The “Irk” Factor

The “irk” factor is nothing like the “ick” factor; as in stepping in a steaming pile of cat vomit in the night, or having a spider spin lazily down from the ceiling heading right for your face.

The “irk” factor is all about the stuff that irks you because there is no answer to it. Example: the last job I had was in a company full of engineers, PhD’s, and geniuses. I was hired to write technical manuals, and, in order to do this correctly, I had to go to the afor-mentioned geniuses for information so that I could properly write a helpful manual.

Well, evidently the brainiacs grew tired of my *questions and I believe that this was the single reason why I was let go after working there for almost three years. I had no warning or even a sit-down with my manager saying that I was intrusive or not working fast enough; yadda, yadda, yadda. I was home with a bad cold and the human resources person called me to inform me that I was being “let go.” Again, there was no spoken reason why.

This is definitely an “irk” factor. What would it have hurt to just tell me that I wasn’t working out for <insert reason here>? Even though I am retired, I would still like to know what the hell happened.

Sort of a similar situation happened with a former boss of mine when I lived in Texas. She hired me to source me out to various companies as a tech writer, and that was just fine. The first place she sent me was a great company, and after a few weeks, the manager came to me and said that he wanted to hire me full-time. Not only that, but he offered to nearly double the salary I was currently making.

It was a wonderful opportunity. I begged him not to tell my boss about this; I wanted to tell her myself; I knew that she would be hurt if I didn’t tell her first. But he told her anyway, and she was furious with me. I tried many times to tell her the truth of what happened, but she wouldn’t speak to me. She and those who worked with her also felt that I had stabbed her in the back. This was a real irk factor.

There are some people and some situations where you just can’t win. It’s a fact of life, and it is surely irritating, but it is what it is. That’s the whole irk factor of it. And as to the why of my being asked to leave my last job, all I can say about it what we say at home for something you can’t fix or change: **”let it go, Elsa!”

*Technical writers are usually the bane of every engineer’s existance. Engineers are focused on their jobs and they are very good at what they do. They do not take kindly to be interrupted to explain things to a non-engineer. I’m not ashamed to say that I often bribed them with coffee or chocolate or donuts to get my information. (Hey, it worked!)

**From the movie Frozen.

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