[deleted account] ( 5 moms have responded )
Hello ladies! I just wanted to introduce myself. I'm Rita and I am happy to be among a group of online mommies for support and swap ideas for balancing a career and family. I know that this post will seem very lengthy, but PLEASE READ the entire post. I hope this will change someone's life.
We have all heard the phrase, “Your job can’t fire you… you’re pregnant!” The idea of getting fired and/or laid off while being pregnant seems, well.. let’s face it, UNFAIR!! Sadly it’s completely legal, in some cases. I know! Sounds like some BS, right! Well, that’s because it is. I know this feeling all too well. On top of losing my job, I was literally days, 15 days to be exact, to giving birth to my second child, our beautiful daughter. It’s funny how the company found the convenient time to let me go, right before I got ready to go on maternity leave. The fact that I was just hospitalized the night before due to labor contractions, and my previous employer was aware of that, did not soften the blow at all. Nevermind all of my hard work, time, effort, dedication to the company, and months of cross-training with my Assistant Manager, so I could ensure she was ready to step into my position while I was on leave. The deal was that after about 6 weeks, I was going to work from home, while I helped keep the day-to-day property operations afloat remotely. That obviously did not happen. But, what was obvious is that I was being laid off for no apparent reason; other than the fact that the owner’s changed management at a pivotal moment in my life.
On Friday, January 29th, 2016, my General Manager held a conference call with all of our staff and literally minutes before everyone else was patched into the phone call, my Assistant Manager and I were informed that new management would be taking over starting Monday, February 1st, 2016. I am all for one wanting to take a company to a more corporate level for the greater good, but damn! I couldn’t have gotten a heads up?! That seemed very sneaky and very under-handed to me. Almost as though it was done intentionally. Now, I am no spring chicken to the Property Management Industry. I know what time it is when they start doing property take overs. Anytime a company says, “Hey, we’re getting ready to make some changes and new management will be coming in.” That is translation for “We are about to clean house, weed out the BS, bring in who we want, and we’re going to have to let you go! Sorry!” That’s exactly what happened.
On the night of of Sunday, January 31st, 2016, I was hospitalized again for a second time for false labor, but was restricted by the hospital and my primary care physician that I needed to be on bed rest for 2/1/16. All of this medical documentation was emailed to my General Manger and the new management company contact person, so I made sure I kept the lines of communication open and my ducks in a row. Somehow, I just had a gut feeling that this was going to get messy fast, so I had to dot all of my I’s and cross all of my T’s. February 1st was the exact same day the new management company was scheduled to take over that I was restricted to bed rest. Around 1:30 PM that afternoon, I received an anonymous call from a lady who was from HR Personnel of the new company. In a nutshell, she tells me that she is calling on behalf of my General Manager, in regards to turning in my office keys, company debit card, and company iphone. Of course my reaction was, “WHY???!!! Why am I being asked to do this and I still work there??!! I’m not being fired, I didn’t quit, I am just restricted to bed rest today because I was hospitalized late last night. I sent everyone an email with my Doctor’s Note. So again I ask: Why do I need to turn in company property and I still work for the company?!!
She replied, “Well, unfortunately the company has been sold and we aren’t prepared to make an employment offer at this time. I know the fact that you are about to go on maternity leave does not soften the blow, but the owner just wants his property back. In addition to, separation letters are being generated for everyone at the company based on “lack of work”. I know you’re on bed rest, so can we send someone to your house, or would you like to have someone meet us?” My reply was, “Hell no!! I don’t want you to come to my house! I don’t let just anybody come to my house. I’ll be there in 30 minutes!” I’m sure that you can guess that once I was able to get to the property and talk to my General Manager, nothing I had to say was polite or friendly. Normally, in a situation of that caliber one might suggest that I had just kept my cool and killed them with kindness. Well, honestly, I didn’;t want to do that. I was pregnant, upset, stressed out, and very hormonal. Plus, the fact that they had already made up in their mind that they wanted to hire everyone left in the company, BESIDES ME, would not have made a difference in their decision making process. So, besides my job, I didn’t have anything else to lose. So, I said WHATEVER I felt to WHOMEVER!! LOL! No apologies given!
So, that was it. In one phone call, my position as the Property Manager, over a year of tears, challenges and triumphs, had ended. My husband was the first phone call I made to inform him I got laid off. I was hurt. I cried. I cried often. Sometimes, I still do. Not because I wanted to hold on to that job, but the messy way they went about everything and the disrespect I felt afterwards. How could they be so quick to make the decision to not hire me or honor my so-called work from home while on maternity leave commitment? They never even gave me my new HR paperwork for the new company and follow the protocol of actually interviewing, applying, background and drug testing like they were supposed to. Oh, I know why! They already had a plan to replace me and anyone else, and change the whole operating system! So, the training I put in did not matter. My husband asked did I want to hire an attorney and of course I said yes. But at the same time, with everything that had gone on, I was thrilled that things ended up they way they did. So, why fight it? It’s no longer my battle to fight anymore. Let someone else deal with the headache. I’ll take my family, my time freedom, and my sanity instead. Truth be told, I had been battling whether or not I wanted to go back to work there after maternity leave. I needed a fresh start and honestly did not want to deal with that company anymore more. I wanted to build my own empire. My own legacy. So, I got what I had been praying for. Time to sort out my own life, and finally do what makes me happy. Most importantly spend time with my family and embrace our new addition, our beautiful baby girl. All of the events leading up to my lay off was all a blessing in disguise.
