A month or two ago, I got a notification from wordpress that Aria’s Coolade was now following me.
I thought that was a very cool name for a blog, so I decided to check out it out. She just had two posts, and from the comments section, I discovered she was Kenyan, and that I could probably know her. I was, and still am very curious to know who Aria is 🙂
Aria is still very new in this here blogosphere, but reading her stuff makes you wonder why she took so long to start blogging! She writes beautifully, her descriptions paint the perfect picture in your mind and her stories are very relatable. I always look forward to reading her posts so I was very glad she agreed to guest post on Revealed.
Check out her blog, Aria’s Coolade for tales of fact, fiction and everything in between.
Excited! That’s an understatement when I think about my first reaction when the chirpy Nkiro asked me to write a guest post for her. I couldn’t believe someone, let alone a seasoned blogger, had asked me to grace her corner of WordPress. Many thanks to the lovely Nkirdizzle 🙂
Getting fired was not on my bucket list of ‘Things to do before I turned 30.’ Sky diving? Definitely. An across Africa road trip? Very likely. Spend a crazy week partying it up in Ibiza? Damn straight. Get hitched? Possibly. Start and successfully run my own business? Wholeheartedly. But getting fired? Never saw that coming.
I got back from the Queen’s land full of hopes,dreams and grand illusions. I sent out applications to all top notch organizations confident something would come up pretty soon. I didn’t stress; I knew my lofty job was on its way. One month….two….four….eight….crickets! I would go on interviews but the feedback I kept getting was that I was overqualified or that I had the right papers but not enough practical work experience. So there I was, 8 months into the jobless zone when I got a call from an organization I had interviewed at some months earlier. A new position had opened up, they said, and they wanted me to take it up. I was excited. Finally! A job! Plus, the prospect of a regular source of income didn’t hurt one bit. I dusted off my suits and got ready to rejoin the rat race.
Week one was mainly orientation and trying to remember everyone’s name. They all seemed friendly enough and as I rotated around departments, I got a feel of the work environment that I was now a part of. To be honest, I didn’t exactly love it but I put it down to first week jitters.
Two weeks in and the nagging whispers that I had been pushing to the back of my mind became a screeching cresendo. And despite the sunny
optimistic disposition I was putting out, I begun to accept what I had been denying. I was not going to be happy here. Something just didn’t fit right. The people were nice but you could tell there was something a bit untruthful behind the wide smiles. Things just seemed a little too plastic but I kept my thoughts to myself and went about doing the best I could.
One month down the line, even with my faithful ‘imaginary radio’ (the silences got to me so I would sing songs in my head to keep me sane and make the hours move just a little bit faster. You don’t have to tell me I’m weird…I got the memo already, lol) I began to seriously loathe the place. When people asked me how I liked it, I was honest, “I don’t like it. I don’t feel like I’m learning anything, I don’t fit into the whole setting
and the first chance I get to bail, I’m gonna take it.” So I got the speech. You know, the one where people tell you that you should feel lucky that you are employed as jobs are hard to come by and to give it time and you will get used to it. So I did exactly that. I gave it time. But the only thing that accomplished was strengthening my resolve that I HATED it. Waking up every morning utterly dreading the thought that you have to return to *that* place is clearly not a good sign. I’m not naive enough to think that one should love absolutely everything about your job. Most people I know hate their jobs but when you dig deeper, there is at least SOMETHING that they were getting out of it. A great salary. Benefits. Job satisfaction. A steep learning curve. New challenges. I got none of these and therein lay the problem.
But I was a trooper. I went in, I smiled, I participated in inane conversations while holding an imaginary gun to my head, I did my work and got good at it. So after month two, I was tranferred to the department I had actually been recruited for after successfully impressing the supervisor who was training me. She gave the recommendation that I was ready to move on. I was honestly excited. Finally, a new challenge…I was now going to get experience in my field of study. I thought to myself, “You did it, now things will only get better from here.” How wrong I was. I set about getting to know members of my new department and discussing my JD with my boss. I was not experienced in most of it, but that’s what I was here for, right? To learn. So I embraced it and even went so far as to dig up my campus notes for reference whenever I encountered certain problems. Nilijitolea!
