After my blog about how hard of a 2018 I’ve had, a lot of people asked me what happened with Masonite and why they made me so upset that I would use my now favorite emoji (🖕) whenever I spoke about them. I wasn’t sure I was going to tell the story, I didn’t want to seem unprofessional and bitter, but what they (or she) did to me was unprofessional and I’ve decided to spill the tea…
I was laid off from my Director position in April. I wasn’t totally expecting it but there was some relief as my boss was a creepy, inhuman robot who tried his best to make me miserable. I never thought you could micro-manage someone while working from home, but you totally can. I felt like he was breathing down my neck from my own home at all times. The glee on his face as I was being laid-off was disgusting, like Mr. Burns, but he got his due as he was just fired a few weeks ago. I know the higher ups regret their decision to let me go and keep him at that time.
Being out of a job scared the shit out of me. We’re a two income household and I would need to find something quick. In my manic state I decided to go back to my old job that I had been at for three years prior, but I learned quickly that it was a big mistake. It wasn’t the place I left and I knew I didn’t want to stay there. I wasn’t treated well at all, and it soured the great experience I had with them previously. I ended up being contacted by a recruiter about a role outside of tech at a company called Masonite and I decided to go for it. I had a phone interview, then a four hour interview on a Friday afternoon, then got the verbal offer the next Tuesday. As soon as that came in I said goodbye to my old stomping ground, again, and got ready to market and sell me some doors (hindsight… from technology to doors? I was kidding myself).
However, a week later the written offer hadn’t come through. I had already told old company I was leaving and I was getting nervous, and maybe that was a bad idea but like I said, going back was a mistake and I wasn’t happy. Then the Masonite girl called me.
I was mad. I was so livid that after the past few weeks of interviews, a job offer, me leaving my company, waiting for a start date, her and I going back and forth on ideas, and her even buying me a MacBook, that all I got on that call was “the division president didn’t approve the role. It’s not going to happen. There’s no job”. She was so cold about it. She just hung up and that was it. I get that it’s business but I was so shocked that she could have such little emotion. I was an emotional wreck. And by the way, this isn’t why I’m so mad at Masonite but it didn’t help.
It didn’t last long though. The next day I got an opportunity to consult for a cyber-security company in Tampa and this could lead to a full time position. I had heard of the company before and looked forward to this gig. When I got there, well, it was ok. A very stuffy environment and also too quiet for a tech company. I understand they’re in security but it was eerie. I worked with them for a few weeks, learned a lot about security and loved that part, but didn’t exactly love the company. The person I was working for was very stiff and set in his ways, and didn’t really want a “consultant”, he wanted a do-girl. I didn’t like it, but I would see it through because I needed the pay. After a few weeks I walked into the office one day after quarter end and was told that they didn’t hit their quarterly goal, not even close, and couldn’t afford to pay me. The possible full time position was put on hold indefinitely. I was upset, but also not really. I didn’t want to work there. I wouldn’t have been happy. I moved on.
And what I moved on to was Masonite. I decided to write the girl an email asking for a little explanation. There was a fair amount of time since the job/no job ordeal and I needed closure. I still had Masonite in my mind, like there was more there, so that’s also why I reached out. What I got back was her saying the role was going to change to meet their new marketing plans for 2019 and she wanted to open the conversation again. We met for lunch not too long after and she said the role wouldn’t be ready until December (it was mid-October), but would I be willing to contract until then. I said of course, and now I was back to working for Masonite. Maybe it was meant to be. Maybe doors were my future.
The paperwork took less than a week, and in that time the girl told me that this would be a very hard role and I needed to plan on working 50-60 hours a week. The job was demanding and she wanted to make sure I was ready. She also told me I had to be at the office at 8:00 am every day. Now, Olivia’s school doesn’t open until 7:30 and I lived an hour away from the Ybor City office. I told her I would figure it out.
On my first day I had Olivia go to Brooke’s home daycare instead of school so I could drop them both off at 7 and be on my way. A few days a week I would do this, and a few days my dad would get up early so I could drop them at his house at 7 and he would take them to school and daycare. On my way to the office, around 7:47, I was sitting in some pretty heavy traffic on 275. I checked the GPS and it said I would arrive at the Masonite office at 8:13. There was an accident or some holdup and there was nothing I could do. I called the girl and told her the situation. She said fine. We would figure it out when I got there.
