It’s 7:15AM. I’d be halfway to work by now, except I’m not. I was laid off from my job last Tuesday. At 10:30, my phone rang and I was asked by the HR Director to come to the president’s office. My heart was pounding and my hands were sweating as I got up from my desk to make the walk to the opposite side of the building. I stopped off in the kitchen to run my hands under cold water to try and get them to stop sweating. It made not a bit of difference. It was a long walk as I maneuvered the race track path created from the cubicle layout and wall partitions. My mind was racing as I tried to figure out for what they were calling me into the office. I thought I was going in there to finally be promoted after almost 4 years on the job. As soon as I entered the president’s office, I could feel that something was amiss. There wasn’t any happy energy emanating from that room. Notice I didn’t say positive or negative energy—I’ll get to that in a minute.

 

I asked if I should close the door and the HR Director said yes. I sat down in front of her and the VP of Operations as they proceeded to tell me what was happening. I was completely blindsided by what they said. Essentially, they’ve been crunching numbers for some time now and finally had to commit to making a decision for a reduction in force. I was one of the 5 employees who would be let go, effective that day. I started off by biting my lip to keep from either screaming in anguish or crying. And then the more I heard, the harder it was to keep the tears from leaking out. They finally spilled out and the HR Director passed me a box of Kleenex. I don’t recall half of what the two of them said, as I was busy floating above myself watching this play out like I was a voyeur in a movie scene and how sad that this person was experiencing such devastating news. Once I got control of myself as best I could, I asked a few questions as far as the details of my separation paperwork and filing for unemployment, etc. I know they had to repeat themselves a few times, and I apologized and said I wasn’t hearing everything because my mind was spinning.

 

The VP of Operations said this had absolutely nothing to do with my job performance. She said that I was a good employee who worked hard, was competent in all aspects of my job, had a good attitude, met and even exceeded deadlines, and was able to work well with all types of personalities in the office. She said she didn’t want to have to let me go, and that was when I finally looked up and into her eyes. She said, “Maria, I was the one who handpicked you as my editor and trained you myself. I don’t want to do this.” I knew she was sincere. She had tears in her eyes, and it was rare to see her in such a vulnerable state. That’s what hurts so much about this. I loved my job. I was getting paid to do what I love. The hardest I’ve ever prayed was almost 4 years ago, in the parking lot of that office building right before I went in for my interview. Here’s a recap of that day, 2-29-08, leap year. Of course I wrote about this! Who knew that nearly 4 years later I’d be referring to it in the past tense. Like, the complete past tense. Finito.

 

I GOT HIRED!!!!!!
(Excuse the long email that follows, but this is what happens when writers get excited…)

Holy crap.  So I went in this morning for my interview and got there nice and early and sat in my car for a few minutes trying to calm myself down and get my hands to freaking stop dripping with sweat.  I said a prayer for God to help me, to stay close to my heart and in my mind so that they would see my desire, passion, and potential for this job.  I asked Him to work through the interviewers so that they would hire me and we could all come together for this opportunity. I ended my prayer by saying “Lord, I know that with you all things are possible.”

I have become so much more spiritual lately.  It truly works if you live in faith, direct your thoughts to the abundance that God wants you to have, and receive His blessings.  My work in the pharmacy for 9 years was not in vain- it’s part of what got me this job in the first place!

So I entered the building with God in my heart and with everyone’s thoughts, meditations, and prayers in my mind.  The president of the company interviewed me first, and I didn’t know who he was until we sat down.  Then as he began telling me about the company and how he started it, I tried to remember that he was a person just like me, not a bigwig presidential type.  He asked me to identify a problem situation in the pharmacy and how I remedied it, and I was able to also throw out a few one liners as answers when he was explaining how the company really functions as a team, how they aren’t family members, but they are a family.  I said that I was used to this sort of environment, as I work with a team of people every day, young and old, with a variety of personality types, and I know how to work alongside each one of them.  I said that a team is only as strong as its weakest member, and that team work is huge because if one person isn’t working well than the end result to the client can fail.  He told me that was a good line and to use it in my second interview.  He asked me how my coworkers would describe me so I said knowledgeable, hardworking, always willing and able to help, and intrinsically motivated.

So then I interviewed with the Editorial Director and she asked me what I liked best about working on Wizdom Magazine, and I answered to work with the written word, and what I liked least was the circulation part of it.  I added, though, that I didn’t mind it because ultimately I was doing what I loved so was willing to take on whatever was necessary.  It was a long interview, but I think I was really able to showcase my passion and profound love for the written word and how much I wanted to be a part of their company.  Seriously, the job description had my name written all over it, and I told both the president and the editorial director this.

So I went to work right after my interview and upon taking my last break got a voicemail from the president of the company.  He just said to call him back and gave me his cell number, so I was going to wait until Monday to call him back, but then figured if he gave me his cell phone number, why wait?  So he asked me what I thought of the company, and I said it was the perfect fit for me and I enjoyed the interview.  He responded by saying that he received over 60 applications for the job, and that I wasn’t as qualified on paper as some of the other candidates were, but that they really liked me and saw my potential within the company! So then he offers me the job and I accept while at the same time try not to hyperventilate, jump around like a sissy, or fall out of my chair.  During the interview he had said that I was the last candidate to be interviewing and that he was planning on job offering someone that day.  In the back of mind, I said, “That’s me.”
So for the last 2 hours at work I was trying not to jump out of my skin with excitement, and then on the way home I called my parents and started crying tears of joy because I have prayed for so long and for so hard on this and it’s finally happened.  I came home to Bryan and he didn’t know I’d been hired yet, and I said “Guess what?  I got the job.” and then burst into tears again.  I’m such a sap!

Thank you for all of your support; each one of you has encouraged me in some way or another over the years and I am highly grateful to you.  I can’t believe I’m getting paid to do what I love!

So excited I could pee my pants,
Maria

 

Here you can see how evident my enthusiasm was (and still is) for this job. See my next post for how I’m doing now.


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