Once my anger wore off, the freak-out started. How was I going to pay rent? How was this going to affect my career long term? I'd stomped out and not signed anything, so did that mean he fired me or I resigned? Yes, I could probably use the unemployment pay, but I really didn't want it to look like I was told to leave.
There was nothing I could do at this point except start applying for jobs, fast. But still, it was May, and as most teachers know, interviews for open teaching positions start in March. The only jobs available at this point would be for awful schools or substitute positions. On the plus side, I'd started putting feelers out in April when it looked like I might not get my contract renewed, so I'd already had some applications in.
I left on a Friday. The following Monday, I got a call, asking to set up an interview Thursday for one of three administrative jobs that I would KILL for. It almost seemed to good to be true, so I didn't get my hopes up. Meanwhile, my phone was blowing up with calls and text from other teachers at DA asking where I was, what was going on, and did I need anything? Debut's administration put out a story that I would be out for the rest of the year, period. I just responded with "I'm okay, but I can't talk right now."
DA emailed me a paper to sign, saying the school would call it a resignation if I promised not to badmouth the school. I laughed and laughed, and then called my brother-in-law, who's an employment lawyer. We spent the next two nights on the phone, figuring out what to do. Did I want to sue them for wrongful termination? He warned me that I might end up fired anyway with nothing if I tried to pursue action against them. What I wanted was to get my paycheck for the month and walk away clean, but that didn't seem likely. Still, I wasn't ready to sign the paper, because I felt the school owed me, even though Ken said I should just do it. I can be pretty reactive at times, but for some reason, I was stubborn now. Ken kept telling me to sign, but I dug my heels in.
Out of the blue, I got a voicemail from Mr. Glick. He asked me to call him, saying that we had some things we needed to talk about, and he didn't want to communicate over email. I called my brother-in-law.
"Ken, what do I do? What does he want?" I felt weird and panicky about it.
Ken just laughed. "Holy cow, Charly. I don't know what you did or what dirt you have on him, but this is great."
"What do you mean?"
"It's time to make a deal."