Tag Archives: Being Fired

Terminated Illegally (7)? Refocus the Loss

Last time we reviewed the five stages of loss many encounter during the grieving process, including los of a job. Unfortunately, the effects of being illegally terminated can leave a bruise lasting a lifetime, let’s hope David is able to find acceptance before too long.

Today’s submission takes a curve as we look deeper into YOU (while concluding behind David’s reflection). For those who have suffered a loss, any type of loss, the grieving process can prove to be a difficult path to eventual emotional recovery. With this said, look in the mirror, open truth, and recognize that person looking back is defined by you, no one else.

Your turn: Using the list of stages previously reviewed, explain a career loss you suffered, how it made you feel, and how it affected your personal/family life.

Now that the person looking back is the same person paying attention, continue introspection by responding to the following (only you will be reviewing responses so be honest by expressing the emotional impact the loss created)…

Your turn: I dealt with the above loss detailed by the five stages:

  • Denial:
  • Anger:
  • Bargaining:
  • Depression:
  • Acceptance:

Too easy to sweep emotion beneath the carpet, the cost of jarring pain far outweighs the benefit. It’s a huge relief to accept and grow after personal or professional loss.

Truth is, more often than not, how we react to hardships is within you. How do you think David is reacting to his hardship? I think he’s on the right track but he also expressed how the illegal termination will leave a psychological scar for the remainder of his years.

For the record: The emotional journey doesn’t always stop at acceptance; more work required.

During the course of conversation with David, I shared this thought: “Time doesn’t take away pain, only texture.” For several minutes David held quiet and then mentioned the following:

David:While growing up, my grandfather told me that ‘if nothing changes, nothing changes.’”

His lesson appearing obvious: If you are not where you want to be now, strap your boots on and do something about it.

Between stares and silence, I felt it was my turn to bring forth a saying: “The true definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

David looked away, his voice faltered, hid momentarily, and then revealed how he was finding it hard to get out of his depression because he felt he was used and tossed out the window of a speeding wood-paneled station wagon like a burnt out butt no longer breathing purpose. I asked why he felt that way.

His response was long-suffering, whispery, and haunted by smothering apprehension: “Bertha used me, I feel demeaned each time I remember the discussions and moments we had at the beach; we were alone to the world, just her and I… I listened, consoled, and as she leaned into me, the connection was paralyzing. I was hooked and by the next morning, she had me. I don’t think I’ll get over what I thought was warmth but was only self-serving deceit.”

David went on; detailing events of the evening and conversations during the business trip we’ll share as our journey continues. To say the least, as an objective author and outsider, I am shocked Chity College and Bertha terminated David with such malleolus abandon and without regard to the ripples, personally and professionally.

If you have any questions or would like to add to the journey, contact me directly at dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how ECS can help you. Be sure and have your peers join in on the conversation and adventure… they may thank you one very difficult day.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

 

Terminated Illegally (6)? Five Stages of Loss

Being a victim of termination rarely ranks high on the list of pleasantries. For many, the psychological and emotional distress caused by the loss of employment manifests itself physically. For those on the wrong side of a termination, no doubt you feel me.

The common stages of loss (employment included) many people experience are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Let’s highlight the five stages and examine David’s distress:

Denial: Quite often, the first reaction to learning you’ve been fired or let go is to deny that it is really happening. It’s normal to do this; in fact, it helps you get over the shock. This stage is usually brief and is only meant to carry you to the next step.

David: “Prior to the termination meeting, I felt comfortable. Heck, the email invitation from Bertha did not appear threatening… truth is, I was sucker-punched, to say the least. Once the axe came down, I thought that there was no way this was happening. After all, I’ve had only positive feedback from students, staff, and Bertha herself. And then to be showcased out like an animal on display; the cruelty and total dehumanization presented by Bertha was evil; pure and simple.”

Anger: As denial fades, the reality of the situation often comes back in an emotional and fearful way. It is at this time the concern over how you can pay bills is most pressing.

David: “Though the money was marginal, it was counted on for diapers, milk, and basic necessities. Yes, upset and angry over the process remains weeks later, especially when I allow myself to think about the over-powering and poisonous level of immorality by Bertha, her non-emotional glare, and her sense of snugness. I am feeling better but can’t sleep soundly as I keep replaying the way I was treated like a roach.”

