when is “finishing you up” not a fire?

I received a phone call yesterday out of the blue from the medical company I am currently working for. I thought it was to talk about a relatively large order I had received via email but no it was “we’re finishing you up can you meet me for a hand over?” My response was as most people’s are especially when you are about to go into an appointment, you have people around you and it takes you by surprise you state. “Sure, see you then.”

Once in privacy I emailed back expressing my surprise and stating the facts as I was aware and commented that this effectively was “firing me and I expected a months salary in lieu of notice.” The outcome of this is yet to be played out and under the industrial relations laws, employers tell me when is this not the correct process? I was held up in theatre and could not take the phone call this brought, that will be today’s stress.

I have been awake feeling stressed and humiliated most of the night, shame on them. 5 working days ago I was sent an email to ask to put some April dates aside for a sales meeting, spoke with the CEO & the National Manager last week who both said they were pleased I had decided not to go ahead with my resignation and that I could stay as long as I liked, to which I was pleased & grateful & thus under legislation this enacted my contract again and I began my work in earnest.

Now they have someone to “replace me” and I’ll “be finishing up.” They will try to convince me this “opportunity” came about “out of the blue” whereas we all know they went looking, not even the consideration of informing me whilst they are talking with me they were manipulating behind my back. I know I am not an isolated case and it isn’t the first time a medical company has done this to me, at least the last one came with the correct industrial relations message and that is pay in lieu of notice. There will be other people today “laid off” “let go” “made redundant” “retrenched” “unable to find a position for you” “take some time find another job” “finishing up” “walked from the building” no matter what term the employer has for you it all means the same and no matter what  words or how nicely they are delivered, the outcome is the same – you no longer have a job within that organisation and rightfully under law they can not not pay you in lieu of notice unless your contract stipulates you can be asked to leave without warning and without pay for a serious company breech. This will also mean financially people will be suffering the stress of replacing an income that pays bills, gives independence and makes most people feel worthwhile.

What are the words then that do make this easier? are their any? I am struggling to see or equate yesterdays actions with honest deeds and words. Whilst reading this you may say but you resigned, you should have seen this coming, why did you not leave when you said you would? I can say I resigned in December to finish on 16th January but in talking with the CEO early January we decided I had enough projects to finish that I would stay on and do that, that is my personality I hate not finishing what I started. I am loyal and expect the same from my employer. There was no issue with me staying on, I was told this. I don’t think anybody sees anything like this coming for obvious reasons, you are not looking for it, nobody talks to you about succession even if you take back your resignation. Why not be honest and say, as you have already resigned we know your unhappy, looking for other opportunities, etc so we are taking a proactive approach and inform you if we find the appropriate person we will be looking to replace you.

For me, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. I am shamed, I said I would never work for someone other than myself when it happened the first time, I changed this self-imposed rule 6 months after sub-contracting to this company as I felt it would be ok – see shame on me. I get approached regularly about other medical industry jobs and I took this one as I wanted it and as a favor to a friend after years out of the industry. I see nothing has changed, just a different name, different product but same approach. It is yet to “finish up” as I am. How can one keep working knowing that it is fruitless and futile? the companies expect this to be ok and it’s not and once you express that they then try and talk with you, all I want is what is legislated pay in lieu of notice and to “finish” immediately. Save any more embarrassment.