At the beginning of last summer, I wrote an essay about my work. I told you how I’ve been a greenhorn whose internship didn’t get extended. That really hurt a lot because I loved my work. And I got a second chance and was determined that this time, I will not risk losing this position. So when we started testing, every single mistake I made bothered me very much and I got troubled and began seeing myself as a failure. Fortunately for me, my supervisor/friend/best PhD student ever noticed my constitution and she talked to me. About having faith in myself, about not trying to overexert my possibilities. And that no one would ever fire me just because a study is not working. I started to believe her, got self-confident – but I still knew that losing my job would make me feel miserable.
I was wrong. It’s much worse than I’d ever have pictured it. All I really want is to wake up from this nightmare. I see all my hopes crashing around me and I can’t do anything but watch this scenario.
Last Friday, my boss met me at the hallway and wanted to talk to me.
“Um, right now?” I was in bit of hurry because I wanted to meet a friend.
“Well, we could also do it another time. Your contract is not going to be renewed.”
That’s how I was told. I stood there and looked at her with shock-wide eyes. And she began to explain to me that due to the study that didn’t work there was not enough work for me. “You understand, don’t you?”
Completely unable to perform a coherent thought and fighting back my tears, I simply nodded and went away. This could not be happening. I haven’t done anything wrong. People were not supposed to fire me because I screwed up one single study. But they did.
All I wanted was just a single room where I could finally let all my feelings out, regardless of what others might think.
Unfortunately I met my boss again when I was on my way out of the institute and she saw my puffy red eyes. “What’s the matter?”
And I couldn’t believe what I heard:
She was the one who spent several hours with me, talking about my plans to do my diploma and my PhD at the institute.
She was aware that all my hopes lay in research and that I’d never want to do anything apart from that.
She knew that I didn’t take a single day of vacation this summer. That I’d adventured my exams by skipping several lectures just to do my work properly.
And it was her who reassured me that my job would still be there for me even after one year abroad.
And now she can’t understand my pain?
This pain that doesn’t seem to go away, no matter how hard I try.
They advised me to be patient and not to stop asking for a new chance. It’s not me, it’s just the situation. Yeah, right, that’s probably why they employed new staff just a month ago.
It’s hard not to hate this place. In fact, I still love working here for a last month and I know, I’m gonna miss this so much. I’d come back in an instant, I’d work for free… anything just to get my position back.
I want a chance to prove that I’m not a failure.
Many thanks to Linda who soothed my first terror, to Conny for providing me with comfort food and to Lara and Rach for listening to my endless whinings in the night.
I don’t know what I’d done without you guys!