Friday, May 03, 2013

The Whole Truth

It's the part in the middle that's the sticking point. The "whole truth" part.

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.



17 comments:

Char said...

Agreed!

Synthia said...

I am appalled at what he wrote.

anne bebbington said...

What an arse! Be sure he will get his comeuppance at some point - sounds to me that you're better off out of there (((hugs)))

Kathie said...

I hope many parents are reading your blog or enough that can spread the word and ask for the truth.
so sad he would do this

Kathie

Janet O. said...

That must be extremely disappointing, Nancy. So hard to move past things like that.
I'd be tempted to approach him with the "word on the street" version you've heard and ask him what he thought would be the "right thing to do".

Gretchen said...

It is so disappointing and unfortunate that your career there had to end on a bad and greatly unfair note. I hope you can move on to better and brighter things and leave all this behind you.

Patrica said...

It feels like an unexpected and wholly undeserved slap in the face, adding insult to injury. I'm sure it is a poorly worded letter rather than an intentional infraction from a person you have admired, at least I hope you can come to see it that way. So disappointing and really a slamming of the door. Deep breath and blessings from this sista.

Jindi's Cottage said...

I would have come up with exactly the same conclusion as the parent reading the letter on face value...extremely poor choice of opening language on the part of the head...the karma bus will get him...
congrats on your 7 years of blogging and on turning the page that opens the new chapter...

Lori said...

Jeesh! Nothing more to say....

LizA. said...

How sad that they felt compelled to twist things around like that. I don't blame you one bit for leaving. Steve was in that position when he was laid off, 'twasn't fun. But now, you are on a new journey down a new path. I hoe it brings you much peace.

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

Are the parents completely unaware of upcoming changes? Unfortunately it seems they haven't been given any context. :-(

lcrr_khs said...

Hugs. This is a corporate America move and not one I would expect from your previous employer. Enjoy your new adventure!

Quiltdivajulie said...

My heart goes out to you over this indignity.

Having survived multiple re-orgs within my husband's multinational corporation, I will share that the "whole truth" is rarely (if ever) documented. Only the "truth" that most conveniently suits and positively reflects on the go-forward managers.

Hold your head high and move forward joyfully into this new chapter of your life . . . and remember we are here with and for YOU.


Barbara Anne said...

For shame! Isn't it upsetting when the clay feet of someone we admire become apparent? What was that man thinking??

It would have been so very easy to send a truthful letter as in the sample that you wrote... and truthful.

Big hugs!

Quayquilter said...

I suspect this man was very uncomfortable about the restructuring and couldn't face up to the implications for you in front of the parents as it doesn't show the school in a very kindly light. It may have been an economic necessity but it puts a religious institution in the ranks of less kindly cut throat operations who cut staff and add to the workloads of those who remain and I think another letter is called for apologising for giving rise to the miscomception.

OT Quilter said...

Just appalling. And certainly not the "Friendly" way if I may say so. The whole truth, indeed.

Judy Lindenberger said...

You say this so elegantly. Will you say it to him one day?