I went back to work today for the first time in a month. Trial was stressful, and I still don't have a verdict, but my job is stable and the routine will help me take my mind off things.
I got to work as usual, and found that my manager, Elizabeth, was ignoring me. I thought this was a little weird, since it was my first day back from trial, but she gets into these moods where she doesn't want to talk to anyone, so at first I didn't think anything of it. The mood built, though. She sniped at me when I made a crack about my prosecutor. She ignored me when we were both talking to my ex. She gets in these moods.
After my ex leaves, she comes into the back room where I'm working. She tells me that we have to talk about my schedule. She tells me that one of our suppliers closed, got bought out by Ingram, and that she was first upset and then realized that it was a unique opportunity to hire people, and by the way, I'm not scheduled after Friday.
I've had this job on and off for 8 years. I started when I turned 18, and I've worked here pretty much whenever I've been in town. I work hard and I know the merchandise. I know more about the comics than anyone else here. I'm the only person to do anything with the back issues in 7 years. I'm more competent than any of the part timers who work here, several of whom would like to reduce their hours. I've never fucked anything up significantly. I almost never fuck up in general.
What makes this creepier is that we've been friends outside of work. We made our halloween costumes together. We went to a mutual friend's birthday party together. We played games and helped each other with broken cars. We've never been on bad terms, at work or outside it.
So I'm home. I don't have my verdict yet. I'm over my head in debt from the trial. I haven't worked in a month. I already can't pay my bills. I come back to my job, the only non-academic job I've ever been better than indifferent to, to find out that my former manager, who I thought was my friend, has stabbed me in the back. She knows I need the money, knows I can't pay my bills. She doesn't offer me part time work, doesn't offer to try to work something out with me, doesn't offer me Wednesday mornings, when new comics come in and we're always shorthanded. She doesn't wish me luck, doesn't offer me severance, no goodbye present, not even the platitudes I usually get ("you're so smart, we're sure you'll find something else"), just says they'll call if they need someone to fill in, not that I'm obligated, of course. She doesn't even apologize for it.
I'm too shocked to say anything. Later I want to ask her if she'll write a letter to my creditors, saying that it's her fault I can't pay my bills, but she's sure they'll understand about the unique hiring opportunity she had.
Next: May 23, 2002.
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