Round about this time 12 months ago I got fired. Unceremoniously booted by the people who had persuaded me to move across the country for the dubious honour of working at their agency.
While I was being courted by this company, there were many red flags. I had an inkling that it was a place run on fear, loathing and mutual distrust but they offered me mucho money and I really wanted to get the fuck out of dodge. I was stuck in Leamington, stuck because of a fear of the unknown, fear of moving out of my comfort zone, fear of leaving friends.
And this was a way out.
So I took it.
What a mistake to make. Within weeks it was clear that I didn't fit in. Mostly because a culture of shaming, bullying and pressure don't really light my fire. I did my work and I did it well. But I hated it.
For no reason other than I 'didn't fit in' I was suddenly dragged into the office and issued with my marching orders. I was not in a great place mentally as I was dealing with an illness, dealing with being in a city where I knew no one and was working ridiculous hours under ridiculous pressure. There is nothing more soul destroying than dancing on eggshells trying to please people who run on ruling by fear and nastiness. People that have already decided that you will never please them.
Twelve months on and, if I was ever lucky enough to see these delightful people, I would firstly tell them they are detritus. And then I would thank them.
Whatever happens in my future, wherever I end up and however I make a living, they made me resolve once and for all to never waste a second of my life working for assholes. Ever again.
I know some people can sell their soul for the corporate dream and will work year in, year out in a place where they are neither valued nor thanked. I know that some people seem to actively enjoy being part of the inevitable bitchy divide and conquer atmosphere that appears to prevail in small companies run by power hungry, personality stunted megalomaniacs. And still other people seem to naturally have the skill that allows them to kiss the right asses, in the right order and play the game.
I'm none of these people.
I believe that a working environment should be free of bullying, or drama and of nastiness. I believe that people should be allowed to express their personalities as long as they get their work done. I believe that retaining your personality is more important than kissing the ass of assholes. And I believe that I am extremely glad I didn't fit in.
I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to manage without the salary. But guess what? I can.
And I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to deal with being fired. But guess what? I did.
I did, however, have the feeling that I would be extremely glad never to see their faces again. And guess what? I am.
All's well that ends well, no matter how shit it seems at the time. And sometimes it's good to burn that bridge down to the fucking ground.