Bargaining: Anger often makes one feel helpless. In order to regain control, it is common to begin making deals and thinking of what could have happened. Thoughts such as “If only I didn’t show up late that one day,” or “If only I was nicer to my boss,” or “maybe if I had agreed to more hours,” toss around our minds and add to sleepless nights. Making up “if’s” is another step to coping with a tough situation. After the “what if’s” run through your head and conversations, most people fall into the next step without realizing it.

David: “I don’t really have too many “what if’s” as the ambush came to me as a total bombshell. I did nothing wrong, falling victim to a mentally instable reptile in disguise… a reptile inebriated by delusion.”

Depression: This occurs when the loss is hitting you the hardest. Loss is a difficult thing to cope with, especially when you realize there’s nothing you can do to get it back. Questions like “How am I going to pay my bills?” “Where will I find another job?” “What do I do now?” “How can I stay positive when all I get is rejection?” can take control of your thoughts. It is at this time that keeping busy and not giving into depression is extremely important.

David: “No doubt depression hits hard and it is hitting me harder than expected. I know I was bringing good to many and not being allowed to share remains the most difficult part for me. Yeah, it’s hard to be positive after this treatment. Quite honestly, the depression continues to cause migraines, sleepless nights, mental irritation, emotional injury, and physical difficulties as well. Unfortunately, over the past two weeks I’ve also gained ten pounds… my cardiologist is not happy.”

Acceptance: This stage is a gift that is not easily given to everyone and is not on a set time table. Acceptance means that you understand why you were let go, even if you don’t agree with the reasons, and this allows you to continue on with your life and career in a positive way.

David: “I’m not there yet. I don’t agree with the reasons as they were muddled by semantics. No doubt I will get over this travesty and the level of support by way of emails and calls has been a true blessing. For those, thank you for allowing a few sparks of light to enter a world smothered by forced apathy.”

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s “Five Stages of Grief” mentioned above categorizes what many experience due to job loss. David’s reaction fits the process, and I look forward to where his journey takes us all.

Next time we’ll be delving deeper into the five stages of loss, focusing attention to those who have experienced a job loss and developing a way to refocus the pain into a more positive and progressive step to career success… you don’t want to miss our next episode.

If you have any questions or would like to add to the journey, contact me directly at dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how ECS can help you. Be sure and have your peers join in on the conversation and adventure… they may thank you one very difficult day.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
Education Career Services Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

 

Terminated Illegally (3)? Once a loser…

An individual’s character is not determined by the stumble.
An individual’s character is determined by the ability to stand back up.

We often accept self-characterizations bestowed by others without even realizing it, allowing negatives a room of their own within our very psyche, allowing the shove to prevent the stand.

During times of struggle, conflict, and termination, the tendency to grasp at old habits fuel an immediate journey to attain emotional safety… where comfort is found below the line of social visibility. Think about the time(s) you’ve been emotionally dismantled… how did you cope? Did you hide? Did you run? Did you stay down? Being fired from your job affects layers upon layers of that which defines us. I’m not saying terminations are not a necessary evil; I’m saying the process can lead to abuse.

Employee empowerment is not part of the equation during a termination. Strategic nonverbal communication, subjective semantics, and blatant crushing are an often used tactic patterned by management. As David shared more morning events, time for you to take a step back and remember the last time you were fired (or had done the firing).

David: “Bertha closed the door immediately after I entered. She followed me a few steps, marching all the way like a stiff combatant readying the ambush. A chair was leaned my direction; choices were stolen instantaneously while Mr. Farris sat in a predatory power pose two feet away.”

Danny: “Once the process began, were you given the opportunity to defend yourself or was fate tied by the two in control?”

David: “Like soul-malnourished sharks, the two attacked, suffocating any breath of resolve. I was a loser, they made sure I knew it, they made sure I believed it, they made sure I lived it.”

Danny: “The strategies of showcasing total control are common when it comes to employee terminations. Too often those taking charge push the intimidation role too far. Can you share the types of nonverbal messages being sent?”

