best!!!
    Someone is Stealing Your Life
    by Michael Ventura


  • At 3:15 PM, Anonymous Joe said…

    All the advice you've gotten so far is good. Document the hell out of the situation and keep it all safe b/c you never know when you will need it. Mark knows employment law inside out and I wish we lived closer so he could advise you... But another door will open for you, when the time is right. Having endured a poisonous workplace for 2 years, I quit and am still experiencing the backlash. I know that you will need time to rest, recuperate, and sort thru the emotional flotsam that comes with this event. Please take that time, perhaps by filing for short-term unemployment so you can recover.

  • At 3:18 PM, Anonymous Morgana said…

    Hi Goldi,
    This is devastating to deal with and I understand your shock.
    They HAVE to give you severance pay down there don't they? It is the rule in Canada.
    This is such a bad time of the year for job hunting Goldi, but since this whole 'firing' has happened, it must mean that something better is right around the corner.
    Remember the old saying, one door closes, and another opens.
    Be kind to yourself today, hey, make some martini's...tomorrow IS another day,
    love and hugs, Morgana

  • At 12:52 PM, Blogger Jessica said…

    Aw, man, that just sucks! Pretty much the same thing just happened to a friend of mine - it must be something in the air.

    You are strong and you'll find an employer who will value your talents and skills and you'll be way happier than you will have ever been in your previous job.

    I know it. :)


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