English for Life and Work 3
Writing Project Unit 4
On February 2, 2003 I was laid off by Toys R Us, a job I had held for 10 years. I started working there in 1992 when I was only 18 years old. I grew up in that job, learning about life from my co-workers and my experiences with the customers. I was so dedicated to the company that the layoff took me by surprise, I never saw it coming. Looking back now, I really should have expected it, and I’m surprised that they didn’t let me go sooner.
I realize now that I was so comfortable in my position there that I didn’t see what a bad employee I was. I mean, I was good at what I did, but not at how I did it. My attitude was horrible; I felt entitled to the best shifts and acted like I was too good to waste on certain tasks. My ego was out of control and it was limiting my chances of moving up in the company but I was comfortable so I didn’t see that. Being let go was the wakeup call that I needed, even though I didn’t see it that way at the time. I was forced to take a look inside myself and decide whether I wanted to stay the same or if I wanted to be the kind of man people would listen to and respect.
Not long after losing that job, I started working for Wal-Mart. Starting over in a new company at the bottom of the ladder gave me fresh perspective on things. I realized that if I wanted to move up I’d have to act differently. I decided to start every day with a smile, and that the best way to be a good employee was to do any and every job that needed doing. Armed with this new attitude I have quickly moved up in the ranks at Wal-Mart and have gone farther than I was ever able to go at Toys R Us. I constantly struggle with keeping my ego in check, but now I know that humility, not pride, better serves you in building a career.