I've been sitting on this post for a hot minute. I'd love to tell you that life has been the same ol' same ol' and that's why I haven't had much to say, but it's not true.
2022 has not started off well for the folks here at #ParadiseHeld.
I have a slew of topics to discuss but I'm going to focus on the less good stuff first.
In early January, Rob lost his job.
But Suzanne, didn't he just start that job after Thanksgiving?
Yes. Yes he did.
We were forced to conclude that because he had barely been there 30 days, they needed to cut costs and last in is always the first out.
Luckily he found a new job pretty quickly. He's still in sales but has moved away from telecom to lighting. Jellyfish Lighting to be specific. It's a bit nerve wracking as it is mostly commission - and that's scary - but I can tell you already he loves it so much more than where he was before.
So if anyone is interested in permanently installed, completely programmable Christmas (but not strictly) lights for their home, let Rob know. He can use the sales.
Because I lost my job February 1st.
Buckle up buttercup.
A little back story - and I promise it is relevant ...
Monday afternoon I was working on a file and I needed to know the property taxes. Unfortunately for me, this property is a new build. That's not normally that much of an issue because we can look at the percentages of the various taxing entities and make a reasonable guess as to what the taxes would be.
Except in this particular state and county, they don't list it by percentages, only by the amounts. I exhausted all my resources trying to find the information I needed before going to my manager for assistance.
Her response was to "empower me to figure it out". I told her no, I don't math well unless I have formulas to plug information into. At this point I only had the property value and the amount of taxes paid on a neighboring property - she wanted me to extrapolate the percentage the neighbor paid to apply to my borrower.
I again asked for help saying it was giving me anxiety, that it was after 5 (OT has not been approved) and I just wanted to hurry so I could get the loan submitted. Could I please have a formula?
Her response this time was "it's simple math, figure it out".
At this point I went into full on panic attack mode. I started crying and shaking. Now I should tell you this is not a normal reaction to math. Or even being told to figure something out on my own. What I can tell you is that I was suddenly and quite vividly reliving a moment (oft repeated) from my childhood.
Suddenly I was sitting at the kitchen table at our house in Jacksonville, Florida. I am near fetal (as close as possible while sitting at the table), crying while my father is towering over me, spittle flying and face red, telling me how stupid I am because it is simple math. I swear in that moment I could feel his spit on my face. I could hear him yelling at me. And if you had asked me what 2 plus 2 was right then, I would not have been able to tell you.
This was so vivid and my reaction so unexpected that since it was after 5 anyway I decided to shut down my computer for the night knowing I could work on it in the morning.
I didn't say anything to my manager before closing down.
It took me a good 30 minutes or so to calm down. The crying didn't last long but the shaking did. And I couldn't stop thinking about it the rest of the night.
And literally woke up thinking about it.
So I decided to send my manager an email and explain what happened. I was polite, professional, and non-accusatory. I just wanted to explain why I shut down and that I had already solved the problem (with an assist from another processor).
I felt better after sending the email and spent the rest of the morning working on my files. I didn't think there was anything wrong with the email so no, I did not keep a copy for my records (I kept it in my email but that does me little good now).
Around noon she finally called me - with HR (what the hell am I getting written up for this?). She tells me "based on the email from this morning and your recent job performance, we are terminating you".
That's a lot to unpack.
First of all, you are FIRING ME for having a panic attack? Who does that?
Second I'd like to take a moment to focus on my "recent job performance". I have never been written up or put on an action plan. I was consistently in the top 5 processors for the company (I wish I had saved those reports to my personal hard drive). The branch manager and two of the loan officers I primarily support were not only dumbfounded by this news but have offered to serve as references for me if needed.
Oh and I also had a recent end of year review (in December) in which the worse thing she said about me was I needed to work on coming across friendlier in my communications (I tend to be all business - hi, I need this, thanks). But that was it.
On the chance that a prospective employer has stumbled across my blog and is reading this, please focus on the positive notes above. Also, I am happy to provide multiple references if needed.
