Guest Editorial: Losing Your Job, Part 1 by Constance J. Peak
(NEW JERSEY - May 25, 2012) - Losing my job was one of the most character defining moments of my life. I still look back at parts of it, and smile. Allow me to explain.
As a law enforcement officer, I lived by the mantra: Firm, Fair and Consistent. It let the inmates know where I stood, as well as the staff. When people ask me about my challenges, I tell them it was not the inmates as it was the officers and supervisors working around me. Some of my co-workers felt it was OK to be abusive to the inmates AND other officers, physically, mentally, and sexually. I strongly and emphatically disagreed, and felt it was my duty as a human being to stand against this treatment when done in my presence. I already cemented my reputation when I reported the actions of a lieutenant, then was brought up on a charge of conspiracy to commit attempted murder.
Yes, they tried to bring me up on attempted murder charges.
So began a wild roller coaster ride with the NJDOC. I hated the lies and corruption. I hated the fake investigations, the phone tapping, the breaking into my apartment to dig for evidence I had for the Department of Justice. There’s a list of dirty deeds they perpetrated against me and it weighed down on me like lead and concrete overalls. I hated to go to work, and it showed in a string of tardiness.
That’s what got me fired. I had 2 one minute lates and 1 two minute late in one month, on top of a few other lates during that year. I had documentation for two of them, which mysteriously disappeared from my representative’s file at courtline. A few days later, at roll call, I did not hear my name. A sergeant walked over to me and told me the administrative lieutenant wanted to see me. When I walked into his office, I saw the three supervisors and the paperwork. They were terminating my employment.
The lieutenant, who was also one of the entities I complained about, told me to relinquish my badge and my ID. I complied. He then added, please turn in your protective vest at a later date. Why would I wait for later date, when right now was fine by me? I felt that vest on me. It was the symbol of those lead and concrete overalls. It was so heavy, so hot, so itchy. I wanted it off and all the ugliness it represented. I wanted to break free, even if I didn’t know where tomorrow would take me. I had ENOUGH.
I stood up, moved to the middle of his office and said TAKE IT NOW!!!! The vest was the type that goes under your clothes, so I began taking off my clothes in his office. I undid my belt and pants (they started screaming NO! NO!!!), then I unbuttoned my shirt, taking it off. I then grabbed for the velcro straps of my vest, ripping the vest off with the angriest striptease ever and tossed the vest down on the extremely red-faced lieutenant’s desk. That day without question, I walked out with my head high and a smile on my face. I was free, and they knew I was a 48D Playtex 18 hour.
What were they going to do… fire me?
Constance J. Peak is a businesswoman and serial entrepreneur. She is the Co-Founder of Maverick Vision International and MVI Advisors (www.mviadvisors.com) in the capacity of Chief Strategist and Confidential Life Coach, as well as a Master Certified Coach Trainer with www.mvicoaching.com. She is founder of MVI Sustainable Technologies, focusing on water conservation and usage worldwide. Constance is also Director of Program Development and Support at the United Nations Headquarters NYC of an international non-governmental organization (NGO) called the Foundation for the Support of the United Nations (FSUN-UNO). Her blog is http://morelemonsplease.com.