A long time ago, I had a boss that I didn’t care for. You know the type, to your face such a good friend but she would say mean things about other people and I know that she was nice to their faces. I often wondered what she said about me.
I left the department when I was quite pregnant with my third son. I told her I most likely would not be back and would let her know within the year. As it turned out I took a five-year break since it was going to cost me more in childcare for three children than I could make part-time. When it came time to go back to work, I applied at several places and one by one they all rejected me.
I had always been offered a job if I’d applied for it in the past. I was very depressed over this and finally asked one of the HR contacts I knew if she could tell me why. She said that the last place I had worked at said they wouldn’t rehire me. I couldn’t understand this as I hadn’t ever had a bad review; the last place had not given me any review!
I went back to the last place I worked to see their HR and explain my concerns. She said that they had to say they would not rehire me as my last performance review was so bad. I said, “What review, I never got one.” Well, she proceeded to show me the review.
When you receive a review even if you don’t agree with it you must sign off to say you have seen it. There was no signature. The whole review was dreadful and I stated if I was that bad, why wasn’t I fired?
My boss had left the place of work shortly after I did and needed someone to blame for the problems in the department and since I was gone for five years I was the convenient one.
They apologized and said when a new reference check came in they would certainly agree that they would rehire me if they had the opportunity.
The next day a reference check came into their HR and they said they definitely would rehire. I never would have had the nerve to apply for that job if the first five positions hadn’t been turned down.
I met the boss socially on occasion for several years after that incident and never let on that I knew what she had done. I had a chance to work on the motto “The best revenge is living well.” And after living well I realized that I just felt sorry for her and in fact, she helped me to secure my dream job, however unwittingly.