- 4 years ago
Okay, this is kind of a complicated one here and I am a former regular Bee coming back anon to get some advice. . .
The situation: for most of my life I have been undocumented. I was brought to the U.S. when I was four and then my parents stayed and we were never able to apply for legal status. After getting married last year, I was finally able to apply and things are better for me now 🙂 I recently finished graduate school (woo-hoo!) but while studying I was told dozens of times that there was no point to my studying because I wouldnt be able to get a job. I worked for free to get experience, and if I do say so myself did a good job!
The problem: Shortly after getting engaged, the hospital where I worked (for free, 50+hrs a week) as a therapist let me know that management had come down and decided that they couldnt let me volunteer any longer because of my non-citizen and non-student status. No time frame was discussed but the next day I was told by a co-worker that I could no longer see patients and would need a staff member present with me to finish out the day. I cleaned out my desk and the next day came back and spoke with a supervisor who said there was nothing she could do blah blah but that maybe we could go get drinks later.
I saw myself as having been fired from the place I had worked for 3 years. I LOVED that job! they loved my work! I was so sad and so embarassed bc I couldnt really explain why I was fired without coming out as undocumented. So most of my co-workers (except my close friends) were confused and had a lot of questions. I had a few outstanding reports left when I left. Here’s the thing. I decided to leave them unfinished. ALL of them had notes and results but no write ups left behind. In other words, there was enough to answer referral questions, but not the details. I’ll admit, I had several calls and emails from the hospital asking me to finish. I chose not to answer. I was hurt and as far as I was concerned was fired. I was not allowed to say goodbye to any of my patients so did not see why I would be expected to finish paperwork. I’ll admit, this was irresponsible. However, I also can’t imagine any other situation where a fired employee is told “go away, but don’t forget to finish your work at home and send it on in!” Had I resigned, of course, this would be expected, but fired??
Now, I have legal status and have applied for a new job! but my future employer knows my old employer (the niche field I work in is pretty small) and my old employer called me today to let me know that she plans on being honest with the new one. She said I “burned bridges” by “stomping out” and that they would have taken me back when my legal status was remedied had I handled it differently. She said it was not their fault, (though even the center director emailed me twice to apologize about how it was handled. unfortunatley, she has since resigned) and that I should have called them back to talk it out. Ladies, we “talked it out” during a painful 4 hour meeting before I left. I told her I saw myself as having been fired and did not think I was welcome back and she said the only reason I felt that way was because I was angry (nevermind the part where I had to be escorted around on my last day like a criminal or the part where I wasnt allowed to contact any patients). I was angry. But mostly I was hurt. I did great work there, and I did it for free. I created revenue and didn’t take any. And in the end I was dismissed unceremoniously and am now scolded for not taking it better. I never said anything inappropriate or angry while there. I took it all and thanked them for training, acknowledged it was unfortunate and cleaned out my things.
The supervisor that called told me 3 times in our 15 minute phone call that I should call the person who fired me and apologize for how I handled it and reach out to mend bridges. She also pointed out that there are plenty of new opportunities at an affiliate hospital but I can’t have them bc I burned bridges. Girls, I don’t want to work there again, not just bc of how I was treated but bc it also required Saturdays and on weekdays I was done at 8pm every evening (at the earlirest). But I also don’t want this to follow me around in this small niche field. I also don’t need everyone to know I was fired for being undocumented. It’s a charged topic and I’d rather be judged for the quality of my work which not to pat myself on the back too hard is pretty stellar for someone at my level of training–as I’ve been told by leaders in my field. . .
What hurts the most is that it wasnt enough to fire me, now they seem intent on burning bridges for me to any new opportunities. . . What do I do????
1. Have you ever been fired, and if so were you expected to “finish” any work at home?
2. What do you think I should do?
3. Honestly, do you think what I did was so wrong (not finishing reports) that I deserve to have them call my new job and tell them?
4. Would you write the apology email and the thank you for calling email?