Buyout Blues

Summer 2005

Gotta get some experience to put on my resume, so I’m sucking it up and working for free at my internship while working full-time at my summer retail job. It sucks but whatever. Gotta do what I gotta do.

Let’s name my internship supervisor Jan.

Jan is a very respected PhD scientist, has a wide array of experience in the field of atmospheric science, including research, academia, and policy. Typical east coaster in nature, she has no filter or any type of southern charm whatsoever, and she follows policies and procedures without sway. Always by the book.

And she has a spreadsheet for everything.

You guys, she has a spreadsheet that tracks how often she dumps the dehumidifier water.

Seriously. Everything.

But she is also cool as hell. We can talk about literally anything, and our conversations are always about super interesting topics — from quantum physics, to music, to spirituality, to pot smoking, to politics, to home renovations. There aren’t many topics we haven’t covered. She’s becoming more than my mentor this summer — I feel like she’s genuinely becoming my friend.

….

(insert Spongebob narrator voice)
*fourteen yeals late-el*

Fall 2019

Jan and I sort of kept in touch over the years, but now we really get to reconnect because we’re both working for the same environmental firm. It’s pretty badass. She’s still her uptight, by-the-book self, and it drives some people nuts, but it makes me laugh because I know her well enough to know her intentions are pure. She just likes things to be done “right” even if it makes no practical sense in the field.

Our conversations are as awesome as I remember, and every time we walk by each other’s offices, we playfully wave and laugh at our ridiculousness.

Good times.

….

Spring 2021

Welp, shit has officially hit the fan.

The owner of our small company, who is a very good man but beyond ready to retire, just sold the business to a much larger company. He did what he truly felt was best, and we trust his decision.

We’re all pretty nervous about possibly losing our jobs, and about how things may really start to change as it all unfolds. We like the family feel of being part of a small company, and we’re afraid of being just a number to the Bobs.

But hey! When the new company came to visit, they said about 238903 times that they were so excited to work with us! It doesn’t feel disingenuous at all!

Yeah mmk.

Even though that slimy gut feeling is hard to dismiss, we’re all trying to be positive and go with the flow.

They also just sent us a list of 22 FAQs, and FAQ number 1 said nobody would lose their jobs.

They would never lie to us!

Yeah mmk.

….

June 2021

What a load of bullshit.

Two very fantastic people just lost their jobs, not due to poor performance because they are amazing at what they do–the new company is even implementing some practices they put in place within our small company–but they were let go because we truly have become just a number.

Sure, I get it. Bottom line matters in business. These two people may be great people and great workers, that the new company didn’t take the time to fully get to know, but their positions weren’t profitable in the end, so they were tossed aside. We’ve become dispensable. Deception and greed at its finest.

Damn. All this slimy grossness.

One of these two wonderful people was Jan. I will hardly ever see or talk to this woman again. I’m heartbroken.

I reached out to Jan through text, and we were very open and honest about how much we mean to each other. To receive vulnerable texts from her was such a treat, since you typically don’t see that side of her, but the circumstances of the texts just flat out suck.

Jan has taught me so much, both professionally and personally, and I respect her more than she knows. She shared something that I have been feeling pretty heavily lately in my personal life, and her message really resonated with me:

I’m an emotional mess right now, but I’m still honest. Honesty, in my mind, is the best thing to hold on to. Be honest with yourself and others. With that, it’s everyone else’s loss.

Ask yourself, how honest are you really being with yourself and others?

If you’re not being honest with yourself, it is impossible to be honest with others.

If this describes you in any area of your life, or if someone else is playing games and not being completely honest with you, themselves, or someone else, or if you have that slimy gut feeling that you’re being deceived, it’s time to release the grip you have on this person/situation/cycle you find yourself stuck in, and let that shit go.

It’s never easy. Like at all. But it’s a matter of self love and respect. Stop the cycle now or it’ll just keep on repeating until you learn.

Cliché af, but honesty truly is the best policy. With that, it’s everyone else’s loss.

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