First off, thank you everyone for your warm wishes. It means a lot to me to have everyone's support. I was amazed at all the comments!! Anyway, now that you've read "Moving On" - hold on tight for the wild ride that continues from the end of that post...
I think I've always known the Serenity Prayer, but when I started the Program about 12 years ago, I started saying it every night before I went to sleep: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Apparently for 6 1/2 years I didn't have the wisdom, but this is the story of how I found that wisdom and gained the courage to change the one thing in my life that should have been changed a long time ago.
After I gave my notice, things began to change with Satan. First off, that very day he came back from lunch and was all "So congratulations on the new job! Tell me all about it!" I was a little suspicious, and cautiously gave him some minimal details. I later commented to Nice Attorney that I thought Satan might be bipolar. "More like tri-polar," was his reply. So after this little convo, I am sitting at my desk working, when at about 4:30 Satan hands me a memo. "Here, just read this and if you have any comments, you can see me," he says, retreating to his lair.
Said memo went as follows:
This will confirm that you gave me notice that you have accepted a new job and that 11/16/07 will be your last day working here.
You left the office early yesterday without approval from me. I again must emphasize, as I did earlier this year, that you should not leave the office early without my approval.
Finally, I will give you two 10-minute breaks each day (10:00-10:10 and 3:30-3:40). All personal matters should be handled during those breaks. During those breaks you shall continue to take calls from clients and prospective clients. These break times cannot be changed or extended without talking to me. During all other hours you should not be handling personal matters: internet usage, Hot-mail, e-mail, text messaging, phone calls, socializing, etc. The one exception is phone calls to or from your daughter which are allowed at any time.
WHAT??? I didn't know quite how to react. I mean, I was leaving in like TWO AND A HALF WEEKS. And not only did he AGAIN start with the whole "you walked off your job" bullshit, but now he decides to give me "two 10-minute breaks" which aren't even breaks since I can't leave my desk and still have to answer the phone. (On a side note, he said nothing about blogging, so I feel no remorse for doing so during working hours.) When he originally told me he was retiring, he told me we would probably be slow during October and November, and to feel free to bring a book or go online when I was caught up, and all of a sudden he makes it sound like he has to friggin' MONITOR me?? Ridiculous. But hey, only 2 1/2 more weeks, so I decided to suck it up and play along with his little memo.
Of course, NA laughed so hard I was sure he would cough up a lung, and couldn't believe Satan gave me said memo. Actually, there weren't many people who really thought his little memo was anything other than his last ditch effort to be an asshole. But whatever.
So I play along with his little break times on Thursday and Friday, then on Monday Lexie was sick. I stayed home with her like a good mom would, and returned to work on Tuesday. Satan was in pretty much the whole day, constantly looking over my shoulder and making sure I was working hard. Which I was. Honestly. I mean, I only had 12 more days to put up with him, and I had promised to try to make this a smooth transition. So I was trying to make sure everything was in order, and I was up to date on all the current files, and summarizing as many medical records on files as I could to get them ready for settlement. Then at 3:30, I had my official break.
Which was when everything suddenly took a drastic turn.
There I was, reading an e-mail from Lexie's principal which was basically sent out to update all the parents on what was going on at the school. I had read maybe the first sentence, when my phone rang. Now, normally when a person is on "break," they are not required to do things like answer the phones. But as you saw, Satan's idea of a "break" is a bit different than that of, say, an employer who actually follows labor laws... So I answered the phone. First problem was that the receptionist just dumped the call on me. Never told me who was calling or anything, which she is supposed to do. So I found myself speaking to a client's son who, to put it nicely, is somewhat of a pain in the you-know-what. He wanted to know when his mother's settlement check was going to arrive, so she could go to India. It took me the entire rest of my break to explain that I couldn't give him an exact date, that it was actually a complicated process with mailings to several people and signatures and approvals etc, and that if his mother needed to go to India before the check came in, I would highly recommend she speak to Satan about it first.
At which point Satan came storming out of his office and yelled at me to put PITA on hold, and basically blasted me for not just giving him the call in the first place. O-kay. Usually he never wants to talk to clients, but whatever. I transferred the call to him, and started to continue working on a summary I was in the middle of when the fateful call came through.
About ten minutes later, at 3:50, I realized I hadn't finished reading the e-mail, and clicked over to do so. And as Murphy's Law would have it, Satan walked out of his office at that very moment. Out of habit, I switched screens back to my summary, but he went off.
"WHAT WERE YOU JUST DOING?" he yelled.
With a sigh, I clicked back to the e-mail and explained that when PITA called, during my break, I had been in the middle of an e-mail from Lexie's prinicpal, and I had forgotten about it and wanted to finish it quickly now.
