Then the phone rang…

I answered it. It was the rep from the temp agency that I worked for. The company I was doing data entry for had contracted me out through the temp agency. But I was weeks days hours away from being freed from the contraints of the temp agency. I had done my time and I had been told verbally promised a full-time, salary position upon returning from my Christmas vacation.

But the call was not good. She was calling to tell me that they no longer needed me. She was calling to say I did not need to return to work tomorrow. She was calling to say that all the time and effort I had put into that place had just vanished.

In a flash, the waterworks started. But I wasn’t sad. I was mad. Who does that?!?! What kind of company brings in a “fresh from college and knows nothing about the world of business” girl, trains her, has her enter hundreds of documents a day, promises her a position, and then cuts her right before Christmas?!?!? But I guess that’s the beauty of the temp agency. They get to do the dirty work and let the temps go when they are no longer needed. I was at a complete loss for words. The temp agency rep assured me they would continue to send me small assignments until a temp to perm position was available again. I hung up the phone and sat in silence. It was literally like watching the last 4 months of my life go down the drain. All I could think about was the hour long drives to work and home, the lost sleep, the never ending stacks of paperwork that I entered every day. I had worked hard to get that promotion out of data entry. And now it was gone. The hampster wheel I had been running on for 4 months straight had come to a complete stop.

I called my Dad. I called my Mom. I called my best friend and roommate. None of them could believe it. My life came to a screaching hault. After some encouraging words from everyone, I sat in complete silence trying to figure out what to do next. I decided I needed to face the music. I had to go get the things out of my cube. To say goodbye to my former coworkers. To possibly get some answers. And tomorrow was just as good as any other day.

After sleeping very little, I got up and drove to my former workplace for the last time. When I walked into “the cube room”, I discovered that they had let all the temps go. All their cubes were empty. None of them had been there as long as me though.

I was escorted by the new “Productivity Supervisor” to my old cube to get my things. My computer had already been removed. A box sat on my desk waiting to be filled. As I pulled things out of my desk and off my cork board, my escort assured me I had done nothing wrong. She told me how they had just done some reconfiguring and had decided that the data entry could be completed by another department thus eleminating the need for temporary employees. Thus terminating me a mear 20 work hours before my promotion came into effect. She apologized for the bad timing before the holidays and assured me I would get a glowing reference from them anytime I needed one. But none of that mattered to me. I had been let go from my first Corporate America job not even 5 months in. As far as I was concerned, I had just been dumped. My heart was in pieces. All I could think about was how was I going to survive without that paycheck? How was I going to start over after all I the hard work I had put in?

I went back to my apartment and packed my bags. It was time to go home for Christmas. I needed a good hug from my parents and a bandaid for my pride. 3 days early or not, it was time. I loaded up and headed home. I was greeted with open arms from my Mom and Dad. They hugged me and told me they were proud of me. And waterworks round 2 ensued.

My mom took me to lunch, out for coffee, and some shopping and made it all better. She told me that someday I would see that the Lord had a plan. He takes things out of our life and brings new things in for a purpose. He has a plan. She called them blessings in disguise. When something horrible happens and then later on we see that it was part of God’s plan. And I just let her talk. I let her think that this was a blessing in disguise but I didn’t see it. All I wanted to do was wallow in the fact that I had failed at my first try at being an adult. But deep down, I understood her point.

Christmas went on as normal. I tried not to let the grey cloud of being unemployed and having no job to go back to loom over my head. But it was bound to come up every now and then. I avoided talking about it and all my family knew to only say encouraging things around me. Talk about walking on pins and needles.

After returning from our trip to see the grandparents in Tennessee, I said goodbye, got lots of hugs and kisses and they sent me on my way to pick myself up off the floor and try again in year 2007. So I did. I went back and applied to jobs like it WAS my job. It took a while but I eventually got a couple of temp positions through the agency. A week here. 2 weeks there. Nothing stable. But enough to keep hope.

In the mean time, my check arrived. It was beautiful. I deposited it in the bank immediatly and took my friends out for a celebretory dinner. I promised myself I was going to be smart with it. I put a portion into savings for the taxes that the IRS would expect. Then I paid off the credit card I had used to buy Christmas gifts with. I then lived off the money for the next 3 jobless months.

I kid you not. The day I wrote a check for the last $400 of my winnings for my portion of the rent, I got another call from the temp agency. Another temp to perm job had come open. They wanted me to be the #1 candidate. The next day I went in for an interview.

I nailed it. The office manager and I clicked immediatly. The questions weren’t the least bit intimidating. It was like chatting with a good friend. I felt great about it. I knew nothing about the industry but I was interested in learning. I knew this was my 2nd chance. I had a gut feeling. And I was right. An hour after I got home, the agency called and wanted me to go in for a 2nd interview at the end of the week. I went in and met the District Manager. One sarcastic remark in response to his dry sense of humor joke and I was in. They offered me the job. It wasn’t much. Just a receptionist job and it was less pay than my last job. But it was steady work. I took it.

Fast forward to 3 years later. I’m still here. I’ve moved up from Receptionist to Administrative Assistant to Evidence Coordinator. I drive only 15 minutes to get to work. And the days fly by. I’ve come a long way from “Data Entry Temp” with an hour commute. I am making it. I’m supporting myself and I am LOVING my job. I love the people, the industry, the whole enchillada. I’m happy. And I can finally say I feel like I have succeeded at being an adult. I am completely self sufficient.

Looking back, my Mom was right all along. It was all a blessing in disguise. Getting let go from that job was the best thing that could have happened. It allowed God to work in ways I wasn’t expecting. It allowed me to rely on him. And not only did I rely on him, HE PROVIDED. I sincerely believe that the Lord had a hand in every part of it. From the time I bought the walkman to the time I accepeted that new job. He provided the money for me to survive on, the encouragment for me to heal, and most importantly, he provided the faith and hope for me to continue on and not give up.

It was my blessing in disguise. He knew what he was doing all along. The truth is I wasn’t happy at that job. And he knew it. He knew I was trying but it just wasn’t right for me. I was making the best of a bad situation by working as hard as I could at a place I wasn’t happy at in order to survive on my own. I was doing the only thing I knew to do. And winning the contest? That was his way of saying “Melanie, I promise to provide for you.” And did he ever.

I know we as a nation are still going through tough times and I know that many people, maybe even you, are struggling with unemployment or maybe a dwendling bank account. But I assure you, keep the faith. Don’t let go of hope. If you trust in him, he will provide. He comes to our rescue in many ways. Just know you are not alone. And if he’s closing a door, let him. You never know when he’s opening a window.

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