This morning as I drove in to the gas station, I noticed a former co-worker fueling up. I parked at the adjacent pump and called out a greeting as he was headed toward the building. He came over and gave me a one-armed hugged.
He asked what I was doing now. Upon hearing that I’m still unemployed, he gave me such a pitying look that I actually get embarrassed when I think of it. He was all, “I just hate how they did you…” While I do appreciate the sympathy, I absolutely do not think of myself as cause for pity.
Okay, I had plenty of pity parties myself right after I was fired, but now I’m feeling more optimistic, and I tried to convey that. I told my former co-worker that I *could* have a job now, but it’d be something I didn’t want. “I don’t mind taking my time and finding something good,” I insisted, to which my former co-worker gave me another oh-she’s-being-so-brave-about-all-this look.
He’s still working at that company, and he said that business is picking up. He asked if I’d consider coming back. He’s in no position to hire me, nor do I reckon that he has any influence on those who do. And really, it doesn’t matter what I would or wouldn’t do; since I was fired for less-than-stellar performance, I’m fairly positive they wouldn’t hire me back anyway. But *just* in case, if any of the higher-ups bumps his head and starts to think about me, for the record I told my former co-worker that I would not come back.
On the way home I heard “I Will Survive,” and I mentally dedicated it to my former bosses, especially the first part: “At first, I was afraid. I was petrified! Kept thinkin’ I could never live without you by my side. But then I spent so many nights, thinkin’ how you did me wrong, and I grew strong…” Yeah, getting fired threw me for a (gargantuan, industrial-sized) loop, but I’m past that now, and I’m really looking forward to the new opportunities I’ll have.
So, my former co-workers, please spare me your pity. If you want to show your support, join me in happily pondering the good things the future holds for me. Or buy me some lunch, if you prefer to give something more tangible. 😉