I was pretty sure I was about to get fired. Like seriously. Wade and his team didn’t need me in the same capacity anymore and in a surprising plot-twist, RJ had left the company. Although I still was supporting Seth and maintaining my duties on the Wellness Committee, not to mention my important role of President of the Fun Committee, I knew that no company would see this as a full workload. I wondered vaguely if I should start working on my resume.
So when, after a few weeks, a new executive was brought on board and I was told I was to support her, I should have been ecstatic. I was not getting fired after all.
But as I sat down with her to go over the basics of her expectations and needs, I found myself becoming increasingly melancholy and despondent.
Another executive. Another set of demands. Another set of travel preferences. Another set of expenses to reconcile. Another set of calendar invites to manage. All the same crap.
Now, I know I am incredibly fortunate to even have a job. And I’m lucky that my company has been receptive to me being on the Committees and whatnot, but still, when you’re an assistant, proving to others that you can do more is notoriously difficult. I am very aware of this. And as I looked down the road and saw a variety of executives coming in and out of my life, forever it seemed, with no real possibility of growth or advancement, I felt hopeless. I was never going to be anything but an assistant, doing the same thing day in and day out. This realization hit me hard.
As a result, I started really slacking at work. I just didn’t care anymore. I’m ashamed to say, I actually even started acting a little surly with my new boss. When she’d ask me to do something, even if it was a small task, I’d sigh laboriously and put my head in my hands, the weight of the world upon me. I just didn’t have the energy to shine anymore. I felt it didn’t matter anyway.
So when she asked me into her office one morning, it was with dragging steps that I made my way. I closed the door behind me and sat wearily in the chair across from her. I poised my pen on the notebook I’d brought.
She handed me a set of keys. “Can you keep these for me in case I forget mine? They’re for my desk drawers.”
“Sure,” I said and took them from her.
“Also, can you see if we can move tomorrow’s lunch with Al to next week?”
“Okay,” I said and noted it down.
“Where are we with the product meeting?”
“It’s set for Friday at 10am. I added a bridge for those who are traveling.”
“Perfect,” she said. Her eyes moved to her computer and she fired off a quick IM.
“Anything else?” I asked and pushed my pen into the wire spiral of the notebook. I closed it and prepared to leave.
“Oh, there is just one other thing…,” she said slowly. She sent another IM reply.
“Okay,” I said and opened the notebook again.
She brought her attention back to me. “I’ve been thinking…,” she started.
And then she continued.
And then my mouth fell open in shock.