From the moment that I was placed in the job I am currently in (I did not choose to be in this job – it was chosen for me...), I have been fighting to get my title changed. I didn’t like it.
It brought to mind images of tan pantyhose, big hair, shoulder pads, and taking dictation. None of which I have or do. When I got placed there, I took control of the job. I dug my claws in and I made it mine. And that word had nothing to do with anything that this job did anymore.
It grew into an obsession. I would no longer tell people my title. I cringed when someone would use it – out loud or in writing. I fought just to get that word that makes me crazy changed. “Assistant! That would be better! Why can’t we change that one word??”
Don’t get me wrong – there is nothing wrong with being a secretary. When you break things down, even the highest person in your office is just a paper-pusher like everyone else... My problem was with the way people say it. “Oh, she’s just a secretary.” Like I was somehow less, like I did less, like I was worth less. And I absolutely 100% was not less.
I took on everything that they threw my way, all the while thinking that they would eventually HAVE to agree with me... See how I was doing at least two people’s jobs worth of work and never refusing or throwing a fit (out loud...) when they added more to my daily tasks. But there was never a reaction. Instead it just started feeling like I was drowning – like I was being punished for being awesome...
And I can say that because I am awesome. I have no doubt about that. I am damn good at my job.
Finally the tiniest ray of hope – they promised to change the hateful word. A momentary spark... That was quickly snuffed out by the amount of time that passed without hearing a single mention of it. MONTHS went by.
I began daydreaming about how lost they would be if I deleted all of the reports that I created and update and disappeared... Wishing I would be able to see the looks on their faces as they began to truly realize everything that I did... All while knowing that I would never do that in a million years...
I began looking for other jobs – things where I would no longer be embarrassed to tell people my title. After either not having the guts to leave the company I’ve worked for for 12 years or not getting the position – the most recent because they ended up going with someone already in that office... I had pretty much resigned myself to going to work every day, kicking butt, and hating every second of it.
Until this week.
My boss asked me to come into our assistant general manager’s office. It was like when a cop pulls behind you and you start going over everything you’ve done while driving to think if he got behind you for a reason... Immediate thoughts of “Crap, what did I do?? I know I haven’t been as ‘sunny’ as I used to be, but that’s not worth talking to me about, right???”
Those immediate thoughts were crushed under the news.
My new title.
It may be a meaningless word to you, but to me, it is everything. It’s what I’ve been fighting for. It’s not about money for me – it’s about being able to hold my head up when people ask what I do. It’s about my job having a title that actually fits what it is instead of being locked in the past with what it was… When he said the word, my jaw dropped and there was a brief back of forth of “Wait… What?” and “Seriously?!” And the one that had them both laughing… “I would really like to hug both of you right now!”
There are still things that I would definitely like to change about my situation at work (and I still firmly believe that I was never meant to work...), but this is a big band-aid that I have been screaming for until I felt like everyone around me must be deaf. I feel like I’ve finally gotten the recognition that I’ve been jumping up and down like a hyperactive Jack Russell trying to get since they moved me in and I took over…
It’s a good feeling.