Monday, November 9, 2009

No Thanks

My boss Mike announced today that he is leaving the agency to take a job with a United Nations agency in Switzerland. I explained to him that was impossible, that only the heroes of Barbara Cartland novels have jobs for the United Nations in Switzerland, but he seemed unconvinced. So now I need to start planning his farewell luncheon.

I need also to stave off my co-workers’ merry assumptions that I will be taking up his role. These are understandable assumptions, we haven’t had a new hire in our office since 1995. That’s fourteen years for the mathematically challenged among us. In that time we have shrunk from about 60 employees to 22, almost all of whom are deadwood waiting for retirement to sweep them away. To say I’m the best suited is not necessarily flattering; it’s more like recognizing that I'm the last one standing.

Here’s the sticking point: I Don’t Want the Fucking Job. I do not want to take on 250 per cent more work for 15 percent more pay. I do not want to supervise the dolts I already resent working next to. Mostly, I love my current job and do not want any more responsibility, which would only serve to expose my lack of business acumen.

Have I mentioned that when I meet people they frequently assume I am a big shot business whiz? I have a title, I have business cards and I’m tall. Apparently that’s all you need. I figure it’s like some kind of test. If you can finish a conversation with me without deducing that I am just a schmoe wearing a tie, than you should not be in business for yourself. God help you.

What am I good at? I’m very capable at organizing our training program and I’m wonderful at going to parties. I know everyone in town and have a talent for connecting people. “You need to talk to Gwen,” I say, knowing Gwen will straighten your ass out and save me from doing so. I know who will give you free legal advice and who you should stay away from when you want to get some marketing tips. I am the yenta of the entrepreneurial community. It is a talent I never expected and would hate to waste.


  1. Sometimes the responsibility is not worth it!! I totally know what you mean.

  2. It all sounds terribly Quartet in Autumn, except that no one really gets promoted in Pym-land. Hold your guns; I like to think of those of us who are keeping the world safe for lack of ambition, myself heartily included...

  3. But if the job is offered, whatever you decide, be gracious with your well thought repsonse. Shun a facial expression that you would have if the person posing the question had just thrown up in your lap. Remember, its the clever cleaver that relaizes that fate cuts both ways.

  4. Sympathy, Barbara Pym and the clever cleaver: that's why I turn to you guys for comfort.

  5. Miss J commends Mr. P for knowing what he's great at and stickin' to it. NEVER in a million years take on more responsibility- so sayeth Miss J and the Bible.


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