David: “Bertha said little, she mostly stared blankly at the attorney. Her ability to look at me was limited either by of her lack of belief in the process or lack of belief in the cause, or so is my opinion. When she did speak, her tone was uncomfortable, matching eyes void of compassion or commitment. She sat without curve, simply robotic. Mr. Farris, on the other hand, performed as if he strived on the scent of blood, eager to seize. With a leaning forebode, he overshadowed any counter resolve. His mind, body, and soul strived on the powerless… the losers of the world. His tone, aggressive and cocky, drove one way, his way… resistance was futile.”

Danny: “Sounds like you being invited was meant to break your will, nothing more. I’m trying to understand, as you mentioned last time and the inviting email from Bertha where you being referred to as ‘silly’ comes into play. Perhaps it was the element of surprise on their part so you would be ill-prepared to counter any form of defense? Another typical offense by the home team. Anyway, what was going through your mind?”

David: “Oddly enough, being terminated was not what was going through my mind. What was going through my mind was the process. Why the drama? Why the rooster-stance? Why the complete destruction of another person’s character? My mind, without intent, ventured back to childhood and how my grandfather told me how I was a loser. My grandfather hounded that once a loser, always a loser. That’s what I thought about… his words ‘once a loser, always a loser’ elevated into the morning’s memory.”

Danny: “How could something like a simple termination loosen those memories?”

David: “Not sure why, they just did. Seems like my life details the life of a loser… when a good thing came my way, those in power always found a way to snub out hope. I’ve lost a great deal in my life, much more than most. For years our apathetic society defined me as a loser, of an individual not worthy of success or belief. Times like this morning confirm what my grandfather believed many years ago: ‘once a loser, always a loser.’”

Danny: “I’m sorry you had to endure this, no doubt the intent was not to terminate, but to intimidate you into total submission. My advice to you is that your willingness to stand up, open yourself to vulnerabilities, and not accept what your grandfather claimed, is what defines you… not the other way around. How did the discussion conclude?”

David: “I was given a direct command that if I ever stepped foot on this campus, the police would be notified and I would be arrested. I was told never to make contact with any staff (was told this several times) or students. Bertha then stated that my final compensation was enclosed in an envelope (she then handed me the envelope). I asked if this included compensation from month’s prior that was never paid out. She said no but would get with Jay.”

Danny: “They gave you a final check missing compensation? And you left simply hoping the money they owed would be paid at a later date? After the termination?”

David: “Yes. Then I was told an escort would show me the way out and to my vehicle. Nice, not only dehumanized within the office, I was showcased as a trophy, pumping the shark’s ego even more. I left, never looking back, was disallowed too.”

David’s grandfather may have believed “once a loser, always a loser,” but I do not subscribe to the motto.

If you are ever terminated, recognize it is NOT what defines who you are. You are the master of your universe, no one else. We’ll travel more with David next time when we ask the question “Should one beg or go (during a termination process)?”

If you have any questions or would like to add to the journey, contact me directly: dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how I can help you. Be sure and have your peers join in on the conversation and adventure… they may thank you one very difficult day.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Education Career Services
Blogsite: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: http://www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Terminated Illegally (2): Come on in…

Being called into the office to be fired is rarely positive; yet many of us have had the (dis)pleasure of the experience. How does one react with the scheduled event and devastating news?

During these most uncomfortable meetings, your supervisor typically will not be alone. The reason: fear of a “he-said / she-said” situation. Given the amount of stress, no doubt you understand. Think of it this way, if an individual is getting terminated by the opposite sex, unfounded accusations are often claimed. Thus, don’t be surprised at a tag-team mentally… it is for their protection, not yours; accept it.

Taking a moment for David’s situation, here’s how he was notified via email from the boss, Bertha: “Hi David, Could you come meet and talk before class on Friday morning at 8:30 a.m.”

David replied: “Not a problem about Friday prior to class. Would you like me to bring anything?”

Bertha’s final reply: “You don’t have to bring anything except yourself silly. See you then.”

Notice the tone of the email invitation from Bertha was not indicative of an illegal termination. If you are called into the office, don’t always assume negatives are forthcoming. Hopefully your next office visit will be for the promotion you recently inquired. Needless to say, recognize what’s going on and be prepared for the most unexpected. During our discussions with David, I did ask how he psychologically felt about the email.