That led to a rant that of which I had never been forced to endure as an adult, and would never wish on anyone. He screamed at me that he knew this would happen, that he gave me the memo for a reason, that if I couldn't follow the rules I could just leave, because he wasn't going to pay me to not do my job. He demanded I get said memo, and read it again. Through gritted teeth, and the threat of angry tears, I informed him that I did not have the memo with me. So he promptly printed out another one, threw it on my desk, and said, "It says right there that you cannot change or extend your break time without my permission. And it also says that you are to continue to take client calls during your break, so do not try telling me this was because of a client call. This is your job, and if you can't do it right, you can just go now. I knew you would try to pull this. I simply cannot trust you. You go against my rules when I am here, who knows what is going on when I am not in the office. I won't have an employee who can't do her job. You have been doing nothing, you do everything but the job you were hired to do, and I won't have it. If you cannot follow my rules, then just leave." And he stormed back into his office.
Ok. Six and a half years. You all know how much I have put up with in those loooong years, but all that was nothing compared to this. NA came out of his office, shook his head, and apologized to me. Said no one should be treated like that. But it wasn't his fault, I told him. Although I was feeling fairly certain that if I stayed, the next 12 days would just be more of the same. And I couldn't take it.
I worked out the rest of the day, then the next day I forced myself back into Hell. Thankfully, Satan wasn't in when I arrived. I sat at my desk, looking around, and started thinking about my alternatives. And that's when I realized I was done. I couldn't take one more millisecond of his bullshit. I had tried to do the right thing, offered to bust my ass to get as much in order as I could so he could retire peacefully, offered to explain all the files to his wife so she wouldn't be lost when I left... and he has the audacity to yell at me like I was a small, misbehaving child. Finito.
I felt a surge of adrenaline as I started taking down all my pictures and notes from my bulletin board, put away all my framed pictures, deleted or transferred any personal files I had on the computer... then came the fun part. It was time for me to write my own damn memo. Which went as follows:
On 10/25/07, I gave you noice that I would be terminating my employment on 11/16/07. Yesterday, you indicated that I should leave my position immediately as you felt I was not performing up to your standards. Therefore, pursuant to your request, I will no longer continue my employment as of today's date.
However, as I had planned on working through 11/16/07 and you told me to vacate my post early, I expect compensation through 11/16/07. Please mail my paychecks and all 401K information directly to my home address.
It has been a pleasure working for you, and I wish you continued success in the future.
I printed out the memo, set it on his desk along with my set of office keys, and walked out without even a second glance. And when I got home, all the information for my security clearance from the US Attorney's office was waiting in my mailbox. And? They only need information on you going back 7 years. So any of my past is irrelevant to them, since I have no arrests on record. And I went in the following day for my fingerprinting and to drop off the signature pages, and hopefully within the next few weeks will be starting my new job. I absolutely cannot wait.
As for Satan, he left me a message on my voice mail at home, stating that he did not actually fire me, and he would not pay me through the 16th as I had requested (yeah, I kinda figured that, but my dad told me I should try!). And then? He said that he would be willing to overlook the fact that I walked off my job for the second time as long as I was back in the office the next morning at 8:30 to finish out my last two weeks. Yep, you heard right - he expected me to come back. And wait - it gets even funnier - he told me to call him at 847-555-5555 so he could alert the girls at the front desk to let me in. HE GAVE ME THE PHONE NUMBER OF THE PLACE I HAD WORKED AT FOR SIX AND A HALF YEARS LIKE I WOULDN'T HAVE KNOWN IT. Unbelieveable.
His phone call actually made me feel much better about leaving. What an ass. And everyone I talked to about it was so happy for me, especially Nice Attorney. He called me later that day and told me that Satan had told him I left, but had said "I don't know what she was thinking, she can't afford to give up two weeks' pay." Like I needed him since I was a single mom. Guess what? I can manage, asshole. I'm picking up extra shifts at RL for the time being, and my favorite old boss Leo has me doing some extra work for him as well. It may be tight for this month, but I can manage. And there is no amount of money that is worth being treated like an emotional punching bag.
Finally, two days later, on Friday afternoon, I received a certified letter from Satan. This time, he put in writing all my hideous offenses (mostly bullshit, but whatever, let him vent), then ended the letter by saying that he was willing to overlook all said offenses as long as I was back in the office Monday, November 5 at 8:30 am. And I quote, " I look forward to hearing from you."
HA!!! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!! I almost peed myself laughing at that letter. And he won't ever be hearing from me again, thank you very much. My sources on his floor in the office building tell me he is scrambling like the rat he is trying to figure out how to do my job and finish all the crap he needs to do by his scheduled move out day of November 30. Again - more gleeful laughter on my part. The thing that kills me is that he totally brought this whole thing on himself. His damn supersized ego had him convinced that I would never have the guts to walk out on him, and that he could pretty much treat me any way he liked. Sucks to be wrong, doesn't it, Satan?
And come to think of it, it also sucks to be YOU.