One in the Hand, Two in the Bush

It’s been exactly one week since my last posting, so as promised, here is my update:

  • I met with a group of people to discuss the ins and outs of developing some sort of creative collective. (More on that later.)
  • I received a totally unexpected phone call. (Ditto.)
  • I was surprised by an old friend, and simultaneously–and inadvertently–humiliated.

One of my goals is to put myself out there a little more, to be less safe. So I was excited when a co-worker and friend of mine told me about an idea that another friend of hers has hatched. The concept is simple enough: Gather together all of the creative people you know and offer their services a la carte or as a package deal to various businesses. Sure, I thought to myself, this sounds like a fantastic way to peddle my talents and further develop my portfolio. Heck, maybe I’ll even do well enough to be my own boss!

We met at a trendy new bar filled with hipsters and blaring music played by an early 20-something girl suffering from ennui. The brainchild behind this endeavor was late, but when he arrived we were his captive audience for the rest of the evening. I’m sure the details of his plan were brilliant, but I heard only every other word over the sound of blue note jazz with an amazing amount of bass that I had somehow never noticed before.

What I took from our meeting was that the company (for lack of another word) already exists, already has a name, and already has employees. Our assignment–Brainchild seemed an awful lot like Bosley from Charlie’s Angels–is to create tag lines that can be used in ads. I left with a sense of disappointment and slight confusion. Although it’s nice to have a veteran to guide you through a new project, I’d expected to be an equal partner, not an Angel. What’s more, Brainchild is really more of a Charlie than a Bosley, in that he’s not relaying someone else’s orders, he’s giving them directly to his minions. Our assignment’s due tomorrow, and we’re meeting again Thursday. Hopefully more information will reveal itself the second time around.

As for the second bullet point, I received a phone call the morning before the aforementioned Charlie’s Angels meeting. It was a woman from the headquarters of the company I currently work for. She’s going on maternity leave and needs someone to fill in. She immediately thought of me. My heart stopped beating. The position is temporary, but it could become permanent. And could I come in for an interview? Why, yes, of course. Let me get my planner. I ran down the hallway in my house with my fists raised above my head in a pre-victory, soccer-like celebration. Ahem. Thank you for holding. When would you like to meet?

So I have an interview for this Thursday. I came into work the next day and didn’t breathe a word to anyone. Then my boss, while making small talk, said, “So I heard about Thursday–that’s exciting!” Yeah, it’s pretty cool. I didn’t want to seem too excited to get the hell out of my current job. My boss pressed on, and eventually she revealed to me that her boss had already told her that she was going to need to hire a new assistant. Even now, I want to follow that sentence with a string of exclamation points; I’m trying to stay calm, reserved. I don’t want to count my chickens before they’ve hatched.

As for the third bullet point, a good friend of mine flew in from out of state and surprised me at my work. I was so excited to see her, but as we walked around the store together, she laughed and said she thought it was hilarious to see me at work. Hilarious. Just in case I didn’t quite get the joke, she added, “It’s like we’re in high school and I’m visiting you while you work at the Gap.” HAHAHAHAHAHA! Hilarious. My friend has a great job in a major city for a major organization. She’s accomplished a lot, and I’m proud to say she’s my friend. But at that moment, I felt like total garbage. The worst part was that I couldn’t tell if she intended for me to feel like that or not. We had a nice dinner afterwards, and it felt good when my husband insisted we pay for her. When will I get to the point when I feel proud of what I do to earn money? No, wait, I don’t need to feel proud, I just don’t want to feel embarrassed.

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