I got the call sometime in between 9:17am and 9:28am, the texts to my boyfriend before and after it happened.
I’d never been asked to speak to the CFO of the company before, and this was a strange request to join him in his office. As I got up from my desk I noticed that both of my superiors were nowhere to be found, a strange event as I had noted they both returned from their breakfast meeting. I thought nothing of it.
As I ran through the scenarios in my head that anyone had ever been asked to see him in his office, all of them pointed to one life-changing event, but then again, that wouldn’t happen to me, that’s not possible.
Had I been accused of embezzling funds? My record was clean. No way, I thought, he must want to discuss something else with me. I was far from the perfect employee, but I always did my best, and I cared. As I walked towards the stairs, my body knew before I did. My face had turned bright red, a rare occasion for me, an olive-skinned young woman, not easily flustered enough to turn red.
It took one pitiful look from the junior accountant to seal my fate, but I was still not sold. I walked into his office, and it was as if I had stepped into an alternate reality. He closed the door and handed me a letter. Of all things, I thought of the cup of tea I had just brewed, of the half-eaten breakfast I was in the middle of fuelling my busy day with. I thought of the trips I was about to book for my guys, they needed those trips booked, who would book those trips?
As I couldn’t help but cry in his office, more-so out of shock than regret, I managed to compose myself as he apologized to me, for what I’m not really sure, as he had no answer for me when I demanded a reason. No response when I asked why I was not warned that my position was in jeopardy, why I was not given a chance to be notified about my failures and improve upon them. He only offered to collect my things so that I could leave the office one final time. I hadn’t even taken one sip of that tea… it was still sitting there, warm, ready to embrace me upon my return.
Praying that no one would see me on my red-faced, teary exit, I floated down 46 floors on my last elevator ride, and then took a seat on a couch in the lobby. I had stopped sobbing, long enough to feel responsibility detach from my body, and the world full of possibility open its arms. I was not meant for this job, and this was a blessing in disguise. I did not like this job, and this was the final push that I needed.