As listeners who are also my friends on Facebook know, the past year at my “day programs” has been rather fraught with ups and downs. I worked at a position with one employer, with whom I dealt with a hierarchy of Evil Overlords that made my days miserable, and my nights sleepless and full of doubt. The Evil Overlord chronicles were a rather popular item on my Facebook page, as it seemed that people could either relate to my pain, or for the terrific schadenfreude it offered. (If you don’t know that word, Google it, because it’s a great word). After I left the long-time position at the Palace of the Evil Overlords, I went on to (Temporary) Sanctuary, a job that I thought I would really enjoy and which would cause so much less stress – only to be told that I wasn’t the right fit after the three month probation period was over. OUCH. So much OUCH. I was embarrassed and hurt.
Recently, one of the Evil Overlords texted me from the Palace, and asked for advice on one of the more complicated programs we ran while I was still working there. I knew it wasn’t something that could be explained over the phone, so I agreed to meet with him after work and explain it. During our conversation, we realized that I had made a mistake in doing the report the last couple of years, but he wasn’t meeting with me to blame me, he wanted to understand what happened and correct it. It was a very civilized meeting, and even though I didn’t give him the answer he wanted, he was grateful for my time. It felt bad to realize that I had made a mistake that would be a slight pain for them to correct, but it felt good to be finally treated like a professional by the Evil Overlord. Absence makes the heart grow fonder?
Shortly after that, one of the people I worked at Sanctuary with, a really good friend, let me know that due to a scheduling conflict, she would be on vacation with her family the same time a major annual project needed to be done. When I worked at Sanctuary, I guided her through it, and this year she would be on vacation and my replacement was inexperienced as well. The head muckity-muck, who fired me, asked her to sound me out about coming in and working with my replacement to show her what to do, and to get the whole thing done on time.
I knew that refusing to help would put my friend in a difficult spot, trying to take her family vacation on the one week that all parties were available to go away, and I didn’t want her to not be able to take her vacation. And, as much as I want to, I just do not hate the guy who fired me. I would rather find out that it was a bad fit, at the time that my current position was available, than afterwards, when I would be well and truly stuck for a job. So, I agreed to go to (No Longer) Sanctuary and work for a few hours with my replacement, who I’d met at an industry gathering, to help her through the project. We banged it out in one evening, and I will get paid for my time.
I wonder if other people still keep in touch with their old places of employment, and work for them/meet with them if needed, or am I just this schmuck who can’t seem to burn employment bridges?