Three weeks ago, I woke up and went downstairs. I peeked out the window to see if my mom was waiting outside in the driveway. Not yet. She was picking me up for an early doctors appointment. Soon enough I heard her pull up and I grabbed my purse and went out the door. We went to my appointment and the doctor told me she was proud of the progress I was making. I then went to an appointment with my dietitian, and she told me I was doing well also. I felt good, and I was happy that others were feeling good about things with me.
My mom dropped me off at home after the appointments and breakfast at her house. I chatted with her about work for a few minutes, and she told me to have a great day. I went inside and prepared my lunch for later that day and made sure I had all of my food gathered up to take to work with me. Then I relaxed for a while and read, finishing up a book I had started over the weekend.
12:30 rolled around and I started to get ready for work. I hauled my bags of food and books and magazines to give away to my car and drove the few blocks to the library. I killed some time checking email before work, and messaged my husband, saying I hoped he had a good day. The clock read 12:55. I got out of my car, and lugged my bags up the stairs to the back entry that only staff uses, but sometimes certain librarians let their family members use, even though I was told we weren’t supposed to. I stuck my key in the lock and twisted, making sure to get my key out of the door and not leave it there like I accidentally did last week. I felt a little nervous, but I didn’t know why. Let me tell you this…our bodies and minds are amazing things. Somehow, I think I knew today wouldn’t be typical…I just didn’t know why or in what way it would be different.
I walked into the work room and though my co-workers were around, they didn’t greet me. I stuck my food in the fridge and took off my coat, and then started in on the interlibrary loan books I needed to mail out. The library director walked into the back room and asked me if she knew the instagram password and username. I told her I didn’t know, but that I’d tell her, which I proceeded to do. She walked out. Then she came back into the work room and asked me to follow her to her office.
Less than ten minutes later, I had packed up all of my stuff and carried it back outside to my car. I was shaking and my mind was whirling. I felt like I should cry, but I was too shocked. I had just been terminated from my job as a librarian.
I immediately drove to my house. I felt like I was in a nightmare, like the trees surrounding the streets were closing in above me. I knocked on the front door and my husband answered the door. He didn’t believe me. I talked with him for a while and promised to drive safely to my parents house, a few blocks over. I still felt like I was living in a surreal reality. My mom asked me what was wrong, and I told the story over again. “Why?!” My mom asked. And I answered as best I could. But I honestly didn’t know the answer. All of the allegations were petty and had no substance. In fact, some of them were based on assumptions that given further looking into, having the opportunity to explain, could have been cleared up.
Several weeks ago I had heard a potential employee talking to a man in a suspicious way, saying “get the good stuff this time” and shaking hands. I had voiced my slight concern with a co-worker and she, in turn, had told the director. The director had approached me about the whole thing, wondering why I hadn’t told her about the conversation I had overheard, if I really thought something illegal had been going on. We talked for a while, and at the end she told me not to be upset, that she would talk to me if she ever had something she was concerned about. I trusted that she was speaking the truth. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I can’t help but wonder if this instance had something to do with my termination. How long was this being planned? Did she know weeks, months ago that I was not going to be around much longer?
Yes, I lost my job. A good job. But I am so much happier now. I have more time to focus on my recovery. I have more time with my family. I have a new job that I love, even though it doesn’t involve books. I work with wonderful people, one of them being my sister. I have an amazing boss who isn’t afraid to reprimand me when I am doing something the wrong way, but who I know will give me the chance to grow and learn and relearn. I am at a place in my life right now where I am much more stable. If this would have happened a year ago, I probably would have been devastated. Now I can’t help but wonder if it was a blessing in disguise. Their loss is someone else’s gain. I feel so free and happy now. Life is good. Sometimes we don’t expect what life throws at us. Sometimes when a door closes, a window opens. Through all of this; losing my job, making positive choices for my health…I am learning who really cares about me. Who and what is really important. The people I have in my life are so good. How did I get so lucky?