I had so much fun flexing my creative side last week for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop that I thought I’d give it another go. Let’s be honest, I also loved all the feedback! 🙂
This week, I’m tackling Prompt #1: Write about a time when you laughed at an inappropriate time.
From 2002 – 2005 I worked at a small boutique direct mail advertising agency for which I had a love/hate relationship. No other job has taken so much out of me, aside from being a mother.
As soon as I entered the office doors, I immediately fell under the spell and was captivated by the idea of “agency life”, along with the uber chic offices with ultra cool furniture, young, hip, energetic, like-minded staff and overall aura.
I soon learned that agency life wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. It’s very long hours with very little reward and no matter what, the client is always right and if the client wants to see changes to their piece and it’s 6:00 on a Friday evening, you make them and you stayed until they were acceptable. In other words, working here meant zero social life and a lot of fast food.
For the first year and a half, this fast-paced, often chaotic life style was okay by me because I had just gotten divorced, so I was able to pour myself into my job and became a machine. I often worked 10+ hour days, felt like I had finally hot my stride and was excelling professionally, but by my third year, I had grown disenchanted and the shiny offices started to lackluster, not to mention the micromanagement and annoying narcissism that was all around me. At this company, the sales team and their fierce leader ruled the roost and it was starting to get annoying.
I decided life would be better back on the client side, so I put my feelers out there and even had a couple of promising interviews. Low and behold, almost three and a half years to the day after I started, I was laid off along with 24 other employees.
I wasn’t so much shocked that I was being laid off, but in the way in which it happened. All 25 of us were summoned to the conference room and told at the same time. It was like a study in human behavior and what people do upon hearing the words, “Today is your last day here”.
I couldn’t help myself, I started cracking up. Inappropriate? Yes! Justified? Definitely! Maybe it was my nerves, anger, hurt, or the utter ridiculousness of it, but the whole thing seemed hilarious to me. One other girl, thankfully (or not) sitting across from me had the same reaction. We were in stitches and getting nothing but evil glares from the CEO as she, through tears informed us that this was “one of the hardest things she has ever had to do”. What a bunch of BS!
Other people around the table were crying and some just got mad, red in the face and started asking a lot of questions. The room was a mess!
In the end, I am grateful for the time I spent at this company and learned a lot while I was there and even still consider a few of my old co-workers good friends, but I lost a lot of respect for the upper management that day. To say that I think the way they handled the lay off was poor is an understatement. For such a small company (at the time, there were only 100 employees), they should have taken the time to talk to each of us individually.
I was thankful for the severance package and accepted a killer new job exactly four days after the lay off and you better believe it was on the client side!
The best is yet to be.