Well, I guess I knew it wasn’t going to last.
I went into the room for my probation meeting, expecting it to be all the standard fare — here’s where you did well, here’s where you need to improve, sign on the dotted line and go back to your desk etc.
And it was all of those things, I guess, except what I saw they precisely wanted me to sign.
The document said that I wasn’t to pass, despite “meeting expectations” and receiving great feedback from the other members of the marketing team. Feedback from the morons in management who had no idea what the restrictions of digital marketing, not so much. Probably because I’d told them that their ideas were not feasible in the digital space.
Anyway, the document skimmed over my achievements while going into great depth on minor errors; it said that I admitted I had;t performed as expected and would go onto an extended probation.
As she said it, I looked into the eyes of my smirking manageress. I looked at the woman who had skied and sipped cocktails during the back-breaking live events where I had worked 20 hour days.
And I refused.
She told me to think about it overnight. And I did. I came back the next morning and refused to sign.
I watched her fill up as though with boiling water, starting from a red blush at her neck which climbed to the very roots of her hair; by the end, she had blushed such a deep shade of puce that I could see the spots where she had neglected to apply foundation. She began to rail on how I didn’t take her feedback, that this document was supposed to spur me on to achieve more and work harder.
I calmly informed her that this document did not reflect the work I had put in over the past 3 months and that it had clearly been compiled by someone who did not wish to emphasise my successes.
As she moved onto my attitude and something about the team, I smiled and asked her to fetch someone from HR. We went through the procedures and within 15 minutes I was clearing my things and heading to the door.
“Stop!” squealed my manager as I went to leave. “Can we…Can we go for coffee downstairs, please? I don’t want it to end like this.”
I was rather surprised. Less because she suddenly seemed friendly and more for the fact that it was the first time since I started that I’d actually seen her do something that vaguely bordered on acting like a professional adult and not the silly, spoiled little girl she is.
But I accepted. We went and had, honestly, a lovely chat. Then we parted ways, I think suddenly united for once in the same feeling: Relief. Relief that we would never have to see nor hear from one another ever again.
As I walked home, my LinkedIn pinged. A recruitment agent had an opportunity they wanted to talk to me about. I decided to augur it as proof that I’d done the right thing.
Do I regret that it didn’t form itself into a pleasant job I could just do for a year or two? Yes, absolutely. Did I regret leaving? Not for a moment. The notion of being free from all of them, in one of the most politically charged, poisonous work environments I’d every encountered? Not for a second.
My silly little princess of a manager. The bozos in the CRM team. The utter incompetence and general moronism. The fact that my carefully constructed strategies based on acquisition and conversion simply bounced over certain heads with more demands for more followers. Idiots. Imbeciles.
But once again I’m thrown into a place where I don’t know where I’m going. Well, the only place I think I’d currently like to go is over to California and back into Charlie’s arms. He told me that if anything went wrong I was to go to him.
We talked about it and decided that it could potentially be towards the end of this month. I filled out my online e-application and was accepted for travel to the United States, so it is a possibility. God, how I want to see him; how I miss him.
Everything was just simpler when Charlie was around. And I don’t mean in the sense that we lived in a bubble for a few days as Wilt and I did; living out some sort of wonderful fantasy.
No, with Charlie it was quite the opposite.
I felt the same golden glow as I did with Wilt, but it was in a much more realistic sense. I went to work, I met him after; we went for dinner, we’d talk about our days. It seemed to be more grounded in reality than flying off into some dreamy fantasy. It felt more real.
With other men, everything became more complicated; with Charlie, everything becomes so much more simple.
A part of my body burns for his touch and his kisses, a part of my mind longs for his soothing presence. The way he calmed me.
Yes, I know that it would be running away from my problems instead of facing them. I know that I may have thrown my CV into jeopardy by having yet another short-term job on there and reducing my stability even further. But I really don’t care. All I can care about is getting back to that man who somehow made me feel more alive and more safe than I think I’ve ever felt or ever known.
Charlie even encouraged me to try and find a job in California.
I talked about it with my housemate last night, and she said that if we were to end it, it had better sooner rather than later; it would only get more difficult as time went on. I felt like I’d been punched in the stomach at the thought of ending it. I couldn’t do it. I don’t care if Charlie is a continent and an ocean away, he’s mine and we’re there for each other. I know it will be hard but a part of me can see a life with him, and he’s the first man in 4 years to make me see something beyond just sex or just the relationship into glimpses to a world beyond.
For the first time, when everything went wrong, there was someone there to pick me up and make sure I was OK.
When we FaceTimed and I relayed the whole story to him, I waited with baited breath for his opinion. I thought me might reprimand me as others have done; criticised me for standing on my pride.
Instead, he said how proud he was of me; that I had stood by my principles and he admired that. I don’t think I had ever wanted him more than when he said those words. I replied all over again then just what a wonderful man he really is, and I would be lucky beyond my wildest dreams to have him.
I’m still processing everything that has happened. I don’t know quite what to make of it all yet. Perhaps I made a huge error, perhaps this will be the making of me. Perhaps I have plunged myself into a huge mess of my own making; perhaps this is my time to triumph. But either way it’s happened now and all I can do is move forward and deal with it.
I’ve been here before. Too often, perhaps, but I have been here before. I can pick myself up and begin again.
The only thing I didn’t have before was Charlie. Please, God, let me fly away to him. I’ll face all of it after, but just let me face it after I’ve seen him again.