Reality Check Please!

Although losing my job was a traumatic financial loss, it was really an emotional kick in the groin. By the way, let me caution you, my sensitive readers: I will be blunt in this post.

In the world (and especially in the work world), there are people who strive against mediocrity. They care about the quality, the meaning, the purpose of their life and work. That’s me.

Then there are people who are interested in doing what is necessary for a paycheck or some form of stability. They rarely, if ever, have the passion to go beyond the minimum required. That is not me.

Unfortunately, the former frequently pisses off the latter. I would get into what I call “the should be mode“. Those who are simply doing the minimum required are not burdened with concern for how things should be; and they do not want to hear about it.

I’m not saying that is the only reason I was fired. But it had something to do with it. During the termination meeting, Jeff Risner (the administrator) said that I was excellent with the residents when it came to something I enjoyed doing. However, he and the new Activities Director, Christine Heaton, felt that if it were an activity or task that I didn’t personally like to do, I would not start it promptly and cheerfully.

I don’t know about that. I don’t care for the game cornhole, yet on the day that I was fired, I was observed leading a game with the Alzheimer’s residents. One of the residents’ family member was present, and complimented me for being wonderful with the residents.

I know that it took a lot of energy for me to be upbeat, cheerful, and positive ALL THE TIME, regardless of how I actually felt, both physically and emotionally. The facade was perhaps a little transparent at times. The new Director didn’t like what she saw.

Again, I want to stress that I am not angry at anybody about it, except for myself. I had plenty of warnings, but I was believing the good feedback I was getting from co-workers, residents and their families, and my former Director, Karen Randau. I wanted to believe in my ability to maintain “Mister Happy” at all times. It’s not easy when you are feeling physically terrible and emotionally stressed to make “Mister Happy” seem real.

I’m applying for unemployment, and I’m job-hunting as best as I can with no car. I’m searching on line for work, and I’m writing.


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I am 56 and live in Ravenna, OH USA. I am a writer . I am a father and grandfather. I have been a Christian since 1982. I am a musician and singer. I teach guitar (when I can get students). I am an avid reader and Bible student. Under the name Mike Mattice, I write Christian nonfiction. Also, I write web content for a web developer, articles and blogs on various topics.

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