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 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 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.
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.
Written by Alexis Branaman. Edited by Mara Strobel-Lanka. Photos by Amber Nicole Photography and Stefanie Keeler.