Don’t know why I am thinking of these companies…

I am wondering why people do what they do.

And I don’t know why these ghosts of the past are coming back.

All of this happened over 20 years ago.

I was hired as a receptionist and “other” by a very well known local company. I got the job 2 or 3 days before Thanksgiving and the office manager asked me to come in on Black Friday, to get used to the board and some of the routine.

I came in that day and I think it was as such as that it was an option for employees to be there that day. Hardly anybody came in.

I worked 4 hours and they told us to go home at noon.

I came in on Monday and the former receptionist was there, to help train me.

The premise was she was going to train me for a little bit and then report to her new job upstairs — she was going to be a secretary (yes, this was the big promotion she got)

I was also supposed to work on contracts for clients and other paperwork; they used WordStar so the going was kind of slow (who uses Word Star in that day and age? Microsoft Word was available, this bunch wasn’t using it) I tried to put them together the best I could; I got some instruction how to put them together  — I had 2 people watching me at all times. They sat there and said nothing, usually.

Everything kind of slogged along for 2 days; I came in on Wednesday morning and I got word that one of the supervisors of the drafting department wanted to see me.

Yes…to tell me “It’s not working out, it’s just not working out; what can I say, it’s just not working out.”


I got no bad input from anybody training me — I couldn’t figure out why they were terminating me.

“If we needed a secretary, you’d be fabulous”? THis is what he said to me. He didn’t even clap eyes on me until that moment; how does he know about anything secretarial???

I was handed my paycheck and he told me “you can go now.”

The office manager who hired me did not do the dirty work . When I came out of that office and I saw her, I told her what happened. All she had to say to me was “this is news to me.”

News to you but you didn’t make a fuss and keep me. To blazes with you.

When I opened my check, I was minus $3 an hour than what we agreed upon. I didn’t want to pursue it; I’d already had enough — and left.

Nearly the same thing happened a bit less than a year later: I got a job as a “gal Friday” at a very local company; when I was hired, they told me that the company would be moving in under 3 weeks to another locale in a town about 5 miles from there.

A bunch of us showed up with our own cars — yes, they had US do the dirty work! — and we moved the company on a weekend.

A couple of weeks after we moved to the new locale; the phone rang and I answered it, as per my job duties.

“Hello, this is the ABC Employment Agency. I am calling on behalf of Mary Smith; she will not be able to report to work as a temp at your company today…”

Huh? We’re getting a temp??? WHY?

When I asked I was told by the office manager “So that when you are out, this person will know how you do the work here.”

2 weeks after the temp got there, I got shown the door.

Again, the same thing happened to me: fired out of nowhere, for no reason at all. All I ever got was “It’s not working out.” And guess who my replacement was: the temp.

This has happened to me more times than I care to recant and I don’t know why this happened to me. I did as I was told, I was on time every day, I was nice to everyone who called or was at the company, yet I was never hired full time, it seems.

Maybe she even used me to help move the company and when all was settled in, she hired somebody else.

The only poetic justice I got: A few months later, I showed up at a company for an interview — guess who was in the lobby, also waiting for an interview: Temp from The Company!

The first words out of her mouth: “Office Manager did the same thing to me that she did to YOU….”


And you had no qualms or hesitation about taking the job, knowing full well something shady was underfoot. You didn’t even last 3 months. Happy?

I can’t stop thinking about these 2 incidents and I can’t stop thinking about how things never really panned out for me in certain companies.

Maybe my big mistake was in bothering with office work, period. It was no slice of heaven in the lab, but never ever did I see anybody shown the door after a very brief period of time, unless the person was positively and absolutely horrible — and even so, that only happened once.

I can’t stop thinking about how horrible most of these companies have been: I tried my best and yet, what happened to me?  What is there to answering a telephone line and directing calls and working on correspondence or some paperwork???

Don’t ask what I got when I came home! Nobody believed me; my mother was convinced I had to be a major screwup to be booted in 3 days, or 5 weeks, or 3 months.  Authority figures always mattered to her; they were like some kind of god. What they said was 100% correct and irrefutable and inaurguable….and your daughter fucked up again. RIGHT???