I parked right at 8:13 and walked up to the office. I was let in and met with the girl. She took me into a private conference room and proceeded to fire me. She said it wasn’t going to work out because she needed someone to be at the office by 8:00 am every day, even though I would have been great in the role. I was horrified. I didn’t know what to say. I was speechless. She then escorted me out and I left.
I immediately called my husband and mother, in tears, and they both were shocked but let me know that I dodged a bullet. Working for her would have been a nightmare. She’s obviously a horrible person and I would have been miserable. I knew in the moment that this was true, but I was angry at the girl for everything she put me and my family through. I know I am responsible for my reactions but this was, to me, a total slap in the face as a professional woman and mother. I couldn’t have done things differently besides ask my dad to get up at 6:30 am and drop the kids off then, but as I was sitting in the car in traffic I did just that for the rest of the week. Luckily I didn’t have to use that option.
Things happen. Traffic happens. People are late. Many professionals get to the office at 8:30 am, or even 9:00 am, and they still put in the same amount of work as those who get there at 8:00. In fact, I’ve never had to get to an office by 8:00 am every day, and many times I stay later than my “8 hours” but this girl wanted me by 8:00 am every day. I mapped it the week prior and I would have made it. Maybe I should have given myself an extra 15 minutes but that wasn’t possible with the kids, and my husband leaves the house at 6 am. I didn’t make it the first day due to traffic, but I made plans to fix this right away. I would inconvenience my dad for my job. But she would have none of it. I looked inside me to see what I did wrong, but I really didn’t do anything wrong. Even if I asked my dad to take the girls at 6:30, there could have been a major accident that would keep me on the road until 8:30. You never know. What if I had a sick kid? This was the universe telling me that Masonite was not the place for me and although it was hard to hear this at first, I know now that it was a blessing.
I did get a job. I start January 2nd. It’s at a company I’ve had my eye on for a while and have applied for several times. The company is highly rated on Glassdoor. They have an amazing culture and are rapidly growing. The office is overlooking the beach and the drive isn’t nearly as bad as Masonite. Even after my interview there was talk of where I could move up rather quickly. It’s a place where I’ll grow and learn and hopefully spend my entire career. And they’re so casual I can wear Lululemon every day. It’s a dream. It’s what I’ve wanted this whole year. I also know that it may not be all of those things, and that’s ok too, but my gut tells me this is right. My gut wasn’t ever 100% sure on Masonite. I told myself I wanted out of technology but the truth is, I knew I would miss it. I didn’t want out. It’s where I belong. I love it. I told myself I was ok with working 60 hour weeks, never seeing my family and not being able to work out like I wanted, but I wasn’t. My new company isn’t like that. I may need a paycheck but my family comes first. I come first. To be happy I needed to find a place that understood my role as a mother too. Mother and wife, Fitness devotee, career woman, Lululemon addict. That’s who I am, among other things. Yes, I want to be a VP one day. I want to make decisions and be part of something bigger, but that doesn’t have to come at the expense of who I am. I hope, and believe, I found a company that supports that.
You know, I never got an email or a call from anyone at Masonite after I was fired. I sometimes wonder what she told her boss, or HR. I can’t imagine they support her firing me on day one due to traffic, and if they do then I know that’s a company no one would want to work for. I finally decided to write the girl an email detailing how I felt and copying her boss. I wasn’t going to write her until I cooled off, and although I am slightly cooled and I do forgive her, I think she deserves to hear me out. I don’t plan on reading any response, if I get one. I’m not bitter, I’m more upset that they can treat people the way they did. I would never do that to anyone, especially a working mother, I know as a boss I would be much more understanding, and I hope none of you ever have to work for someone who only cares about what you can do for them and not who you are. I’m much more than my job. And that is what I learned through this journey. A job shouldn’t define you but I was living that for the past few years. I felt empty without a title to my name, but I learned to fill myself up with other roles. In between applying for jobs I learned new skills like coding and programming. I learned all about cyber-security and want to work for a security company (which I will be). I spent more time with my family. I wasn’t working at night, worrying about the next day. I finally watched the Real Housewives of OC from season one. I went to the gym when I pleased and even drummed up my online resale business to make ends meet. I know I’ll keep that business going while I start my new career journey because you never know what can happen, and that small business really helped when times were hard. I’m so much more than the job I am doing, and although I love to work and be a champion of my company, I need to be a champion of myself and my family as well. Finding that kind of company that lets me be all of those things is my dream, and I truly hope I’ve finally found it.