I really hope you guys are in the mood for a long, somewhat boring story. I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while and I’ve finally managed to come up with the words, so here we go.
I’m not sure if you remember this but I left education because I was looking for something new and completely different. I was offered my last job and it felt right so I didn’t want to miss the opportunity. Following a six month medical leave, I worked for a tutoring center, from September 2017 to May 2018. I absolutely loved it. I loved the kids and the work but I was only doing 16 hours a week, which was frankly quite boring for someone who was used to doing all the things and often working 16 hours a day. I needed more. I felt better and I wanted to work more hours. I began looking for a part time job but at some point I decided to apply for a few full time jobs, just to see what was out there. I was getting many calls but there was nothing I could do while keeping the job I already had. I interviewed for my last job having about 10% of intentions to leave the tutoring center. I was definitely interested and I thought I might be able to do both. Rui reminded me I was being crazy and that it was too soon for me to go into workaholic mode again, so soon after being so sick. He was right. I was certain I could do 40 hours a week, but I realized 56-60h was pushing it. But I really wanted to make a change. I needed a different routine, a “bigger” place to go every day, a fixed schedule, something new that would excite me and exercise my brain. I longed for no longer being bored. And so I made a very hard decision and said goodbye to the kids, to my lovely boss and embraced something new and unknown.
I worked for a big insurance company, in a call center, doing roadside assistance. It was a small office with a familiar, somewhat informal environment. There were about 50 of us. We would take calls from customers whose car had broken down or who had been in an accident and we would send tow trucks, technicians, transportation, etc. I loved it, actually. I felt helpful, I liked taking calls and talking to people. Even the rude customers didn’t bother me. The nastier the better. I had fun. I met great people. I made friends. My schedule was 8-5 and I was on a routine. I got used to waking up very early. I liked having lunch at the same time every day, and going to bed early. We had a very thorough technical training and my brain loved the exercise. I was able to memorize numbers and codes and license plates, after having memory issues for so long due to my depression and medication. I was happy there and I intended to stay. So what happened?
We were initially hired for the Summer because they obviously need more people for the busy season. They hired a group of 12 and told us they would keep the best ones. I was one of the best. I worked very hard, I was always trying to learn more and improve my work. In four months, I was only late once, 2 minutes, because it was a public holiday and the bus was late. I missed two days of work because I was sick but I had a medical justification. I didn’t take full breaks when there was work to do. I take work very seriously and I know I did my best. When Summer ended, we were all let go. Good or bad. No explanation. I was not expecting it and I felt extremely disappointed and rejected and used. Which is stupid because I do know I’m just a number when it comes to Human Resources. The day after they gave us our termination letter, I didn’t show up and didn’t even call. Very mature, I know. But I was hurt and trying to protest, I guess. I stayed home and sent two resumes. One of them resulted in the wonderful job I have now.
All in all, I don’t regret taking the job because it was what I needed at the time. I learned a lot. Also, if I hadn’t taken it, I would probably not be at my current job, which I love.
So what do I do now? I can’t tell you much, but I can tell you I work for a company that makes very expensive phones. It’s not a call center. I don’t take calls and I rarely make them. Customers don’t really know we exist. Customer service and senior customer service deal with customers. We deal with what they cannot handle. We’re basically the last line of support. We have a lot of responsibility but it’s actually quite chill. We strive for perfection and don’t have to rush while solving an issue. Everything is in English, which I love. We are a team of 50, of many different nationalities. We have a great working environment and good working conditions. We are well paid too. I have zero complaints. Oh except for the training which kicked my butt. I thought I wouldn’t be able to do my job ever. We had a very intense training which lasted 4 weeks. We had to take this accreditation in which we had to get 100% in order to pass. I was panicking! I only passed on the third try and it was on three different days so I didn’t sleep much for a whole week. Anyway, I’m glad I was let go because everything worked out in the end.
So yeah, I guess the thing about life closing a door and opening a window makes some sense. I didn’t know it then but being let go was a blessing in disguise. I was really lucky to find a job so soon too. I had some vacation days before my contract ended, so I was still on vacation from my last job when I signed with my current company. My contract ended on September 14th and I was in training for a new job by September 10th, having signed a contract on the 7th. Actually, my final interview for my current job was on my last day of work, which made it a very interesting day because I left a job I knew I had gotten a new one on the same exact day. Good times.
Lessons I learned from the whole thing:
- Don’t be afraid of taking chances and looking for new opportunities.
- Changing jobs twice in the same year is exhausting.
- I can do things I had no idea I could.
- My brain is not that bad with numbers and logic.
- I know what I need, and I should listen to my mind and heart more often.
- I’m old. I can’t keep up with my coworkers nights out and drinks after work at all.
- I’m still recovering but I can tell the difference between being depressed and being sad because I lost my job (a situation where everyone would be feeling down).
- I’m humble when working but I’m also not very confident in my abilities.
- I’m a rule follower. I take the company’s rules very seriously. Maybe the background in education?
- I’m a go getter. I was let go and was already looking for a new job on the same day.
I really wanted to share my experience and what I learned from it. Maybe you can learn something too? It feels good to talk about it as well because it means I’m over it.
What about you? Have you ever been let go/fired? What are the greatest lessons you’ve learned through your work experience?
Sorry for the long post, thanks for coming by.