Northern Intelligence

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Boss

I’m a little freaked out by my new boss.

See, I recently made my triumphant return to the work force. After almost a year of unemployment, I was offered a job as the receptionist for a company here. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity. Not only was it my dream job, but I really liked the people I met during the interview process. It also didn’t hurt that the HR department Googled me before the interview and then told me how much they liked my writing. (And, yes, I told everyone I saw that day.)

Plus, starting a new job is the perfect excuse to buy those absolutely gorgeous leopard-print pumps that you’ve always wanted but could never afford.

To be honest, though, I was worried that the last year of unemployment had made me unable to hold a regular job. After all, when you’re out of work, you get used to setting your own hours. Outside of housework and job-searching, I was free to spend my time however I wanted. What if I couldn’t acclimate back into the gainfully-employed society? What if I couldn’t wean myself off of the delightfully derisive Judge Judy? What if I started complaining that I could no longer leave the house in my pyjama pants anymore? (Yes, I know, but at least I never wore my slippers out.)

Really, it was for the best, though. I think my husband was starting to worry about me. The problem is that I’m pretty self-sufficient, the result being that I don’t usually socialize very much. (Also, my personality is kind of an acquired taste) I need a job, if only for a reason to leave the house and interact with other people. I was watching so much television that when he would ask me about my day, I’d launch into a twenty minute speech about the genius that is Barney Stinson.

My job has worked out better than I could have ever imagined, though. After only one month, I was given the opportunity to become an assistant. As intimidating as I found it to be at first, (and still do, sometimes) I’m really enjoying all the skills I’m learning in this new position.

When I was first offered the job, I worried that I would be getting in over my head. After all, I have zilch for office experience. Not to mention, the woman I would be working for was one of the top bosses. And if I wasn’t freaking out enough already, she’s also super brainy and successful. Fortunately, my boss is incredibly patient and one of the nicest people I’ve met. She never makes me feel stupid when I make mistakes (and I do) and she always makes a point to let me know when I’m doing a good job.

I just wish someone had warned me that she was also a ninja.

I’m not sure how she does it, but that woman has the ability to walk in and out of her office without me seeing her. I can be sitting at my desk, which is right outside her door, thinking that she’s inside working on a case, and suddenly she’ll come around the corner and scare the be-geezes out of me. Or I’ll think she’s still gone for lunch, but when I go into her office to get a file, she’s sitting at her desk. Is she climbing out of the window and scaling the side of the building, like some sort of professionally dressed Spiderman? Has she found the Deathly Hallows? I don’t know.

My strategy to combat her cat-like stealth is to employ the Paper Trail. Every time she tells me when she’s leaving the office, I write down when she leaves and when she says she’ll be back. I write every appointment she has on the big desk calendar, the desktop calendar, and then I print out a copy of it. I email her regular updates when she’s out of the office, in an attempt to keep track of her. Because it just seems like the saddest thing I could be is an assistant who never knows where her boss is. Plus, I like to wear five-inch heels and cannot afford to be jumping in fright every three seconds.

And if this doesn’t work, I’m going to have to figure out a way to sew bells into her suits.

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