Monday, October 18, 2010

What does it say about me

What does it say about me that my first thought, on reading an email from one of my bosses asking if I can find some time in the next week so that she and the big boss would like to talk with me, that I think "oh crap, am I being fired?"

I had this thought, even though I have NEVER been fired. At no level of employment have I ever been found so lacking that I was asked to leave. I have always been the one to quit, and usually when I quit I have such a good relationship with my employer that I give months of notice, not weeks. (This has happened several times when I moved across the country or was pregnant.) I have never been fired, nor have I ever been told that my performance was such that if I did not shape up such measures would be taken.

So why, when I saw this email, did I think I was in trouble? Is this common? I can only imagine that this happens to a lot of people, upon receiving a terse but not clearly ominous message from a superior. If I am right, and it is not just me, why are we so sure that these messages portend doom, even in the face of no previous experience that would suggest we should read things this way?

(Appropos of the above: I wasn't fired. The bosses asked me if I wanted to take on a new position with more responsibility and maybe even some staff, working on the same topic that has been my main area of focus over the past year. I am excited and nervous.)

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