Okay, so like most of us doing this project, I don’t often buy newspapers, so I went online to search for job advertisements. I settled on this one:
It was the first one listed under “Johannesburg jobs” on JobVine.co.za.
Almost all of my early jobs were secretarial/administrative jobs, so I know that I’d be able to do this job with my eyes closed.
I also know that I’d get on well with the clients calling in and would be friendly with one or two of the “less important” staff, because I’m a sucker for the underdog and have always been a bit of a misfit. I’m also not a kiss-ass, so I’m not that secretary/PA that knows all the boss’ personal business or is BFFs with his wife/girlfriend. In fact, she probably can’t stand me because in all likelihood, she thinks I’m trying to fuck him. I’m not.
One of the senior directors is about to leave the company to start his own business and there’s a mad scramble among middle management to try and get the big promotion. I get to witness their scheming and backstabbing first hand as all correspondence to the boss goes through me. I’m also the person who handles the company’s valuable documents – legal files, internal reports, etc. So I know who’s out to get whom and who’s the most insecure of the bunch. It’s the same guy who makes the biggest show of what a hot shot sales manager he is and who tries to sleep with his female co-workers at office parties. He was one of the interviewers I dealt with when I applied for the job and seemed like a fun guy but has turned into an asshole.
I start messing around on Facebook during office hours after a couple of months in this job because I’ve learned quickly that as long as there’s fresh coffee brewed when the boss comes in, his admin is up to date and his diary properly managed, they don’t see that I can add any further value to the company. And since the guy is a total control freak, he practically does it all himself anyway. I’m just there to put the various documents in the appropriate files and make sure that anything presented to clients and visitors looks pretty and expensive, including business documents.
Soon, I start becoming resentful and looking for other things to do and when I am offered a creative position on a word of mouth referral, I jump at it, regardless of the terms of my existing contract.
All of a sudden, the company I’m working for wants me to stay and they’re prepared to sue me to ensure that I serve my full notice period. In the end, I agree to help them find and train up a replacement for me and I work the other job at night for the two weeks it takes me to fulfill that promise.
I walk away from this job knowing that I’ll never be anyone’s office bitch again.