So, I was "let go" from my job today.
This was not a surprise. The signs have been there for awhile, and I was not caught off-guard. I've been proactive and the job search is well underway. (I had an interview less than 4 hours after my firing, as a matter of fact.) And this is for the best. Really. There are some situations that are toxic and this was one of them.
But here's where Pittsburgh people get all kinds of awesome. Honestly, the people in this city are amazing.
I get summoned to my meeting, which the powers-that-be make out to be all clandestine but which I know exactly what it will be about, and I need to park in a garage that is notorious for never having a space. So, I ask the cranky parking attendant if I could valet my car. He asks how long I think I am going to be.
"Probably ten minutes," I answer. "This won't take long. Chances are, I'm going to get fired."
"Park your car right over here."
I wedge my car into a too-small space, thank him, head to my meeting.
Return 23 minutes later.
"Hi, it's me," I announce upon my arrival back in the garage, pointing to my car.
"Did you get fired?"
"Actually, yeah, I did."
His eyes widen. Mouth drops open.
"Oh, my God."
"It's OK. Really." As if he's the one that needs the consoling.
"Oh, I'm so, so sorry. I thought you were joking earlier. I didn't mean ...."
"It's all right. I'm fine. More than fine. This is a good thing."
"Who did you work for?" He says this angrily, and I'm thinking he's going to rip off a muffler from the nearest vehicle and hunt them down.
"It doesn't matter."
"You look like you're a professional person," he says, taking notice of my interview suit. "You'll find something soon."
"Actually, now that you mention it," I say, needing all the good vibes I can get. "I'm headed to an interview right now."
"No kiddin'. Told you this wasn't exactly a surprise."
"Well, I'll be! The last person I saw who was going on an interview, you know what I said to them?"
"GOOD LUCK. And you know what? THEY. GOT. THE. JOB."
"How about that!"
"How about that, huh?"
"Well, thanks for letting me valet. I 'preciate it."
"This is on me. You don't worry about this. You just go get your job."
I explain that I just pre-charged the payment with my credit card.
"Let me see what I can do about that," says my valet.
"You're very kind. Thank you," I say.
"And if you have another interview and you have to come back, you just ask for me."
"I'll do that. Thank you very much."
There's a phenomenon here called "Pittsburgh nice" and it's true, it really does exist. Where else can a stranger make you smile and feel this good within minutes after losing your job?
Beep beep! Beep beep! Yeah!
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