Posted by: kristabella | November 13, 2007

Dooce And I Have Something In Common

Did you know Dooce, who invented the internet, got fired for her blog too? Now if I could only get my cats to sit still so I can put shit on their heads. (For reals, yo, we tried with Lola. It doesn’t work. Dogs don’t like that.)

Previously on How Kristabella Got Kristin Fired, we left off with a late night phone call from Seattle and me up half the night panicking I was going to get fired. Because I went from that weird, tall girl from Chicago who knows all the words to Baby Got Back, to THAT girl in Chicago that was known by all. And what? We changed the company name? Oh, because I thought we were having some party to talk about that Kristabella chick with the blog.

Saturday morning, I got another call from VP in Seattle. He was calling to let me know that I wasn’t allowed to go to the launch party that night. Because I pissed CEO off to an extreme that was unforgivable. And I “ruined his party” and he just couldn’t have me there. (Did I mention the party was at Wrigley Field and I was really looking forward to it? That was probably the worst punishment. Touche.)

And then I asked VP if he thought I was getting fired. And he danced around it, but said that it was pretty much a sure thing. But I should come in Monday morning and we’d deal with it. And I even pressed him with first amendment rights and how could I get fired? Freedom of speech and all that. The FOUNDING FATHERS. Power to the people! And he said I really rubbed CEO the wrong way. And that I called him an idiot. Which I never did. I may now. But I didn’t then. (You can read the post. I alluded to it. But never outright. It’s not my fault all your little “games” were stupid. But seriously, did he think anyone gave two shits about what the new name was? Like we were all going to storm out if the name was stupid. Bitch, please. They found out it was Slalom and they are still there. Get the fuck over yourself.)

So anyway, I couldn’t go to the party at Wrigley. First thought? I can’t believe I’m going to miss the party.

Second thought? I can’t believe I’m getting fired over a  blog!

I spent most of Saturday crying. Sobbing. Calling anyone I could. And my friends and family were really there for me. And made sure I wasn’t alone. And I can never thank them enough for that. Because that was not a good day for me. It is one thing to get fired. It is another thing to find out about it on a Saturday morning and then have to sit around for two days wondering what the hell was going to happen on Monday morning.

By the time Monday came, I was OK with it. I had come to terms with it. I tried to have a really positive attitude about it because I thought it was such bullshit. And I knew that everything happened for a reason and that I was going to be so better off. Regardless of what happened. (And also secretly because I think deep down I just didn’t like this job.)

But I was also super nervous. I had only been at the job for three months. And I just finished a job search. And I wasn’t in the position to be able to afford any lapse in employment. And no one likes to be fired. Especially for the second time in two years. It is a huge knock to the ego.

I also wondered what everyone else in the office was thinking. How they were going to act. Since the office had about 8 people in it, I wasn’t really looking forward to facing them. I also wasn’t looking forward to facing any of the Seattle people. Who I was convinced were still in town and wanting to yell at me. To my face.

Thankfully, they weren’t. Pompous Ass was in town, but he was easy to avoid. I had really been doing it since I started. Basically since he started with the role plays. (A complete aside, that post was one of the edited ones. I took out all the pompous ass references. And sadly, the post suffered for it.)

I came in and I went about my business. I made no effort to show up early. I knew my hours were numbered, so what was the point? I got called into a meeting with the GM. And he kind of laughed. And said it was a great example to show his kids about The Big, Bad Internet. And he’d like me to stay around. And sadly, ultimately, it wasn’t his decision.

Well, it wasn’t his decision. I pissed off the owner of the company. And there was no going back. And as I learned later, with the CEO’s dealings with letting another person go, he’s got thin skin. So it is best not to do anything but blow sunshine up his ass. So I was told my days were numbered. And that something would be worked out in the next day or two. And I was more than welcome to look for jobs while at work and just try and wrap things up.

I worked the whole rest of that day. And for almost three weeks following that.

The one VP, the one who was in constant contact with me, the one calling me late on a Friday night and early Saturday morning looking out for me, he had my back. He fought for me as much as he could. And more than that, he constantly was checking in with me to see how I was doing. And I will forever remember that. Because I was a big fan of his. Still am. And it really showed what kind of character he has. And what kind of man he is. And I’m glad he no longer works for Slalom. Because frankly, they don’t deserve someone as awesome as he is.

In the days following, I got called into periodic update meetings. I wasn’t getting a severance. But I could work the rest of April. IF I signed their agreement.

I didn’t get the agreement until around April 13. Two weeks later. And I took my sweet time reading it. And deciding if I was going to sign it. At least that’s what I told them.

I had absolutely no intention of signing it. Ever. One, because I wouldn’t be able to write this post right now. Because I was forbidden to ever say anything disparaging about the company, anyone who worked there or anyone who has worked there. Including anywhere on the internet. Anywhere. Like not just my blog, but comments, forums, anywhere. And since disparaging is such a vague term, I had no choice but NOT to sign. Not to mention the penalty if I actually did say something disparaging? I would be slapped with a HUGE fine. (What’s huge you ask? Let’s just say there were four zeroes.)

A lawyer told me it would never hold up in court. He also said I’d be an idiot to sign. Seeing as I wasn’t getting anything out of the agreement. No severance. No money at all. And at that point, I’d almost worked the entire month, so they didn’t even have that to offer. Eight more days of work wasn’t really going to help in the fact that I might get sued at a later date for saying that I cannot stand Slalom skiing.

