In my current job, I have a lot of “windshield time.”. The term, “windshield time” is what salespeople refer to as time spent driving. It is considered unproductive time, as one is not spending time in front of customers doing one’s job — selling stuff.
My windshield time varies from day to day, simply due to the distances I need to drive. When I get out into the rural areas, naturally, it goes up, and I spend countless hours listening to talk radio (and usually yelling at the idiots who call) while watching the countryside (for photo opportunities and then swearing when I realized I’ve once again left my camera at home,) and avoiding wildlife (eventually, I will blog about the time I was literally hit by a deer.) Other times, I will get ideas for blog entries.
What came to mind this time around was The Best Event of my Professional Career. It was the day I got canned. Yes, that’s right, I got fired.
Now, let’s rewind the clock a little.
Back in 2003, I was working on the manufacturing floor for the Little Railway Company that Couldn’t. Couldn’t is the right word, too. The management of this company couldn’t manage their way out of a wet paper bag given two hours with a razor. Morale was in the tank. I hated this job so much, I refer to the three years I worked there as “my time in prison.”.
So, in May 2003, I had a fantastic May Long Weekend. My wife and I had a wonderful time together, simply enjoying each other’s company.
On the Tuesday following, the event happened. The President showed up out of the blue and called us all into a mandatory staff meeting. In the meeting, he explained that, as we knew, things weren’t going well with the company (this, after we had celebrated out highest ever sales the previous month) and that all manufacturing operations were being consolidated in the US, and, as a result, the facility was closing. We were all being let go. Oh, and by the way, we weren’t able to choose our last day, the company would, and if we left early, it would be considered a “quit” and no severance pay. So, not only were we being canned in a few months, we were being held hostage too. Some said “screw it” and just left. I, and others, stayed on to the bitter end. It was not fun.
But it was still the best event of my professional career.
I was out of prison! I was free! Less than a month after my last day on the job, I was working again, making more than double the money I made in “prison,” and loving what I was doing. When that company changed management and things started to suck, I changed jobs again…
The moral of the story is getting canned taught me that life is full twists and turns, and stuff happens. But, things will always end up for the best. If you need to get out of a bad job, do it. Find a new one. Do your due dilligence and check things out, but sometimes, that grass really IS greener.