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I Talked to the Boss Who Fired Me, 16 Years Later. Here’s What I Realized.

By | Christina Wyman |

Sometimes, people get fired from their jobs. But do they call their old bosses 16 years later to talk about it? I did.

Nearly two decades after I was dismissed from my very first summer internship, I wondered whether the manager who’d let me go remembered me and, if so, would she be up for a chat about our time working together? So I found her on social media and reached out.

How I got fired from my first job

As a first-generation college student who grew up working-class, I was the first in my family to navigate college and corporate America. At school, I was surrounded by people well-versed in a world that my family never had access to. It was a lot like navigating an unfamiliar language, with only a few words under your belt to help you get by.

Which is why I was elated when I landed my first summer internship at a fancy marketing firm on Park Avenue in New York City—it paid $10 an hour at a time when professors taught their students that we should be grateful for the opportunity to work an unpaid internship. (I didn’t realize back then how problematic this perspective was—no one ever explained how exploitative and non-inclusive such “opportunities” were.)

Eight weeks after my internship began—and two weeks before it was scheduled to end—I was fired.

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