I had a really crap job as a dog’s body at an insurance company in Rosebank many years ago. It was right upstairs from Fournos — a fast-food-style deli and bakery.
One of my jobs was to archive old claim files. From my spot on the dirty grey carpet, the faces of the happy people who had just bought their takeaway coffee and croissants were not really visible, but I saw the way they walked and that’s what I wanted! Freedom.
I remembered this chapter of my life this morning while sitting at the very Fournos. I’d say it’s about 18 years later. I can still picture the unsure girl that used to hate her job and the grey carpet.
My dream was to move into my own office at the insurance company but life took me in another direction. One morning, I took the risk of meeting a recruiter at Fournos. She offered me a temp position at a new IT firm for triple the salary. The only catch was that it was not permanent. I would stand in for someone going on maternity leave.
My instinct is always to say YES. So, I did.
The next thing I had to do was talk to my boss. I was sure I could catch him before his “secret” (not so secret since she told everyone) lover closed the door for their daily meeting.
“Can I be honest with you?”, he said. Ah, those famous words I hate so much; usually a pre-cursor to some bullshit.
“Sure,” I replied.
“I would not hire you. You are too young and…well, you are not good enough.”
I prepared a resignation letter the next day and asked HR to let me use my leave in lieu of notice.
“That won’t be necessary,” HR told me. “Here are the calculations for your retrenchment package.”
I did not know it was coming.
I used the cash to buy a new car and drove into my new job like a mother-bleep.