Pack Your Desk and Leave

In life, there are many losses. Losing the people you love is very, very hard. But so is losing a job that you love. Especially if you are fired.

Have you ever been fired? If you’re like me, it’s a dark, dark cloud that hangs over your heart and takes a long time to disappear. If I think about it now, it still hurts.

One sunny morning, citing “incompatibility”, I was told to pack up my stuff and leave. Bewildered, gutted and stunned, I packed and left.

I was hurt, really hurt. And embarrassed. And ashamed.

I had never been fired before, not even reprimanded for any of the work I did. With four children at home, Doc was now a clerk at the SGI mailroom – not earning enough to support us all and pay the mortgage too. I didn’t know what we would do. I had to find a new job, that’s for sure, and fast.

You have no idea how it feels unless it has happened to you.  I can only guess what it feels like to be “laid off” because of downturns in the economy or in your particular field of work. But to be fired is devastating because you end up putting your own judgment of your abilities into question. At least that’s what happened with me. I went over it again and again and again.

By that time, I had been in the workforce for almost 23 years. I had taken classes at night, kept working through pregnancies (there was no maternity leave back then), and went right back to work after each of my children were born. I was never late for work, was dedicated to whatever job I had — and always a loyal employee.

Thinking about it is still painful.

December 1972

December 1972

There was no “wrongful dismissal” legislation back then so I took it on the chin and moved on.

And all it made me feel was bad.

Storm Clouds and Silver Linings

As much as this was devastating for me it was probably the BEST thing that could have ever happened! I had previously worked with a young chartered accountant who really liked the work I did. He had given me some advice that I took to heart — that I should pursue furthering my experience in small business accounting. I had already taken classes at the University of Regina and had more classes toward a Registered Industrial Accounting designation through the University of British Columbia.

Two months later, I had a position in the Small Business Accounting department with the chartered accountancy, Deloitte, Haskins and Sells — now called Deloitte’s. I had a new challenge to look forward to, with new people to learn from and far, far away from the pain of being fired.

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