Thursday, April 2, 2015

Fired... the other OTHER f-bomb... and what to do when you're friend finds themselves kicked to the curb

In addition to the ACTUAL F-word, there are two other words I consider to be F-Bombs... Funeral and Fired. Both of them pretty much suck and if you think about it, it really does feel like a bomb has gone off when you're entrenched in such events. 

About a year or so ago, one of my best friends was fired from her job. At the time, I had no idea how she felt. I had no idea what to say or what to do and I specifically remember going to Google and typing "What to do when your friend is fired?" 

Guess what...

NOTTA. I couldn't find anything!

Seriously internet. I thought you had the answer for everything! Get it together.

Anyways, I was clueless, so I stuck to what I knew (which sounded very similar to what you say when your friend is dumped):

"Screw em'!"
"You don't need em'!"
"They don't DESERVE you!"
"Something better will come along!"

However, now, I have been there, done that "and got the tshirt" (as my dad would say... Do they make tshirts that say "MEMBER OF THE 'I'VE BEEN FIRED CLUB'"? Probably not.)

Moving on. 

I know exactly how it feels to be fired and it's embarrassing and mortifying and liberating all at the same time.

If there is anything I want to be able to do, it is to share my experiences with others in hopes that they know I can empathize. Because guess who the first person was that I called when I got fired- My friend who had been there before. (Of course by first I mean after my dad, and then my mom, and then actually my pastor, but she was the first friend of my friends that I called, so that counts!)

So here it is:

5 Do's and Don't's For When Your Friend Gets Axed

No, your friend does not want to go out. No, your friend does not want to be seen in public right now and they definitely do NOT want to awkwardly run into someone that might have just fired them. I personally looked like I had been attacked by bees or punched in the face. My eyes were red and swollen from all the ugly crying. I was A MESS. Your friend wants to sit in THEIR home on THEIR couch and go on and on about what BS it all is. And your job is to keep the drinks available and an open ear. Nod your head in agreement. Say, "That IS ridiculous," no matter how much you agree or disagree with them. 

100% transparency here people. I had some money saved up, not a lot (definitely not my recommended 3-6 month fully funded emergency fund according to the big D.R.), but some.  And yes, I was that person that walked into the Unemployment Office with my Coach purse and my iPhone in my hand, but that didn't mean I wasn't worried about my sudden lack of cash flow. Thankfully, I've never been one to experience panic attacks, but as I was picking up a few things (MINIMAL THINGS!) from Kroger a few days after getting the boot, I felt this tightening in my chest and then shortness of breath and then HOLY CRAP WHAT THE HECK IS HAPPENING!? The walls seriously felt like they were closing in on me. I was only spending $12.00 but that was $12.00 I might need for my electric bill! or for my mortgage! I was able to get out of there before I went into full on cray cray mode, but shew. That was a close one. 

I tell you all of that to say, if I am freaking out about $12.00, how much do you think I am freaking out about that trip I had planned to New Jersey to see my friend, or that Bachelorette party this summer or even going to the movies next week? The last thing I want to do is be a flake so don't put your friend in a position that they will feel that way. Do your friend a solid and go ahead and say, "I know that we had this awesome, amazing, ridiculously good time planned, but seriously, don't worry about it!" AND BE GENUINE ABOUT IT. Your friend wants to be there just as much as you want them there. Also, just because they get a job fairly quickly, still cut them some slack. I was fired without any severance or anything so yeah, my savings has taken a hit and let me tell you now, at least for me, Unemployment really didn't come close to what I was making before AND it took a good 6 weeks to even get approved. That's 6 weeks worth of bills, rent/mortgage, groceries, etc. that's coming from my account without any money going back in. Sometimes being an adult SUCKS.

Your friend will hear that from everyone else. EV-REY-ONE. Just don't do it. If you are a close enough friend, I'm sure they will let you know as soon as they've got that figured out. Until then, just chill. As much as you want to know what they are going to do, they want to know that for themselves times 100.

First of all, I guarantee you that they've already seen it by scouring the internet looking at job postings in the crazy amount of free time they find themselves with. Second of all, I'm a firm believer that for most places these days, it's not what you know but WHO you know that will get your foot in the door. Unless you know someone that works there who can mention their name to the right person to get their resume out of the sea of applicants, once again, just keep it to yourself if it's already publiclly posted. Now, if you hear from a friend that they know of a friend of a friend who is looking for someone to fill a position, then by all means, pass that info along! But seriously. They've checked 1001 times today.

Number 5 is more for those that were not just friends with that person, but also coworkers.
I worked at my job for close to 4 years. That's 4 years of seeing people day in and day out and spending more time with them than I did my own family and friends. I was amazed and surprised by the people I heard from and the people I didn't. And I was also hurt. Shoot them a text and just say, "Man this sucks. Please let me know if you need anything," or "Don't know what happened, but gosh I'll miss you around here!" And if you were really close with that person, call them! Yeah, it might be uncomfortable and you might not know what to say, but it was really nice to hear from people that I spent so much time with and to know that they actually DID care about ME as a person, not just ME as a coworker. (Side note: when my brother died, a few of my co-workers did text me to express their condolences and some of them went in together to get me some great gifts and for that I am extremely grateful!)

So there it is. I've been on both sides, the friend of a friend getting fired and the friend getting fired and maybe what I've gone through will help someone else get through it, too. All in all, remember, you're their friend, not their mom or dad or accountant or job recruiter. You're their friend. Be one. And be a good one. 

If all else fails, send this to them as a gift and call it a day. 


PS, Today is World Autism Awareness Day. Head over to to learn more and Light It Up Blue!

Jacked this shirt out of Daniel's closet when going through his stuff and I'm so glad I did!