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My First (and Last) Day Back to Work

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Guest Blogger Rebecca Feuer: After being idle for 12 years (aside from being a wife and raising two children and two dogs), I recently returned to work as the assistant to a publicist. The first day was great. I used Outlook for e-mail, booked appointments and made a bank deposit. My boss even had a timely interview with a working women's magazine in which she commended me for my skills, maturity and work ethic. At the end of the day, she texted me "xoxoxo." I was ready to take on the PR world with vigor.

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The next day, I showed up early, still excited and eager to impress. The phone rang. "OK," my boss said, using a new and rather different tone. "You have exactly 25 minutes to talk to me about the day." I proceeded to review appointments and clients to call. After five minutes, she interrupted me with the lengthy saga of her date the night before.

When she arrived at the office, I continued the to-do list. "You had your 25 minutes," she snarled. "You can't talk to me for the rest of the day. You are completely inefficient. Figure things out for yourself." That was the first of 20 times she called me "inefficient." I felt like Anne Hathaway's character in "The Devil Wears Prada." Unfortunately, there was no couture to counteract the abuse. I was doomed to fail and hadn't even started.

She wouldn't give me details for any task she wanted me to do; I was not a mind reader and needed information. "You should really go home and bake brownies," she told me. "Obviously, that's all you're good at. No one will hire you. You are useless."

I was stunned (although secretly pleased that she was somehow aware of my consummate baking skills). After two hours of yelling, she picked up her phone, called a temp agency and said, "I need a temp. I have a real moron here." I picked up my bag and walked out.

Hopefully, I'll be able to put on my professional clothes soon enough and find someone who will give me another chance. Until then, I will bake some chocolate-chip cookies -- which are even better than my brownies.


next: Back-to-School by Zodiac Sign
9 comments so far | Post a comment now
kay August 11, 2010, 4:16 AM

have fun!

i don’t bake you should stop baking too!

Anonymous August 11, 2010, 5:32 AM

Welcome to the real world. This is what working moms have had to deal with all along.

Anna August 11, 2010, 5:40 AM

UGH - I feel your pain!! This is my everyday life!

Mom2ab August 11, 2010, 8:38 AM

Nonsense- I have worked my entire life- single, married, raising kids, divorced (still raising kids) etc. The situation you describe has nothing to do with you- your boss is a jerk . This kind of person will be abusive to any and all employees and the fact that she chose your status as a woman/mother as her subject of abuse is just because it was easy and obvious- and probably not protected by law. Count yourself lucky to be out of there and move on to a better situation.

michelle August 11, 2010, 9:39 AM

I was going to say what Mom2ab said. The PR field is notorious for being full of horrible people, and that goes double if you’re in NY. You will find a better job. If I were you I would stay away from PR, fashion, and Wall St. In most “normal” fields we give our new employees a chance to succeed and certainly never hurl personal insults at them.

anonymous August 11, 2010, 11:35 AM

It sounds to me like your boss resents or is jealous of at-home moms. Anyhow, you’re better off finding other work.

One of the great things about being an at-home parent is that you’re the boss. That means you’re a good employee in terms of being independent, but it can make it hard to adjust to being bossed around again.

xicanoboy August 11, 2010, 4:25 PM

How did you stop laughing long enough to collect your things before you walked out?! Obviously your boss was a tweeker, bipolar or both!

Lisa October 28, 2010, 8:44 AM

It was disturbing how quickly she went from xxoxox to hurling personal insults. Wow. There’s something seriously wrong with her.

Yeah, there are times you have to put up with people who are inefficient, careless or don’t communicate well or steal ideas but verbal abuse? That is just so wrong!

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