Casual morning in the office, I am getting a bit fidgety. Little do I know that I am about to receive a liberty ticket today while working in my office and actually from my boss.
Firstly, it’s my birthday and, as we nicknamed it, a public embarrassment is inevitable. You know, the one when the whole team and some dear people from the open-space office gather around you with the well-wishes. I mean, nothing wrong with that, the problem is many of them you can’t stand and they can’t stand you. Given enough notice, they’d make a trip to the loo, or take an early lunch break or just disappear to a meeting room with an excuse of some important call. Fair enough, easier for everyone, one less false handshake and fake smile.
But that’s not the reason today I am particularly fidgety. My young 28 y.o. manager was to present a new extended contract for me to sign, as my previous is about to expire next month and he still has not shown up with it to this day and it’s already 14th. Should I worry or should I not? What does it mean?
Well, I am trying to calm myself with the thought, that since my last two years with the company went well, since I’ve always achieved satisfactory results and showed to be a good team player, expressed my likeness to the job I was performing, loyalty to the company, as was expected of me, bearing in mind the fact should that not be the case, my exit papers would have had to be signed at least 2 months prior the expiry of my original contract by law, I should not be “paranoid” and get on with my birthday in the office as usual, as per our tradition. Cakes, drinks, snack, funny jokes and even less funny comments.
The day progresses, my public embarrassments has been performed, out of all the people that were supposed to be present at the handshaking event my manager still nowhere in sight. By now, getting really concerned and my intuition is communicating with my stomach very clearly, I dare to contact my manager via work online chat asking him whether to save some fresh tiramisu and other goodies, just to receive back an invitation to a meeting room to be in half an hour, 4 pm.
Hell, as I am approaching the meeting room I see a girl from our HR waiting to enter the same meeting room. What is going on? I ask myself…
My intuition and my inner voice were absolutely spot on (again).
In the meeting room I got an answer to as why my manager never showed up for the handshake birthday event, the first that was meant to be to start it off, I actually got an answer to my question why do I feel his was trying to avoid me in last couple of weeks or so, I got an answer to why there is a presence of the HR girl needed there too..
Yes, you guessed it right. I did not receive a special bonus for my public acknowledgment from top Business Partner Champion in Moscow for excellent support of business partners in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan in last year. The first time someone in our company would have received it from so feared Russian boss and difficult market that nobody wanted to cover. I did not receive a promotion either. I did not even get a small handshake with a chocolate and simple Happy birthday wish nor his secret Valentine’s card. I was presented with my exit papers to sign.
Sure I needed to go. Company, with an average age of 28, did not favour people like me, I reached 42. Far of the 28. Far of the 9 months people fluctuation cycle, if I was there 2 years already and not showing signs of clearing my desktop. Cheaper to pay a young girl 3 years maternity leave than 20-30 years of pension to people who work there for years. Maybe. I will never find out… nor care anymore.
The bottom line is, it made me realise how things really are. It made me face the truth, the reality, as hard as it can be.
At 42 you might be too old and uncomfortable for some individuals if you are too bright. You represent a threat. The company did not hire you to expect further intellectual challenges, to challenge the system itself or to use your brains. BigThe companies hire you to perform boring and pointless routine work and struggle long hours on dull tasks. Get it? Paying you just above average country monthly wages for you to stay for as long as they dictate.
As shocked and later as upset I was with this original birthday present, 14th of February I sign as my Liberty ticket day. Not only it was the day as started to prepare for my exit from the corporation system, but also the idea of having my own business started to seriously nest. To my colleagues and friends it seemed like utter tragic receiving exit papers to sign and felt sorry for me. To me, it was a blessing in the skies. Which later turned out to be even more evident.
14th of February now I don’t only celebrate as my birthday, but as my liberty ticket day or my independence day. It was a day that made me reflect on my life goals, real values, the day I gave back my perspectives the right place and moved on to a next level and next journey of your life with a new commitment.
It was the day today I am really grateful for as I wouldn’t be here writing on my BLOG and having my own online business with all the liberty being your own boss can bring. Liberty ticket of place, time and reward.