A week ago today was my last official day of employment. Yes, I had been at home with Thomas for four months, but I had been out on leave. First I was out on paternity/bonding leave, then I asked for a personal leave. Those leaves have finally been exhausted and I am no longer employed. This means some of the benefits I was receiving for being employed I no longer get… not the biggest loss there, although there were a few nice perks.
What I Miss Most
I worked for my employer for just over 13 years. I went through a few promotions and I was working on another, whether or not I would get one I’m not sure but I was working hard toward it. I felt like I was a very valuable piece of the company and that surely things would be worse off if I left. Before I left, I had asked for my personal leave to be extended to six months (the maximum allowed), this was ‘just-in-case’ our situation changed for whatever reason. I wanted to have a fall-back plan just in case… My request for six months of leave was denied, I was given one month of leave while they figured out to whom and how to request the full six months, but that never went through.
Before I left, I also asked if they could keep me on, but as part-time. Now, I wasn’t really expecting them to say yes to this… no one else in the department with my job works part-time and I don’t think they wanted to set a precedent for future people. I guess I thought they would entertain the idea though, as someone else was going out on leave for the birth of their child and perhaps they would need me to stick around for a little bit longer to help with the workload.
So I felt as though I had value and that the value I had would provide me some leeway. I guess I felt somewhat unreplaceable? (Not really, but I felt I did an excellent job and that they would want to keep me around). I wasn’t trying to strong-arm the company to meet ridiculous demands by any means. I felt that going from a staff of three, to a staff of one (temporarily while the other person was out for bonding), that perhaps they would want to keep me on, part-time, to help. Well I guess they showed me? I feel humbled now and riddled with questions about the quality of employee and worker that I really was… Perhaps it did not matter whether I was good or bad, perhaps a policy is a policy.
I worked really hard the last few years to get where I was and had forged some wonderful friendships. The department I worked in was putting some good effort forward to invoke some major changes and while it wasn’t all good for everyone, there were a LOT of benefits. I was learning a ton and I miss that.
Moral of the Story?
You are replaceable, or in my case they may not even replace you, they may just go on without that job altogether. Sure things may be in a slight decline for a while until others can pick up the slack. Be thankful for your job, do your best for it, work hard at it, put forth critical thought, effort, be nice, creative, communicate, and have fun while you are at work.
Even though you may do a lot of the work today, the company could go on without you tomorrow.
Good-bye to all of my work friends… many of you still hear from me daily on Facebook and see pictures of my life and know that I am moving on to greater things. My thirst for technology and learning will never be quenched, I still read to stay current. The last 13 years have made me the amazing father that Thomas thinks I am.