There is nothing that will turn my heart to an icy piece of coal faster than the phrase, "It's not personal, it's business."
So nobody at Dr. Little's office was more surprised than me when I myself uttered those words at the scene of my own lay off last Thursday evening.
I was more than just a little shocked at being laid off. I thought I was important! A fixture! A mainstay! I asked if they were joking. When they said no I asked if they were sure. They were.
The schedule has gone kaput at the office. The financial woes of Wall street are effecting the little guy. People don't want to fork over the dough to get their teeth cleaned, filled, etc. I don't blame them...now that I'm out of a job and can't afford it either.
I am sorry this situation is effecting Dr. Little's office. Really I am. But me? Really? REALLY?!
He said it was only temporary, that he wants me to work there until I don't want to anymore, that he'll call me to come back when things get better. Problem is, things could get better for him in a couple of weeks, a couple of months, or never.
And the other thing. I might just not want to work there anymore. Not after that unceremonious sendoff.
I did feel bad for him and my office manager though. He had tears in his eyes and my office manager (also my very good friend) was crying. I felt so bad for them, in fact, that I found myself saying, "It's okay, guys. Really. Don't feel bad. It's not personal, it's business." And in my mind I was thinking, "Whoa! Don't say that! You hate it when people say that!" But it was too late.
Plus, I was lying. Because I felt very personally rejected.
I was dumped once by a guy. But he didn't just dump me. He kept coming back. Over and over again, saying he needed me in his life, that I knew him better than anyone (blah blah blah) and then rejecting me over and over again for about three years. And I, like a complete fool, kept going back, hoping each time that things would be better. It was the hardest thing I've ever gone through (Seriously, it was. Ask Kim.).
By being laid off in this way and telling me he'll bring me back, it brought all of those terrible feelings of rejection and wounded pride bubbling back up.
The words, "You know I would never hurt you, right?" and "It's not you, it's me." linked now and forever in my mind with "We're letting you go, but I'll bring you back though, when things get better."
I felt like my chest was going to actually explode, like my jugular was going to burst out of my neck. Like my face was on fire. Like I was the most disgusting, unwanted creature on the planet. Like I was a fool. How dare I think I was important there. How dare I think my employer was loyal to me because I was loyal to him. How dare I, how dare I, how dare I.
Not personal? Is that what they say? Those people who don't lose their jobs?
I am a sad tomato.