Going to see The Big Boss
500 Words: U-Turn
My new husband and I had
just managed to scrape enough money together for the deposit on our
Out in the ‘burbs, we had
become the proud owners of a two-bedroom fibro house, one street back
from the railway station. It was all we could afford but it was ours.
I did the conveyancing and
I remember slipping back into work after the 2.00pm settlement
feeling so excited.
My workmates congratulated
me amidst jokes about being tied to a mortgage and not ever being
My happiness appeared to
be short-lived. My boss called me into her office and shut the door.
We sat. She had a dour look on her face.
She told me that my work
was not of the appropriate standard. From her desk drawer, she pulled
out a copy of some editorial work I had done and which she had ‘corrected’ in red ink. She shoved it toward me. Through
tear-filled eyes, all I could see was an ocean of marks from her red pen.
She informed me that I
would need to start looking for another job. My services were no
As she haughtily dismissed
me, the hefty loan we had just taken out loomed large.
How would we be able to
afford the repayments now? Would I be able to get another job
quickly? My work had been fine up until now, why had she not spoken
to me before?
That night, after breaking
the news to my husband, I rang home and cried into the phone to my
He told me I needed to go
and see ‘The Big Boss’, namely the Chief Executive Officer of the
publishing firm where I worked. Dad felt something wasn’t quite right
and I needed to plead my case. I had been willing to just go quietly
but now I felt a strength to turn back and stick up for myself.
It took a lot of courage
to walk past my boss’s office to the office of the CEO’s secretary. I
made an appointment. At the allotted time, I spoke to the CEO about
what I had been told.
The poor man looked quite
surprised. He had no idea any of this had taken place. He told me he
had been very happy with my progress to date and that he would look
into the matter and get back to me.
True to his word, he did
just that. He met with me a few days later and told me my work was
fine and that he was hoping I would stay with the company for a long
time to come. He apologised for any trauma I had endured and advised
me that I had a new boss who would be overseeing my work. He never
mentioned my old boss.
Turns out, she was having
trouble letting go of the reins. I was being taught to do her job as
she was moving higher up the ladder. But apparently she wanted to do
her new job plus her old one. She considered herself indispensable at
Walking back into that
office to defend myself was a defining moment for me. If I hadn’t made
that u-turn, I would always have regretted my gutlessness. I became
more resilient from the experience.
I stayed in that position
for a few years before making another career move.
Sometimes, you just have
to stick up for yourself!