When bad things happen to good people.

Sometimes, it takes a really out of the blue moment to make you reevaluate your thinking.


Without going into too much detail (in respect of the persons involved) I have to say that yesterday was one of the worst days in my ‘professional’ career.

It started off a little…off…from the moment my alarm went off at 5 AM.

First sign of oddity.

See, Wednesdays are my mid-range run day.  This particular week, I was slated to run 8 miles.  But as aforementioned…the alarm went off at 5 AM.  I looked at it and just felt this incredible heavy feeling.  No energy.  I squinted at the alarm application on the iPhone and thought, “okay, let me switch it back to 5:30 AM, then I can swap my 4-miler.”  It felt like I had just closed my eyes when the alarm blared again.  5:30 AM, already.

This might sound normal for others, but I am a morning person.  This is NOT normal for me.  I grabbed the iPhone and reset for 6:30 AM.

At the time, I figured that my 8 PM to 10 PM courses were just taking their toll on me, and reminded myself that as important as marathon training is, sleep is just as vital to the plan as miles are.  I still felt weird, but by the time I made it to work and made a cup of coffee, I shook it off.


Lunchtime arrived and I performed my usual routine of setting the daytime mode on the phone, locking up important documents and securing my computer.  I went down to the cafeteria where hubs and I meet and I had my quinoa salad that I had prepared earlier in the week.  We watched the news on CNN, as always.  I watched hubs chow down on his lunchtime staple: Turkey Pastrami and Swiss on Great Harvest Dakota bread, made daily by his lovely wife. We finished up our meal.  We drove to Starbucks.  I had a latte – wanted a cookie, too, but resisted.  Same old.

Returned to the office…cue schedule malfunction.


Within three seconds of stepping into the office suite, I knew something was horribly wrong.  Some of the brightest-eyed and pleasant people I knew in the office had their heads drawn down, their eyes slightly rising as I walked in.  The same heaviness that had pulled me down that morning, sacrificing my precious morning run had returned.  The words came out.

“They let me go.”

My trainer. My mentor. My colleague. My friend.

The next few moments were isolated – like underwater suspension.  I felt so many emotions all at once…shock, disbelief, anger, sadness, betrayal.  How could SHE be going?  Why? How could this be happening?

But she, as the always eloquent and kind person that she is, showed only resilience, “this door is closing, but I have faith another will open.”

HOW.  How could she be so…positive?  No, maybe that wasn’t the right term…resigned?  Accepting of her fate?

We shared a few moments and hugs were exchanged.  She was already headed out the door, she wanted to tell me in person before security escorted her out.  I felt a lull.  A deafening silence.  A driving dark emptiness.

The rest of the afternoon was a haze.  I stared out the door. I cried.  The chemicals from my mascara burned around my eyes as I tried to take deep breaths and flush out the bad feelings.  At the encouragement of a colleague, I took a walk.

I felt the wave again.

Why. Why. Why. This made no sense.  Guilt, anger, confusion.

I spent the rest of the afternoon talking with colleagues – all offering their words of experience.  Moments with them helped, but I still couldn’t push the sadness away.

Work ended. Had dinner, did some baking, attended my online class, read Mockingjay til my eyes shut.  Woke up…

4:47 AM – 8 miles. Felt hard.  Felt alive.

It is a new day.

It doesn’t feel any easier, it’s still not fair, but isn’t that what life is?

We have to keep living.



    • It’s so sad.

      The crazy thing is, it feels sad to know THAT this happens, but it is devastating when it happens to someone that it should NEVER happen to…

  1. That stinks about your co-worker.

    My company is rather small (currently about 40 employees, but just 16 when I started and about 25 when this story takes place), but we have a pretty bad turnover rate so we’re all used to people coming and going. Exactly one year ago today, the executive team decided that, for reasons still unknown to us (I can say with 100% certainty that it wasn’t money related), they were going to let go four of our employees and friends. At the time, these four people had all been with the company longer than I had, they were among the first 10 hired after the company was started. They did good work. This whole thing really seemed to come out of nowhere and shook all of us up.

