Let's go back to the beginning of this story, which is when The CEO graced us with his presence around 10 a.m.
"WG2, are you there?!" The CEO likes to bellow at me from his office like I'm not in reality only four steps away from his desk. I replied that of course I was there. His reply, "Good, I don't know what to do when you're not here."
So, I might have to back up here for those of you who don't know me well, but I have always been under the impression that The CEO hates me. For real, up until this point I thought he hated my guts. In the past he has insinuated that I have no personality, yelled at me on numerous occasions about trivial things, and I'm under the suspicion that he has questioned my usefulness to The Boss a few times (a.k.a. he wanted to fire my ass).
Ok, back to the story. His reply caught me a little off guard since I thought when I wasn't in the office he did a little jig in my absence. He then told me he had a project for me, which did not excite me because projects to The CEO mean doing things personal assistants are paid good money for (and I'm not paid good money).
It turns out I was correct. The CEO had driven his motorcycle to work today and had parked it at a meter. My task for the day was to go fill the meter with quarters every hour so he didn't get a ticket. Yes, this is what my career has come to.
I was pissed. Now, I know that we all have to start somewhere with our careers. As interns and entry-level drones we expect to do the dirty work. The bottom of the food chain often comes with horrible tasks that we have to take on to advance in the work place. For most, these things include expense reports, data entry, and a lot of complicated hours making spreadsheets no one uses. For me, it's sitting at The CEO's new apartment waiting for the cable guy or the repairman to fix his stove. And I'm sick of it. It's been a year and even though I was promoted out of my assistant level job I am still being treated like an assistant (even like an intern sometimes).
I vented my frustrations to my co-worker, Small Fry (we call her this because she is really short and has freakishly small hands), who told me that The CEO has always become a smitten kitten with employees who take an interest in motorcycles. If you take a look at the evidence, this is true. The guy who runs our European office is a motorcycle fanatic. Small Fry earned points for noticing his bike had alligator seats. And there is one employee at work who should have been fired months ago and she just got promoted...and we're pretty sure it's because she took a ride on The CEO's motorcycle last fall.
This afternoon, The CEO asked me to take a ride on his motorcycle. Even though I know he wasn't trying to be slimy, it certainly came out that way. He even winked when he asked me. But the whole thing still made me feel dirty.
And even though I almost vomited in my own mouth when he asked me, a tiny part of me considered doing it. It's just a motorcycle ride, I reasoned. How bad could it really be? A quick scoot around Union Square and back to the office and then maybe The CEO would like me more, pick on someone else for once, maybe even promote me.
Then I snapped back to reality and reminded myself that if I wanted to have him respect me and in turn if I wanted to respect myself, that I needed to impress him with my work ethic and not my willingness to wrap my arms around his mid-section. I had to concentrate on work and not about what would get me out of the dirty work -- especially if that 'what' makes me uncomfortable.
Despite my Working Girl breakthrough, I'm still pissed I had to put quarters in a meter all day. So, I took The CEO's leftover quarters from my 'meter project' and bought myself a Diet Coke.