I do not know what to think. My mind whirls and doesn’t know where to stop. I jump from the rational to sheer chaos in a blink. I do not know which way to look, or what I am supposed to do. My poker playing skills hold my face still and serene, but inside my turmoil threatens to boil over.
They took me into a room. My boss fabricated lies about me. Said how much support I’d needed since Christmas and how disappointed he was. In front of the MD, I outed him as a liar and nothing more than a common bully. All my feedback, beyond 1 email containing 2 minor copy pointers, has been uniformly positive. I called his bullshit and I called it loud. He told me it was over. The smug look on his pudgy, overweight face played testament to his satisfaction. Hell, I would not have been in the least surprised to find him masturbating under the table he was so high on his own power.
“You can’t write,” he sneered. “I need someone who can speak in a brand tone of voice.”
I asked for his evidence. I told him I wanted proof of his claims in my incompetence. He gave none, for there was none to give.
“My decision is final,” he said. Even his voice seems to ooze thickly with fat. When he walks, his weight blubbers all around his body like a beluga whale walking on hind legs. I always found him utterly repulsive.
“You’re a liar,” I told him. Then he hung up.
I insisted on speaking to the VP of marketing before I left. I held back my tears and my fear. I told her I regretted not getting to report to her longer, that I should never have been placed in the team of a liar, a bully and a fool. She seemed genuinely upset to lose me, and I looked into her eyes in her vulnerability, trying to ascertain if she had played a part in all this. I couldn’t tell. Truth be told, I was beyond caring.
I left feeling stripped. No phone. No laptop. It was as though I was walking home in shame, as though I had done something terrible, although everything levelled against me was false. The fabrication of an obese fool too blind to see his own jealousy and shortcomings.
My fury broiled and rolled inside me; a raging dragon screaming for his blood. I imagined his children smothered in their sleep. I pictured his bellows of agony, of my laughs of pleasure as I watched him break. My fingers twitched to reach for pen and paper, to ill-wish him and place a curse upon his bald head. To bring the pain of the universe down upon him, as he had taken such vindictive pleasure in bringing about my own fall from grace.
I didn’t. I breathed and tried to bring the calm inside me.
One day, I know. One day someone will do to one of his children what he has done to me. And on that day, I pray he still feels like the big boss man he claims so hard to be.
The company spread a story of how I had left; of how my performance had been so abominable that I had to be terminated. I wondered if other colleagues would recall my two trips to Toronto, one of which was a reward for excellence. Of the successful campaigns I had headed. Of the ideas I had contributed. Or would they simply believe the slander and move on?
In one way, I suppose I should be more upset. But I haven’t really cried at all. I was more numb with the shock and the anger. That someone who was meant to be a manager and mentor could stoop to such pathetic levels for his own ego stilled me. Once again, I failed to see how evil men can be. But the rage has since subsided into a kind of quiet resignation. In truth, I feel more of an excited anticipation for what is to come next; the wonderful emancipation that I am free of that ridiculous man and that suffocating company.
I don’t know what’s next and I’m frightened. It’s one week since I shared the most magical weekend of my life with Wilt. I’ve lost him. I’ve lost my job. I’ve lost my way and the direction ahead is unclear. But in the end I still have me, and for now that will have to be enough.
And for anyone out there looking for travel, please don’t use a small-group adventure travel tour operator based out of Canada.