Question: Dear Luise: I just got fired. I have done a great job and everyone at work liked me. My job involved greeting the public, directing phone calls and some minor bookkeeping. I was courteous to people, cheerful and helpful. When I was hired I told them about my five children, all quite young. That’s what I got fired for, being a mom and occasionally having something make me miss a day or be late to work. I’m a minority and my husband’s in the service, do you think that had anything to do with it? Thank you, Jan
Answer: Dear Jan: It’s a little hard to give you feedback without more information. I’m sure they knew when they hired you that you had a young family. Surely being a minority and a service-wife didn’t figure into this, since you have said everyone at work liked you.
I have a feeling that you think being personable and doing the job well was what you needed to do, and because you did that successfully, you don’t see a problem. People who employ personnel to meet and greet the public all want a person very much the way you describe yourself. Their company image is projected through your smile, your capability in handling requests and issues, and you voice and specific contributions on the phone. Think about it, would they let you go unless they had to?
The clue in your question is the way you brushed past your attendance record. I’m sure you had an employee file that contained warnings about that. No business can open if the person at the front desk doesn’t show up. And other employees can’t do their work, if they are called to cover yours. Women are no longer discriminated against because they have young children. The other side of the coin is the fact that they must be responsible to cover all bets at home and at work. Not an easy task.
When I was in my twenties, and a young mom, I got an older woman to agree to drop everything and care for my preschooler, should he become ill. I paid her a token “retainer fee” every month for that assurance, and more when she was actually used for that purpose. It worked like a charm.
Look into working for yourself in some capacity or at home on your computer, if you have the skills to do that. Maybe it’s even time for more training. The role you have chosen is not an easy one but women all over the world do it every day, and so can you. You obviously have a lot to offer. Polish the edges. Blessings, Luise