So I finally did it, I quit. My boss couldn’t believe his ears, he kept on asking me if I was sure, and if there was anything he could do to keep me, but I’ve given him many chances, and I’ve worked with him long enough to know that his promises are nothing but ineffective words.
It’s really funny how you work your head off and no one even seems to notice until you make up your mind to leave, only then it’s as if you’ve whacked them with a magical stick making them finally realize they’re actually losing a hard-working uncomplaining overqualified person. And as a result they will start bombarding you with calls and emails to convince you of staying… but that’s when they also realize that it’s really too late.
Anyway, after finally getting over my resignation, my boss decided to look for a replacement. He thought, the sooner he hires a new one, the more time (s)he will be trained by me. So he had a recruitment ad published every other day for 2 weeks. He interviewed a huge number of candidates, it was either they were, “not good enough”, or they were “good enough”, but when told about the demanding nature of the job they freaked out, some believing it was underpaid, and others complaining it was too much for a single person and even if the salary was tripled they wont take it… the best part was, my boss, or my ex-boss (damn it feels great to say that), never told the candidates about the true nature of the job and the real load of work, he only mentioned few parts of the horrible truth!
Anyway this whole interviewing process was a nightmare, and after each interview he would come back to me and ask me whether I’ve changed my mind and would like to keep my job… UNTIL one day and after my lunch break he came to me with a big smile asking me to call the owner of the last CV he received. I went over the CV, honestly, it seemed really impressive. A graduate from a prestigious university abroad, very good experience, and above all an engineer, I mean if I am a languages’ graduate and everyone believed I did a marvellous job even in the technical issues, how would an engineer do? Plus my x-boss is an engineer as well, they’ll get along just fine!
I called the lady and she sounded confident, I was relieved because time was passing by and the less days left, the harder it was for me to teach the new employee ALL what I used to do!
ex-Boss: She’s the one, I felt she was just like you, and I have a very good feeling about her. Call her at once and inform her that she’s been hired.
Eman: My pleasure, this is good news, can’t wait to meet her and train her.
ex-Boss: Great. By the way, I will give you her contract of employment to pass it to the lawyer, then we’ll work on her insurance policy, I want things to be perfect for her to feel motivated.
Eman: (Perfect! Motivation! Words I’ve never experienced in your damn company)
Whatever you say!
I called her, she was thrilled, I was too, I couldn’t wait for the day I’ll finally hand over my keys and walk out that door with no return. Also, I just love passing good news to people… just as much as I hate passing bad news to them.
Day 1: I finally got to meet my replacement. Usually, I’m terrible in this whole first impression analysis. Whenever I think a person was great, they turn out to be awful, and the other way around.
My first impression was: she’s nothing I thought she was, nothing near what my ex-boss thought she was. She looked stupid, spoke stupid, stared at me stupidly and everything about her was just not right!
Which –in my terms- automatically translated into: she was the perfect replacement.
Day 2: Training began. I started slowly and elaborately explained how things work. Something I never had, I had no training whatsoever during all the time I worked for this company.
She kept nodding and whenever I asked her if she understood, she’d say: were you a teacher? I’d never get such training and such patience anywhere else. Thanks, I completely understand.
Eman: Are you sure you’re following, I have this feeling you’re not completely getting what I’m saying!
Her: No I am. Everything clear.
Eman: Any questions till now?
Her: Where did you get your glasses from, they’re cool?
Eman: excuse me!!!!
Eman: Before we go any further, I would like you to practice what I’ve theoretically taught you till now. So here’s the PC, show me how you do it.
Her: Hmm, let’s see. I’m a bit nervous.
Eman: Take your time.
(1 hour later)
Eman: Are you sure you understood what I was teaching you the past couple of days.
Her: Frankly, I have no idea whatsoever.
Eman: (I thought so!) ok, we’ll go over it again.(looks like my 1st impression thingie is finally working)
Day 5: I get her contract. She’s getting paid double my salary starting from day one, with a 5% share of the annual company profit, which I never had, and a medical insurance, that I never had either. Not to mention the many other benefits I never even dreamt of having…
Eman: We went over this a hundred times for God’s sake, PLEASE FOCUS and ask whenever you feel you don’t understand, we’re running out of time here!
Her: Ok ok. Just this one time. And hey, you have to teach me how you make this coffee, it’s fantastic!
Eman: (I already did you airhead)
Her: You know what, maybe I do understand what you’re saying but I get so nervous when I apply that I forget all info. So would you be kind enough to WRITE me everything you’re saying so that I could keep record!
