If I did triage on my life, what would go?

May 14, 2009 | work, Zona Rosa

This was one of the April Zona Rosa Exorcises. Incidentally, the single thing I could think of was taken care of by some deity or another, or some serendipitous twist of fate – my job.

I think now that there’s a 110% certainty I’ll never go back, I say type this freely without feeling guilty or like I’m going to get into trouble – I hated my job.

My alarm went off every day at 6:15 and I left the house at 7:30, only to sit in about an hour and half’s worth of traffic. At 9:00, when I finally got to work, I worked for (some) of the most arrogant, money-grubbing assholes on the planet (Dear GOD that felt good).

Some of the guys I worked with were great, though. I could count on one hand the few I actually enjoyed talking to, and then of course, much too late I made friends with a couple people that I could really talk to. That made my days bearable, and I do miss them now.

But for the most part, I hated that job.

I looked forward to my 1:00 lunch break because that’s what it really was – a break. At 12:45 I became a clockwatcher. “Only 15 more minutes and then I can leave.”

Towards the end there, probably right around the time I went to the April ZR meeting and was given this exorcise, people would tell me to “stay positive, be glad you have a job.” I wanted to. I really did. I felt like the asshole that complains all the time. And I did. I’ve never been one to be the Debbie Downer, and have always tried to avoid that kind of talk. But it was taking a toll on my relationships, and people were irritated with me. I knew they were, but something in me was so miserable that I just didn’t care. A fine line to be treading on considering all these people were close friends and family.

Of course, I feel obligated to also say that when I first got this job, back in Fall of 2006, I was thrilled. I felt like the Grinch – my heart was too big for my chest. Somebody wanted me! After a full-on job search for about four ruthless months, I was so glad to finally have a job, especially because the salary was amazing, included benefits and a 401k plan. I loved it there the first year or so. Then, Spring of 2008 and I had some mess-ups. I’ll be the first to admit I was a little distracted by my upcoming wedding, and probably wasn’t as detail-oriented as I should have been. One mess-up led me to feeling guilty about more, and then the fear of being a total fuck-up hindered me. Additionally, nearing the end of the summer, I was given the responsibility of working with this other SVP whose assistant had quit back in May.

It was supposed to be a “quick fix” for “a little while.” They were kind enough to bump my salary a little in exchange for being his sole assistant in addition to my other duties, but I soon learned that the money was almost not worth it.

He was awful. Possibly the most arrogant sonofabitch I’ve ever met (I haven’t met that many, thankfully). I don’t know if I wish working with him on my worst enemy. He made my stomach churn when I heard his voice. His cell ring was the iPhone standard alarm noise, and you could hear it all the way down the hall. He clipped his fingernails in his office with the door open, so all you could hear was the noise of the metal scraping against his nails. He had no qualms about making me look incompetent, despite the fact I was his assistant. He was vicious about his own clients, like a lion growling, “No! This is MY antelope!” (which was funny to me, considering all 20,000 clients he claimed, most hadn’t been updated for years.) Plus the fact that he wasn’t actually creating any new business for the company, just sitting on his ass protecting his clients.

He was the reason I was pushed over the edge. I know, I know – “you’ve gotta earn your keep, everyone has to work for an asshole some time in their lives,” etc., and I did. And I don’t want to ever again.

By 4:00, I began the clockwatching again. “Only two more hours and then I can go home.” Of course, this didn’t mean I was home at 6:00, or even 6:30. Most days I didn’t come home until 7:00, because I spent about an hour in my car coming home.

So, there I was, spending about 12 hours a day dedicated to a job that I quickly began to loathe. I was trapped, because by the time I got home, I didn’t feel like being creative, or lively, or much of anything except a lump on the couch until about 9:30 until it was time to go to bed and wake up and do it all over again.

I was emotionally and creatively drained. And it showed.

And thankfully, all I needed was to hear the words, “We can’t afford to keep you on staff.”

Triage complete.

Any day now, any day now
I shall be released


  1. Spot on. Way to go, Ash. Get it out, talk it out, write it out, point it out until you put the bullshit deep in the rearview. You’ve got your voice, now use it! We want to see the results. And, we miss you, too.

  2. Aw, I miss you guys, too. I can’t tell you how good it felt to write this, and then *post* it. A-maz-ing.

    Oh – tell all your wonderfully weird/creative friends – I’m officially open for business. :)(See “Hire Me.”)