Some days at work I feel like a rock star. I'll be working on a press release, or designing a document, or sitting in a marketing meeting, and I'll think, dang. Look at me go. I have two college degrees, I got a job, and I just fixed a comma splice. I'm totally nailing this whole life thing.
But. Then someone asks me to run out and pick up their lunch. Or someone asks me to call the hotel they stayed at last week to see if their folder turned up in the lost and found. Or someone snatches the pen off my desk as they hurriedly walk by without any explanation. Or I have to spend six hours booking travel for people who waited until three days before their trip to send me a travel request.
And all of the sudden I feel like Andy from The Devil Wears Prada. Minus the mid-movie makeover and sassy British coworker. And all of my college-level teaching, my international travel, the intellectual scholarly discussions I've had, and the three years I spent as the office coordinator at the Internship Office all fizzle away. And I feel like I'm a frantic, bottom-rung twenty-year-old, just lucky to be gettin' paid.
When I have these Devil Wears Prada moments, I try not to let them get to me. I try not to think about how I have more education than three quarters of the people at my office. I try to tell myself that in the next year or two I will have opportunities to move up within the company. I remind myself that when I was looking for a job, I was just trying to get my foot in the door. And that I'm lucky to have found a job.
The substantive tasks I have go a long way to stave off these feelings. But today I couldn't help myself from having a major DWP moment. I was busy today, really busy. And because everyone assumes that I'm always free and my time is expendable, people kept asking me to do stuff. All day long. And as I was sitting in a restaurant on 21st Ave., waiting for a pick-up order to be ready, after power walking half a mile to get there so I could hurry back to finish my actual work, during what should have been my own lunch break, the waitress getting the food said, "I sure hope one of these meals is for you since you had to pick it up." I smiled and responded, "No, of course not!" She seemed genuinely annoyed, shook her head, and said, "You probably work for a bunch of dudes, don't you."
She gets it. She gets it.