Eman: (I can’t believe she’s asking ME to write her notes) Can’t you take notes yourself.
Her: The thing is, my handwriting gets a bit weird when I write fast that I understand absolutely nothing when I refer to it, plus I like your handwriting. You can write while you’re explaining to save time.
Eman: (Oh really!)
(at that point I actually stopped feeling my fingers, and I can’t believe I’ve written her all these papers)
Eman: So that’s about all of it. Now, we have few time left, let’s use it to practice. Before we do, do you have any questions about any term, any duty, any technical or legal or accounting task?
Her: How did you manage to do this alone? I’m gonna ask for assistance or I’ll quit.
Eman: (that soon!) well, you’ll get things under control in no time as long as you keep your attention with me.
Her: No seriously, I can’t do this alone. I’m talking to the boss.
ex-Boss: After I return from my business trip I will make sure to get her an assistant, she says it’s too much.
Eman: (*^&#*#^&***) I thought we were not allowed to even dream of assistance here, wasn’t that what you told me earlier?
ex-Boss: I admit I was so unfair to you, so I wont do the same mistake with her, can’t lose such a good candidate. Isn’t she just smart?
Eman: Well, you hired her and I’m training her (while I on the other hand, had no one to turn to and had to figure out things on my own). Why don’t you test her, give her a task and see how she’s doing!
ex-Boss: No need for that, don’t want to get her nervous, I know she’s good.
Eman: (I warned you) Ok then I guess I did my part, few days and I’ll be gone.
Eman: Sure, no final questions?
Her: Well, I’ve been wanting to ask you something ever since I came here.
Eman: (finally) go ahead.
Her: Is this your natural eye color?
Eman: (should I throw myself from the window, or would electrifying myself with the fax wires be faster?)
Eman: You haven’t done anything right. I explained, I wrote you everything, neither my words nor my written notes that you keep referring to every 2 minutes got you to do things right, WHY DON’T U ASK WHEN U DON’T UNDERSTAND!
Her: Explain to me this one more time please.
Eman: (would somebody be kind enough to shoot me!)
Eman: Look, I went through this over and over, you ask no questions, and you didn’t do one right thing ever since you came, and now you’re asking me to chill and GOSSIP! I have no time for gossiping, and you need to know that I wont be there for you when I leave, don’t count on me helping you after I walk out this door!
Her: I promise I wont bother you at all. And now enough work and tell me, this woman next door, what’s her story, she’s kind of weird! And this young man upstairs…
Eman: (what’s this? Am I getting a heart attack, oh please God no!)
Eman: Are you sure you don’t want to test her?
ex-Boss: No. I’m sure of her smartness and abilities.
Eman: Ok then tomorrow is my last day I would like to have a small meeting with both of you to finalize things before I leave.
ex-Boss: You got it.
(After explaining to my ex-boss how I’ve trained her and showed him my handwritten files, I asked both of them whether they had any questions)
ex-Boss & Her: No everything’s clear.
Eman: Then I guess I’m done, will leave now and I expect you to respect my personal life and refer to me only in emergencies.
ex-Boss & Her: clear.
Eman: Bye then.
ex-Boss: Thank you for everything Eman, you’ll be greatly missed, you’ve been so great!
Eman: (what did he just say? I can’t believe it! Is that him speaking?) I’ll miss here too (what a liar you are Eman). Thanks a lot.
I took my papers and things, handed over the keys, opened the door, walked away, and I never even had the least urge to look back to get a final glimpse of this place that’s been a part of my life for over 2 years. I didn’t even have this itch I usually have after resigning, to think: God what have I done! I didn’t have regrets, didn’t feel a fraction of bitterness or sadness for leaving.
The weather was cool that day, little soft drops of rain tickled my face, I headed to the car, and saw everything differently, the street didn’t look the same anymore, the neighbourhood was different… I felt like a bird let out of a cage to taste the delicious freedom.
When I got inside the car, I opened the windows to let in fresh air and suddenly had this wild scream of joy that caused a young man passing by me to freak out and look at me as if I was just released from some kind of mentally-challenged facility. But I was overwhelmed with happiness to care about anything else.
It was a feeling I’ll never ever forget for as long as I’d live. This company was out of my life!
P.s. It wasn’t… I suffered for about a month after leaving because my ex-boss realized how big a mistake he’s done hiring my replacement. They both kept calling me and emailing me to help them get the work correctly done as if I still worked there. The only way I ended things seriously was by being mean, i.e. turning off my cell phone, not replying to their emails and simply pretending I didn’t exist.
And that folks, THAT, was the real end to my work nightmare…