The entire process - signing the legal papers, telling people how to carry on without me, graciously accepting my firing, and cleaning out my desk - takes about an hour and a half. I was "exceptionally nice" and made the process very easy on the people firing me. It was actually mentioned in the days after how nice I was.
I'm driving home when the panic sets in and I nearly hyperventilate.
Thankfully, I had plans that evening. Driving out to Canfield, Ohio with some of my best mates to watch a demolition derby and eat fair food was probably what saved me from emptying my liquor cabinet directly into my bloodstream.
It wasn't until that first official work-day when I wasn't sitting in a cube that it began to sink in: my goodness, I hated my job.
I was a technical project manager and application administrator. It was my job to get applications up and running using a variety of resources - internal and external - coordinating tasks between vendors, clients, and employees, training those necessary on the things they needed to know, migrating legacy data, performing upgrades and fixes, and basically being the person on the other end of the phone when whatever application wasn't playing nicely.
I did this for 3-1/2 years. In that time, I managed to completely phase out an existing legacy application that had been in use for nearly ten years, launch and integrate a web-to-print process using "the latest" in web-to-print technology, AND serve as part of a two-person team to get the company ISO 9001 certified. Which we did. (And I have the champagne cork to prove it.)
When I was let go, all my projects were working. There were no new mountains left to climb. I innovated myself out of a job during a time when business was not picking up and clients, despite our awesome technology, were in-sourcing tasks.
The actual tasks were wonderful and I loved the impact my work had. The doing of the tasks, the tolerating the user-base, the panicked phone calls, the late nights, all of those things I could deal with... in fact, I even liked them. I liked being the star quarterback who came in and "saved the day" with a combination of technical skill, excellent contacts, and panache.
So why did I hate my job?