I Lost My Job in Pleather Leggings

momnianniversary-2-30

In early February of this year, I got dressed for work the same way I did every day. I picked something comfortable and fun that reflected my style, because I worked in an exceptionally casual work environment. When I say casual, I mean that if I wore a blouse or heels to work it was regularly commented on. The expectations were low, but the opportunity for stretching the limits of business casual was extraordinary. So, on a crisp February morning I thought very little of opting for my favorite black pleather-front leggings and a bulky grey knit sweater (both from Momni, of course). Topped it off with some funky jewelry and ankle boots and I was out the door.

I arrived at work at the normal flex time of 8:30 am and started to plow through emails and applications waiting for me on the desktop. Just before lunch, my phone rang. In a normal person’s job, the phone ringing wouldn’t be something of note. But I worked with international clients and vendors, and 8 – 12 hour time-zone differences result in very few work-day calls. The caller-id screen led to further curiosity when I saw it was the big boss’ assistant.

I had nothing but good juju with the big boss so I picked up the phone without reservation. I was asked if I was available for a meeting less than an hour from that time, to which I responded “of course, I can come whenever you like.” When I followed up with a question regarding what the meeting was about, little to no detail was provided. That is when the EKG would have indicated irregular palpitations. There was no reason I should be getting a vague call that had menacing undertones.

I prepared myself, tried to calm down and applied 3-5 layers of shine-control powder to hide a nervous glisten.  Just as I was leaving my office, the phone rang again. I answered. Meeting postponed to end of day. Oh sweet baby Jesus they don’t even want to tell me mid day. This is bad. Really. Bad.

I didn’t even get a chance to sit down before they told me, door open (probably in case I made a scene), that my job was being dissolved effective immediately, due to budget constraints. But great news! They had a new job all lined up for me, with a cute little pay cut to go with it. Oh and now, we will take you to meet your new boss. In pleather leggings.

Awesome.

I felt like a failure. Like somehow I had become an expendable after-thought to people I thought valued and respected me. I was pissed off that I had no warning, and that I wasn’t even dressed correctly to meet my new boss and their staff. Luckily the new boss was fantastic and ready to welcome me to the team.

Fast forward 8 months, and that job I fell into is the only reason I was interviewed for a fantastic new job, 5 minutes from my home and almost double my salary.

At my farewell one-on-one meeting at the launch-pad, accidental, wonderful position I briefly held – the supervisor came to adore simply told me “We will miss you so very much, it won’t be the same without you. We knew we would like you from the moment you came in here in those leather pants.”
Unexpected moments, in all the wrong clothes, on what feels like the worst day yet, can end up being the catalyst for spectacular change.
Written by Alexis Branaman. Edited by Mara Strobel-Lanka. Photos by Amber Nicole Photography and Stefanie Keeler.

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