Howdy Y’all. It’s been a spell since I last chimed in here. I tweeted that I was shutting down the blog and twitter:
locking up the blog and twitter until this shit storm blows over. At least the shit storm I am anticipating.
— Rojo Escobarrio (@Rojobag) July 3, 2013
There was a reason for this lockdown, which was removed recently: I was fired. My work also discovered my blog the Monday after my termination as my Work Related series was by far the most popular of my posts that week and I had a copious amount of traffic. Thanks guys! I had filed for unemployment and locked everything down thinking that they would try to use my writing against me. I wasn’t too far off base.
I had a phone interview first. The state worker was inherently hostile towards me and I knew from the get-go that I was to be determined at fault for being fired. One is eligible for benefits if his or her dismissal is at no fault of there own. Since I had been fired, I had to participate in a phone interview. This, of course, took over a month to arrange, even though I applied immediately. The state workers decision arrived mid August, and as I predicted, my application was rejected. Their reason? Excess absenteeism.
Promptly filing my appeal, I had to wait until early September for my hearing. Now here is where the shit starts to show. My hope, and a reasonable one, is that no one from my former employer will show up due to the money they would be wasting to fight my measly wage. When reviewing my file, about 5 minutes before my hearing, I was shocked as I read inside the first page that the employer had requested to participate via phone due to “claimant had made physical threats to two employees and former employer has a restraining order against claimant.” Some judge approved that request. But it was merely a ploy by my former employer so that their Chief Financial Officer, Chief Information Office, and Chief Executive Officer would not have to leave their desks for a few hours to come take me on. I was pissed.
*Please note: I did not threaten anyone nor did I plan some sort of revenge against my former employer. Also, if I was going to to do something like that, I would not give preemptive warning to the future victims of my wrath.
At any rate, I went on record saying that claim is bullshit, the judge deciding to allow them to participate due to another judge allowing the order. They tried to prove excessive absenteeism, but there were two tardy days on record in TWO YEARS. Even though they participated, I felt pretty good about the hearing. Still I was anxious and fairly depressed, though I couldn’t admit it.
“How you doin Rojo?”
“Oh! I’m fantastic!”
No matter how sure I was that I was in the right, and that my employer was trying to fuck me over, there was still that lingering feeling, that negative self talk saying “Nah Rojo, you fucked up, this is your fault.”
So late September / early October I found out that the judge reversed the previous decision. Immediately a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I was vindicated, to say the least.
Here’s how to tell you are being primed for a discharge from employment:
- Project information is being withheld from you when it was once readily available.
- Every little mistake or mishap is scrutinized. (I worked in IT and shit happens, regularly.)
- You start getting written up for petty crap.
- Your supervisor over blows on previous conversations and starts calling them disciplinary meetings.
- You start getting told you didn’t do something that wasn’t assigned to you.
- You notice that it seems nothing you do is correct, and slowly it feels like you are being ostracized and a case being built against you.
Listen to your gut. I knew it was coming, but didn’t act because I wasn’t fucking up my job. I could tell back in January that I was on the wrong end of the totem pole. Also, I thought it possible to work with a friend above me. We had talked about it at length prior to my moving for the job, but alas, the power went to his head, he dropped out of our personal pursuits outside of work, and his communication with me became, at best, a sentence a day. Live and learn my good comrades. That’s the only way.
I’m back and plan on writing more. There’s a fair amount of free time on my hands as I have yet to find another job. Though, at the moment, It’s not my top priority.