When I think of where I came from and where I am now, I am happy.
I’m proud, actually. It’s pretty unbelievable when you consider that three years ago, I was being laid off from my receptionist/make her do everything else also job to now freelance writing and being well known and respected in my little neck of the woods. To say I’m proud would be the understatement of the year.
It didn’t come easy when I got out of college. I was a Communications major, Journalism emphasis and had to complete an internship at a local paper where my ADD shined through. I reported to two women editors who were bitches with a captial B. One of them was going through a divorce at the time, so to say that she was unpleasant to work with was the understatement of the year. I could not believe it when the other one told me once that she didn’t get out of journalism school-and wondered if I was lying about even going to college because I was doing such a lousy job. I really felt like saying a few words to her, but overly polite me didn’t. Weirdly enough though, I only knew how incredibly bad I was when I read the city editor’s written review of me given to the internship coordinator for my school. It was not good, to put it mildly. She actually wrote one review for me and the other for the school. My review was only slightly nicer and truly showed I was very ADD. Weirdly enough, I actually saved it for four years and threw it out when my therapist asked why on earth I was even keeping this. Toss it, burn it, but certainly don’t keep it, she said. She was right. It felt good to tear that sucker up.
I did try for a few other reporting jobs at the major local paper by me after getting out of college. (It’s ironically the same one that I’ll be doing contracting work for. Funny how time heals things.) Needless to say, I didn’t get past the interview stage because of the “blurt gremlin” lurking its evil head. (I could tell stories about the stupid things I said at those interviews!) Ironically enough, the very last interview I had with an editor there was none other than the now ex-husband of the editor at my internship! I remember him looking at my resume and saying that she was his ex-wife. My only thought was of my stomache churning because I knew that was it. Weirdly enough, I got the interview with him after doing a try-out article and being one of three choices for the job. He gave me a second try-out after that interview and walked to his phone. I knew who he was calling. I saw him walk over to the second editor who sat in on the interview after getting off the phone and whispered something as I got all the information for my second article. I knew that was it and didn’t have an interview there again.
I did temp work after that for about a year. It was sporadic, yet filled a need income wise, obviously. I temped in the traffic department of a court house in a bad area at one point and was miserable because I was hanging out witb court clerks who were obviously in a different life position than me. What else is new when you temp?
I then worked for my relatives wedding planning business. It was very kind of them to employ me, but I learned a little too much about my family tree, to put it mildly. My dad’s cousin loves to yell at his wife, and did so all day long. His wife takes it-and is also very ADD. She’s a brilliant woman who probably could not be employed in a regular environment and came up with a business plan that has worked well for her up to a point. She also could not teach anything to save her life. I had to laugh when I was later told by one of her employees that she hired a salesman who was very up front about his ADD and told her one time, “And how am I supposed to learn this? You are going too fast!” She would berate me near the end and I finally quit one day when she broke an air freshner and wanted me to fix it. You know, the cheapy ones that normal people just throw out? Nice me was fixing it-and got a cut from broken glass when she called me stupid. That was it. I was never so happy to quit a job as I was that day. We do speak now, but her business is failing fast.
After quitting that job, I got my next job a few months later. I worked for a manufacturing company as their sales and marketing assistant. I was happy because I designed their company newsletter and other written communications, which they still used when the company was sold a few years after I was laid off. I had a kind yet weird boss though. He was the first boss I told about my ADD and he looked at me and said that since I was new on the job that he was expecting a learning curve. That’s it. He did make me bring a notepad though everytime I met with him after that. 🙂 I sat in the same area as the sexy receptionist who would go to two-hour lunches with him. She ended up quitting her job no more than two months after I got laid off because she was pregnant and lived an awful distance away from work. I seriously wondered if our boss was the babydaddy.
I was shocked when I found my job at the escrow company a month later. A friend worked there and gave my name to the office manager who called me for an interview. This was during the refi boom, so help was at a premium then. I should have sensed they were a little unusual when on the phone for the first time with the office manager and she let out a scream because someone burned popcorn. Strange, I thought, but what the hell? I’ll go on the interview, I said to myself.
