After Elizabeth was fired, I didn't quit my job in the same hour -- which would have been my impulse. In fact, I ended up sticking around for a few more weeks. I had an untried reputation to worry about, and I didn't want Vivian to think I was taking sides against her (though, in my heart, I completely already had).
But, as it turned out, the end of my working relationship with Vivian sort of... took care of itself, without my having to worry about it or put any work into it.
In March, Vivian went on a vacation to Florida for a week, thus missing the beginning of my family crisis. On the day she returned, I wasn't supposed to come into the office (it was one of my days off), so the other girls filled her in on what happened in my family.
That day, I received an email from her saying something to the effect of, "I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother! Please don't worry about coming in this week -- you should be with your family and taking care of yourself. However, we are having a party at my house this Saturday to celebrate my company's anniversary!! I would love for you to come! Please let me know if you can come! I know Jillian and Ben would love to see you!"
I didn't write her back right away. I KNOW -- MISTAKE. But I was already off until Wednesday, that was my schedule, and it was only Monday. I figured if I wrote her back on Tuesday... no one would be the wiser!
I got an email from her on Tuesday morning. It was very short. All it said was, "Jane - did you get my email?" Now, it can be kind of hard to tell what people are thinking over email. But you know, sometimes it's not that hard.
I wrote her back right away, something to the effect of: "Yes! I got your email. Thank you for being so understanding. However, I am happy to come into the office this week, and next. Please let me know when you need me and I will be there. Unfortunately, I can't come to your party this weekend, I have family obligations. But I will be there in spirit! But please do let me know if you need me to come into the office. Thank you again, Jane."
The email I got back was very short. Very, very short. Awkwardly short, you might say. All it said was, "We are all good here, just take care of yourself."
I wasn't quite sure what to think when I read it. The delusionally hopeful side of me piped up, "Maybe she does just want you to take care of yourself..." The realistic side of me reasoned.... probably not.... but I decided to ignore that side. After all, I had a lot of other things to worry about.
And I TOLD her to let me know if she needed me.... So, she will.