Self High Five: My Filter Broke at Work

filter 2

I’ve posted before about my soul-sucking time as an assistant here. To give you a better verbal portrait of my boss before sharing my triumphant yet gutsy (rare for me) comeback, I’ll give you a little context. He is a narcissist that feels most important when putting others down, specifically by calling them ignorant or indirectly implying it. He also doesn’t articulate what he wants very well. I have followed him from room to room in the office asking him five times in a row which exact file he had asked for because he had simply said “get me the file.” Considering we have four rooms with files from floor to ceiling, that’s pretty f$%^ing broad. Sometimes (ok, maybe more often) if you ask him a question or to clarify his instant reaction is god%$#^ it. 

Now, armed with that information, you are ready for the split second my filter from brain to mouth broke. I think I got a little piece of my soul back in the process. 

The Story

He calls me into his office to say, “Call [name of person] and tell him the attachment to the email didn’t work.”

Me “Ok, that person has sent several emails today and the attachments aren’t labeled so what document specifically do I need to ask him for?”

Boss “The god*&$% document.”

Me, in a complete deadpan voice and expression “You want me to tell him we need the god%$^& document?” 

I realize I’ve said this aloud, even though completely unintentional. But hey, it’s already out of my mouth and I can’t take it back, so I just continue my dead faced stare. He is actually speechless for a few moments, which in itself is an accomplishment. 

My awesome coworker tries to somewhat fix the situation and not laugh “You did tell her to tell him that.”

Boss, quieter “You’re being sarcastic” [Nooo, I’m really going to ask someone that, jeez.]

Boss “Tell him we need the [document name]”

It sounds like a little, insignificant thing but I feel it was a minor victory on multiple levels:

-He got a small taste of what it was like to have profanity coming from someone other than himself. 

-He heard what he sounds like because I just repeated exactly what he had said to me. I honestly think he has no clue how he speaks to us. 

-I made him speechless and was doing a little inner badass happy dance.

-I made my coworker laugh, which in that place we are all grateful to any piece of joy we can glean from each other. 

This is what my happy dance looks like. It's not pretty.

This is what my happy dance looks like. It’s not pretty.


Working as an Assistant…and Slowly Losing What’s Left of My Self Esteem

Everyone has had a job in high school, during college, etc. that totally sucked (like fast food or retail) and was meant just to pay the bills or buy booze on the weekends. However, there’s always the dream ( *cough* expectation *cough*) that after college we will never have to do those jobs again because we can use whatever degree we’ve earned to do our dream job. Then you get to the real world…and yeah, it gets a little depressing…time for a shot of tequila. 


I was actually a very lucky person to get my dream job right out of college. However, after working said dream job for about four years, budget cuts and inflation meant I could no longer pay my bills or buy food on that never-changing salary. After my family scraped together to help me pay a few bills and cutting down to eating only twice I day, I said goodbye to my dream job and looked for a job doing whatever that would enable me to buy food. 


So I became a legal assistant. I was ecstatic. I could pay my bills for the first time in a long time working only one job and I had always had an interest in law (my degree is in history) so at least it would be somewhat interesting. Man, was I wrong. I’ve worked there for only three months now and I think each day I’ve lost a little piece of self esteem and my soul. 

kill me

I found this great excerpt from Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse by Alida Nugent that I think accurately describes a little of what I experience each day:

“After a few weeks of working at an office, I realized I was becoming the kind of person who was finding joy in the little things-and by little things, I mean meaningless, stupid distractions from my shitty job. A reprieve of going to the copy machine and getting the pleasure of mindlessly staring at the wall for five minutes was magical. Trips to the bathroom were a joyous urination break where I washed my hands until they became pruney. And don’t forget about the absolute thrill of lunch . . . On the occasions that I went out beyond the office doors to buy a salad, you’d think I was being let out of prison after a twenty-year sentence . . . .” 

