Constructive dismissal

So it seems I’ve been sacked.

Except they’re not calling it that. The boss had a chat with me and suggested I wasn’t in the right company and perhaps I’d like to hand my notice in. I’m fairly certain I don’t have a choice though.

Well, I guess I do have a choice if I want to get litigious. I could go and try for constructive dismissal, or I could wait for it to get nasty then claim unfair dismissal.

I have no intention of doing these things. At this stage everyone is smiling and being friendly and to be honest I am finding the role hard, although I don’t think a month is much chance to
prove myself.

To recap quickly, given there are some glorious holes in this story:

I arrived at Big Name Agency as a member of their health team. This failed to work out in a spectacular fashion, on a mainly personal level. I had no respect for the person running the show and they didn’t like me.

I’ve noticed that bad bosses are often bullies (perhaps as a defensive reaction to their shortcomings) and this was no exception. I got it in the neck and deteriorated mentally so quickly that within six weeks I was fantasizing about having cancer so that I wouldn’t have to go
to work.

So I did something about it, and ended up transferring to the creative department of the same company. I saw this as my Big Break – consumer work seeming like the Holy Grail compared with years or tight specialization.

I have been enjoying the work and the variety, but it has undoubtedly been hard. The department is huge and fast-paced and my writing isn’t up
to scratch.

Whenever anyone external has asked how it’s going the answer is always “Getting there, hopefully.” Hmm, apparently not. The boss’s central argument is that I would get there with good mentoring, but that no one has the time to provide this.

There are other factors at play – this guy started the same week as me and is determined to stamp his mark. I am not the first to go this month, and I think several more will leave in the future.

He wants to turn the agency into an award-winning machine, which means the best creative in the business and lots of pro bono work. Pro bono, of course, means no client to bill so your team has to be as sleek, fast and lean as possible. No time to work off the excess fat, it’s liposuction or bust, baby.

I’ve been given an extended two month notice period so I have a bit of time to find something else, so I guess that’s what happens next.

I could try and fight – as they’re giving me two months I could ask for that time to prove myself if I agree to walk without notice if I fail – but I don’t think I have it in me. As much as it hurts, and as legally dubious as some aspects of it are, I think I am ok with going.

Sure, there are negative emotions – frustration, anger, wounded pride – but I didn’t fuck up, I’m not being man-handled off the premises. I just wound up with a job that’s not right for me.

I haven’t figured out at what level it isn’t right. Were the two negative experiences coincidental? Is it the company, the country, perhaps it’s the industry and the last job was a fluke? I don’t
know yet.

I will figure it out though, and I’m kinda reassured by the fact that many friends didn’t fall into their stride in the working world until they were well into their 30s.

I’m young and I’ve been fucking lucky so far, and hopefully will be again. I know it’s ok to fail, and I have still learned from the experience, even if I didn’t learn the things I was expecting to.

I’m going to paste on a smile and go to work now. While I’m gone please enjoy this list of people who didn’t achieve success until they were in
their 60s:
Reagan
Gandhi
Ben Franklin
Chaucer
Goethe
Churchill

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4 Comments»

  d. wrote @

If it makes you feel any better, I haven’t fallen into the stride of any facet of my life yet, so feel free to use me to feel superior.

  Grill wrote @

Arseholes! But do you really a job to make you feel successful?

  elle wrote @

@d. You will darlin’. You’re awesome.

@Grill Do I need a job to make me feel successful? No. But do I need to succeed at whatever job I’m doing? Yes, I think I do.

But because of that I think it’s ok if I don’t succeed at one thing to go and try something else.

But yeah, arseholes.

  d. wrote @

Aww shucks; you too!


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