David: “At first I thought nothing of it. Then, after reading it for a second time, I felt marginalized by the use of the term ‘silly.’ I would refer to the main boss as silly. Feeling degraded, I began to get an uneasy feeling about the meeting. The night before, Thursday, I had a horrible feeling and could not sleep. How dare her call me silly.”

According to David, setting up the termination meeting processed as follows: Friday morning came along and her office door was open. After a “come on in,” I entered to notice an individual dressed in a power suit, sitting smugly, and eager to pounce. Bertha remained seated, silent, and bearing a squid-like facial impression.  Once he introduced himself, we’ll call this gentleman Mr. Farris, an attorney, the level of anxiety became overwhelming. Within seconds, I knew…

For those who have ever been in this situation, you know it can be quite challenging. For those who have never been in this situation, congratulations. Prepare yourself for the inevitable… throughout one’s career life cycle, you most likely will be sitting on one side of the table before retirement.

Summary and upcoming: How should one react at the moment of being fired? Do you become angry? Is this the time to lash out or sit quietly? Do you beg for your job back? Do you play the blame game? No doubt for each his/her own, but there are established rules of conduct, even during an illegal termination.

Next time everyone will “come on in” as David takes you by the hand during the illegal termination presented by Bertha and Mr. Farris.

If you have any questions or would like to add to the journey, contact me directly: dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how I can help you. Be sure and have your peers join in on the conversation and adventure… they may thank you one very difficult day.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Terminated Illegally? The Process Begins

Over the weekend, I received a call from David who informed me of his termination after working with an academic institution for over 1-1/2 years. Needless to say, we chatted the afternoon. Feeling lost and abused, his story reflects a growing trend and is worth repeating to a mounting base of individuals who have been terminated without due process.

The methodology or our epic story will be presented in a question/answer series (as well as taking advantage of proven techniques) while promising to take the reader beyond the superficial. A piece of non-fiction, names of individuals and educational institutions involved in this “incident” have been changed to protect their identity.

Reader value: If you’ve ever been terminated unjustly or know of someone who has, this step-by-step publication will Educate, Empower, and Encourage you to stand up, proudly. On this note, I strongly recommend you invite others to take part by following this adventure as it unfolds.

Key Players:

* Chity College (CC): Academic institution
* David: Victim of the illegal termination
* Bertha: Leader, voice of Chity College
* Jay: Recent arrival, second in command
* Dr. Road: Original player not to be confused with the Beatles” album, Abbey Road

Initial Conversation:

David: “I was told a few days ago that I was fired and now want to know what options are available? I remember your presentation at a national conference, which is why I am reaching out to you. What are my options?”

Danny: ”

David: “I want the world to know and that is why I am asking for your assistance. Can you help me understand how a huge corporation can do anything they want without recourse?”

Danny: “First of all, I am not an attorney (though worked with attorneys as a legal clerk) and the suggestions made are backed by many years in the career management field. I have worked with thousands of individuals, many disenfranchised, with their career strategies. As a certified career coach, certified professional resume writer, and certified professional interview professional, I am confident you and our viewership will learn a great deal, not only about the process, but also about our key players.”

David: “I know you’ve spoken nationally and regionally multiple times, mostly about protecting the rights of those with a challenged past, but I am hoping your guidance and advice will prove advantageous to my specific situation. By the way, within this termination I will be uncovering a number of issues I believe to be sensitive. I’ll talk about racism at the top level, manipulation of grades and attendance in the name of profit, and even a few sexual favors along the way, just to mention a few less appealing topics.”

Danny: “Wow, sounds like a twisted novel plot. Maybe we can work together on a major project?”

David: “I’ve kept tedious notes and plenty hard copies to back it up. And yes, a tell-all novel will be forthcoming.”

Looks like there’s more to the termination and CC than at first glance. Follow the complete story and let others know to follow as the adventure countdowns launch.

Our next session reviews the day of David’s termination… don’t miss it.

David mentioned my national presentations covering employee rights, specifically those with a blemished background. For those interested in getting a head start, you can purchase “Overcoming Employment Barriers: A Career Guide to Assisting Challenged Job Seekers (Former Felons, Substance Abusers, and Others) at our website mentioned below.

Visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact me directly: dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how I can help you.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com