Why Ex-Jobs are like Ex-Boyfriends
Dear Ex Place Of Employment,
So, about - god, has it been almost a year now? - I was told by Human Resources at my Ex-Place of Employment that I would no longer be paid my salary.
For the haters, it was, 'Hey Eckler was fired!!!" I love the haters. (Trust me, if you are a writer and don't have haters, you are doing something wrong.)
Well, I suppose it was a firing - sort of - but I was also told that I could still write for them as much as I wanted, could keep my column, and would get paid per story and column as opposed to my (admittedly) large salary for what I did. (Same as was told to almost every other columnist who was also sort-of-fired-but-asked-to-stay-on.)
I suppose I could have stayed on to this day, as could have numerous other columnists. For some of them, who I remain friends, it was a point of pride. "They don't want me. I don't want them." Kind of like liking a guy who doesn't like you.
Why the hell would you want to be with them if they don't want to be with you? (Except this guy paid me many months of severance when he sort-of-ditched me, which paid for a new car, a trip to the Four Seasons Maui, and many pairs of designer boots.)
But, for me, for a long time, I was unhappy at my Former Place Of Employment.
It was like being in a relationship with a guy that's ok, but has no spark, and you kind of just coast along for months and months and months, thinking, "Isn't there someone better out there? I need to shake things up. God, I'm so bored."
Now, that's not to say I wasn't at one point in love with my Ex-Job. God, was it fun at the beginning.
We had chemistry. And, even two and three years into my relationship at the Former Place of Employment, I was still in deep-like, all through the changes, watching all my friends move on (get fired), and all the editors I loved move on to other publications, finding their own new loves.
It was kind of like watching all of your best friends getting married, while your stuck thinking, "When is it going to happen to me? It's never going to happen!"
Then there was that call, that day a year ago, where I was told I could stay on but we won't pay you as much, and I suppose there was a pride moment/issue for me too. I told The Fiance to cancel our subscription immediately, which we did.
Like getting dumped, you get rid of all reminders of that person. (Even worse, is to be dumped by someone you didn't even like that much anymore. You kind of want to yell, "Hey! I was going to dump you!")
The Former Place of Employment was also like a guy you break up with but keep in your life - until something (someone) better comes along. I kept plugging away for them - having break-up sex with them, you could say - while planning to sleep with someone else.
I knew what I wanted (like most girls know WHO they want) which was to work at the Globe and Mail.
Why? Because I had also grown up over my time at the Former Place of Employment.
I was no longer Single in the City girl. I was a mother. And there was a whole wave of readers that I feel I grew up with, and who grew up with me.
They, too, were no longer single, but mothers too. I had a new life - and while I wasn't going to get a new haircut, I wanted a new job.
I knew that I wanted to, and needed to, move on, which all women in relationships know is a very difficult thing to do, even if it is the smart thing to do. It is easier to just stay in a relationship, then find a new guy, right?
But there is nothing worse than listening to a friend moan for years about how she hates her boyfriend, but sticks with him. Likewise, there is nothing worse than listening to people moan about jobs they hate, when they can find another.
I thought it was a good break up with The Former Place of Employment, as good as any break up, after 7 years, can go.
When people asked why I wasn't writing for them anymore, I told them the truth.
When people who worked in the past at Former Place of Employment, or still did and do, complained about the Former Place of Employment to me, I would nod and talk about the good times. I didn't really care to talk about my Ex at all.
Like most breakups, there's a cooling off time, and then people generally move on.
To say I've moved on, is an understatement.
Do I miss the good times? Of course. Do I still think fondly of my Ex sometimes? Sure.
But everyone, in every type of relationship, eventually moves on and forgets the good and bad times and concentrates on their present relationships. You wake up one day and you think, "Hey! I haven't thought about my ex in months!"
Ahhh, but then today.....I heard from a colleague at Macleans magazine. She wrote, "Do not be upset about what they wrote about you today. They are stupid and mean and that's why they are going down."
To which I responded, "What did they write?"
I have not read the paper of the Former Place of Employment in a year. In fact, no one brings up my Ex with me anymore.
When I move on, I do move on. I sometimes will log on to the site to read Shinan Govani (Thanks to a password of a friend - I do not pay. You do not help your Ex find a new girlfriend, no matter how fondly you think of them.)
So what did my Ex write about me? - something about "0 published letters asking for the return of Rebecca Eckler."
While, for anyone who can read between the lines or has a brain, there is a difference between "published letters" - why the fuck would a publication publish letters asking for the return of someone who works now - happily - for their competition? - and letters they have received that have not published.
I have no idea if they've recieved letters or not. Ok, I do know they have. I do still talk to friends of the Ex - a woman will always have mutual friends with their Ex.
Personally, I have received letters too. But that's not the point. It does not make me feel good or bad to know that people miss me. (Ok, that's a lie. Like most women, even when we are over our exes, it's still nice to know they miss us.)
The point is, after so long, why is my Ex writing not so nice things about me? Obviously, someone has not moved on. I say this because I do not think, in my day to day, ever about my Ex (Place of Employment.)
I sent an e-mail to a former colleage at The Ex Place of Employment (who still works there) asking why they would bother. I mean, don't people in all relationships think about Karma - there's relationship Karma and there's Career Karma, both which will bite you in the ass.
Women know if they get dumped meanily by someone, it's usually because they treated someone else like shit at some point in their past. Women know not to talk bad about the Ex, if they want their next relationship to be a good one.
Our mutual friend's response (from someone who still works at My Former Place of Employment) "I know! That one was totally out of my hands. Another section did it - and it was gratuitously mean and just not classy. I apologize on their behalf....And I happen to know there were plenty of letters asking where you were."
So, dear Ex Place of Employment, write whatever you want, if it makes you feel better (Try cookie dough ice cream - it works too!). I have long moved on. In fact, I have to write something now for my present place of employment, a place where I am very much in love.
I still wish you well (ish.) And, maybe one day, we can be friends.