I never thought I’d be writing this sentence.
Nor would anyone for whom I’ve worked in the past.
For a while I worked for a lawyer whom I worshipped. I was young, and, to my mind, he was everything a man should be: hardworking, family loving, loyal, smart, kind. (The template for my very own wonderful Lord & Master.) Having me on the payroll was a true act of charity. If I actually worked for more than a half hour a day I’d be shocked. Somehow I’d cobble together a timesheet distributing the hours of my day among his vast array of clients, but, in all honesty, I never really did anything. My all-time favorite task was being sent on an hour’s drive (each way!) to record title in Worcester, MA. All alone in my tin can Chevette (that I bought new, thanks to the folly of asking Bob for car advice), driving, radio blasting – that was my idea of a perfect assignment. Once, I fell asleep during a real estate closing meeting and he had to kick me under the table to bring me back to consciousness. And I was crazy about him, and his secretary. Just not so crazy about doing anything productive.
You cannot begin to imagine the slacker I was at the job I had before that – being in charge of Radcliffe Alumnae Club activities. I loathed the job, the coworkers, and especially the boss – a twit who’d somehow managed to attend Radcliffe herself. She was such a party force at her reunions that she became head of all alumnae affairs. She looked like a very wrinkled version of The Grinch with a college scarf jauntily tied around her neck. I did so little to hide my boredom. Zero follow through. I’d be told to contact the Club President in D.C., but I’d never call her. Mainly, I spent my time with an earpiece plugged into my radio, which broadcast the audio portion of my favorite soap operas. To sound busy, I’d type the dialogue as the actors spouted it. That IBM selectric sure sounded busy!
Somehow, in my mind, work symbolized drudgery, something to be finished off as quickly as possible so the fun could start. On top of that crackerjack mindset, I have an astonishing ability to screw up. I misread; I misinterpret; I miscalculate. Working on a freelance magazine article for Seventeen, I dutifully taped all my interviews. Oh, yeah, did I mention that I rewound and taped over each previous interview in some insane mania for not “wasting” too many minicassettes? It escaped me completely that the purpose of having all the interviews on tape was to verify the interviewees statements. Just a minor instance, my friends. Common sense and I have never been on close terms.
So, imagine my shock that someone is willing to hire me. At a very good salary, no less. To train me. To have me grow with their business. Wisely, they’re edging me in slowly. I’ve had a solid week off since my first day, which is just about enough time for me to recover from the exhaustion of being conscious and upright for eight straight hours.
All I need to do is grow up, wake up, remain awake, pay attention. And breathe. Wish me – and them – luck.
I’ll keep you posted.