On February 5, my wife was downsized. Before receiving severance pay, she had to sign a contract stating, in part, that she would not criticize the company that had just shitcanned her.
I signed no such contract.
It is, therefore, a real temptation to blabberblog...to kick ass and name names. However, it's a temptation I can withstand. But I will give you some slightly sanitized background.
My wife tells me I'm biased every time I praise her. What the hell, I'm her husband and I love her. But the facts speak for themselves: Eva had been at that company for one month shy of a decade. She started on, if not the ground floor, surely only half a flight of stairs up, and through a combination of diligence and natural talent, worked her way up through the ranks to become a senior business analyst. In the process, she accumulated six professional designations. There were times she nearly sweat pearls of blood for that place--sixty five hours a week was standard for a while; at one point she was the lead business analyst on two major and three minor projects simultaneously. Scheduling meetings was something of a chore if you wanted Eva at yours: she was often triple-booked. Her performance reviews were, without exception, excellent.
She loved her job. Oh, sometimes she hated her job--who doesn't, sometimes? But that colossal workload sat well on my wife's shoulders, because, quite frankly, most of what she did wasn't work to her.
One day her boss was suddenly replaced with a new one...and I bet you can guess where this is going. But I further bet you can't guess how it gets there.
Eva was off the usual six weeks when she had her hysterectomy. While she was recovering at home, a meeting was scheduled...a Very Important Meeting, for all the members of her department. It was scheduled for the week she was to return.
Eva was not informed of this meeting. She has proof of that, in the form of the original, date-stamped e-mail sent to, well, everybody else, and only forwarded to her afterw--
I'm getting ahead of myself.
So Eva comes back to work. She schedules a meeting of her own with people from another area of the company--a necessary meeting, but not near as important as the one she doesn't know about--that exactly overlaps the Very Important Meeting. And in that Very Important Meeting, her boss wigged out.
"This is completely unacceptable", ****** said. "Totally unprofessional"..."she knew about this meeting"..."and on and on for what by several accounts was a very uncomfortably long time. At least five people came to Eva afterwards and reported every word ***** said.
Eva came home that night fuming mad. Up until that point, relations between her and ****** had been an issue, but my love had thought the situation salvageable. This, however...
She went to ****** the next day, and showed her a copy of the email, noting her absence in the 'Sent-To' field. As I had predicted, ****** dismissed this as "an oversight". Eva nodded her head.
"I heard things were said at the meeting," Eva said.
******, curtly: "I don't know what you think you heard, but you're wrong."
Wait, it gets better!
"Are there any other meetings that you need to be at that you don't know about?" said *****.
I have spent three months digging the stupid out of this question and I'm still working on the topsoil. ARE THERE ANY OTHER MEETINGS...THAT YOU NEED TO BE AT...THAT YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT? Can anyone answer that question? Without breaking down into fits of hysterical laughter?
This is far from the only belittling, humiliating behaviour ****** threw at Eva, for reasons never once explained. Eventually, my wife went to the Human Resources department of the company she had, up until quite recently, been fanatically loyal to, and said: "why am I here?"
They tried, by various means direct and underhanded, to get Eva to say she wasn't qualified for the job she had--again, up until very recently--been getting praised and amply rewarded for doing. Eva refused to say such a thing, of course. Stalemate...standoff. Eventually they came to her and said she had two choices. She could continue to work at her current position, subject to the job description that Eva herself had helped to write, reporting to ******...or she could take this here package.
As Hedley says in that insanely catchy song of theirs: Cha-Ching!
Eva took a month or so to recover from the career crash. She had a badly bruised ego, a shattered confidence, and assorted cut dreams and scraped feelings. Then she started looking again.
One day, not a long time into the looking process, up popped...well, Eva's dream job. It's essentially what she was doing before, only specialized in her particular area of expertise. The website's job description--seriously--might as well have said "We are looking for Eva".
They found her. We're awaiting the final paperwork, which we are told is en route, but she is to start early next month, in a position that is in every way superior to the one she left.
I have an almost overwhelming urge to call up ****** and trumpet this news to her in the most smug tone I can muster. I do not take well to my wife being treated like dirt. I'll have to comfort myself with the knowledge that Eva's taking the high road...and that her high road will just keep looking up.
I love you, love. Never doubted you for an instant.