The Day I Got Fired

I got fired.

Funny enough, it’s the second time I got fired from the same job!

It’s so ridiculous and hilarious to me. I had a soft firing back in January. It was a performance review thing where the company was trying to rid itself of the rotten Apples (LOL), possibly to avert an inescapable outcome of the whole Dubai office being shut down, and somehow the guillotine passed me over and other people’s heads started to roll instead.

But, here we are now in June and the grand Season Finale event finally happened. Everyone is being let go and the guillotine is sparing no one this time around.

I’m not sure why I’m not taking it in a bad way. Possibly that I already went through the emotional rollercoaster a few months ago? Perhaps that I’m finally relieved that I’m no longer working at a job that I didn’t like? Maybe I’m looking forward to a world of possibility with a glimmer of stoic optimism?

I don’t know.

Be it as it may, the series of events I’m going through brought back old memories of past lives and many stops along the way. The first time I got fired, was in secondary school. I was working part-time at the school cafeteria. A friend brought me in because the previous guy simply quit and they were a guy short.

So, my duties were to help out in cutting the bread and making the lunch-break sandwiches, help with opening up, closing, and working the sandwich sales window. I was doing ok at all these other duties, I was the first one there, I was the last one out, I was a master in cutting bread and filling cold-cuts meats into delicious sandwiches, but the one thing that did me in was working the window.

I froze in terror every single time and my head went blank. The animals were rushing in to get their fodder and I was overwhelmed with the unrelenting flow of impatient high school kids. It was a complete disaster. They kept me on for a few days, don’t remember how long exactly, but it wasn’t long. One morning, my friend met me at the door and gave me the money I was owed, and told me I didn’t need to come to help out there anymore.

Today, at 42, it seems like I’ve finally reached a point where I just started to heal from most of my emotional baggage. I am self-assured now, and I do not actively seek external validation anymore. I just focus on the personal work I need to do on my own and let the world move on. It always does anyway.

We’re all the summation of our own experiences. Who you are right now, is the accumulation of everything that’s happened to you, good and bad. There is no one else that ever was or ever will be exactly like me. My personal cocktail of knowledge, taste, culture, languages, background, environment, choices, decisions, and mistakes is unique and it all created the person that I am today.

Steve Jobs said that you can only connect the dots looking back, and he was right. When you stop to take stock and look back at the previous steps that got you to this point in your life it sounds almost ridiculous how you even had doubts back then about the wisdom of your past decisions.

When you take a step back to look at the big picture, you immediately recognize the absurdity and stupidity of some of your choices, and the unfathomable blind luck that’s gotten you to make such dumb mistakes and learn such important lessons when you did.

You start to feel compassion for your older self for feeling ashamed of making mistakes and poor judgment.

You feel like you need to sit down with your old angry ego-driven self who was ashamed of how his social standing in the world was being threatened and tell him it’s ok, that there’s no need to be so upset or uptight about such mundane feelings, that true power is that of equanimity under pressure and the ability to be calm when disaster strikes.

If you were to ask me how I felt about my job six months ago you probably would have felt a lot of bitterness, anger, shame, and you probably would’ve heard a lot of profanity. Today, I look at the whole experience through a different set of eyes.

Personal growth can make you change your mind about a whole lot of things, even take up a position that you’d never thought you’d ever be able to take.

I am grateful.

I am grateful for the journey, grateful for the friendships, grateful for the hardships, and grateful for the wisdom I picked up along the way.

After more than four years doing a job that I never thought I would be able to handle for such a long period of time, I have learned a great deal about myself and the power I had in me to change my life in so many ways.

The gravity of the situation doesn’t escape me.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to claim that I have finally been able to ‘manifest’ money out of thin air following the law of attraction. I am not going to claim that I am standing with my two feet on solid ground and that I know exactly what I am going to do now because I don’t.

I’m living through a moment of complete disarray, uncertainty, and chaos, and I have very limited time to try to figure out what my next step is going to be.

I wish I could tell you that now is the perfect time for me to finally cut loose from the 9-to-5 rat race and start my own business like I really want to someday. Alas, I am not ready. I haven’t figured out a unique opportunity with a huge demand for a product or service that solves a big problem for which I can assume the risk and reap the rewards. Not yet anyway.

And even though I believe wholeheartedly in the Nassim Taleb quote: “The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary;” but the best thing I can try to do right now for myself and my family is to try and find another job.

I must admit that it warmed my heart when friends reached out to help with trying to find another job. I am applying to as many of these opportunities as I can with the spray-and-pray job-seeking model.

A friend offered that if I could find some position with his company that I’d be interested in that he would refer me, which was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me.

One of my dear friends who believe in my creative abilities wants me to try to be a professional writer in some capacity and is urging me to apply for creative positions.

Well, I don’t have much choice but to knock on all doors and see who answers and shake the trees to see what falls off.

Maybe I will be able to find another job (fingers crossed), and maybe I won’t, who knows. But one way or another I know deep down inside that it’s all going to be ok.

This part of my journey in life might be over, but there will be many stops along the way, of that much I am absolutely sure.

When a door closes another one opens.

Possibly this is the universe trying to send me a message or push me in a special direction that is made only for me.

I pray that I have the insight to see whatever opportunities are lined up for me, the patience to look for them, and the courage to accept whatever is in store for me.

Thank you to all my friends who offered their support, kind words, and true friendship.

This is a difficult time for me.

Wish me luck.



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