Chapter 26 – Getting Fired

It was Thursday, April 29, 2010.

I knew the day was going to big because it was to be my second to last day at my part time teaching position and I was scheduled to have a meeting with the Executive Director (E.D.) of the non-profit that afternoon. In our meeting, we were supposed to finalize all of the details with regards to moving from part-time to full-time that coming Monday (as the non-profit wasn’t open on Fridays).

As such, I went to class that morning, told all of the students that Friday would be my last day, and I thanked the other teachers and the administrators for the great opportunity. While I was saying my goodbyes, one of the administrators pulled me aside and told me that if I ever wanted to come back into teaching that they would always have a place for me. Since I really had loved teaching, I thanked her greatly and went on my way.

When I left that day, I was really quite sad. I was going to miss the students and I was going to miss talking about tech all day long. I was going to miss giving advice and seeing the immediate impact that it had on the students. Even so, a full time job was waiting for me at the non-profit, despite my not liking the position as much.

When I arrived at the non-profit for my afternoon shift, I was kind of dreading the day already. Though I believe in the mission of the organization and I loved the services that they provided, my role as the Administrator was so boring and the E.D. was very old school. Her processes were very antiquated and she had been resistant to most of my more modern suggestions over the previous three months. Though she was a wonderful human being and I had great respect for her, she was a complete micro-manager and expected me to be one too. Unfortunately, that’s just not me.

I’m much more of a “shoot from the hip” kind of guy. I hate clerical / administrative work and can stand being micro-managed. But, I knew that the E.D. was well past retirement and that if I simply stuck it out for a year or so in this Administration position that I would next in line for the E.D. position once she left. The problem was, I didn’t know if I could make it through the next four hours of that boring ass job, much less the next year. Regardless, these were the cards I had been dealt and I was simply playing them the best that I could.

As the time approached for our meeting, my stomach began to twist itself into knots. I was honestly dreading going full-time in this position! I went to the bathroom, stared into the mirror, and began to pray.

“God, if this isn’t where I’m supposed be, just have her fire me.”

Next thing I know, we’re in our meeting.

“Over the past three months, you’ve done a good job, but I’m not positive that this is where you really want to be.” she started.

“When I hear you talk about your work as a teacher, you light up like a Christmas tree! But, I’m not sure you do the same when you talk about this place and so I’m not sure that this is the right place for you.” she continued.

“So, here’s what I’m willing to do: I’m willing to extend your part-time probationary period for another 90 days and then re-evaluate your status at that time. That is, if you’re interested in that?”

Interested in another part-time, 90-day probationary period? Was she serious? I was only making $11.35 / hour for 20 hours / week. No benefits, no vacation, no insurance… I was shocked, devastated, nervous, and ecstatic all at the same time.

We agreed that I would take the long weekend to think about her offer and that we would meet up on Monday to discuss.

I immediately sent a text to Bonnie: “Start praying. I just got fired.”

Though she didn’t explicitly fire me, she may as well have since another 90-day probationary period to get a job I hated was completely out of the question. At least it would have been completely out of the question had I not just quit my $20 / hour, 28 hour / week job that morning. Regardless, this home-coming was going to be one for the record books…

“How was your day, honey?” Bonnie would ask.

“Good. Except that, remember how this morning when I left I had two jobs working 48 hours / week? Well, I quit the first one and got fired from the second one, so I pretty much hosed everything. Other than that though, it was a pretty good day.”

And that’s pretty much how it went.

After a great dinner that Bonnie had made and a couple of drinks and venting with a close friend, Bonnie and I knelt down at the ottoman in our living room and we began pray.

We thanked God for all the blessing and provision that he had brought into our lives, we thanked Him for each other and we thanked Him for His son. I confessed my sins of pride and lust and anger and jealousy and I accepted His forgiveness for everything. Finally, we confessed our faith and trust in Him and that while we had no clue what our future held, we knew that it was all in His very capable hands and because of that, we would rest easy.

And we did.

The next morning, I woke up early, picked up some bagels for my students as it was supposed to be my last day, and I headed to school. As soon as I arrived, I told my co-teacher the “good news”…

“Guess what? That whole deal with the non-profit doesn’t look like it’s going to work out after all, so if you haven’t already filled my position, I would really love to stay!”

“Serious? Well, we definitely haven’t filled the position, so if your available then the position is still yours! Let’s go talk to the Administrators.” he responded.

When we got to the Administrators office, I not only told her the good news but also let her know that I was now available to take her up on her offer of a full time position. To which she responded, “let’s make it happen!”

And just like that, God provided like he always does. In a matter of 24 hours, I quit one job, got fired from another, got my first job back, and was now on the fast track to become full time even though the school was under a hiring freeze.

That next Monday, I rolled into the non-profit office and graciously declined the offer of another 90-day probationary period.

Two months later, I was made a full-time instructor at the college with a salary that was $10K higher than my full-time salary at the non-profit would have been, not to mention I absolutely, positively, loved my job!

Like my mom always says: “If you want to make God laugh, just make plans.”