Now that Janie got fired, the next month or so seemed like an eternity. She had too much time to think about what she had done and her situation with Kyle after getting fired.
To say Janie was in a real bad funk was an understatement. She laid in bed all morning thinking and thinking about how bad her life was playing out.
It seemed like a lifetime ago when she was the office superstar. The go to person, the person who everyone came to for advice, and the person who always cheered everyone up.
She now looked at that part of her life as a total betrayal. Her impeccable record was completely shattered with one unforgiveable mistake.
She paid the ultimate price by getting fired and she could not get past the fact that one stupid mistake cost her 10 years of excellence.
She thought, “the hell with Robert and his bosses”. I deserve better than that ridiculous company, she thought.
Janie seemed to do this every morning as she lay in bed wallowing with guilt.
The other ritual she got herself into every day was to think about her situation with Kyle. It had been a few months now since she heard that nightmarish voicemail, “Hi Kyle, it’s me, I miss you, are you still coming over?”
Since Janie had nothing better to do and she had no interest in looking for another job, she watched Kyle’s every move.
It drove Janie crazy because Kyle didn’t appear to be doing anything strange or out of the ordinary. She was beside herself thinking he was sneakier than she thought.
This self-destructive behavior played out for another couple of months and finally one morning Janie woke up and realized she needed to regain her life.
As she sat there thinking how she was going to get a job, she realized she had a huge hurdle to overcome – she got fired.
“How do you explain that you got fired”, she thought. She thought her skills were going overcome any obstacles in her way.
Over the next couple of weeks she was able to get job interviews with some really solid companies. They appeared to love how she responded, but in the end, they were not satisfied with her answer about leaving her former company.
Even though it is against the law to ask someone from the former company if an employee got fired, the interviewers could tell Janie was hiding the truth.
When asked why she left the company after 10 years, her answers were less than forthright. Now Janie was really getting angry. One stupid mistake was going to haunt her the rest of her life, she thought.
This was going to be an uphill battle, but Janie kept plugging along. After 2 months she finally landed a job. She wasn’t terribly excited because she wasn’t walking into a position where she was the big dog.
The office atmosphere was far less professional than in her previous job and it appeared that everyone was out for herself.
Janie was determined to get back on her feet and show her new employers she was the “go to” person she always prided herself on.
Janie underestimated the office politics completely. Since no one was willing to help each other out, it was a battle waiting to happen.
She thought her knowledge and experience would be a valuable tool to help others out.
Big mistake by Janie.
Given the environment the company was operating in, no one was in the mood for “Miss Sparky”. After a few months of trying to help and assist her co-workers, Janie was summoned into the executive assistant’s office for a chat. Uh-oh!
Janie was calm and collected and really didn’t understand what the meeting was about.
Miss Finkbiner, the executive assistant, asked Janie to close the door. Even Janie knew this was serious, but she had no idea what she had done wrong.
All the other assistants in the office feared Miss Finkbiner, but Janie wasn’t part of all the drama in the office.
“It has come to my attention that you have been creating quite a stir in the office, Janie”, Miss Finkbiner said. Janie just about fell out of her chair.
Janie sensed what was about to happen, but she played it cool. She asked Miss Finkbiner to elaborate on what she meant.
Many of the office staff complained about the suggestions you have been giving them. They feel these suggestions are uncalled for and totally unnecessary coming from a newbie.
Since Janie was fired, she became a little more hardened. She wanted to get back to her old self and really make a contribution for the company and her co-workers.
Apparently helping others was frowned upon. The only thing Janie heard coming from Miss Finkbiner’s mouth was “blah, blah, blah, ba, blah.”
She knew she was going to get fired and she was waiting for this woman to stop ranting long enough to say, “you’re fired”.
Janie was at peace with this action because she felt she had too much to offer and she didn’t want to be miserable anymore.
Miss Finkbiner finally stopped blabbing long enough to tell Janie she was a disruptive individual to the co-workers and her services were no longer required.
Janie was smiling inside because she really wasn’t able to refute the things Miss Finkbiner said. She truly tried to help her co-workers and it was seen as being detrimental.
Janie didn’t want to be in this situation if her work wasn’t respected. In Janie’s months of agony, she finally realized that life was too short to be miserable all the time.
As Janie drove home with severance check in hand, her thoughts began to wander back to Kyle.
She was happy she had a job, but now she kept thinking what was Kyle doing with this chick from the voicemail. She cried and cried all the way home thinking about it.
Later that evening when Kyle got home, Janie immediately started sobbing uncontrollably. She told Kyle what happened, but she was more focused on the chick from the voicemail.
Finally she just blurted it out. “Who is this woman you are having an affair with?”
Kyle was stunned. “What woman, he said?”
Those were fightin’ words to Janie. Don’t give me that crap, Kyle!
I heard a voicemail of yours several months back. And it said, “Hi Kyle, it’s me. I miss you. Are you still coming over today?”
“Dammit”, Kyle said. Yes, you heard the voicemail correctly, Janie, but I have an explanation that will totally blow you away.
When we first starting dating in college, you shared a story about one of your dreams. Do you remember what that dream was?
Janie was too angry to believe anything Kyle was about to tell her, but she let him tell the rest of the story.
You told me when you were a little girl that your Dad took you to see the movie, “The Sound Of Music”.
You said one of your dreams was to go to Vienna, Austria and dance the waltz like Maria (Julie Andrews) and Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer).
Kyle said, “I saw something in the travel section of the newspaper a few years ago that talked about…
“Nowhere are balls so romantically formal as in Vienna. … The Opera Ball, held in the Vienna Opera House, “in the most beautiful ballroom in the world”.
I never cared to dance, even at our wedding; I wanted to make you happy, Kyle said. I’ve been so proud of you over the years how you carry yourself.
I wanted to do something special for you. Our 20th wedding anniversary was coming up and I wanted to pull out all the stops.
Then things started to change at work for you and you got fired.
Janie sat there quietly crying. She sort of knew what was coming next and she anxiously waited for Kyle to finish his story.
Janie, Kyle said, I have been cheating on you, but in a good way. I wanted your dream to become our dream so I began talking ballroom dancing lessons.
I have been secretly stashing every penny I could so we could go to Vienna, Austria and dance the waltz at the ballroom parties held every December in Austria.
The tears were coming out like buckets now. This was the best day of Janie’s life as far as she was concerned. Kyle loved her so much he wanted to make their dream come true together.
Janie was literally floating and she wished she could keep this feeling forever.
A few months later, Janie and Kyle played the part of Maria and Captain Von Trapp. They had the times of their life.
Through this whole ordeal turned dream, Janie renewed her enthusiasm. She knew she could find a job where people would appreciate her talents and respect her.
She was determined to be a guiding light and be positive regardless of the situation.
Always be positive, always help others and pay it forward and you will always be rewarded.