It sucks, all these years later. I am sorry, but you never forget something like this. Honest to God: I haven’t thought of these 2 companies/incidents in years but now it’s like some kind of dam has busted and all these horrible memories are coming back to me.

Maybe I don’t belong in the workplace. Maybe I somehow had bad luck and all I got were horrible places to work…for awhile (and one company did it to me on Thanksgiving Eve; on the following day, I’d have been eligible for benefits) I don’t know what else to say here; I tried to move on and forget these incidents but now they seem to be coming back, like ghosts — and I can’t stop thinking about what happened while I was there.

Is this what my life is going to be like — a job offer but it ends unexpectedly and you’re back on the damn bleeping rollercoaster again???

This is why I do not trust employers. There are no guarantees and this si why we need at-will employment revoked immediately. There is no job security.

10 thoughts on “Don’t know why I am thinking of these companies…”

  1. How old was the temp. If she was around your age at the time, then they were probably discriminating by age. If the owner was a man, then this would be more likely. After the age of forty we pass our ‘use by date’! Human beings were designed by nature to only live to the age of forty, but now we live to around 85 years old. The problem is that society is still programmed to throw away people at forty years old. In some ways it seems like a form of genocide to me. We have been put in an age ghetto. The world has gone rotten, and very few seem to care.

  2. She was not a very young woman. I am thinking perhaps mid 30s or maybe even 40. That is only a guess; I do know she was not under the age of 30 by any means.

    I was in my mid 30s when this mess was happening. Temp may have been older than me. As I said, I know she was not under 30 years of age.

    The office manager that hired me at that company was exactly 3 weeks older than I was.

    The owner himself was a guy in his young 30s. If he wanted some floozy or liftskirt to work under him — or so to speak — that is HIS lookout and if he wants to change that office of his into a real life Mad Men or How To Succeed In Business, Etc…. that’s up to him.

    So this was not an age thing. As I said, Temp may have been older than 40.

    Who knows what it was? Who knows why she simply wanted another person — maybe I was “too smart” for them and they wanted somebody they could lead around by the nose. I really have no idea why it is she was hired.

    The office manager there may also have been fired after Temp was shown the door: Office Manager had an engagement go bad and she spent most of the time smoking and crying in the warehouse, according to Temp when she and I were conversing in that lobby, waiting for our interviews.

    And bear in mind that temp agencies don’t even endorse this type of hiring. THen again, who knows? Maybe Office Manager told them “I have an employee I am going to replace so it is likely your temp will be hired full time if she works out.”

    All of this is screwy. I don’t know how this other person was “better” than me — and at the company where I got the heave the day before my benefits kicked in — the woman who got the job (was my replacement) was a much older person.

    There are other people that this happened to — this has been my private war. You get a job but who knows if you will get to keep the job. They can bring in anybody else at any time.

    I don’t know what happened at the first company I cited.

    I can only guess. I do know that the company was not all that concervative and that the girls they had working there as clericals were not exactly a reticent or prim bunch. Maybe I was not a “Fit” with the crowd.

    This was a real Animal House kind of place. I was never into that kind of thing.

    Then again, I remember another job I had awhile back — there were these 2 women who sat in the back of the room who cussed like sailors and every other sentence was an X rated remark….but I wasn’t booted because I didn’t “fit in” with those 2. So as you can see, all of this is just crazy: who knows why they decide somebody needs to be shown the door?

    The only thing I’d say in regard to the X rated remark or cussing: “Oh, Mary…shame on you!” and they’d all laugh.

    Look, guys…I am stumped. Just plain bleeding stumped.

    And I am worn out and mentally shot full of holes thanks to everything that happened.

    I am hoping I win the Pick 6. Win some big money and to blazes with the idea of an “outside” job and go volunteer at a hospice or an animal shelter or somewhere where I can do some good and get some good karma coming back at me.

    I am dreadfully unhappy and scared shitless. I had no idea at all any of this would happen to me.

