Sal Story #4: FINE!

Seeing as I was the ‘brightest’ hire and happened to be the first within eyesight, Sal called me into his office to help with a task he had on hand. As it turns out, it was certainly his task, and his pawning it off to me only caused further ruckus.

The Company Org Chart.

At this time, I reported directly to Sal. But there was one barrier in the way that at times I praised God for and at others I cursed. Bev had curly hair a lot like mine, though she tightly gelled it in a far-too-perfectly slick manner and walked as if the same amount of mega-hold gel was where the sun don’t shine. If I had to take a stab at it, I would guess she was a size “0” in her late thirties and in the middle of a boring marriage, with the only interesting trivet being her son’s foreign name. I saw her eat an apple every once and a while, but other than that, she wasn’t the type that was going to join you for Mexican over lunch. Instead, she was much closer in relation to Eeyore, but with an eating issue. I suppose I would be wretched as well if I was in my late thirties, starved, and working in a lune house.

A new addition named Halel joined the Sal Team about one week prior. Halel and Bev didn’t exactly see eye-to-eye. She was about clean lines, tight clothes, and the occasional (what the heck) leather pant sequence. He was all about Japanese anime, street sneakers, and thick-rimmed glasses. There began a bit of a power struggle–mainly from Bev feeling threatened by the newly (and highly paid) addition. She had decided that the six or so of us girls working in design were under her wing. So who was this guy? I’m not sure of his credentials. All I know is that he moved his entire family out to NYC from Washington for this gamble of a job.

Sal asked me to put together a company hierarchy/org chart and to have it to him within a couple of hours. I was usually given a random deadline (like, 3pm, or tomorrow at 7 a.m., or 2.5 weeks). The good thing about his insane ADD was that he would often forget the projects he had assigned out. The bad thing? When he started taking whatever was in those 6-7 prescription bottles on his desk, he remembered everything.

I got to work right away. Bev wanted to see what I was working on. I reluctantly agreed (several times before she’d thrown me under the bus or misguided me). She quickly grew angry seeing where I had her placed on the chart. Not wanting to irritate anyone, I penciled her in elsewhere. Later, Halel wanted to see the chart; he also disagreed with his placement. Good grief, we can’t all be chiefs.

Why am I doing this? Isn’t the point of an org chart for someone in power to show the others who exactly is in charge over them? Isn’t this the confusion that needs to be settled? Instead, I am miffing people left and right just trying to complete an assignment that should have been included in the company business plan, had they ever had one.

After being insulted, berated, and ignored by anyone I sought counsel from, I was near giving up. I went to the VP of the company and explained why (logically) it wouldn’t work to have the new girl establish the pecking order. He didn’t care.

At around 7pm that night, I was at my desk attempting to complete at least one assignment from the day. I heard the shrill of my name rustle through the french doors, which were immediately flung open after the call. Sal nearly hit one of the ladies working outside of the doors. “Where is my org chart?” he clamored. We would later get into a debate about his yelling at me. But for now, you need to understand that the decibel level would wake hibernating bears. Before I could answer, he had walked back and taken a seat at his desk. He was already on the computer, no doubt trying to figure out how to open his emails again. I looked across my desk at my coworker Missy’s face. She knew how up the wall I was, factor in lack of sleep and you know where I was at.

I grabbed the remnants of the org chart, pen marks from multiple individuals and all, and stomped into his office. I flung the paper in such a way that it floated to his desktop like a rehearsed scene. I was shocked by my own behavior already. I calmly explained that I had no business doing this job. That I had made numerous enemies and accomplished nothing. That someone in charge needed to (at least) tell the people in charge that they were in charge. He peered his recently tucked eyes at me and mentioned something about this being incredulous, though I assure you the word was much more elementary than that. He then closed his eyes (creepy) and said, “This is so EAAASSSSYYYYY.…This is so EAAASSSSYYYY I could do it with my eyes closed.”

I’m not sure what happened. For a moment I forgot I was an employee. I forgot the lessons I learned about grace and poise. I threw my hands up in the air, giving him the best ‘take that’ look I could think of and yelled, “FINE! Then do it.”

I turned and walked outside of his office only to find Missy’s horrified face as the whole team had heard my exclamation. It was the first of many projects I would waste my time on that would eventually find their way to the garbage. To this day, I yell ‘FINE!’ when I’m frustrated. I guess it’s like tracker I still have on my shoe from the half-marathon. That phrase is symbolic of the fact that I’ve endured worse, so tough it out.

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