Burned Bridges

I’ve been searching for years for my dream job. I still haven’t found it. But, I’m closer. I’ve worked for yellers, cursers, book throwers, and even a cockalorum. Unfortunately, along the way, I’ve left employers in the lurch, left on bad terms, and been outright rude to people during my departure (most decidedly necessary, though!). For each of these things, regardless of necessity, I apologize.

The majority of my work history is in law firms. The longest one ran nearly six years. Although I left there on bad terms, it’s not among my list of regrets. I smile as I type that. Feels good to know that some things are just what they appear to be: unchangeable. If given the opportunity to redo the circumstances surrounding that one, I wouldn’t change a thing.

There are two firms in particular that have attorneys I’ve always wished I spoke to before leaving or contacted shortly thereafter. At one, I looked at the guy screwy every time he asked me to do something. He seemed so intent on having someone actually work. Whatev. Um, didn’t he know I missed the Young & the Restless the day before and absolutely had to read the recap before I edited any of that inconvenient White House drivel? Some people.

I’ve always wanted to write to him and his wife and apologize. They were so hospitable; had us over for dinner. At the time, we only had the girls and they had one daughter near our oldest’s age. He is a republican (insert eye roll here; how many black republicans do you know?) and she’s a democrat. They refused to discuss politics, saying one bad row could likely end their marriage. We had the same views on education policy and wanting to be better parents. I think they admired us for having two kids, both employed outside the home, going to school, and making it work. But I simply could not make myself work at work. I left after barely four months. I didn’t tell him I was leaving. I told HR and left the same day. When I picked up a few of my things that afternoon, his temporary secretary requested I call first. He didn’t want to be there when I came by.

Then there’s the one that I stayed at a mere six weeks and again didn’t tell I was leaving. I came in the night – the middle of a Friday night- and cleaned off my desk (dressed in black, of course). That was actually rather fun. I was a secret stapler stealing ninja (except it was my stapler). I sent an email early that following Monday saying oh, by the way, I quit. At that firm I worked for a young female partner. Although she was incredibly bourgeois, I was proud of her having made it that far in the firm at her age, especially as a black woman. Over the years I’ve wanted to contact her as well, apologize for my lackluster work ethic and hasty departure (she had time to be entered!).

I’ve grown so much over the past six years. I wouldn’t consider being that lazy or that unprofessional and rude today. Maybe one day I’ll write to each and explain myself. Hopefully when I decide to do that the bridge I burned can be rebuilt.

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