  3. Isn’t there some sort of fee that must be paid to the temp company if a company hires the temp? This would make hiring a temp potentially more expensive, and by a large margin, than doing your own hiring, at least for the first year. A reason to be fired/laid off is if you would qualify for benefits after a certain date. It’s stupid, but it’s done. Even using a temp is more expensive than the company’s labor rate because the temp company has to make a profit on the temp.

    Sometimes the companies are wrong. At my last job, my boss had paid to have some sort of interface built to Microsoft Project, when the scheduling package that our main construction contractor used is Primavera. To make this work required a lot of manual data entry, where I could have been sent for about a two-week course to learn to use Primavera and then just directly imported the information from Primavera. There was no documentation for this interface, and it was hunt and guess to figure out how it worked. I was managing the schedule for about 600 projects, but I had no insight into what projects depended on which other thanin the most general way. We were remodeling apartment buildings, so as long as apartments 1-6 were done by a certain date, it was considered to be a good schedule. We should have picked up a lot of the subtasks, like replace appliances and carpeting, or whatever else needed to be done.

    There was a two-year option to be extended on this job, but it wasn’t offered to me because I had failed. It didn’t matter that I had produced all of the required reports on time or that my boss had failed to share information with me that would have made the schedules that I produced a lot more accurate.

  4. I really don’t know what fee this bunch paid to hire Temp. Or maybe they went behind the agency’s back which stinks on ice, too. That is skeevy and underhanded.

    She also didn’t strike me as somebody who’d gone to college.

    They wound up giving Temp the boot anyway. I met up with her 3 and a half months after I was gone from there. I got the idea that she was out of work for at least a month, or maybe 2.

    So you people got rid of 2 employees in under 3 months. I say that you people have the problem, not the employees.

    A friend of mine from a workplace said it a long time ago and she was spot on:

    “When something does something skeevy to you, you will find out what happened to that person who did it to you — and you will find out in the most unusual way.”

    I have yet to see it fail. I’ve borne witness to it quite a few times. And not just in the case of where I was in the lobby of some company where I was there for an interview.

    When this keeps happening — you’re hired and then you’re out of the company for no reason at all — yes, it gets under your skin and yes you wonder if it is “YOU”! How is it possible to encounter this mess literally at just about every job you have had?

    I also worked for a guy who fired EVERYONE in his company — it took time but he did it. He even fired his office manager who was with him for over 25 years. “Left by mutual agreement” means FIRED.

    This same guy also hired a gent with an MBA who worked for IBM and quite a few other big name companies. Owner didn’t like John. Fired him after 2 months.

  5. This reminds me of an experience I had. I had gotten this job through a temp agency (this was one of the few times I liked the temp agency, it was run by someone very nice). Basically the job was to sort mail and do something with paid bills. It’s been so long now (over 15 years)but it was an accounts payable department if I recall (and ironically, ten years later I became an accounts payable trainer). Anyway I had no idea what to do and the first day I come in and the manager started telling me how horrible the other person who was the temp did. It was a job strictly for 8 weeks or so while the clerk was on maternity leave. I figured out what to do, and was doing it, or so I thought. That Thursday I hear the manager on the phone looking for another temp and then he came to tell me what a horrible job I did. Yeah, being that you didn’t bother to train me, I had to figure it out, did it correctly (I asked questions) yet it’s not good enough. I was young (mid 20’s) so it wasn’t discrimination.

    Honestly I think the best workers are the most threatened so why work hard? It has happened time and again where I worked very hard, yet was still the one fired while the slackers weren’t. I’ve actually quit jobs because they cut my hours while a lazy loser got more hours and sat on his/her butt.

  6. I am convinced the dumb are running things. Nobody intelligent would permit this mess to happen.

    Each one of us needs to win a lotto jackpot worth several million each. We can tell them to go eff off and pound sand up the ole tan track. We could do as we wish with our money and never worry about working for a skumbag ever again.

    1. I’ve become convinced you have to be stupid and lazy to get hired. I’ve seen the most moronic idiots get promoted while overachievers are fired. The guy at my former employer who was second in command always worked late, came in early and worked hard had a stroke. Instead of saying “hey you work too hard” they demoted him. Meanwhile the lazy idiots in HR were promoted.