Two weeks into it, I realized something….my boss was really clueless. She gave me tasks she had no clue how to go about, the most basic tasks, and expected me (inexperienced me) to do them. But I didn’t complain. I did my research, I consulted people in the field and got stuff done somehow. Then she would go present my work to the bosses and take credit for it. But even then, I didn’t really mind or care. It was all in the spirit of team work right?
Week 3 under her and she gives me this pile of statistical work that I had no clue what to do with. Allow me to say, that stats and math are not my strong suits. Not in the least. But I took it on regardless. That was the beginning of the end. I would walk into the office everyday and want to bang my head against the computer. WTF was I doing here! It got to a point where loathing was an understatement whenever I spoke or thought of my job. I felt like my life was just wasting away. Every day a little piece of me died and I couldn’t believe that a job was making me feel so disillusioned with my life. Was it really worth it? I enetertained thoughts of handing in my resignation letter. But I fought it because in the end, I had nothing
to fall back on. Depressing days where I would count the minutes to the end of the day became my routine. I mastered the art of ‘Sucking It Up’. I buckled down, did my work, went home. In the midst of all this, I made friends with two women in the office who repeatedly warned me that I shouldn’t take everything I encounter there at face value, that people were not what they seemed and I should watch my back. I had sensed weird undercurrents in some interactions with certain people (most notably, my immediate boss) but I never believed people were going to be intentionally malicious so I took my friends’ advice with a pinch of salt. Naivete galore!
Appraisal day was coming around and I was pretty sure I was going to get a positive appraisal. Despite the fact that every time I was making a presentation to my boss, she would be fidgeting and munching on something looking completely distracted. She would always give me positive feedback on my progress. I really believed I would get a decent review of my work so far, as when when she piled her work on me, I never complained. When she sent me to functions she was supposed to attend to go to represent her, I went. Even when she would shout at me across the room to dial a number for her, I would bite my tongue and dial. Yes,i’m not kidding. She had me freaking dial for her! How much lazier can you get!! (insert expletive here)! During my first week there, I had come up with a list of ideas on how to better meet objectives and save on costs but she had shot them all down. I had sat day in and day out listening to conversations on how evil the world had become, how the hell people could wear g-strings and how the world was going to hell in a handbasket. I never once sniggered or verbalized the snide comments I was making in my head. So when she flipped the script during the appraisal and claimed I had shown no initiative, I hadn’t made an effort to gel with my co-workers and hadn’t made any worthwhile contributions to the department, I was flabbergasted. How dare this woman tell me I hadn’t tried! Bloody (insert appropriate expletive here). Suffice it to say, I still hold some resentment towards her. 5 o’clock that same day found me in the HR office signing a termination letter and clearing out my desk.
To be honest, I was pissed as hell for a very long time. But after the anger came the realization that the universe had probably nudged me, nay, practically shoved me into something I hadn’t had the guts to do myself. I wasn’t particularly passionate about my job but I was too scared to go back to being an unemployed statistic. It was a sucky way to live. That experience made me realize that I was being complacent and meekly allowing my life to just pass me by. I had relinquished the reigns and let the universe take over; allowed other people to influence my decisions even when those decisions were making me miserable.
Getting fired gave me the push I needed to pursue my true passions. The drive to go after the things I had pushed to the back burner because they were risky and I had taken the easy way out by remaining in a dead-end job that assured me of a pay cheque at the end of the month. Putting my signature on that termination letter pushed me out of my comfort zone and prompted me to take risks. I don’t know if it will work but at least now I know that I have tried and won’t live with the ghost of ‘What If.’
So this festive season as we all celebrate and prepare to usher in a new year, I reckon we should take a leap of faith. I’m not saying quit your job, all I’m saying is pursue something that makes you happy or fulfills you in some way. Even if it’s a side hustle. Think about it.
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