In the Fall of last year, I started my office job, the position farcically titled “Executive Assistant to the Assistant Dean.” I was wondering what would comprise my duties; I was told that I’d be transcribing notes from meetings, helping others around the office, and proofreading emails for the assistant dean: doing really important stuff.
In the first two weeks, my supervisor gave me my tasks: to show up and stay in the office. Given those basic responsibilities, I suspected that my boss wanted me to initiate my productivity, so with each workday, I checked to see if I could do anything for him. After a couple of days, I approached; he saw, he stared, uttering the usual “I have nothing for you,” after which he told me to shut the door. He then said “you are annoying [for checking in every day].”
Inaction of my Reaction
Although it seemed strange to have my supervisor discourage work ethic by marginalizing my sincere efforts, I attentively stood in his office as if he were giving me an assignment, nodding my head in agreement. Maybe I should have countered him by saying “eagerness to work is pretty annoying” or perhaps defended myself by saying “I just want to be productive,” but really: what would be the purpose for these actions–among other things, bickering, annoyance, contempt. In the end, my actions were empty, and my nature, intact.
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