So, most people know me as the smart, over achiever, who was striving to climb the corporate ladder (and I was doing a great job of it).
I didn’t have a shitty childhood or horrible up bringing. But, my parents divorced when I was very young, which took a toll on my family.
I never realized how much of an impact it had on me until now.
All those years I grew up just trying to get my Dad’s approval. I went to school and worked jobs I never wanted to work just because I thought it would make him happy. I tried to pursue a life — my whole life — to please my Dad.
I can’t really say what led up to the start of my pursuit for “something bigger” something “more,” but I think it was a combination of things.
I assume everyone is raised to know right from wrong but some of the largest financial institutions in America didn’t seem to have the same values.
Corporate America F*@#&% Me Over
“I remember my boss calling me the “B” word,” the girl I was replacing told me as she was preparing to leave. And, one of my managers asked if I could work with someone who had a “difficult” personality. I didn’t think much of it at the time. I just laded a gig that was paying me more than double my prior years salary! Yeah, I replied.
I was in my early twenties, living on my own, making my own money, and loving life. Minus the 30 minute commute (each way), I had a great job and promising future with a very prestigious firm.
It pissed me off even trying to name all of the extra crap I did for these people. I worked late nights, weekends, off days, not to mention during my lunch breaks. I helped them transition their team.
The numerous unethical and probably close to illegal activities I was asked to partake in are too numerous to count. I’ve been requested to “doctor-up” expense receipts, tell clients to sell assets for no justifiable reason other than to make a profit off of them, and forced to accept documents with questionable signatures (or none at all). The list goes on…
I remember the administrative assistant on our team; she had worked with them for 10 years before I arrived. My bosses thought she was an angel. I can’t tell you how many times I sat there and watched her put clients on hold to call radio stations giving away just about anything you could think of!
No joke, I had a client calling in to deposit money NEW money aka your paycheck!?! And, their little angel of an admin staff got mad at me for not telling the client to call back because she was too busy trying to win concert tickets ALL day.
The same admin staff that when we were given $500 Spa Gift Certificates she asked if she could trade them in for football tickets for her husband. I mean they were giving us a nice day off to go to the spa for all of our hard work and you told them you would rather use the money for something else much less your husband — ummm FYI he doesn’t work for them.
Bring on the Interns
I was so tired of doing her job, plus mine. They even saw how busy we were getting and decided to hire interns (which I had to train) to help do her job.
I was asked to do so many things that were obviously wrong, unethical, straight up NOT what I was trained to do when I started with the corporation. What was I to do? I hated going to work. It had became evident I was working more than anyone else.
My Early Retirement
After, a few years and automating the daily processes for the team. I was eager to take some of my vacation (I had been denied in years prior). I had trained an intern whom they decided to hire part time to assist me while he was in college.
I have to say he was AMAZING! I couldn’t have asked for a better assistant. My bosses were so impressed with my training, that they asked if I wanted to hire him full-time after he graduated college. Of course, I said yes!
Little did I know he would be my replacement.
I remember the day my one bosses left for vacation while one was just returning from a two week trip to Walt Disney. My bosses calendar just had an “L” on it. I had seen it for a month or so but didn’t think much of it.
I overheard him telling the admin staff “Laura” was coming to work at our office for the day. It wasn’t out of the ordinary for her to come just usually it was announced because she was from compliance. Hence, her visits we not often everyone’s favorite days to be at work.
Anyhow, my boss called me into his office with HR sitting across the table. I knew what was up real quick. He told me they couldn’t afford to keep me on anymore. They would be laying me off with severance pay.
I was in shock to say the least and I had no idea what to say. I had never been let go from a job before. Tears began to fill my eyes, I had just bought a new car.
The only question I remember asking was,
“when did you decide to fire me, because you just gave me a raise?”
His reply — “about a month ago.” Humm, funny thing is that “L” had been on the calendar all that time, I just had NO way of knowing.
(By the way — one of my bosses didn’t even attend my termination because she was on vacation let me remind you.) Okay, so you can’t afford me, but you are all on vacation. Hummmm….
The Cover Up
On a side note, if any of you are wondering about how they got away with hiring the intern while firing me claiming the reason lack of funds. Well — it’s called lying and being shady.
My employers paid me out of their revenue the team brought in. As far as my intern, the corporation would pay for him, as long as, he brought in assets with a few strings attached of course. But, my bosses dirty way around the system was to drop small accounts in my interns (now assistant’s) name to make it look like he was bringing in new business according to the “system.”
So yeah, I got paid to train my replacement. During my departure, the entire office was in shock. I can’t tell you how many personal emails, calls, and text I received wondering “what happened and why me out of everyone.”
Well, when you make more than everyone else you have a target on your back — my boss told me from day one.
Moving On Up
Needless to say my layoff was a blessing in disguise. I ended up relocating to a new office with the same corporation but a new position. The commute was less than 10 minutes from home. I eventually sold my car, and walked to work. Not too mention, I just got a $30K+ increase in pay.
I worked on a very prestigious team and managed to jump the corporate ladder big time. I was excited to start something new and closer to home. I thought I had really made it. My boss was so supportive and plus he thought my old bosses were despicable for what they had done to me. I also later found out they didn’t have the best reputation within the company.
However a few years later, I found myself working long hours — off the clock. I was asked to drink while on the job, work every holiday, and lie for others on my team for numerous reasons.
The Final Straw
My (new) boss called me in for our yearly evaluation. I was so pleased to hear him say, “you are doing great, I don’t want you to change a thing.”
In the same meeting, he told me the team needed to make more money or we may all be up for elimination come the end of the year. He led on to say the other team mates were not pulling their weight and he wanted me to help him generate some revenue (behind their back). It was my boss and I wanted to keep my job, so I agreed to help how ever I could.
The only problem was I worked with a team of middle age adults that cared more about drinking and taking vacations than they did working. Every time I completed a task they would be right behind me micro managing me instead of drumming up new business.
The more I worked for this team I figured out they were just chilling collecting their paychecks and planning their next vacation all while I was the only one WORKING.
There were a few things, that led up to my eventual departure, but mainly I knew I was tired of trying to go somewhere for a team that didn’t want to go anywhere except home.
There wasn’t any dramatic event, honestly I was just planning my exit. I was so scared and trying to talk myself into saying, “I quit.” The day finally came when I decided I wasn’t going back. The environment was toxic like poison to my soul. I hated my job, and I was tired of trying. Now, I was just there to collect a paycheck.
The BIG Reveal — I quit via email. 🙂 And, haven’t ever looked back, no regrets and let me tell you why.
I am the happiest I have ever been, have gained more experience and education than I did in high school plus college combined. I have been able to pay all of my bills just the same as I did before, but can arrange my schedule to spend more time with family and doing the things I love.
The list could go on forever, but I can tell you QUITTING my job was the best decision I ever made. No amount of money made up for the corporate, political, TOXIC HELL I was forced to work in.
I had a conversation with an old colleague the other day telling me how my old bosses fired me “due to money” then bought new houses, installed pools, as well as, dropped $400k on private school and a Maserati — after my departure. Hurting for money and worried about the business, huh?
And for the second team that hated to work, I found out they all lost their jobs the same day. The firm closed the entire office and let them all go. Bitter sweet ending, but everyone will have their day because the funny thing is you reap what you sow.
I could care less where they are now because regardless I know they hate their jobs and life. No amount of money would make me happy to have that.
I gave up a lot to become an entrepreneur and the only regret I have is that I wish I would have quit my job sooner.