Thirty minutes after I clocked in to work last Friday, my boss phoned to ask me to come to HR. I thought I hadn’t done anything wrong for the last 2 weeks, so I shouldn’t worry. I think they’d already decided to let me go back in March though. That’s why they brought in a woman from the chemistry lab to train her to take my place. They let me go and paid me for half of Friday. I told my boss I had no hard feelings and wished her good luck. After I went back to the lab to get my things, a security guard escorted me to my car. (Labs always do that when a person is fired, so they can’t steal anything or cause any damage on the way out.)

After I came home, I sold plasma for $ 50, then put in paperwork to keep getting MediCal & to get unemployment benefits.

I felt free and happy both Friday and Saturday.  I don’t feel anxious or depressed. I have enough money in my bank to live through July. I can certainly get a new job before then. I have a good resume and improved my lab skills in the short time I worked at this last job. I was also kind of worried that if I did stay there, I’d always be worried about the woman who was in charge of the lab day to day. My supervisor was nice, but the woman under her has a mean streak that is unlikely to change.

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression – except with new people.  I think my biggest faults were being too anxious and too eager. I couldn’t really help this at the time, but I’ll probably be less anxious next time. I can also give both understandable and weird reasons for being let go.  Understandable: that I didn’t learn to plate onto Petriflim quickly enough. Weird: that I looked for work to do instead of asking and waiting to be told what to do. I didn’t really do anything terrible, but for whatever reasons, the people evaluating me didn’t feel I was a good match for that lab.

I’m free now. I don’t have to stand for hours on a hard floor. I don’t have to stand quietly and watch other people work when I know I could be doing some of the work too. I don’t have to feel like there’s a metaphorical sword hanging over my head and waiting to fall. With this freedom comes responsibility to use my time wisely though. I have to work at cleaning up the mess of papers on my desk and getting a new job. I lost enough weight while I was working to fit into nice black jeans that I couldn’t wear before. Now that I’m home each day, I have to make sure I don’t put that weight back on. I also have to keep doing good work, so I feel good about myself. I tell myself I want to be a good person, so do good to be good. That means being good to myself as well as being good to others. That means taking care of myself physically, mentally and financially, as well as being a responsible roommate, pet-owner and employee.

Freedom always seems like a great thing until you have it. Then you realize it can also be scary and not always fun. Every day we’re free to make a hundred choices, which have both positive and negative consequences. I’ll try to make good choices, but I can’t expect to always make perfect ones with no negative consequences. Sometimes we have to accept that being perfect is impossible, but that’s ok, because nobody is really perfect anyway.