Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Words of Wisdom

Don’t ever have a friend for a boss or a boss be a friend. It doesn’t work out.

I quit my job.

The housewife turned worker is back to being a housewife again.

Now I’m going to have to clean out the closets.

Paint the master bedroom.

File all the bills stuffed into paper bags.

Put away all the laundry, not just the clothes but all the sheets, towels and dinner napkins, too.

This sucks.

I'm sad. Sad I lost a job I really loved. Sad I lost a friend.

I made my boss’s life easy. I pitched in during a crisis more than anyone else in the office. I started my job working 20 hours a week. I found myself working 30 hours in the office and more at home. I worked every day of my vacation. It wasn’t okay anymore. In the middle of the crisis, I could do it. Sure. But, crisis over. Enough already.

And that’s where having your boss as a friend doesn’t work. It gets personal.

Something happened along the line that made it an impossible situation. I cared. She cared. She listened to me during the biggest crisis of my life. Took it in and, as a friend, held it with me. I listened to her during the biggest crisis of her life. (What is it about being in your forties and having everything crumbling around you? Another blog.) I started to feel responsible for her like a sister. I started to see the business as part of my family.

It wasn’t.

I stepped on her toes. She stepped on mine. When I needed something I felt the right to ask for it, to demand it. But I was an employee. Not family. She would pull on the boss hat and say no. Take off the boss hat and be a good friend. Pull on the hat and be a jerk. Sometimes, in the same five minutes.


I wish I could say I was completely right. That I was in a horrible situation and I had to leave. I wasn’t. The tension surrounding our working relationship and personal relationship, the lack of boundaries, became too uncomfortable for both of us. Painful.

So I’m back to the piles of laundry. Full time. I’m afraid I’ll slip into depression again, struggle with seeing my role as Mom, Housewife and Writer as enough. My job had given me a clear definition of myself- I was a good person. I had a paycheck, happy clients, and usually, a happy boss to validate my worth.

I loved my job. I really cared about my boss. Still do. But now it’s time for me to see what I am truly capable of. My friend Rosa said once about work, "Given some time, I believe I can be exceptional." I was a great assistant. It gave me all the tangible rewards I craved to prove I was good enough. Smart enough.

I didn’t have to reach inside for confirmation.

Now I do.

I have the time. I hope I can be exceptional at the work I define.


Blogger jt said...

Sorry about your job, but look at the bright side: Now you've got time to write that screenplay - ! Remember: a good sex scene somewhere in the middle and a happy ending.

8:19 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Yes, I am. and I am going to work on a book proposal. it's time to take my writing seriously. I'm too old and too capable to be an assistant.

10:03 AM  

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