And I did. My boss, the owner, was a bastard during that interview. I sat in the reception area after the interview and when I was called back to be told I got the job, he let me know that if I screwed up that I would be out the door in no time flat. Yeah, I love you too…. He ended up growing on me, but really, what a sorry way to start your time at a company.
It’s amazing that I stayed there almost seven years before the economy tanked and I got laid off. I started out as a receptionist, and the boss promoted me to escrow assistant four months later. I was very well liked by clients and the boss said he expected me to become an escrow officer. And I was put in a unit where the escrow officer expected me to go from 0-100 in no time. I mean IN. NO. TIME. Stress and I don’t go together too well, and organization and I don’t do so hot together either. Add these two things up, and they spell failure to an ADDer like me. I was demoted back to receptionist two months later due largely to my organization skills. And ironically, the boss gave me a nice raise when he demoted me.
The other escrow assistants asked why, so I made up an excuse. I’m good at embellishing the truth. The boss told me to give it some time and he’d try again. Liar. He knew damn well that he would never do that. I honestly should have quit after that, but this was the best job stability I had in awhile and knew for resume’s sake that I needed to stay there and suffer for a little while. The pay was decent and the insurance was killer. He even started a 401K plan. Life was good! But I was miserable…..
I saw the biggest idiots get promoted to office manager and when the boss promoted this lazy arse, I flipped and requested a meeting with him. He looked really mad when I was throwing my temper tantrum and told me that I was incredibly smart, but that he would never promote me again and why complain when I pay you so well?! It’s amazing that I valued job stability over my happiness.
There were some incidents that happened to me at this place that were beyond reprehensible and nice me should have stuck up for myself, but of course I didn’t. One would be when I developed an infection in a tooth and had to get it pulled. Heaven forbid that I had to go back for a follow-up appointment! I was actually told that I was pushing it to want to leave on time to get to my appointment! Another time would be when I went to get my driver’s license renewed and I had to get my picture re-taken also. (GASP!!!!) I could not believe that the office manager flipped out and stepped into an office with my boss!
“You’re coming right back, aren’t you?” he asked as he stepped out of the room.
“Of course,” I said calmly. “It’s down the street and it’s 9 AM. What else do you want me to do?”
There was also another time when I had minor female surgery to remove something. I told them that since I had this done before (it grew back and also was in another spot) that I honestly expected to be out a day. No prob, they said. Well, the doctor did an outstanding job-and it was more intrusive than I thought. I could not sit up for a week. I was of course nervous as I called the office manager that evening and told her what was happening. Oh did she yell. I was calm though and ended up looking better than her in the end. What was I supposed to do? I can’t sit up, I kept repeating calmly. She did ask me how I was when I got back and tried to launch into a tirade again, but I just calmly asked what was I supposed to do when I couldn’t even sit up? She shut up.
This place was a reality show waiting to happen. My boss ended up getting together with an employee who was married. Needless to say, the women working there hated her. One of the prima donnas with the world’s most irritating voice was mean as hell to her daughter when she began working there and once threw out her pot luck dish that had barely been touched. The boss brought in his son, who was nice to me but is honestly spoiled as hell. And they got far more training than me.
I was so bored that bored couldn’t even begin to describe what working there was like. Even though I did get more responsibilities after throwing that temper tantrum, they were not enough to keep me going throughout the day. I really wasn’t thought of too highly though and things I’d come up with weren’t appreciated. The messenger log I made is an example of that. I could not believe that there was no log of when the messenger service would pick up deliveries to take to the title company. An escrow officer asked me once if I recalled a certain delivery being picked up during this stressful, busy time when deliveries were constant in the office. How the heck was I to remember deliveries from the previous day or the past week?! I invented a messenger service log after that. When I tried to talk up my necessary invention to the boss, he actually called it busy work!