It hit me yesterday, after being called varying forms of stupid and being cursed at all day long by someone less educated than myself, that I can’t continue to do this job much longer and remain sane. Like Alida Nugent, I’ve been taking breaks to hide in the stairwell on varying floors in my building to get away from it. I go to the restroom on different floors each time so my boss can’t send someone in to tell me he needs me at that absolute moment because he can’t walk to the break room to get his own f*^&%ing Diet Pepsi. 


I’m not sure what the purpose of this post is, other than venting. But if you are in a job like this, working for a narcissistic, insecure, asshat that thinks of himself as a special little snowflake, know you’re not alone. Tell yourself every single morning before your shift begins and when you leave that you are intelligent, you are a good worker, etc. I find this experience similar to being in an emotionally/verbally abusive relationship. I’ve found myself in social situations where someone politely asks what I do and I simply say, “I’m just an assistant” despite the fact that I’m halfway through a Ph.D. (though a useless one) and am really excited about original research I will begin soon. The person I was with began inputting what I was doing with school and it made me realize that it’s sad another person has to speak up for my accomplishments and that it was a sign that I am slowly beginning to believe I am useless and stupid. That’s not healthy. There’s no reprieve since I work at a small place with no HR department and well paying jobs (aka I make enough to pay my bills) are rare. 


Just remember, “You is smart, you is kind, you is important.” And you are much better than these types of people, regardless of how much money they have. Rich white men put their pants on every morning the exact same we do: one leg at a time. Remember that when you become a supervisor. 

kind smart im

Newbie and Probie


 This blog will run like a personal journal at times but I also have a few themes. Tales of the Cutoffs will be those who have a bit (or a lot) too much and must be cut off. BOA, or Bitch on Arrival, will discuss the douchebags that I’d like to beat with giant beer mug (but didn’t because this face wouldn’t do well in prison). Lastly, Pickups and Failed Funnies will feature all of the corny pickup attempts and jokes that only the teller finds hilarious.

First I must set up the blog with the beginning. This is how this all started…

So I’m a new bartender. No I’m not a person who’s never been around alcohol ever but I’ve just never been the one to make the drinks. I’ve always wanted to learn but never had the chance/opportunity.

I will not say the name of the place I work, just that it’s a place where the bartenders are female models with hair, makeup, image requirements etc. So that adds even more fun to the mix of booze.

We went through rigorous training, some days lasting for twelve looooong hours. We learned company branding, marketing, etc. before getting to the bar. For the bar portion we learned the company specials and most popular drinks. We also free pour-that means instead of measuring the amount of ounces of booze we pour and count, hoping it’s at least somewhat close to the amount of ounces. I realize it’s quicker but personally my OCD self prefers the known accuracy of the jigger pour.

Anyway I was (proudly) the only person to pass the free pour test the first time. Does that mean I’m comfortable and awesome at it? Yeah…no. Then we were timed on making two random drinks and had to take a written test on recipes, ounces of different glasses, signs of intoxication, etc. My state requires a liquor license, which involves answering four questions (one was “Are you a cop”??) and paying $30.

Despite my slow pace and inexperience I have tended bar for the last three nights. It has been interesting. I’ve cut off a table of twelve people and one person seated at the bar. I’ll detail those in the “Tales of the Cutoffs” themed posts.

Apparently there are a shortage of attractive females over the age of twenty-one so we are all worked to death in the bar. (Many places tend to hire more attractive women as they bring in more men and money) Along with other multiple jobs I was scheduled to work seven straight days of nine hours each and a double shift.

I had my first mini-meltdown. I’m normally not an emotional person at all but after getting only two hours of sleep at night and being at some form of work from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. I was a shortfuse. After seeing the schedule with no days off for another four days I was first pissed, then cried. And once I started there was no stopping.

Thankfully, once of the best people in the world ever said she’d take my shift so I could have the day off. Most of the people there don’t have other jobs so why I was one of the only ones scheduled without days off is beyond me. But I owe her soooo much.

So after today’s much needed sleep and rest, there will be more!