I live in an “employment at-will” state. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but I know enough to understand that one of the consequences of this set up is that employers do not have a legal obligation to inform employees about the reasons why they have been let go.
I know this because I’ve asked, many times, to be given a clear and definitive answer to that question concerning the decision by administration to not renew my contract. I need to know what I did that was bad enough to be released from service, not only for my own edification and professional development, but so that I don’t make the same mistake somewhere else. I can’t fix what I don’t know is broken, right? Despite my very politely worded and professional requests – in writing – no answer has been forthcoming. I’ve had to piece together information from a bunch of different sources, and that’s never a good way to go.
I found out a little bit more of the puzzle yesterday when I spoke to someone in a position to know such things. What I got was that I lost my job because someone else wasn’t doing his (theirs, really, because someone should have been overseeing the whole process, but that’s another post). A situation arose that this person should have seen immediately and recognized as falling into his bailiwick, and that person should have taken steps to take control of the message. That person should have done some educating, offered some guidance, and been available to help me determine what I could and could not do or say from the moment it became clear that this situation had the potential to seep past the edges.
That person did none of those things. As a consequence, I’m out.
I’m sure I’m not the first person to lose a position due to someone else’s incompetence, but in this case, my misery isn’t really comforted by company. The incompetent one still has his job and I – I love what I do and I work really damned hard to do it well – I am kicked to the proverbial curb.
I’m trying really hard not to be bitter. Today, though? I’m not really succeeding.