Shacking Up

So we were moving in together. That’s a massive step. Unlike the stereotypes we had waited quite a while before making this decision. Better yet it wasn’t as if we were looking for a little love nest that we would spend the rest of our days in. We would have our housemate, Nick. The three of us started looking for a place to rent locally.

After a couple of weeks looking at various places, at one point we even thought about renting a place a bit bigger and having Ryan live with us too. The thing is they were all pretty expensive, Ryan decided against renting which left the three of us again. Eventually we found a two bedroomed house and paid our deposit. We’d be moving in at the beginning of November.

Then disaster struck. My job was in jeopardy. It was coming up to the end of my standard probation period and I had gotten an awful call review. I was having some trouble at work. It was a very cliquey environment and all the guys on my team were smokers and would spend every scheduled break gossiping in the smoking shelters outside. I felt like a bit of an outsider. What really stung was that the call review honestly wasn’t done fairly, the guy who had called in was being a grade A tyrant. He had already called and harassed multiple members of staff, reducing some to tears. After speaking with me that day and make me feel worthless he had a fit of conscience and actually called back to apologise.

However when I explained this my boss and a HR representative they refused to choose another call to quality check. I was furious, their own policies state that they won’t use abusive calls in employee evaluations. What was supposed to be a thirty minute evaluation turned into a witch hunt that lasted three hours. When I left work that day it was with an ultimatum. I would either quit on the spot come Monday morning or accept the terms of a two week extended probation to turn things around.

I agonised over this decision all week, this incident happened on a Thursday and I would need to have made my mind up by the Monday. Needless to say this was not a company I wanted to work for any longer. I spoke with my parents about what had happened, applied for a million and one jobs and even managed to secure a few interviews.

Come Monday morning I turned up to work two hours early, I arranged to meet with the manager of the contact centre since I felt that my boss wouldn’t deal with this situation fairly and the HR representative was certainly not impartial. I had written a formal complaint about how I had been treated and then I gave my resignation and went to clear my desk.

By the time I arrived at my desk my boss was already there. She greeted me with a begrudging “Oh, Hello Elena, I assume since you’re here early you wish to accept the two week extension” to which I smugly replied certainly not and that I had just had a meeting with her boss to make a formal complaint and then I left the building. I didn’t much care about the outcome of my complaint once I left the office, but I hope it made her think twice about how she treated her employees in future.

Now I was in trouble. In a couple of weeks I’d be moving in with Katy and Nick, there was no backing out at this stage. My car loan was covered with a payment protection plan that they forced me to take out, but rent would be another matter. I got lucky, my brother was about to start a new job but the company he had been working for was hiring through an agency in town. I headed straight down there and applied.

I was interviewed immediately over the telephone and invited to a second interview the following week. The timing was perfect. The job would be offering technical support for a internet service provider. I didn’t know the first thing about computers or the internet but I’m a fast study and I sold my customer service abilities to them. I got the job and I’d start on November the 15th. Which meant just two weeks of unemployment, I could cope with that, the first months rent was already paid.

With all this going on I wasn’t really prepared to deal with any other drama in my life. So when Katy panicked about the commitment of us moving in together and blurted out that we should see other people I felt like I had been punched in the gut. I felt completely rejected, I tried to talk it out with her and she attempted to explain where she was coming from. Katy convinced me that she loved me very much, that she just felt too young to be making such a huge commitment. I could understand that even if it did hurt to hear it.

I know enough about my nature to know that the open relationship she was asking for wasn’t for me. I’m a jealous person who doesn’t like to share. Katy accepted this and instead offered a lop-sided open relationship, in which I was allowed to see whoever I wanted and she would remain faithful. I still wasn’t comfortable with this, but the ball was in my court, if we had this arrangement and I never acted on it then the dynamic of our relationship wouldn’t have to change. If that’s what she needed to put her thoughts in order and take this step forward I’d agree to it.

So moving day came and went. We had just about managed to furnish the house so that we had everything we needed and I was due to start my new job the following week. Lucky for me it was more money than I was on so I wouldn’t feel too much financial pain over the two weeks out of work. When it came to Katy and I on the other hand I was worried that everything was going to fall apart, where did her cold feet come from, she had always been so sure about me?

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