I got laid off from my first job out of college (a great job as a researcher at a NY-based television station, which I love love LOVED) due to downsizing because of the crap economy, and I spent 8 months (well, 7 months, 19 days and 3 hours, but who's counting?) unemployed. I temped here and there to make ends meet, which they sort of did in a two-frayed-pieces-of-rope-clinging-together-by-a-thread kind of way (by which I mean "not at all").
So when I got offered this job, I jumped at the chance. My boss seemed cool; the small office seemed relaxed.
But my "cool" boss turned out to be a compulsive on-line poker player who blatantly cheats on his wife, leaving me to cover his tracks the best I can. And the "relaxed" office means one in which my boss is so busy playing online poker and screwing skanky women that the other employees run amok.
My boss is, of course, too self-involved (what with the gambling and steady stream of skanks) to notice what was going on right under his nose. It's nothing terribly illegal; more along the lines of major abuse of expense accounts and out-right lying to clients to get out of trouble for slacking off. (Though I have my suspicions that one woman -- this really sweet 60+-year-old woman named Rhonda -- may be taking off-track-bets bewteen customer service calls, but that's not confirmed.)
I have no authority or power (I mean - I'm just a glorified secretary, really), but my job was constantly in jeopardy because, when my boss finalizing realizes something is amiss, I get blamed.
I've taken it for long enough because that period of unemployment was so truly awful, I never want to go back there again.
It wasn't just the eating-Ramen-every-day stuff; that wasn't so bad. And I didn't mind not going out; in fact, it was really nice to have friends over for beers on a Friday night to save dough instead of hitting a bar. I spent a lot of time walking the streets of the city. I sat in Barnes&Noble and paged through loads of magazines. I made good use of my library card.
It wasn't the money stuff that bothered me. Part of it was feeling out of whack with society. Anyone who has ever been unemployed says the same thing: they dreaded the inevitable "So, what you do?" when they met people. And -- yeah -- that was bad. But it was hardly the worst part.
What was worse was the soul-sucking, bone-crushing feeling of being worthless. Of not having a job, and therefore of somehow having my identity taken from me. At my lowest point, it didn't even matter what others thought of me, as I thought absolutely nothing of myself.
So I took this job when it was offered.
It was hardly my dream. But it was something.
But I'm tired of this. My boss is more interested in using me for my boobs than my brains, so even when I have a semi-intelligent idea to offer, it gets by-passed. Then, add on top of that the ridiculous amount of responsibility I have for the foibles of my out-of-control coworkers.
The stuff with the mice was the last straw. Somehow, the problem became my job to fix, even though it's nowhere in my job description as an "executive assistant" to exterminate rodents.
Let's revisit that job description, shall we?
*Answer phones? Check.
*Schedule appointments? Double check.
*Sit here and look cute and perky as a bunch of sleazy old geezers who may be future clients oogle my chest on their trek in and out of my boss's office? Grossed-out check.
*Ignore the inappropriateness of my boss's encouragement to wear low-cut tops expressly for that purpose? Check. ( A verging-on-sexual-harrassment check, but a check nevertheless.)
Whaddaya know. Nothing about the extermination and subsequent disposal of rodents in there.
So, yesterday, I got reamed out for an expense account approval my boss claims not to remember having signed (he had just come back from lunch with one of his lady friends and looked to have hit the sauce pretty hard. Could intoxication explain his lapse of memory? Most likely.).
And then I had to kill a mouse.
I was fed up.
And so, today, when my boss asked if I could please remember to book a hotel room for him and one of his trashy sluts for the weekend, I just said no.
He was shocked at first. I mean, I had never said no to him before.
Then he got angry. And demanded to know why not.
So I said something along the lines of "I'll tell you why not. Because I quit."
I hadn't even meant to say it. It just came out of my mouth.
And, before I knew it, I was packing up my desk and then all of a sudden, I was on the subway with a cardboard box on my lap and I could feel the stares of fellow passengers boring a hole in my bowed head.
They knew. I could tell that they knew.
I am again jobless.
Enough for now. I think I am going to have to go get really really drunk.