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Depressed (or, found in the fax machine...)

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Old 03-23-2004, 02:14 PM   #1
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Depressed (or, found in the fax machine...)

Hey all, just had to ask this one...feeling more than a little embarrassed, humiliated, and angry.

I'm still working for the real estate office for now. I say "for now" thanks to an incident that happened today--just for reference, I'm working part time there, with a full day on Monday and half-days on Tues, Wed, and Thurs.

On my computer is a web-based paging program--you enter an alphanumberic message, and the program sends it to the agent's pager. Office regs state that someone is supposed to page an agent if they receive a fax, e-mail, etc.

While the office's owner was out on tour, one of the other agents brought in a fax (no cover sheet) from "Jane Blow", with instructions to page the owner that it was there. I did so, and as I was placing it in the owner's mailbox something caught my eye. I took a quick glance, and realized that it was a resume, one that appeared to be geared for an office assistant position...and it sounded a lot like MY position. Obviously, the agent who handed me the fax knew this, since it would be obvious to even a casual observer what this document was and what it was for--every job this person had listed was for "receptionist" or "office assistant".

It was a good thing that it was time for me to leave anyway, since I could feel my blood pressure begin to skyrocket--I have only been at the office for a few weeks, and have worked extraordinarily hard to "learn the ropes". I felt as though I was doing much, much better, and no one had said a word that would have led me to believe that I was going to be replaced. No performance reviews, no "coaching" sessions, nothing. I must have done something wrong, but what? If I hadn't seen this fax I would have kept on assuming that I was improving by leaps and bounds, and doing fine.

I also thought that it was, at the very least, VERY crass to make me handle resumes like this if it turns out to be for my own position..if there are any other submitted, I will likely have to handle them as well if this is any indicator. On one hand, I guess that I should be thankful that I got a heads-up before the ax fell, but at the same time, I do wish that people would respect my feelings and not twist the knife like this.

I just came off a 5-month stint of unemployment before this job, and it makes me physically ill to think that the whole thing could possibly start all over again, especially since I wouldn't have more than a month of UI left.

Should I "play stupid" and pretend that I don't have a clue as to what is going on, or should I hint that I do know and hope to at least get some feedback about what went wrong?

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Old 03-24-2004, 10:17 AM   #2
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Re: Depressed (or, found in the fax machine...)

Well, guys and turns out that I was right about the fax. I am being replaced

Here's the scoop: when I went into work today, I chose not to mention the fax I saw yesterday, but rather to see how things went--"go with the flow". Today turned out to be a busy, nerve-wracking day, anyway, and then about half an hour before I was to leave for the day, I was taken into the dreaded closed-door meeting and told that I was going to be dismissed. They did ask me to work until the end of this month so that my replacement could come in at the first of April--which I will do as a show of good faith and to show that I don't tend to be a bridge burner. I did apprciate this, as it will allow me to collect a little more money before leaving.

I chose to keep silent on the fax (didn't feel that it was appropriate to mention, since the decision was already made), but I did ask for feedback so that I could learn from the experience. I was told that my slight accent was part of the problem, but also that the other agents had angerly come to the owner with a long laundry list of complaints about me, including that I had
1.) misheard names over the telephone (which were honest misunderstandings--for instance, hearing "Ken" instead of "Tim".
2.)Transposed phone #'s (which I had done once, and I did admit my mistake)
3.) that I seemed too "young", "country-like", and "high strung"--whatever that means. On this last point, I should point out that I never lost emotional control or had an outburst of any kind while on the job, as this has been a problem for me at work in the past. I have been working hard on my emotions, and felt that my improvement in this area was a major victory. I was a bit annoyed that the agents had come to the owner and apparently (from what I could gather) made me sound stupid, ignorant, and unable to learn. Please don't think that I didn't take their concerns lightly--I do understand, and would like to improve these traits.

Basically, I was told that the job duties did seem "too overwhelming" for me and that after 60 hrs. on the job, I should have been in a higher place professionally. This was a very active, demanding job, and to that I can only say that I hope my replacement loves a challenge!

Points that they did say were in my favor were that I was always on time, dressed professionally, and kept a pleasant personality. They still seem to think that I'm dumb, though Plus, there's that nagging "another job I didn't fit" baggage I'm now carrying around again. I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't hurt and dissapointed in the whole thing.

So, my first of many questions is: where to go from here? I'm tired of failing!

Old 03-24-2004, 11:47 AM   #3
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Re: Depressed (or, found in the fax machine...)


My heart goes out to have been a trooper through this whole ordeal. I congratulate you in your professionalism, attitude and sheer will to survive the odds (of the dynamics there).

What types of jobs would you be interested in doing?

I have a few point-blank questions....
Just exactly HOW different are you than other people in that town? Is it just your accent? Do you have big hairy warts growing from your face that people seem to have an aversion to?

What do you think are the reasons that you are being perecived as DIFFERENT?

Seems like you have mountains to climb there....when you leave, you'll be ready for ANYTHING methinks.

Hang in there, you better start on that book of surviving the odds in a small town. Are you a cartoonist? Maybe take art lessons. I still will be first in line for a signed copy.

It's all a matter of perspective!
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Old 03-24-2004, 01:15 PM   #4
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Re: Depressed (or, found in the fax machine...)

Hi Quincy! Thanks for the support

As far as jobs, right now I would say something having to do with writing--seriously! I was an English major in college, and feel that I can communicate much better in writing than I can verbally. Unfortunately, the local newspaper and community magazine don't seem too interested in anyone outside of their town circle Other than that, I would also be interested in tutoring English and humanities in a one-on-one environment--I also did this part-time in college and LOVED it.

Why am I considered different? I wish I knew! I don't have hairy warts --in fact, I've been told that I'm actually attractive. I try to dress well, too; most of my clothes are considered quite conservative for my age group. I guess that if there was anything in the appearance department, it would be that I've been told that I have a "sweet" look...meaning that I look young and innocent, much younger than my age. I'm confused for a 17 or 18 year old all the time (I'm 26). To me, this is NOT a good thing.

I do tend to be shy and reserved around most people, which could factor in...but I get the same reactions even when I try to be outgoing. So I just can't win

Now, the accent. You know, until I came here I was told ALL THE TIME that I didn't have a really definable accent. So now I'm baffled...the problem is, the slight accent I do have comes out even more when I'm nervous and/or having trouble with a dry throat or stuffy sinuses. Which, since I've been here, is practically all the time!

But anyway...thanks again for the good wishes!!!

Last edited by LitWit21; 03-24-2004 at 01:19 PM.

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