In this economy, it seems like everyone and their dog is out looking for a job. And I was lucky, or at least I thought I was lucky. I was fired from my previous job due to illness. I was out of work for about a month before getting a job offer. The office was… eccentric. I think that would be the best way to put it.

Instead of the traditional interview, we were given challenge stations. You do silly tasks like writing an e-mail response, synopsising a Peanuts cartoon, things like that. Out of five people, they decided to go with me. After having spent a year to find the previous job, getting a job after a month was like a breath of fresh air. The people seemed somewhat friendly. They told me that I was going to have to wait three weeks at most to start working there.

After a week they called me in to start. I started the following Monday.

I went in to the swanky-looking San Francisco office. I was given a series of tasks. Get the new computer up and running, install the printer drivers and so on. I did it. I even had to figure out how to troubleshoot a printer on a Mac computer. They also had a guide for being an “executive” assistant. I use executive in quotes because as I read this guide, it became increasingly clear that they weren’t looking for an executive assistant per se. They were looking for a personal assistant. I was being asked to do things that I’m not quite comfortable with like reading their e-mail and logging in to their Facebook account to accept friend requests.

I was OK with that. I could do that. It was a bit awkward and uncomfortable to me. To a certain degree I would say that it was a bit lazy… but who am I to judge. It’s a paycheck.

Of course, a majority of the week was me working on training. No surprise there. Training is generally necessary with a new position. Come Friday, they have a meeting. The meeting consisted of them essentially humiliating and yelling at the employees for not doing anything right. Even going as far as to say that he doesn’t have anybody working for him.

Right. Now there’s a fuck you to the new employees.

Now while I was working during the week, I’ve been still battling the same illness that got me fired from my previous job. I was fighting it when I was on the interview, even so much that I was coughing there. I was coughing all week as I started working there.

I came back to work from the weekend. I walked upstairs to get to the office… and I was having a hard time breathing. The illness that I’ve been fighting had gotten worse. I sat there and let my computer that I’m sitting at for the first part of the day download and install the drivers… and I was still having a hard time breathing.

I talked to my boss to let him know that I’m having trouble breathing. I said, “I think I’m going to need to go to the doctors. I’m having trouble breathing.”

His only response was, “Go if you need to.”

Now, to him that means you do it at your own peril. He said that to the web master who had a dentist appointment that he probably made a month prior… which he brought up at the Friday bitch-fest. This was an emergency, so I didn’t think it would be an issue. So, I arranged for a ride and head out to see a doctor. The doctor told me what I had feared. I had bronchitis. I needed to take the week off work. All of this was under doctor’s orders.

Of course, I did the responsible thing and let them know. I e-mailed him and let him know what the doctor said.

I got a follow-up e-mail that says I’m fired. They stated it’s because of the lack of quality in my work….

Right. I worked there for one week. I was still learning what their idea of competence is. What that reads as is this: “I’m really pissed off that instead of spending 8 hours working here, possibly passing out at some point because you can’t breathe, you went and saw a doctor. You put your health before my needs and that is simply unacceptable.”

Talk about prima donna.