So I was fired from my job today. Funny story actually.
I work(ed) at a local grocery store chain for the past year and a half almost. It was a cool environment, and the store I was placed in was like a small corner store. Not too busy, lots of daily regulars. It was also in the most wealthy town, so a lot of those regulars were snobs, but some really nice.
Honestly the worst part about the job was a commute. It was 36 miles one way, and depending on the shift, it could take me up to an hour and twenty minutes just to get into work. Not fun. I was heading towards Boston, so I had to deal with commuters if I ended up with a morning shift.
Anyway, around this time last year we got a new store manager, and it became obvious pretty quickly that he did not like certain people, and that he wanted them gone. I realized pretty quickly that I was on his list of people to get rid of. Though I am a diligent employee, always watch my back, so I knew I should have been safe. But honestly it felt like I was working with a gun to my back for the past year.
I tried my best, I learned how to do orders, be in charge, and I started pushing for a promotion. They're opening a new store in the spring, and I made it clear I wanted to be an assistant manager in either my current store or the new one when it was time. They basically flat out told me no. So okay, whatever. I'm still newer and there's people who have been working longer and trying as well. That's fine, I don't care.
Anyway, my slip up finally happened, much to the delight of the store manager, I'm sure. There were five times in the past three weeks where I took 20 minutes lunches instead of 30 minute lunches, as per the handbook. I did this because it was busy and I needed to get back to my department right now. I knew it was wrong to do so, but I just couldn't stay away for the whole thirty minutes. So yeah, I broke the rule, I admit it.
The store manager saw it on my time card for last week, went back and saw it happened a few other times. I was called to the office and I tried to explain myself, but instead I was accused of stealing company time. They saw on the cameras that I would buy a quick thing before punching out, which you're not supposed to do, but EVERYONE does it. So yeah, he was nitpicking for any last thing he could.
So instead of being like "hey, we notice this has happened more than once, we don't want it to turn into a problem." I was called into the office and accused of stealing company time. I was told that HR would have to get involved, and it was likely that I would lose my job. This was on Sunday, and I was sent home right then and there. As soon as I went home I started applying for any and all jobs that I could within my field as a meat cutter or meat apprentice. Even a meat clerk. Thankfully, that day I got a call back from a store who needs someone with my qualifications to start ASAP. Plus that specific store has a union, so I'm sure the benefits are stellar.
Anyway, now that all of this has happened. Now that they found that one stupid reason to fire me and did, I honestly feel relieved. I have been working for the past year with what felt like a gun pointed directly at my back. My shifts were stressful, and I had to perform 200% customer service. I knew one little complaint for any stupid reason, (and the customers always had stupid reasons) would get me canned. I have seen this process happen to five other former employees, one of which was fired like myself. The other four got out before they could be fired. And it's stupid. It really is. I worked in a store that is in the wealthiest town. It struggles to find ANYONE to work there. And if you were not hired by the store manager, or if you do not meet his odd standards, then you have a good chance at being a target. One of the people he didn't like had a uncle who was one of the top men in the company, and even he wasn't safe. Which is stupid.
Plus my now former work worried me. They had been making a lot of... questionable moves. There has been a lot of shuffling and restructuring of people at the top. Some major people were fired for unknown reasons, and the company tried to keep it quiet. I learned they are closing one of their stores on December 9th, and just recently they announced that they're switching to a lower cost health insurance plan. So to me, those raise major caution flags about the state of the company. Sure, they are opening up a small corner store in the spring, but the fact that they need to downsize and change a lot of things around is worrisome. I was planning on leaving the company in May after I had my second review and raise, but I guess my plans have been changed.
At least I was able to secure another job so quickly. As of right now I need to pass the background check, which I have never even had an officer look at me the wrong way before, so I'm going to pass. Though the hard part is this. I have yet to tell my fiance, Nate, about any of this. He knows that I went in for an interview and I have another job lined up. He thinks I'm just doing this as an opportunity to advance my career. I did tell him about my worries with the future of the company I was just fired from, so he thinks I'm just taking advantage of a great opening.
So now I have to find a way to look like I'm working between now and Thursday the 19th. I know I should tell him, but how can I explain to this to him? Ugh. I feel terrible. But what's done is done. I'll have to just do what I can do. At least I'll get 80+ hours of PTO from my current job to cover my expenses until I can start this new job on the 29th. Well, at least I have a gym membership to keep me busy in the mean time. Plus my schedule was always somewhat the same, so I just know what hours I should be away from my apartment for.
I might as well use that downtown to put on some muscle. I'm going to need it. Plus I was already have a planned and paid for vacation from October 21st though the 28th, so I only need to keep the secret until then. Soon enough I'll be able to lounge around the apartment and do nothing without guilt.
Anyway, tl;dr. I got fired for taking five 20 minute lunches across three weeks. Instead of asking me to be careful and not do it again, they got HR involved and I was canned. I am lucky enough to already have a new job lined up in a much better company. I'll be starting the 29th. Next two and a half weeks are hiding from my fiance vacation since he doesn't know. YAY.