I had a few days to stall. And I stalled as long as I could. I was told, nay reassured, that it shouldn’t be a big issue. Because it wasn’t like they were going to check my blog every day. To which I retorted, “well that’s a bold-faced lie because they will check my site and they HAVE BEEN checking it every day since this all went down. And they are not only trying to crack into my LOCKED site, they are searching my friends blogs.” (Thanks Scarlet! She let me know she had a search from Seattle for Kristabella Slalom.) Google may be an awesome thing, but so are stats counters with referral IP addresses. In addition? My boss told me he was getting calls from someone in Seattle who was spreading rumors to anyone who would listen that I was still blogging. Throughout this whole thing! Like I was an even bigger idiot than originally imagined. And I’m pretty sure I have an idea who it is. And I told him he could check the site himself and see that Seattle Asshat was lying. Which he didn’t even need to do. Because even he knew I wasn’t that stupid. So right. What were you saying about people not checking my blog? Right.

So anyway, I chose not to sign. (Clearly.) And that was my last day. It was April 18. I worked a full day. Because I had, and have, no ill will towards anyone in the Chicago office. Their hands were tied. And they were nothing but awesome to me in my final days. Which was why I tried to tie up all my loose ends. And why I was there to help with anything they needed. Because they trusted that I wasn’t going to go in a steal all sorts of information. You know, in the 13 working days that they continued to allow me access to everything.

It’s a damn good thing I’m so honest.

So that’s the story.

And believe me, this whole deciding to air my story had made my recent nights a little more sleepless. There is still a part of me that lives in fear. Because common sense tells me that people shouldn’t get their panties in a bunch over small things. But then, there is always the one person to shoot your theories to hell. And make you feel bad for having a creative output outside of work.

Which is wrong. On so many levels. And I think writing this, and ultimately posting it and not telling it in an e-mail, helps me get over it. And get over the fear. And not let them win. What I write here is me. Like it or not. (But please love it!) And if I am going to be punished for it, so be it. It just means that window closed and a door opened. And I will ultimately prosper for it. I will be better for it as a person. And it will lead me to people who appreciate it. Instead of villify it.

And all of you who read on a daily basis are part of that. Because you reading and commenting shows me that what I’m doing? There’s nothing wrong with it. And on top of it, you enjoy it. So regardless of what other asshats I encounter in my life, nothing, NOTHING, can take that away.

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Responses

  1. Holy crap. I had no idea. That story is insane. I’m glad you don’t work for them any more.

  2. In the end, it was really Slalom Consulting’s loss.

  3. This was the best post I’ve read of yours. You are who you are, unapologetically, authentically, honestly and truly no job can ever touch that awesomeness. I’m so glad I’ve found your blog. Your fantastic blog.

  4. WOW. That sounds like an emotional nightmare… glad you were able to write this post and hope it helps you let go of a lot of the lingering fear of The Man!

    Jules
    House of Jules

  5. I am so proud of you for not signing — and as hard as it must have been, I’m so happy for where you are at now. I could never have continued working at a company who checked up on me.. never.

  6. Dude. You rock. Thanks for telling us the story… and where IS your book deal???

  7. Yeah, where is that book deal?

    I’ve told you before & I’ll tell you again: there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not soooo proud of who you’ve grown up to be. Teary eyed right now….

    You rock. You’re awesome. And I love you more than life itself.

  8. They’re a bunch of wankers. I think it’s good you put the story out there. I’ll never use them for my consulting needs. (What the hell is “consulting” anyway?)

  9. AMEN! Stay who you are because we love you that way!

  10. That’s an amazing story. I can’t imagine how you managed to hang on another few weeks knowing you would ultimately lose your job. And kudos for not signing that asswipe of an agreement. I work for a lawyer and can totally see him drafting that kind of an agreement – completely in favor of the company.

    And look at you now! All Snarky and shit! You rock.

  11. That is *some* story. Bossy hopes the role of Krista is played by Kate Hudson.

  12. Wow. Sounds like one of those cases where ridiculous ego was driving ridiculous decisions. Obviously, what speaks most loudly is the reaction of the colleagues who you worked with day-to-day in Chicago. And you know, probably those people will help you professionally one day. Whereas Skiing CEO will just keep persecuting people for stupid ass things.

  13. this story sounds eerily familiar. have you mentioned it before?

  14. wow, what a story! i think you submit a version of it to Marie Claire or other women’s magazine–“this too could happen to you kind of thing”

    I also can’t believe how long they let it drag out.

    I love that you use their name now!

  15. I just found your site and it is, without a doubt, one of the more interesting everyday blogs. You tell a story so well.

    This same thing happened to a girl I used to work with, only her story was far less interesting.

    Looking forward to reading more. Thanks for the reads.

  16. oh yes, by the way, moore at the niners is a lurker. i see you moore!

  17. I couldn’t agree with you more — that everything happens for a reason and you’re better off today. Go Chi-town office, go!

  18. All in all if you think about it, at least you went out in a blaze of glory. I would have been posting every damn thing that happened if I were you. Knowing people were reading it, and knowing they knew everyone at the company was reading it and watching how they handled the situation. And good for you not signing their paper. I would have told them where to shove it.

  19. crazy story, dude! and I understand what you mean about living in fear. even if I don’t say anything about my job on my site, there’s still the paranoia that they’ll find it and just decide that they don’t like it because I say “fuck” or something and shit can me. which is pretty messed up. i mean, where does freedom of speech come in? i can understand publishing sensitive information being a huge problem, but what if I just don’t like my job? What if I stood downtown and screamed that for 30 minutes? Am I just not allowed to express myself that way?

  20. I’m so glad you shared that with us. And I’m so glad you are able to move on…that kind of crap is hard to get past, but it sounds like, ironically, your blog has helped you in that regard. Down with thin-skinned asshats!

  21. Good for you! Those people didn’t deserve YOU. Who are we if we can’t have freedom of speach and expression?

  22. wowza! unbelievable!

  23. Kudos for having a lawyer look at that release. They make things as vague a possible for that reason. Everything happens for a reason and while it may be scary at first, you did well at the end!


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