It’s two months, one week, two days and thirty seven minutes and about ten seconds since I lost my job and panic is an understatement to how I feel right now. I sit holding on to my mug of coffee like my life depends on it, my eyes scanning the computer screen for anything that remotely looks like I could do it for a living to pay my bills.
Ok so I’m not the most model employee, but that wasn’t why they got rid of me in case that’s what you’re thinking! The reason? Ok well in interviews and applications my reason was because I wanted to broaden my horizons, but the real reason was because my line manager was an ass. I loved my job, until the day she started there which was about two years after I started to work there. I got on well with my boss before but he inconsiderately retired (he had a few more years in him!) and I used to have responsibility there, helping with most things.
I worked at a printing company, a good company. In fact so good we had offices all over Europe, and I was based in the Bournemouth office. I sometimes would travel to the Cardiff and Plymouth office to help out (which also meant I could see family and friends which was a bonus!) I helped to build up the clientele and we were one of the biggest printers in Europe, then when Toni started it all went down-hill.
She would butter everyone up by bringing cakes in most days, and most of the women (and some of the men) gained weight almost straight from the day she started. The Managing Director relied on her so much that if she was on annual leave or off sick, he felt like the place would fall apart. I stepped up a few times and covered for her and she never showed gratitude that I’d covered her job! My mum had this theory that she was jealous, that she hated that I got on well with everyone and everyone could rely on me.
I got on really well with the MD, he had the same dry sense of humour as me and both had a love for rock music and when he got spare tickets to see ‘Euphoria’ he gave two of them to me! He also had a thing for Star Wars and was sometimes seen in his office wearing the Storm Trooper mask, making ‘Jedi’ decisions which would always make most people in the office smile.
I’d never seen someone suck up to anyone like Toni did with Guy (The MD), she would make him tea and coffee all day and sit and listen to him ranting when his rugby team failed to win the cup. She would then moan about him to Darren one of the copy guys, Darren didn’t like Guy because probably he was more successful and younger than him but they used to spend time moaning about him. I would hear them when I would escape for a fag break, I would purposely stand by her office window so that I could hear her wars and arguments with herself because it would make me feel better in some sort of sick juvenile way.
The coffee has gone cold and I’m now crying, or rather trying to focus on the computer screen whilst the hot tears are falling down my face. I am due to meet Fran for lunch, Fran was my BFAW pronounced ‘befor’ which means best friend at work. I desperately missed her and we were meeting in secret at the McDonalds drive-in five minutes from the office.
I managed to apply for a couple of jobs including an internship with a bank, it doesn’t appeal to me in any way but I’m trying to be proactive because if I have to go to the job centre much more I think I’ll end up going to counselling. Luckily I had some savings, but I may have to look into selling my car if I don’t get anything in the next few weeks. I have had an email inviting me in for an interview at a local dentist as a receptionist, but I’m sure I’ll be one of many and I’ll have to ‘stand out’ in order for them to notice me.
I sit in the car waiting for Fran to pull up alongside of me and as I look up from my phone I see Toni, walking into the restaurant with the biggest pregnancy bump I’ve seen in my life! I didn’t even know she was pregnant, I slouch down in the chair and see Fran pull up alongside of me. Fran also sees Toni but gets out her car, opens my passenger seat and slips in. Everytime we do this I feel like we’re doing something illegal, meeting in a car park to exchange something but borrowing nail varnish is the closest we’ve been.
“I know what you’re thinking before you say anything.” Fran says whilst still watching Toni maneuvering inside the fast food place watching her go up to the cashier through the window. My mind is going over time trying to work how whether she’s expecting twins, triplets or quadruplets.
“She must’ve worked quickly, I’ll give her that.” I turn to look at Fran, and going by the questioningly look on her face there’s more.
“Something like that.” She’s grinning thinly, raising her eyebrows and that’s when it hits me like a bolt of lightening.
“Darren?” I ask.
“Don’t think so, apparently she was already pregnant when she first started.”
“Really?” And to think she said that I had no idea of rules and regulations in her speech she gave to me just the other day!
So it turns out that Toni was deceitful and didn’t tell the company that she was pregnant, which Guy is really annoyed about because he wouldn’t have agreed to get rid of me! Oh and that’s the other thing, she was telling everyone that I was sacked for being racist. I was having banter with a customer about the local rivalry football teams, and she saw that as being racist even though we’ve been doing that for well over a year. Not only that Guy has sought legal advice about where he stands and wants Toni out of the company, but because of laws he can’t technically get rid of her.
When I got home I had an email from Guy:
Hope you’re well Annalise,
I have to start this email with an apology, because I was told you were being racist in the office and that was instant dismissal so I allowed Toni to do what she did. But yesterday when Tim Oliver came in and asked where you were, I took him into my office and explained what had happened where he explained that technically you had this banter on a regular basis about the football.
So following on from that I’ve sought legal advice and made the decision that I want you back in the company (if you want to come back of coarse). I understand you know about Toni being pregnant and because she’s not been here long enough to claim maternity she will be a part time telephonist after having the baby, although between you and me I’m under no illusions that she may or may not come back!
I grin to myself in satisfaction, I know it’s an awful thing to think but I can’t help thinking of that infamous word ‘comeuppance’.
So with that in mind I will be posting an advert on our website (because apparently this is the way you have to do it nowadays) for a new post as Liaison Manager. I would really like you to apply for the position, and before you start thinking that you don’t have the qualification or experience the company would send you to get qualifications to perform the role and your experience I shall be classing as the work you’ve already performed and your loyalties within the company.
Please call me if you’re not sure and need convincing a little more!
Guy & Clive.
A week later not only have I sucked up the courage and applied online for the job, but I have the interview (surprise surprise)! I have been told (before hand by Fran) that apparently there are 23 candidates and I will have to prove to both partners that I can perform the job. Guy knows I can, but I don’t know Clive that well, he’s the MD from London and also a partner in the company.
I sit in reception wearing my suit clutching my small leather handbag, nerves roll all over me even though I know the place. I’ve not see Toni, and I’m hoping I don’t have to see her, but if I do I’d already decided that I will smile sweetly forgetting that she brought me to tears the last time I spoke to her.
When they offered me the job I gave a great sigh of relief and begged them to let me start the next day (I was running out of funds), so here I am stood in front of the mirror dressed in my new suit (well I
I have my own office and as I walk in the office Fran greets me with air kisses, we then grin at each other agreeing that it did look stupid but we didn’t care. Fran follows me in and as I finger the sign on the door smiling to myself at the sign on the door.