    Among the four, were two friends of mine. One was one of my wife’s bridesmaids and the other was the one who got me the job, or at least got me in the door. I knew him from my college radio station and he had been impressed with some software I wrote for the station for no reason other than we needed it. When he approached me about giving him my resume for him to pass on, I repeatedly said no, but he didn’t take that for an answer. I had no experience and, while I believe I have become a very important part of my company, I was not a smart hire at the time. I wouldn’t have hired me, but he vouched for me and convinced them to give me a chance. And I hated this job at first, I almost quit after two weeks. He convinced me not to.

    But just like your co-worker, my friend was pretty positive (the others, not so much). On his way out, among his last few words were a request that the papers on his desk get properly recycled (he’s very eco-conscious).

    To add to this, I actually was given a RAISE on this same day. How was I supposed to feel good about that? To this day, I still feel awful about it. Why was I given a raise when my friends were fired?

    The next morning, I walked in with our operations director, the guy who had to actually meet with everyone and break the news to them. He had no say in any of this, but he had to carry it all out. He was really shaken up about the whole thing and upset that he had to tell these people that they were fired when it wasn’t his decision. He quit three weeks later.

    But to get to the point, this kind of thing really stinks and it can be very upsetting. I think it’s important to learn from these kinds of things, though. Keep in touch with your friend. Help her out with any job leads you may know of or even just be there for her. Meet her for lunch, things like that. And at the same time, learn from it. If she was your mentor, there’s no reason why you can’t keep learning from her.

    • Thank you for all your positive and kind thoughts, Andy. I really appreciate them.

      It’s so crazy when things hit so close to home; it’s like they go from headlines on the news to real life. It was very personal because the position I was in was the one she had for two years before she was promoted last February. It’s hard not to feel guilty, as she was let go for tenure in that position. I honestly wished it was me instead of her.

      Our company is pretty big, and when this happened, it really blew everyone away. Several people that I work with mentioned that this “doesn’t”/”never” happens at our firm. I guess you really never know.

      Again, thank you for your constructive feedback. It really helps.

  2. I really am sorry you had to go through this. It sucks getting old doesn’t it? I am glad you slept in before your long day because you would have been even more exhausted had you woken up. Your colleague will find something even better and you will learn from the experience as well. Hugs to you friend!

    • Thanks for the encouraging words, Robin.

      Yes, getting old can definitely have it’s icky points…I know she will just find something bigger and better.

    • Thanks, Stephanie. I appreciate your thoughts and advice. It was really nice to talk to her today – she called with some last minute work stuff (always positive!) that she wanted to make sure was squared away.

      Classy til the end…

  3. KRISSY!!!!!
    I am SO sorry to hear about that. That is so frustrating and sad and unfair. Ugh. It’s so scary when it happens to the most awesome people, because (I don’t want to say it….lots of knocking on wood over here) then I feel like it could happen to me for sure. AHHH.

    SORRY!!! We will have an awesome run on Saturday to run all our feelings out =)

  4. So sorry to hear this Krissy! You are right though, bad things do happen to good people, but it’s particularly frustrating trying to wrap our heads around WHY they do. I like to think that there are reasons for things like this happening, and even if we don’t understand it at the time, it is for the best. While it totally sucks and doesn’t make sense now, someday it will or it might not even matter. We get comfortable with our surroundings–almost too much. Things have to change in order for life to keep moving. Just like your running–can you imagine if you did your first 5K and never did anything else? You never would have run your first half, or your first marathon.

    I hope that your find will find something soon. Your support and encouragement will mean the world to her during the process. For her, this job coming to an end could be a blessing in disguise and the possibilities of finding something better will happen. Things never happen when we want them to, but when they do, they’re better than we ever imagined they could be. 🙂

    • Michelle,

      Thanks for your warm thoughts and guidance; you did a lot to put this into prospective for me.


  5. I lost my job nearly 4 years ago and the things is, you can’t sit around and be sad and feel sorry for yourself, and I never wanted anyone to feel sorry for me either. The best thing to do is just be a friend and don’t talk about work.

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