Expectations

“…I need 20 copies of this book by noon. You should be able to get this packet from the CD Annette created before she left.”

Raquel had been so helpful, I thought. Any questions I thought of, she answered and left me this CD so I won’t have to worry about creating these files all over again.  I sat across from my new boss. He exuded a prim behavior, even the way he spoke had an intelligent yet siddity heir. He had discussed with me earlier his expectation during my 90 day probation period.

“Charyn, there is a quote on my wall that I’d like you to read. I’d like to hear your interpretation about it…” he gestured towards a picture frame. I glanced up and read this quote:

“The real voyage in discovery consist, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

—Marcel Proust

My eyebrow raised when I read the last word.

“That is a very interesting quote,” I replied.

“How so? What does it mean to you?” I felt the nerves swerve in my stomach but I was determined to make a good impression. I swallowed and ignored them.

“To me….it means having a different perspective…a new outlook at what you see….” I began to explain.

“Yes, yes,” he interrupted. “I see a different meaning every time I see this quote which is why I keep it on my wall. It’s an innovative way for me to take another better approach in my work strategies….” He continued to speak and I tuned him out. I let him indulge on his rant and nodded when it seemed necessary. I didn’t know if I answered the question wrong or right, but figured I got off the hook since he continued talking for another 5 minutes.

“…so let’s hope this work relationship is a success,” he said. I realized his explanation was over and came back to focus on the task he gave me.

“Sure.”  I said quietly. “I will have this for you before noon. This shouldn’t take long.”

“Very well. Carry on then,” he nodded in agreement and turned back to his computer. I stood up and walked back to my desk with the CD in my hand.

I inserted it into the computer and opened the file. I kept clicking open but it showed nothing. I breathed slowly and tried again. The CD had nothing. I blinked a few times but I didn’t panic. Raquel told me to call her if I needed any help. I picked up the phone and called. She tried to walk me through it until I told her there was nothing. She said she’d email me a copy of the documents…….11:00 hits and I find myself recreating the documents from scratch. I’m panicking and upset at the same time. What should have been a 30 minute job turned into a 2 hour job because of the extra work I had to do. My boss came out from his office and approached my desk.

“I still need those documents by noon for my presentation,” he said. “How’s it coming?”

“It’s coming,” I said. “I have the packet. I’m on my way to the copy machine.” He nodded and walked away. I grabbed the packet and bolted to the copy room. I rush back 30 minutes later and lay out all the copies. How the hell does he expect me to have this done by 12? I thought. This is so ridiculous! The meeting was not until 1, but he wanted them by 12. I walked over to Deidre.

“Dee, I need your help….” I began. I explained the situation and she was nice enough to help me with putting the packets together. Bam! Packets done-mission accomplished. I walked into his office and plopped the packets on the table.

“Phil, here are the packets,” I said proudly. He looked them over.

“Very good,” he said without looking at me.

“Is there anything else you need?” I asked.

“Right now, no. I’ll review the packets and let you know if I need anything,” he said, busying himself with other papers on his desk. I nodded in approval and walked back to my desk.

“PHEW!” escaped from my mouth breathlessly. Now I can move forward and do my other work. I started checking my emails like a happy worker. I think I’m starting to love my job again. Next time I’ll have a backup CD in case this happens again-

“Charyn?” Phil called from his office. I stopped what I was doing and walked into his office. I saw he had one of the packets in his hand. My heart slightly jumped a beat.

“Yes?”

“Take a look at these packets again,” Phil said and showed one of the packets to me. “There are some missing pages…..” I grabbed the packets and looked through the pages….and unfortunately, he was right. If that copy machine were a person…I began thinking.

“So this was supposed to be completed at 12?” Phil reiterated. I looked away while my mind was cursing this man out. He dropped the packets at my desk and walked away. I looked through to see which pages were missing, rushed to the copier and made copies of those missing pages and inserted them in the copies I already made. I dropped them off by 11:45 am and walked away. I just sat there, seething at my desk.

“Having a good day Charyn?” Another team member said sarcastically as she walked by. My eyes followed her, just baffled. I could have given a very smirk comeback, but I was very confused since she only knew me for 2 weeks and suddenly approached me with a hostile attitude. I do not understand what I did to cause her to treat me that way. I had just come from another office where they were so set at taking the smile off of my face.

I don’t understand why people just can’t smile willingly without someone else trying to will it off your face by making you feel miserable. What was going on in their lives where smiles are no longer necessary? As a recent graduate, this world as I know it was not at all what I expected it to be. School education did not prepare me for work education.


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