I'd also like to note this was my first ever panic attack. I don't have an established history of panic attacks. Which is too bad for me because although the Texas Workforce Commission agrees that it is shady as fuck that I was fired based on the information above, there is nothing I can do about it because I do not have a history of panic attacks nor did I request and was subsequently denied reasonable accommodation for the panic attacks. Nor have I been diagnosed by a medical professional. Again. It was a first time.
No I will not be pursuing legal action. At this point it would be mostly she said/she said anyway. It was not on my radar that my job was in danger so I didn't bother stockpiling evidence before hand. And I got locked out of my computer pretty much immediately.
Oh! And one of the loan officers I support told me she had recently sent my manager an email asking if we had a kudos system or some other way to recognize co=workers because of how much she loved working with me and how knowledgeable and fast and communicative I was. But she never responded to the email. Which is honestly odd because usually you would get a "thanks for letting me know" at the minimum.
My manager and I never meshed. I thought we were at least able to work cordially and professionally but I guess I was wrong. She wasn't all bad, she could be supportive at times. But I could just tell how she interacted with the other processors in group chat that I was never a favorite.
It's risky blogging about this, especially considering I am looking for a job now. But frankly if I am not going to get a job because of this post then that probably isn't a company I want to be working for anyway.
I was devastated at first. I've only ever been fired once before and that was for a $40 mistake. Which ended up leading me to mortgage and Daniel and here we are.
But here's the thing - I take pride in my work. I am very detailed, my files are heavily documented with every conversation I have. By the way, something that my manager frequently commented and complimented me on but sure, I was bad at my job. Whatever.
Do I have room for improvement? Obviously. Who doesn't? Mortgage guidelines are constantly changing. But I know I am good at my job and if they didn't appreciate me then I guess it was just time for me to go.
The other part that hurts is I went to work for this company because I really respect the President. She's awesome, inspirational, and I would have done just about any job she asked me to do. In fact, I had been recruited by another company not that long ago but the money just wasn't enough to make me want to leave. (Also yes, I have already contacted them to see if the position is still available)
Ugh. Stoopid loyalty.
I will say this, even though I was hyperventilating in the moment (and probably up to an hour later) I actually slept better that night than I had in months. I do feel a weight has been lifted, I just wish it had been on my terms.
Hopefully this is just a small bump in the road. It's just, historically, January - March are not the best months to look for a job in mortgage. So if you are inclined, please keep me in your thoughts or prayers that a new even better job comes along quickly. And if you have any job leads, please let me know. Mortgage or other - I'm not opposed to a career change.
2022 isn't all bad. Magan and I are heading to Cancun this weekend for my "bachelorette beach weekend". Originally I was going to invite a lot more people but that's just too much to coordinate. So please don't feel slighted that you were not invited.
I'm sorry that rhymed.
I told Magan I just wanted to go lay on a beach somewhere with never ending drinks. So that's what we are doing. I don't want to get sloppy drunk, I just want to enjoy doing nothing in the sun. I can't wait!
Hmmmm...I need a hashtag for our weekend...
Save the dates went out a couple of weeks ago and I'm quite pleased with how they turned out. But if you didn't get one, I hope you know how much we love you and wish you could be there. Frankly we just ran out of room.
Also we finally got the sliding door replaced so we can once again access our side yard without either crawling through a window or going out the garage and around the side.
The money pit saga continues but for now we are good. Please don't let anything else HAVE to be replaced this year.
And we both got our boosters finally this weekend. I hope you have yours too or are planning to get it soon. No more deaths please.
And on a side note: not that I expect anyone to remember, but a significant anniversary occurred last week. Again, it no longer makes me sad but can I just tell you once again how much your words of encouragement and just over all support meant to me? Then and now. Because as the posts from 3 years ago pop up in my memories I am reading all of the comments that you all wrote. And I still find comfort in them. I remember how comforting they were then. And I just want to remind you that you made a difference in my life, just having known you. You may not have known how much an impact a comment like yours on a Facebook post would make, but I can tell you that 3 years later, I am still drawing strength from your support.
Thank you. I don't feel like I will ever be able to say it enough. <3
That about sums things up for us right now. It's been a stressful year so far but we get to end it with a wedding so we have that to look forward to. I hope your 2022 is going better than ours.