Thursday, October 15, 2015

Life Update

Just wanted to share a little life update to make up for the last year.

I am working full time as an enrollment adviser for an online technical school. We specialize in online certifications and have a low price/high job placement model that makes our school VERY unique. I love my coworkers, have great benefits, and am compensated really well. The company is moving to Lehi in the next 6 months, so a lot of big changes are coming at our house-including a potential move.

I am going to school full time online through SUU to finish my bachelors degree. So I am currently a full time student, a full time employee, and a full time mom and wife.

Colton is currently loving the "stay at home dad" life. He teaches about 5 guitar lessons every day, and has a waiting list a mile long. He is hoping to get into nursing school in January, and we are just trying to tie up some lose ends to make that happen. I personally love having him home, he is the best housekeeper and takes really good care of me with how much I work.

Matai is currently in his second year of pre-school. He was accepted into a government program for kids with "special needs" as his speech is a little behind. This last year we have seen a dramatic difference in his speech, and he really loves going to school every day.

Tai is currently in gymnastic classes (which he LOVES) and is a very active little boy. He loves animals, planes, cars and more recently Legos (Weggos.) He also really loves his friends Giddy, Kru, and Kase. He spent the last couple of months attached at the hip to his cousin Kruz who was here visiting from New Zealand.

We have 2 cats and 2 dogs. I don't know when we went from 0-crazy animal people, but I can assure you (and my neighbors) that we are not getting anymore pets. Long story short, we adopted one cat, (Jekyl) and my parents (my dad) adopted his brother, Hide. Then my parents (my mom) decided they didn't want a cat, so we ended up with 2. Well, since they have each other, they want nothing to do with us, and our hopes of getting Tai an animal friend were in vain.

We then rescued a 2 year old Golden Retriever (who was named Copenhagen, which we changed to Cooper, for obvious reasons.) He is a GREAT dog, but has a lot of separation anxiety because of how he was brought up. To try and curb the anxiety, we thought it would be best to get another golden retriever as a companion.

So basically what I'm trying to tell you is, see! I'm not crazy.
And if my house smells like animals, and you don't tell me, you aren't really my friend.
(The animals are outside most of the time and Colton is an obsessive vacuum-er.)

That is our life in a little tiny pine-nut shell. (I love pine nuts.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

..So That Better Things Can Fall Together

After I got let go, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out where to go next.
In order to afford the new home we were in, I couldn't go back to a low paying job, and I had felt like I "lucked out" when it came to my "dream job."

I was so scared that I wouldn't be able to find a job that paid what I needed to make, and that we would end up needing to rent out our home.

Despite the horrible timing, we also really lucked out.

Because we had just signed on our mortgage, we had two months where we didn't have to make a house payment. That was a major blessing.

I was also able to collect unemployment, and in turn save for the next few mortgage payments while we were "rent free."

It was nice for me to be able to take a few months off. I knew there would be very few opportunities in my life that I could stay at home with Tai, and have an income.

 I really took advantage of it because I needed to figure out what I wanted, and where I needed to be.

A few weeks before my unemployment stopped, I was scrolling through job openings, and an Academic Adviser position popped up. I didn't really have a background in Advising, but the salary was great, and the drive wasn't too bad.

I submitted my resume on a whim, and got a call the same day.
I interviewed the day after that, and was offered the position that evening.

It was such a whirlwind.

After losing a job I loved, being a stay at home mom for 4 months and then getting a job offer that required me to drive 25 miles through the canyon everyday (a huge fear of mine) I had no idea what to expect.

It took a lot of time to adjust to a new job, new coworkers, and a new schedule.

Looking back, I still can't believe how lucky I got.

The way everything happened, the timing of being let go, my unemployment running out and the position coming available at my new job, it all worked out perfectly.

I found out later that my work almost never hires people from job postings. I would say that 99% of our new hires come through referrals. So the fact that I got in during the small window when they were hiring, really speaks to how lucky I was and how perfect the timing was.

Without the experience I gained at 123, I would have never been able to land this job.

I love my new coworkers. I love coming to work. I have so many more opportunities than I did at my last job, and we are paid in money, not just "perks."

This whole situation has been a big "let go and let god" experience for me.

Sometimes Good Things Fall Apart...

It's been 1 year. 8 months. 21 days. Since I last wrote in my blog.

1 year, 8 months ago, I was working at my "dream job" with my "dream coworkers."
I had just signed the papers for a home I would never have dreamed of purchasing.
I felt untouchable.

And then I got let go.

