“Adversity is the diamond dust Heaven polishes its jewels with.” – Thomas Carlyle
Over a year ago, I worked with all I have got to make another man rich. I remember working 10-12 hours a day, 5-6 days a week to exceed performance quotas. Of course, I was getting paid but not nearly as much as what my boss was making from my dedication and hard work.
I was a stellar performer because I had to provide for my wife and my son. That was my sole motivation.
After two years of devotion, I was suspended for 10 days without pay by upper management. The client thought my performance was not good enough. The news came out of nowhere.
During my years of working for this company, I was given performance bonuses on a consistent basis. My performance evaluations were good to excellent. So when I woke up one morning and read the memo, it felt as if I was blindsided by a freight train.
I have bills to pay. I have mouths to feed. I have a child to send to school. I couldn’t afford the 10-day suspension.
With all confidence, I talked to the boss to argue my case. I had records to prove my suspension was unwarranted. This is when I discovered businesses do not operate like justice courts.
The owner was not interested in what I had to say. He couldn’t afford to lose the client, but he could afford to suspend me. Throwing me under the bus was a business no-brainer for him.
It was then I realized I wasn’t a human being in his eyes. To him, I existed to bring him profits.
I was maddeningly furious that I wanted beat him black and blue and literally throw him under the bus before I left. I spent the next few days with my mind tossing and turning between anger and anxiety.
Then one day, I told myself I’ve had enough. I was ready to take matters into my own hands.
Instead of submitting to fear and doing nothing while serving my suspension, I applied to hundreds of companies online as a freelance writer. I’ve always wanted to write for a living but my father always told me writers don’t make money.
A couple of days later, a few companies were interested to acquire my services. The pay was a fraction of what I made before and the hours were long. I didn’t care; I used all my bottled up anger and frustration as fuel to keep writing.
As expected, the boss called me back to work after my suspension period. I told him I will, but I never did. Until now, his staff sends emails encouraging me to return. Why would I?
“A setback is a setup for a comeback,” says Dr. Eric Thomas.
It’s been more than a year since I received the news that change the course of my life. Nowadays, I wake up excited, thrilled to be writing for a living and touching people’s lives. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. I guess I owe my former boss a big thank you for making me realize I’m tired of making him rich.
Photo by Ryan Hyde