Tag Archives: Illegal Termination

TI (9)? I Exist… And You?

Much has happened over the past week as David slouches in the saddle once again. Last time we reviewed how the power of affirmations and visualization can lead to great success, personally and professionally. Catching up with David we find that part of his process during the termination process revolves around one simple question: “Are you existing or living?”

DSC_0090 Two weeks ago I asked David to begin the affirmation and visualization process – of which he states he has. Problem is, he now questions if there is a meaning in life or do we just exist between birth and death? Actually a complicated question asked throughout the ages… and first asked (officially) by a Socrates. So many years later, same question… same excuses.

David: “Once terminated by Bertha, I stopped thinking about duties of the day and began to think about purpose… or if there is one. This thought hit hard last week while standing in a return line at Walmart. I saw on the faces of all entering sadness, hollowness, and burden. Their eyes and body language yelled existence, not living. I stood there, wondering if my eyes disclosed the same lack of passion… water began to swell and I’m not really sure why. I just felt so much sadness, like I was drowning in a river of emptiness.”

Taking David’s thought to the next level, questions slid inside a diving pool… are we poised to ask, do we dare ask, are we afraid of the answer: “Are you living or existing? Are you happy with your life, your career, and who you are?” With heaviness, I followed David’s experience at Walmart and took trip to our local market for a view from my own eyes.

Like David, I saw what he saw… for the first time my eyes opened to a world where self- and social- delusion no longer blinded vision. Who knows, perhaps I noticed you in the crowd… did you see me or are you capable of sight?

Knowing the vast majority of people are not satisfied with their current job/position, I would like to know how you are going through each day without purpose, not just professionally. With this, I encourage each reader to take the next fifteen minutes to reflect on themselves and respond to the following (would appreciate feedback but expect none):

  • What does the concept “exist” mean and how does it differ from the concept of “living”
  • Are you doing what you believe you were born to do
  • What keeps you motivated, professionally and personally (please do not say money)
  • When you are gone, what do you want to be remembered for (do not mention easy things like being a great mom, a great dad, a hard worker, a religious person, a great knitter—I am looking for something unique—and we are all unique—and personal)

With these questions in mind, I went back to David and asked for his insight. As expected, David remained depressed over the termination.

David: “When teaching and seeing student eyes open to new possibilities and insight, I grasped a sense of wonder dreamed about as a young child. Yeah, I’ve owned, operated, and ran large and small organizations, but the feeling of being alive was only profound when teaching. Bertha took that away, and enjoyed doing it. I’m trying to visualize regaining that sense of self, but all I see is her smile, smirking and slashing without regard to civility, right or wrong.”

Danny: “Yes, getting back on the track to ‘living’ is not going to be easy, but it can be regained. Perhaps you will find some comfort in the old saying, ‘what comes around, goes around?’ Who knows what karma has in store.”

What about you? Are you afraid to look into the mirror with eyes no longer shut? Are you existing day to day until death or are you living, appreciating the moment? When was the last time your body thanked your lungs for air? Think about it before slighting the question as being silly. Look behind the veil, if you can.

I’m not asking for me, I’m asking for you: Are you existing or are you living?

Looking onward, David comes to share more about his trip(s) and times alone with Bertha. Through the next few letters, you will recognize the deceit and desperation behind the makeup Bertha wore so well.

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
Blog site: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

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Terminated Illegally (8)? Commitment to Persevere

Without seeing who you can be tomorrow,
you will never be more than who you are today.

It’s been a rough few weeks for David as he is still coping with the emotional and psychological trauma inflicted upon him last month. I’ve reached out several times to him over the past week but found only echoed silence. Fortunately he was able to pull up his bootstrap and continue highlighting a journey many have traveled.

Before David discussed additional elements leading up to the date of his firing, we took a few moments to examine his mental state of mind and a few techniques proven to strengthen self-confidence and motivation.

David: “Like I said, I just don’t get it. I worked hard, gained respect of my peers and those being mentored, and still it wasn’t good enough. I feel like a failure.”

Danny: “Losing your job will dent esteem and motivation; that’s no secret. But there are things one can do to get out of that temporary funk. For instance, what do you think about before you go to bed and when you first wake up?”

David: “What do you mean before I go to sleep? I think about how rotten it was being fired and how wrong Chity College was in so many ways. I think about this going to bed and it remains to burn my mind’s sunrise. And when I wake up, I just want to lay there, to not even get up and try. Keep thinking about ‘once a failure, always a failure.’”

Danny: “David, you have the power to control confidence and motivation. One technique proven to be effective is before going to bed one should think about a positive event completed during the day. It could be something simple like making a great meal or working on a project or being patient in heavy traffic (without raising blood pressure). Research is clear, what one thinks about as they go to bed impacts the quality of sleep and morning attitude.”

David: “You’re saying think positive thoughts and the world will be a better place? Sounds like a load of crap to me.”

