When I was in my early 20‘s I took a job with a wholesale travel company. Wholesalers put together the packages that travel agents sell. They make all the arrangements with the hotels and airlines thus there is some travel involved, as the staff of the wholesaler need to keep in contact with their clients and check out the amenities of new ones. 

My job was to manage the office (it was a small office) – pay the bills, pay the staff, answer the phone, answer questions from the travel agents who sold our packages.  I wasn’t under the misguided idea that my job included travel but you know, there is always that hope. So I was really excited when, not long after I joined the company, my boss suggested I accompany him on a business trip to Nassau and St. Petersburg, Florida so I could gain a better understanding of how the company worked and see a few of the properties included in the packages we put together. 

Our first stop was in Nassau. When we landed and checked into the hotel I was confronted with the fact that I didn’t have my own room. I was expected to “share” with my boss. I was told that the hotel was full but they would look into it while my boss and I worked. Our work seemed more like play to me, a flight to Paradise Island, a good dinner and gambling on the part of my boss, but what did I know. This was all new to me.

When we returned to the hotel there was no separate room for me, and what’s more my boss expected me to share the only bed in the room. I said I would sleep on the sofa but there were no extra blankets and the boss wasn’t inclined to give up the blanket on the bed. It was a difficult situation, I was young, I had never encountered anything like this in my life: I was far away from home, my boss had all the travel tickets and all the money. So basically, he held all the cards. In the end I lay down on the top of the bed right at the edge. Needless to say I didn’t sleep and at this point, fortunately for me, my boss realized that he wasn’t going to get what he wanted from me on this trip and didn’t push himself on me.

When we arrived in St. Pete’s I did have my own room, I also had all my documents and money stolen from my room not long after we arrived while I was at a company meeting. Coincidence?  That day my boss sent me home with no identification and a $20 bill. I was being roundly punished for not living up to his expectations. I don’t know if you have travelled across borders without so much as your SIN card but it’s a frightening experience.

I returned to the office the next day, paid the bills, wrote the cheques for the payroll, wrote my own paycheque and left, leaving behind a letter of resignation. 

I never told anyone why I was suddenly unemployed.