      I posted a recent issue I am having where I think I am being pushed away from my volunteer religious teaching at church. Even though I’m among the hardest workers (including coming in to help other teachers and exceeding with requirements)I fear they are pushing me away to bring in someone new. I’ll find out but will once again prove the point that it doesn’t mean anything to work hard since they will screw you over.

      1. It was never like this years ago. SOmehow or other this dumb bunch of bananas were permitted to do the hiring — and the smart people got nothing, as a result.

        What kind of common sense is this?

        You are the owner of the company. You are doing the interviewing.

        Wouldn’t it make sense to keep a calendar of what times and dates each interviewee is coming in — and in the morning, go through that information and pull the person’s resume; look it over, make notes and put the dang resume in a foler on your desk, with your notes attached to the resume!

        Instead, you review nothing — and when the interviewee comes in, you ask “Are you Mary Smith?” Meanwhile, the interviewee’s name is NOT Mary Smith!

        Who could make such a damn stupid and asinine error???? Who with a brain would do something like this???

        Know what I vote you do, if you encourner this at an interview — if you are asked “Are you Mary Smith?” or “Are you John Doe?” — say “yes, I am” — and follow his lead…and when the real Mary Smith or John Doe shows up, let him wonder what kind of nonsense happened when the “other” Mary or John ws in his office!

        (“If this is Mary Smith, then who the heck was that who was here at 11 yesterday morning? That person said she was Mary Smith….I have notes here from the interview…. what the blazes happened here…and who was that I did speak with????” That’ll give the person quite the hobby…and his or her head will probably explode. Being nothin’s in that head of his or hers in he first place, not much of a mess shall be made)

        Why not do it?

        The company is a sorry excuse and is shot to hell, anyway, judging by the total fool and disorganized mess the interviewer is; you surely do not wish to WORK for a bughouse like this, do you? So what have ya got to lose!

        Say it with a smile as wide as the Ole Mississip itself: “Yes, I surely am Mary Smith! Wonderful to meet you!” Proclaim it proudly accompanied with a warm and firm handshake and a grin as fabulous as Mom’s apple pie: “Yes, that is I, sir….John Doe! Pleased to meet you!” and let the good times ROLL!

        1. Have you ever found out the people who got the job over you? I have and most of them were idiots. Ironically the one time someone more qualified was when the company called me and told me this. They were honest. The others never contacted me or emailed me. I would Google the company or the job title and often got the name of the person who go the job. One winner was a lesbian (nothing wrong with this)who had a Facebook page where she talked about hating men and wanting all to die. Another got a public relations job who was from Brazil and could barely speak English, several were either visa workers or much younger workers. Meanwhile I sit here keep applying while bimbo Barbie or Alcoholic Al has no problem.

          1. I remember these 2 “replacements”

            Replacement A was hired for me on the evening shift because I was going to be coming up to the day shift (long story why I was coming up to days.)

            Replacement met me and she couldn’t even look me in the eye; I am 100% sure she found out the real reason why she was hired…. and about 3 days after she met me, she quit. She found another job and got out of there.

            She was employed maybe 2 weeks at this point.

            Boss was furious. He saw her pass by in the corridor as she was reporting in for 3-11 shift and he very sarcastically said to her “I heard the good NEWS, darlin’…thank you very MUCH!!” He paused and acidly added “We need new faces around here, anyway!”

            Replacement B ws the woman I mentioned earlier, the one who walked out on the skill set test. She faxed over her acceptance of the job offer — lucky me, I went to the fax machine and her letter was in there — and about start of January, there was another ad in the paper for the job I (and she) had.

            Those are the only 2 replacements I met/knew about. Replacement A seemed like a nice young woman. She probably couldn’t look me in the eye maybe because she felt bad she “took” somebody’s job.

            At a third company — the one where the owner fired everybody eventually — she might have been my age; I did not see her. I was supposed to train her for my job. I called in sick on her first day…which also turned out to be her last day. She did not return.

            I think he grabbed any ole body with the sole intent of being able to tell me to take a walk. It didn’t work.

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