Friday, May 03, 2013
The Whole Truth
My next blog post will begin a new chapter, a chapter that promises to be interesting and refreshing. But before going there, I want to clear up one last thing about recent events in my life.
I have to begin by saying that for the past eight years I worked for a man that I admired tremendously. My head of school is a person of integrity, of deep spirituality, whose go-to question in making a hard decision always was "What's the right thing to do?" I learned a great deal about compassion and decency by watching this man deal with many different kinds of difficult situations.
So I was totally taken aback when one of the parents from the school told me she had heard that I'd quit my job and left the school in the lurch so close to the end of the academic year. This information had come to her through a letter from the head of the school. I couldn't imagine such a thing to be true. Then someone shared the letter, which apparently went to all of the school parents and possibly to other people in the school community.
The head's letter began by saying that the school had "bid a fond farewell" to me, and that I had taken on a new position elsewhere. Later it goes on to say that he was "happy and thankful" that someone else was "stepping in . . . in this interim period." Don't taking on a new position and interim period sound as though it had been my decision to leave the school and that it was just a matter of time until someone would be hired to take my place? I understood, then, how the parent had inferred what she had. Technically, what was said was true: After being told that I would not have a job at the school after June 30, I chose to leave earlier when -- in this dreadful job market -- a position was offered to me, with the full support of the school's head and certainly no talk about breach of contract. And, yes, my coworker was now doing my job, not temporarily as implied, but because this was preordained in the grand plan of restructuring.
Oh, the letter includes lovely things about me. Which is nice. They make it clear that I wasn't fired for some terrible reason. I don't know that I could have written a better letter, considering the subject and the circumstances. But simply beginning the letter with "As part of planned restructuring of the school's administration, Nancy's position was combined with another. In the face of that, she has accepted a position . . . ."
That would have been the whole truth.
Posted by Nancy Stevens on Friday, May 03, 2013