Terrible News

According to the current journal description, "Kyra is a teacher at a bilingual Chinese/English preschool, and Chris is a researcher at an educational software company." Soon, however, neither of those descriptions will be fitting. The description about me is no longer fitting now--I lost my job. Many people will ask why or what happened. Unfortunately, even I do not know the answer.

One day last week, I submitted an analysis, and my boss complimented the work. He said he was going to send it to upper management and asked me to meet him to discuss the analysis and the next steps. I went to meet with him, and an HR person was in the room. Not a good sign. Ironically, before saying anything else, my boss complimented my analytical abilities. Then he said I would no longer be able to continue my career with the company. I asked why, and he gave me vague reasons, none of which made sense.

Ever since this happened, I've been searching for something that went wrong, but I can't find anything significant. My last performance review went well, and my boss had no negative comments. I received a raise, and although it wasn't very good, it was still a raise. I had been busy working on a number of analyses, albeit terribly boring analyses, and I was getting along well with other coworkers, with the exception of one, who may have had personal reasons for being grumpy. I did not receive a warning of any kind from my boss.

I've asked my former boss and Human Resources repeatedly for an explanation--something--about what went wrong. I still haven't received a solid reason, one that someone would lose their job for doing. I have a couple of theories about what happened, but all of them are based on factors I could not have influenced. I honestly think my boss was forced into the decision by upper management, as he complimented me during the "exit interview," he said in an email that I have dealt with this situation with "class and professionalism," and he's willing to not only write a recommendation letter but act as a reference. (I've obtained references from three other coworkers, too.) Go figure.

Since these events last week, we've been coping with the news and trying to figure out what to do next, which is one reason we haven't written in a while. On top of the changes with my career, Kyra will also no longer be a preschool teacher.

At first, her director asked her to work part-time in September for 4 hours per week. She said the reason was that it would be hard to find someone to replace Kyra should she go into labor early or have any other pregnancy-related complications. If you are an employer, you know this is a BIG no-no. It's called pregnancy discrimination, and it's illegal.

As soon as possible, I contacted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and we obtained complaint forms and were ready to submit them. Later on, however, we found out they were closing one of the schools due to low enrollment, which invalidated our pregnancy discrimination complaint. With only one school open, they had no need for two teachers. (The low enrollment was probably due to mismanagement and poor customer, i.e., parent, relations by the director.)

We'll have to come up with a new description for the journal, but that's the least of our concerns right now. We're both jobless and our baby is due in October. What terrible timing!

On the bright side, we'll both be able to easily move wherever we find new careers. I hope Kyra can find a more appropriate career based on her interests and education, as Madison does not have many opportunities for her. Our baby is doing very well, too. He's kicking quite a bit, and we can almost feel little feet or hands. And every now and then I have some time to work on the wedding videos, and those always bring a smile to my face.

Comment(s):

Marie said...

I hope your job searching goes well and you're both happily reemployed soon!

Chris S. said...

This entry was mentioned on Surviving the Workday at http://survivingtheworkday.com/2008/08/03/opting-out/#comments

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