Today is the one-year anniversary of when I started with the company that just fired me for having a health condition. In a way I’m disappointed that I didn’t make it to the one year mark, but then I realise that for them, my one year would not have been recognised until February 19, 2008, when they hired me from the temping agency.

As is usual for me after quitting or being let go from a job, I had a dream about the old job:

I had arrived at work with a clear belief that I had only been fired for one day, and that I could return on Monday. However, when I got to work and was standing in line with my coworkers, waiting to be let into the building, reality dawned – I had misunderstood – I was fired not only for Friday but for evermore from that company. I felt embarrassed, so I did what I always do in such a situation – I acted like I was completely in my right anyway (Virgos don’t like to admit they are wrong). I continued to wait in line. When it came time for me to go in, I realised I didn’t have my security key. I turned to Ben, who was standing behind me, and asked if we could go in at the same time because I’d forgotten my key. He looked hesitant but said ‘sure’ and we went in together.
Once inside, I climbed up the stairs to the loft area and went right to my desk, which was situated in the open loft space, overlooking the first floor below. As I approached my desk, I saw my black purse sitting on my chair. At this point I’d probably be considered a security threat if I sat down at the desk and pretended nothing had happened to me, so I kneeled down beside the chair and began filling up my purse with the personal artifacts I’d left behind when I was fired on Friday. I noticed two black cassette tapes on the desk – I’d loaned them out to coworkers who had given them back once they found out I was fired. I glanced at the cassette tape labels and was embarrassed at what I’d loaned out – it was old stuff, from my high school days, so it was Top40 style music.
My old boss approached, and told me she would cut me my last paycheck on the spot. I was thankful and excited – didn’t she know the company had already cut me my last check? HAH! Like I was going to admit this! I took the check happily and finished cleaning out my desk, which was more like a primary school desk with the enclosed metal shelf underneath it.
That’s all I remember.

Offbeat issues in the dream:

  • The guy standing behind me in the dream is, in real life, my friend Ben, not a coworker. I have never worked with him. However, there were two Ben’s at that company, so perhaps my brain was superimposing my friend’s face over one of the Bens I worked with?
  • In real life, my desk was not in the open loft area, it was in the corner in a cubicle shared with two other coworkers, next to the office of the director of support.
  • The black purse in question is something I used to own in college. I think I gave it away a few years ago. The thing is, in real life, most of my belongings were boxed up and handed to me on Friday on the way out. The only thing they forgot was my cheapo insulated lunch bag, which I don’t care about. That my old purse and more belongings appeared in the dream bodes well I think to the case I’m pleading to the labor board.
  • The embarrassment with the cassette tapes with the Top40 music was a throwback to earlier yesterday, when I had my iPod on ‘random play’, and a neighbor came over to discuss Halloween costumes. The iPod had been doing great with some Industrial music, and then suddenly a Stevie Nicks song came on and I got all embarrassed. No reason I should have, I confess my love for Stevie Nicks. ;) But there it was. I got embarrassed. The music style just did not fit with what had been playing. Bad DJ iPod! ;)
  • When my boss approached, it was the first boss I had at the company, not the new boss I’d had for a week before being fired. Also, to be clear, neither the new boss nor the old boss fired me – it was HR who fired me because of the recorded absences, and the only way HR found out immediately that I’d been absent is that with the new policy, I had to turn in a doctor’s note upon my return. My new boss was clearly upset and pissed off to be losing me, and she and I agreed that my old boss would be equally upset.

There seems to be a lot of embarrassment showing through in my dream. I am embarrassed to have been fired, yet at the same time, I was fired for the reason I wanted to be fired for. I was harassed about my health condition for months by those assholes, to great emotional expense. And the abject depression, coming home crying – all of that started within my first month on the job because of how badly they treat people in general – monitoring your screen as you work – there’s no trust, no love there.
It’s similar in all call center environments. I will never go back to call centers again. EVER. I promised this last year and became afraid when good work wasn’t showing up. Well this time I’m going to make good on my promise. Just like my man did. He worked in a call center with me back in 2002 and vowed never to go back to that hellish work again. And he made good on his promise, and he’s doing well. He can do it – I can do it.

One thing I did like about the dream – I was cut a second check. This is a good omen for me. I hope things work out the way I want for Round II.

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