From the archives

Here’s a post I wrote late last October, when I was in my receptionist job. I was working on perfecting this when I got laid off, at which point it seemed irrelevant. But I’m posting it now as a record of what that job was like.

I’m six weeks into my new job.

At first I was really happy: having a real job made me feel needed and valued, and it was really good for me to have a legitimate reason to get out every other day. I was no longer isolated and felt like I had a purpose, however minor my contribution.

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I got laid off

In what may be an alt-academic blogger first (?), I got laid off. From my two-month-old, part-time admin assistant job.

It feels a lot like being broken up with by someone who thinks they’re too cool for you. While I’m pretty much over it now, and actually bounced back pretty quickly, it was a huge shock at the time, and an experience I hope I don’t ever have to relive. Here’s what happened:

A couple of weeks ago it was time for all the full-time, salaried employees to get their quarterly performance reviews and attendant bonuses. I knew I wasn’t eligible for a bonus, but I did want to see if there might be a raise in my future. I also wanted a chance to talk about my performance, both to get feedback and to share some of my ideas for ways that my responsibilities could be expanded or altered. So I asked my non-official manager, Endora, to schedule me for a review. Never having had a true performance review before, I was a little nervous—worried that maybe I couldn’t handle the criticism and would wish I hadn’t asked for it in the first place. But in I went that Wednesday afternoon  to meet with the two Big Bosses, armed with my little Post-It to remind me of the things I wanted to discuss.

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I’ve got a new job!

By last Tuesday, I’d gotten to the point where I knew I couldn’t keep up my tutoring job past the end of this month. So I decided to get serious about applying to temp jobs. I selected one agency and noticed in their online application that they wanted to know what your salary requirements were. I was clueless about what to put down, so I headed over to Craigslist to check out job postings and see what hourly rates were being offered.

At the top of the list was an ad for a part-time receptionist at an office that sounded like exactly the kind of place I wanted to work at, with almost exactly the number of hours I wanted to work.  Hoping that this wasn’t actually too good to be true, I checked out the company’s website, then looked them up on LinkedIn. As I scrolled down the list of employees, I saw that I was only one connection removed from all of them. I searched a bit more and saw that I had one friend who knew everyone there, and another one who knew three or four.

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