To say that it came as a shock would be an understatement.

I was leading my team.
I was good at my job.
I had a lot of great friends that I worked with.
I LOVED my job.
This was my CAREER. I wasn't going anywhere.

Looking back at what happened to me, what was "done" to me, still hurts.
I had JUST signed on my house two weeks before.
My company had let quite a few people go because of budget issues, but my supervisor swore up and down that I was safe. That I should sign the house papers.

"If I had to let go of 12 people today (our team had 15) you wouldn't be one of them. Go get that house!"

And then he got let go. And it was Valentines day. And when the flower delivery guy dropped off my Valentine's roses, I was crying. (And he probably thought I hated my husband.) I was crying for the uncertainty. I was crying over losing a good supervisor.

We got brought into a meeting. A meeting where they told us that they would give severance checks to anyone who didn't feel like this was a good fit for them. They encouraged us to think it over and come talk to them.

I immediately pulled my boss aside. I needed to confirm that I was still okay to take my time off the next day, and let him know I wasn't interested in leaving.

"I am so glad you pulled me aside" he said, "I don't think this is a good fit for you either."


I was leading the team that month.
Every single meeting I had with my supervisor was full of praise.

I left that meeting in tears. I walked in confident and left thinking I didn't have a job.

I talked to my coworkers.
"No way they would let you go."
"You are leading the team, you have a great book of business."

I went home in tears. In shock.
It was Valentines day.
Colton had planned a night out at a fancy dinner where he was friends with the chef.
And all I could do was cry.

We drove to Denver the next day. I had a meeting with a tv producer that I couldn't miss.
It was our first non-baby vacation and I was miserable the whole time.

I got back on Monday, scared to death. We immediately got pulled into a meeting, where we were told "good news." They wanted to keep everyone. They weren't doing any cuts. Everyone was there for a reason. "Mary and I had a great chat last week, and I'm really excited to work with all of you."

I felt like I had dodged a bullet.
I called Colton and said "everything is okay, they aren't laying anyone off!"

Later that day my supervisor came in and asked for copies of my weekly supervisor notes.  He said that my direct supervisor had taken his notes with him when he got let go and that they were trying to get copies from everyone. I didn't think much of it, collected my notes (the only copies I had) and gave them to him.

That evening, he asked if we could sit down and continue our conversation from last week. I was happy to oblige and didn't think anything of it. I was certain we would be discussing moving forward and how to improve my work.

My boss immediately started the meeting "Mary, how has your month been going so far?"
"Great" I said. "I'm over goal, leading the team, and expect to have a great week next week. 55 out of my 60 doctors have mailed this month."

"Wow" he said. "That's an incredible book of business you have. You have worked really hard to get it where it is."

And then he proceeded to tell me that "things had changed" and they "needed to let someone go."

That someone was me.

I was told I wasn't good at my job. That it wasn't a good fit for me. That I had "multiple write ups" and that my previous supervisor had reported multiple disciplinary actions against me. When I asked for proof of these, they said they simply "didn't have them." But the decision had been made.

I was then given a severance check. And asked to sign a paper saying I wouldn't sue.

Because you always pay severance to an employee who is being let go for multiple write ups.

I walked out in tears. My coworkers were shocked. Many of them objected on my behalf.
How do you let go the only girl on the team when she is one of those leading it?

I received a text from my boss later that night. He was so sorry about what had happened. He felt terrible. He had been in tears ever since it happened.

He couldn't wait for the day the that he ran into me, and I told him how much better I was doing.
He offered to fix my resume. He told me he had connections at any good business I wanted to get into. He would give me a reference. He would write my letter of recommendation.

To say that it was a nightmare is an understatement.
I knew that I had been let go for the wrong reasons.
I knew that I had been lied to.
And my family was the one taking the hit for it.
I couldn't even enjoy my new house, because I couldn't afford it.

I heard stories for weeks after that. About how the CEO didn't even know I had been let go.
The VP was furious when he heard. Multiple employees had called out management for basically screwing me over.

But I never got a call.

I never got an explanation.

And I was too heartbroken to write about it.
I was embarrassed. I was angry. I was hurt.

At the end of the day, the company wasn't doing as well as they pretended. They were letting people go left and right, and spending money on frivolous things to appear wealthy.

Since then, almost every single person that I worked with has been let go for one reason or the other. Some of my dearest friends have been replaced as they built new houses, moved cities and brought babies into the world.

I know now that it was inevitable. There was nothing that I could have done to keep my position, and it was all just a matter of time.

{To be continued...}