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A year ago I went to an interview that broke me into tiny little pieces.
I interviewed for my dream job and on the last of four interviews and after hearing a third of my answer to his ONLY question, the interviewer let me know that I was not “prudent” enough for the position BUT if I had a client account that I could give to his company, he would gladly assign me to that project. You know, I only had to give him MY job.
I melted into that chair as soon as he finished talking, my mind giving me a pretty comprehensive brainstorming of all the ways and reasons why I was a failure. I don’t even remember walking out of the building, I was so out of myself.
It took me a couple of months to gather the pieces of that failure and transform them into the steps to find a job. Not my dream job, but a job that gives me what I need from a job right now.
It’s been three months and some days I’ve felt like I am the BOSS and some days I feel like I’m not capable of doing anything right, which is a new thing for me, as I’m usually pretty confident of my skills. Then again, I had never worked for serious outside my field so there’s that feeling that I got to learn EVERYTHING from scratch, even if it’s not actually true.
Speaking about bosses, my boss is crazy. Which is the worst kind of boss, right after drug addict boss, which is definitely the worst in my list of bad bosses. Crazy bosses don’t remember the instructions for the projects that they gave you because they can’t keep up with all the crap they make up on the spot or that it was them who changed the excel table. Combine that with an “I’m never wrong” policy and it’s a recipe for disaster. I’ve had a couple of really bad days on account of her crazy.
Last week it was one of those days were she was giving me a hard time with a project by asking me to figure something out and report it. I had no resources except my very limited experience and a sour partner that is so unpleasant to work with last Thursday she threw a snack on my desk asking “do you want a turd?!”
In my desperation to get the information I needed to finish the task at hand I picked up the phone and called someone I had listed as reference. I didn’t knew if that company had the information I needed, but I figured if they gave me ANY info it would be more than what I had, which was nothing at all.
A woman picked up the phone and responded that yes, she was the person I was looking for and then when I asked her about the order number I had, she said “no, that’s mine” and hung up. I gave up on that, put together what I could handle and presented my boss with the incomplete task. I figured if she had cared about getting the entire thing, she would have bothered giving me the list of contacts I needed to get the info we needed.
Then the next day something extraordinary happened: that person that hung up on me called me. It was THE FIRST call from a company that I received on my desk, transferred from the receptionist and everything.
She wanted to APOLOGISE for her behavior the day before because it turned out, she was THE PRESIDENT of the company and she liked to treat her clients well.
She had her daughter on the hospital when I called her and she felt interrupted, but she admitted that was no way of treating someone and she offered me her service and her cell phone number to contact her whenever I needed. Then she told me she would send me an email on all the updated info from the orders she had in her system, which was not what I needed the day before but helped me a ton on reconciling all the info I had.
I found this pic of this tree I photographed in the parking the day of the interview that broke me one year ago. That tree’s bark “peels” itself off in pieces. That’s exactly what I feel I’ve done these last months in my professional career. Every layer that I’ve taken off slowly reveals what I know and can do now as a professional resource.
Maybe I’m still working on being an office person, but I’m on my way.
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Have a great week.