"Let me know if you need help with any boxes," my boss said Friday morning.
"At home? Like, to ship to Atlanta?"
"No, when you leave here tonight."
It was the kind of offer that, coming from a friend, would be sweet. Coming from a boss who has been underhanded and manipulative? Not so much.
"I'll be fine," I said.
I didn't leave work until a little past seven o'clock. I had files to return to the cabinets. There were documents to shred and paperwork to disperse. With a box in one hand and my keys in the other, I turned off the lights, set the alarm and, for the last time ever, walked out of that building as an employee.
On Monday morning, I received an email from a client who was concerned about what my former boss was up to. Then I got a congratulatory email from two different Aetna reps in response to an email announcing my departure, also an email I never personally received. And that's when things started to spiral out of control.
Here I was, sitting on my sofa, the lone piece of furniture still remaining in my almost-empty condo, studying about macrophages and cytyokines, and was being thrown back into the drama I had so strategically departed.
By early evening, I finally got my hands on the letter my former boss sent. In fact, it came from my former boss with an note admitting he had doctored it. I looked closely and immediately knew it was a letter my dad never wrote. Nor was it a letter that he had ever signed off on, even though his signature was right there on the bottom. More importantly, it was a letter that authorized a large carrier to transfer clients under my dad's name to my old boss, thereby granting him all commissions on those clients.
"That's fraud," a friend and longtime attorney noted when I read the email.
Ultimately, none of it matters. Because a client can change brokers at any time. And in between memorizing the digestive process, I personally called clients. I spoke about my new job opportunity. I noted that the personal touch used by me and my father was no longer the cornerstone of what remains of our company. Then I told them how they could change to a different broker, a broker we had partnered with to absorb our clients.
"I'm so sad you're leaving but so happy for your new adventures," they all said. "Just send me the form and I'll get it right back to you. You've been great all of these years and I totally trust your opinion on this."
And then I emailed a former client and good friend who now works high-up in Harrisburg. I was wondering if she knew anyone at the Department of Insurance. After all, falsifying a document, besides being illegal, is grounds for one's insurance license to be revoked. And without that, like, you can't do shit with my clients.