Everyone’s lay-off circumstance are very different from others, especially when it comes to being laid off, right before you get ready to have a baby!! It’s scary! I panicked. I worried. I ran around in a frenzy, while still pregnant and causing unnecessary stress to myself and others, trying to figure out what my next career move would be: “What do I do now? Where do I go from here? Where do I start?” My husband is gainfully employed in the Army, so it wasn’t like we were going to go hungry or homeless. But, I still wanted to contribute to our household, and our bank account, emotionally, physically, and monetarily. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that my husband would have my back during this very emotional time for me, and he was going to be my rock. He had my back. Always has, always will. I have never been one to just sit on my hands and wait for something to happen. I’ve always been a hard worker. So, I had to grab life by the “kahunas” and take hold of my destiny with both hands on the reigns. Going from what I knew to be my career for the last decade, to all of a sudden being a laid off, unemployed, and a Stay-at-Home mother, well bothered me. I felt like I lost a sense of identity and my place in a Corporate World that had sharp teeth and a cut throat vernacular.
Then, I had an epiphany. Was I really laid off, unemployed and only a Stay-at-Home Mom? Well, I was neither of these things. I was far from being laid off. If anything, I call it being “laid down.” I laid down all my troubles, hurt, anger, sadness, fears, depression, and frustrations of losing a career I had become to know and love. I decided I would to devote my talents and gifts to helping people find careers and be successful in the Property Management Industry. You might be wondering, “If you went through all that madness with being laid off from a job that you so-called “ loved”, while being pregnant, being frustrated, having post-partum depression (Yes I was depressed!!), WHY would you even want to even get back into dealing with all of that madness and mayhem, after what you have gone through??!! Why help people work in that industry? That’s crazy!” Actually, It’s simple. As crazy as it may sound, Property Management was like an addiction to me. I couldn’t turn my back on it, just like I couldn’t turn my back on my family, my dreams, and my gifts. I had corporate experience, know-how, business savvy, and a hand-crafted resume that spoke of my job credentials and accolades. I refused to let that go to waste.
I have always had a genuine desire to help employ people and find satisfying work in helping people find homes. Property Management help to mold me professionally. Plus, there is one thing that is for certain: Property Management is a Recession Proof Industry. No matter where you are in the world, as long as there is a market for Property Management professionals, as longs as people need homes, you will always have a job! Now, the question is are you ready to put in the work to have a career you enjoy and love?
I understand the struggles of being a single mother. I‘ve been to hell and back (aka jail), for some dumb stuff I did when I was younger. I am not ashamed anymore. I grew from that experience and I learned from it. Thank You for maturity and wisdom!!! I know the feeling when you come home and hope and pray that the lights are still on, long enough for you to get to your next payday. I get it. I’ve been there. Trust me. It is not a good feeling after coming home from being at work ALL day, only to be able to somewhat pay your bills. It’s even worse when you come home to turn the shower valve on, to wash off the troubles of your day, and you water has been cut off. What about the fear of getting home after you have worked a mediocre job, and are greeted by an eviction notice on your door? I know! I get it! I’ve been there!” But, yes you can! In the famous words of President Barack Obama’s Inauguration Speech and campaign slogan, “YES WE CAN!” I say to all of you, “YES WE CAN!” YES WE CAN! YES WE WILL! YES WE DID!
You can do it! Anything you set your mind to do, you can do! I believe in myself and, EUREKA! E.L.I.T.E. Housing Experts was born.
Stop worrying about questions of, “Do I have experience? Am I qualified? Who will hire me?” You can do it! YES YOU CAN! So, start from where you are right now. From this moment on, I don’t want you to focus on the past or where you’ve been, or how much you have felt defeated, had doors close in your face, and told, “NO!” We have all been blessed with talents, or as I call them gifts. Use your gifts. Use your gifts at full capacity for as far as they’ll take you. You can start over. You can live the life YOU want and have dreamed of. If you take away nothing else from this book, remember this: You can get fired from a job, but you can’t get fired from your gifts. So, find your gifts and you will always have work.
Now, I take the time to focus on me and pursue my life’s dreams. My desires. Live my legacy. I can now enjoy spending time with my family, telling my story, and paying my gifts to society. Plus, I get to stay at home, at times, and get paid to do what I do. So, hey! That’s an added bonus! I have always been a hard worker ever since the age of 12. From being the neighborhood babysitter, to landing my first job as scooper and graduated to a Crew Leader at Bruster’s Ice Cream, working in retail stores, night clubs, working my way up the Corporate Ladder from a Leasing Consultant to a Regional Manager in Property Management, and now a writer and public speaker. I made it! I did it! I survived! You can too! I have worn many professional hats in in my life, but for now, you can just call me “Mama.” :D