June 17, 2010

Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop - 06/17/10

It's Thursday, so that means it's time once again to check out the great writing prompts provided by Mama Kat. 

The prompt I chose this week? 


It Happened at Work

This story took place at my first job. I was an old "newbie" - I didn't get my first full-time job until I was 30 years old (since I had spent my previous years as an adult as wife and SAHM mother of two). 

I really liked my job, and it was great earning a paycheck (meager though it may be). I was a newly single mom, and every penny counted. 

I worked for a company that was developing a hospital information system. We were a startup, and were relying on venture capital to keep us afloat. The CEO of the company, Bill, was a raging egomaniac, who was often heard saying the phrase "soaring like eagles". He truly believed in the product we were developing, and was sure that hospitals would be chomping at the bit to buy our software.

As things progressed, and it looked like we may be getting to test the software at an actual hospital, our staff doubled in size. We had sales managers, sales and marketing staff. We were going to make it!

Until the venture capitalist decided that he'd funneled his last dollar into the company. We employees knew something was up, there were plenty of hastily called meetings of the muckety mucks in the conference room, and lots of hushed hallway conversations.

When our department manager announced that there was a staff meeting, me, being the office cynic already, said, "What, are we not getting paid?"

That is exactly what happened. We all got laid off that day, and were not going to be paid for the previous month of work (we only got paid once a month). Egomaniac Bill was absent from our meeting - surely, he was in his office soaring with the eagles, trying to come up with a scheme to keep the company afloat.

The next kick to the gut came when we were told that were not eligible to receive unemployment compensation for the month - because we all had jobs; we were just not lucky enough to be paid.

Egomaniac Bill called me a month or two later and asked me if I'd do some work for him, and that he'd pay me later. I told him that I'd rather live in a cardboard box and eat out of dumpsters than ever work for him again.

I found Egomaniac Bill and his wife on Facebook before I wrote this - it appears that they could afford some expensive looking duds for their son's wedding last month. Maybe Bill found other sitting ducks to help him soar with the eagles over the past 21 years. 
 

15 comments:

  1. I think I would cry if I was told I wasn't getting paid and that I wasn't getting unemployment!

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  2. Oh man that sucks big big time! I'm so sorry you had to go through that.

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  3. Ouch. That was painful. What a jerk.

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  4. Cry. I woulda punched someone in the throat. That's just how I roll. Sucks that it happened to you:(

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  5. Man, what a crazy story. And to not be able to get unemployment would just make things even worse.....

    Stopping by from Mama Kats

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  6. what a jerk and to not pay you for you time.

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  7. Love your "comeback" to Egomaniac Bill. He didn't happen to be a BP executive, did he?

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  8. I LOVE what you told him when he approached you for work a second time! Way to go!

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  9. I had a similar thing happen to me...a boss who was overly optimistic and hired a bunch of people...only to lay off most of us. And it was 2 weeks before Christmas, sweet

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  10. That's horrible that you worked a whole month for nothing. I can't imagine how angry you would be.

    Stopped by from Mama Kat's.

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  11. That just plain sucks. He should be paying you all back one at a time until he is square. What a crap deal!

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  12. That is awful! I love what you said to him, though. I can't believe he had the guts to call you and ask you to work for him again! That takes balls!

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  13. I think he may have been wrong about the unemployment thing....or probably actually KNEW all of you could apply for it and possibly get it...but wanted to put the "scare" into ya!? Idiot! No, not YOU.....HIM!! :D

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  14. Ugh! I have worked for TWO companies that had trouble paying employees. But yet the always seemed to be doing well. What do they think we work for fun?

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  15. You have really had some bad bad luck in the work world haven't you? Bill sounds like a giant ass.

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Thanks for stopping by. I love your comments...I get all warm inside just reading them!