Once I was approached with a job offer. A job that was very prestigious and paid what I thought was a lot of money. I was a single mom at the time and it would increase my pay to three times what I was making at the time. I was relocating and needed to have a great job with benefits since I was a single mom. The job provided everything I needed so I accepted it.
Shortly after I moved to Dallas and started my new position I soon realized my new bosses hadn’t really described the job accurately in my interview. The job was originally presented to me as a hospital manager running the day-to-day operations of a veterinary hospital. I had eighteen years of experience and this would be a breeze for me. I knew every aspect of making a veterinary hospital profitable and efficient, just as they had asked.
At the end of the first week, the owners met with me and handed me a laundry list of things I was to get done in the first three months of my employment. I will never forget that list.
- Hire a new doctor that had the funds to buy out the current owner so he could retire.
- Fire and replace all seventeen employees that were currently employed. Those employees had been at this practice from one to fifteen years.
- Rebuild the computer system to move from Macs to PCs and train the whole staff.
- Write and implement a new employee handbook so it would make it easier to fire employees without paying unemployment benefits.
- This one was a doosey. Take the practice from $1.2 million to $2 million. This one they gave me six months to complete.
Now looking at this list I knew this was an impossible feat but I needed the money and benefits.
In my heart I was not happy with this position. I would be putting many loyal employees out of work. One employee had been there fifteen years and hugged me on my first day saying, “I am so glad you are here. You are an angel to us to help the practice rebuild.”
The owners wanted to save on payroll so they wanted me to document every infraction so they could remove employees and hire new employees at a lower pay grade. They wanted the new handbook so detailed that almost every thing employees did would fall under an infraction. Three infractions and they were dismissed. They even sent me to a two-day seminar to learn the employment laws inside and out to beat any unemployment filings.
I do have to say that probably half of their staff did need to be removed legally because I saw on premise drug use, medication shortages, malpractice and cash shortages. I didn’t have an issue relocating these employees to the parking lot legally. The ones that were good sound employees were the ones I lost sleep over.
There was a lady that had been with the client for years that drove 45 miles every morning to be at work to open the clinic, fire up all the computer, set the surgery suites for the daily surgeries and walked and fed every animal in house. She was the highest paid employee but in my eyes the most valuable. Her employee record was impeccable but she cost them too much in payroll. I am happy to say I fought to keep her on staff and the owners gave me this one concession.
Every week we would have an owners’ meeting. I guess I should tell you that the only people in attendance was myself and the doctor that hired me and his wife. The meetings were at their house and each time we met there would be a new list of which employees had limited amount of time left, costs they wanted cut and updates on the process of hiring doctors that were creditworthy for over two million dollars to buy out the practice.
Before taking the job I was around 155 pounds and was fit. I noticed as I worked this job I began stress eating and adding weight rapidly. I couldn’t sleep, my skin looked dull and my health was not optimal. Wine became a huge part of my nightly ritual to cope.
At the end of three months I was evaluated on what I had completed. I had found a credit worthy doctor and employed her. I had 7 of the seventeen employees legal fired without unemployment benefits paid and new employees hired. I replace all 11 computers in the hospital and installed remote access at the owners home and on my computer to be able to work all hours of the night. Revenue was up $150,000 (this was not hard when charges were figured correctly and no more in house charge accounts were allowed. I thought I was doing a remarkable job even though I was miserable.
My evaluation went well and I received a raise. I knew I would never last the eighteen months I was contracted for but I was determined to provide for myself and my daughter.
I continued working for another twelve months when I finally had all I could take. Everyday was a day of executing employees, squeezing budgets tighter, sitting in meetings that produced no good outcome. I felt like I was under the power of the enemy and was losing all my values and work ethic. I called the owners and requested a meeting. I had to give my letter of resignation. I couldn’t live with myself anymore and was unhappy with personal compromises I was allowing to happen.
I offered to stay on through the terms of the contract and to hire a qualified replacement for my position. I was told I could stay two weeks and receive a severance check plus three months Cobra insurance. I agreed.
It was my last week and the owners told me my replacement was starting that day. She was a highly qualified hospital manager from one of the local emergency clinics. I decided I would go out on a high note and help her the best I could to acclimate her in one week’s time. I lasted the day with her!
She arrive at the clinic with quite an attitude of entitlement. She wanted nothing to do with me or anything I could help her with. I grinned and smiled all day watching the clock for quitting time. I wanted to walk out that door for the last time.
During that last day I went to one of the private offices upstairs and prayed. I asked God to please give me tolerance with this person and allow me to grow stronger through the experience of the day. Lord please guide me to where I need to be and cleanse me of all the blood on my hands from this job. Make me new again and forgive my sins.
After walking out the door and heading home I felt the warm sunshine on me through my sunroof. My shoulders felt lighter and I felt taller. My heart still hurt from fifteen months of focusing only on profits and money. I was not proud of my work even though I did and succeeded in what was asked of me.
I learned so much about greed and life at this position. I took this job for the money. I was blinded by the all mighty dollar and not what God would have me do. I turned my back on God because I was ashamed of my work. Every dollar I spent from my paycheck left me empty. There was no gratification because there was no God. I let Him down and myself down.
The wonderful thing about God is He forgives us immediately and forget our indiscretions. I am sure He expects us to learn from our mistakes and never fall prey to that temptation again. I must please Him by allowing Him to forgive and forget and make me whole again and start new.
I will never work for anyone before I work for God. He knows my path in life and He rewards those that put Him as the center of their lives. I know with all my hard work even if the paycheck is small I doing what God wants and good things will come to me.
If you are working in a position that leaves your heart empty and doesn’t put God first then I pray for you to feel God’s touch and be healed. He has a plan and path for you. Just trust and all with be fine. Serving others in God’s name will leave you fulfilled even if it just doing a job that you are kind to others. God just wants us to love one another and be kind.
I pray for each of you reading this every day to feel God’s love for you.
peace, love and my gratitude for you, LoLo
“When you go through deep waters I will be with you.” Isaiah 43:2