Danny: “Not saying that at all. I am challenging you to think of something positive completed during the day each evening. And when you wake up, make a commitment to yourself that the day is going to be a good day, that you are in control, or that you will succeed. These commitments you make are often referred to as affirmations and can be quite powerful. Rather than dwelling on a hurtful past, center your concentration on a positive future.”

David: “Telling myself does not make it real. What’s the purpose?”

Danny: “True enough, but in order to change, to become more confident, and to ignite motivation, there must be a goal. Affirmations are the first steps to change from being a victim to being the champion you are meant to be. From affirmations, picture in your mind the day how you will feel. Begin with small and easily attainable goals, we’ll work our way into more challenging ones soon.”

David: “Fair enough, I’ll try this commitment thing. I’ll think about a positive before I go to bed, even think about a goal I want to complete once awake. And this affirmation thing, will give it a try.”

Danny: “To be clear, you are not going to dwell on the negatives, only on the positives. You will make positive affirmations when you wake up. I will ask you to write your daily affirmations in a journal as well. By writing affirmations on paper, the breath of life enters their soul.”

David: “Whatever.”

The power of personal commitments and affirmations can be significant and life-changing. As with David, I suggest each reader develop their own affirmations.

To share a bit about myself, my morning affirmation over the years has been (and continues to be): “I am the master of my universe, and I am the power.” Yeah, a bit corny and he-man cartoonish but it helps me recognize that if I want things to change, it must first come from within me; no one else.

I encourage you to share your affirmations over the week by sending them in through the comment page or directly to me. Next time we’ll go one step further with David by taking affirmations into the visualization stage.

As promised in previous submissions, we will detail the cognitive dissonance David had been experiencing over the past 18 months by highlighting external pressures and value-marginalizing techniques forced by Bertha. But first we need to get David back on the right track before the rabbit hole engulfs his confidence and motivation. For those in similar situations, no doubt you understand the reason for the detour.

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
Blog site: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

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 (4)? Should I beg or should I bolt

Truth is not defined by others.
Truth is defined by you.

When faced with an employment termination, there are two basic reactions: Begging for your job back or accepting the fact you have no job – leaving the area with dignity (or not). Being in an executive positon for over a decade, I’ve had the displeasure of terminating more than a handful of employees. Though lesser appear to be shocked by the event, most know (at least on the subconscious level) their days are numbered.

Last submission we detailed what happened during David’s firing, today we’re going to return to the shark tank as we look at the final few minutes…

David: “There I was, Bertha held out my final compensation (minus 32 outstanding hours), making it clear my stay was no longer welcomed. I placed the few pieces of paper into my briefcase, thought for a moment, and stated ‘I am going to leave professionally because that is who I am.’”

Danny: “Did you think about apologizing or asking for reconsideration?”

David: “Throughout the 15 minute harpooning, the open wounds Bertha and Mr. Farris poured salt into went too far, too deep, too painful to allow another opportunity. I knew from the moment of walking into the office, a decision was made and rebuttal would be futile. Plus, I knew I was much better a person than the two bottom-feeders circling me.”

Danny: “Were you asked to sign anything? Were you given paperwork?”

David: “Did not sign anything. Was not asked to sign anything; besides,what value is there in a signature of a broken soul? I was given Mr. Farrris’ business card, a copy of my original application of employment, my final check, and a copy (signed by Bertha) of a Notice of Trespass Warning.”

Danny: “Can you summarize what a notice of trespass warning is for those not familiar?”

David: “Sure. The Notice of Trespass Warning given to me detailed how ‘I was NOT (all caps—an intimidation strategy?) authorized, permitted or invited to enter or remain on the property located at…. And went on to further advise that if I trespassed on said property, Chity College intends to pursue criminal charges through the State Attorney’s Office for Trespass. Any previous authorizations for you to enter or remain on the premises are hereby revoked… signed by Bertha.”

Danny: “And you were there for 18 months without incident? Were they afraid you would suddenly turn into a monster?”

David: “I don’t know what they were thinking other than the total annihilation of any resistance. Definitely felt like bolting out but thought twice about it. I wanted to be the professional, not the piece of dirt they were trying to label.”

When it comes to being fired, the tendency to lash back is fairly common. Problem with that: burnt bridges and it proves nothing. One can yell, fight, argue, and call the other names, but for what outcome. Truth is, you still will not have a job, no matter how loud you scream. The other option, walking out proudly, with head high, and dignity your companion, you prove yourself to be the professional in all ways.

David: “They tried to define me… to present their rationalized truth as reality. But their truth was filled by bias, by a sense of ignorance, and by a sense of what they wanted the truth to be. This way their illegal behavior could be justified and perhaps they would be able to sleep at night.”

Danny: “So you walked out professional, respectfully. That shows a great deal about character and who you are as an individual as well as a testament detailing the level of shallowness Bertha and Mr. Farris possess.”

David explained how vulnerable he felt as he stepped out the two front glass doors. A sense of confusion still intoxicated his mind. How could this be happening? What was he going to do next?

Next segment we’ll find out David’s next step and what actions are available.

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
Education Career Services: http://www.edu-cs.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