Standing On A Chair

Telling it like I see it…

Rants from the Chair: On Being Fired

I’ve been fired from two jobs in my lifetime. 

I was 38 years old the first time I was fired back in 1986, the searing pain of which has so diminished, it’s difficult to go back there in my mind and feel it all over again.  But I’ll try: 

I worked as an assistant for an attorney who had an incredibly insecure fiancé.  She was quite beautiful, actually, but nevertheless a jealous person.  On one afternoon my boss asked that I run an errand for him.  He needed me to pick up his fiancé’s custom-crafted engagement ring for him.  The thing was spectacular.  A few days later, I happened to encounter said fiancé at the local watering hole.  She was with a group of her girlfriends, and so was I.  I walked over to her table, to be polite, and greeted her warmly.  She gave me a thin, straight smile.  I mentioned her beautiful ring.  She offered up her hand for me to look at closely. “Oh, I’ve already seen it!” I beamed.  “I had the privilege of picking it up from the jeweler!”

Kiss of death.

The next afternoon, at the end of the workday, I was flat-out fired, no notice, no compensation, no severance.  Just, “How dare you tell my fiancé you picked up her ring?  Hand over your key and be gone.”

As I recall, I drove straight to my parents’ house (where I normally would be going anyway to pick up my little girl), I threw open the front door and shrieked, “I’VE BEEN FIRED!”  I then remember making a bee-line for my father, who sat up straight in his recliner, all bug-eyed over my startling announcement.  I threw down my purse and crawled into his lap, where I curled into the fetal position and sobbed as my stunned mother and child looked on.

The absolute very best thing that came from such a devastating turn of events was being stroked and held by my father, which hadn’t happened in a long time up to that point, and which is what I hold most dear to me when I think back on that time.

As it turns out, I bounced back quickly, found another job almost immediately and was back on my way again.

I was 55 years old when I was fired the second time.

You wanna talk about a person’s world being rocked?  Turned completely upside down?  A pounding to the psyche that transcends every other horrible thing that has happened heretofore?

I’ll tell you all about that next week.

Stay tuned for Part 2


April 26, 2011 - Posted by | Jobs | , ,


  1. Damn. I don’t know if I am looking forward to part 2 or dreading it, but I know I’ll be watching for it in my in box.

    I was fired once in 1975 and am not over it yet.

    Comment by Becky Day Wilson | April 26, 2011 | Reply

  2. another teaser!
    You’re killing me Jill!

    Comment by Terry Sexton | April 26, 2011 | Reply

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