I began being passive-aggressive after that and would take days off on a whim and fake sickness. They all knew I was faking it, including the boss, but he never fired me. He once made mention of it when I got mad at him, but clients truly liked me. I personally think everyone there thought I was an idiot because I had been the receptionist for so long. I had job stability though! I traveled! I bought my car! Who cares if you’re miserable when you have steady income and are making far more than receptionists do?
A little smile came over me when office manager #3 got laid off at the beginning of 2008. This woman was an idiot. I mean, stupid didn’t even begin to describe her. We would chat though about everything when the economy began to tank because we were both bored, and I did appreciate her letting me know when I’d be speaking too loudly. She and I both had our hours cut probably six months prior, so it was no shock that he would let one of us go. She had seniority over me though, so I was dumbfounded that he let her go first. After all, I’m the non-promotable one……….
I finally got let go in July 2008. I was doing some busy work when my boss said that he needed to talk to me and motioned me into the conference room. He apologized and said he was very sorry, but he was laying me off. I started to cry, but honestly, I did a little dance of joy right then and perked up and listened as he told me how he truly liked me, but that times were bad and he was making cuts again. Would he be a reference for me, I asked? Absolutely. He gave me a hug and wished me well.
I was searching for jobs online three months later when I found the first Web site I began freelancing for. Not much experience required? I’m so there! I doubted anything would happen though. I was shocked when I got a call from someone at that Web site inviting me aboard and giving me the city I live in as my beat. I am so grateful too. I was truly doing what I set out to major in! I met so many great people.
And then, my former boss called me the day Obama was inaugurated and asked me to come back temporarily, he said. I needed the money, so I was excited. I could not stand it after a week though and made up a lie to get out of there. I was past done!
And I did more freelancing and met more people and really began to get to know the city I lived in. I also got temp jobs, including one at a foreclosure company that lasted a year. That felt good to be in that temp job because I had knowledge of the lingo and was productive. I ended up making too many mistakes though. My boss was sweet, and I told her about my ADD and she worked with me. The mistakes were still bad though. It was over.
I got another temp job a month later at a title company in the recording department. I learned a lot but could not be happier when the work load tanked and we got let go. It felt good to be in this temp job also and proved to me that I could do more in the real estate field than just answering a friggin’ phone. Honestly though, I knew that my passions laid elsewhere.
I got a spark in March and said to myself that I’m going to seriously pursue my freelancing again, which had been sparse for a year up until then. It was as if God agreed that I should, because the flood gates opened! The city I live in has had one issue after another to report on. One of my neighbors even helped me get in at that major paper again as a contract employee. (Yes, that same major paper where I tanked during the interviews 12 years prior.) A Web site that also covers my city asked me to write for them also. And so has another blog in the city. A magazine has begun there too, and the editor had had me write some articles. It’s just amazing-and I love it.
What a weird path I’ve been on for over a decade. I honestly never in my wildest dreams ever thought I’d be back here again. Never! Granted, I didn’t think the pay would be so awful again, but I guess I need to look at it that I’m beginning again.
I also need to look at my job path as a blessing. I had job stability for half a decade-woot! I learned a lot and was able to do a lot financially. I made friends there also. I have to admit though that when I sent an e-mail out when I got the gig at the paper that I also cc’d the bosses girlfriend, who of course didn’t respond. It was kind of my way to say f you, but also thank you for setting me free. I was shocked when a friend that I met here told me that a bunch of people from our old job got together a few months ago. She should have shut her mouth but told me that she told that first office manager that she was going to invite me and was told not to. I probably wouldn’t have shown up anyway, but what bitches is all I’ll say. All they did was complain about our former place of employment also. Fun time!
The job path of an ADDer is filled with many twists and turns. I can see why a lot of us open our own businesses. I’ve wondered if I should, but I’d probably be too nice of a boss. We’ll see though.
I’m finally on the right path though. Yay!