Wednesday, May 14, 2008

One Motorcycle Ride Away from a Promotion

Today was a Working Girl first for me. I had to make a decision that could make The CEO like me a teensy bit more, but also had the possibility of compromising my comfort levels at work. 
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. 


Anonymous said...

what a creepy shit. I liked Taylor Hanson by the way and I saw them all on Chelsea Lately and they all looked pretty damn good.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness. I can't believe your CEO would do that. Good for you to stick with your decision and not give in just to get ahead in the workplace.

Andrea said...

I literally laughed out loud when reading this, bc I know what you look like and I have this image of your boss...and the two of you on a motorcycle..priceless. I'm glad you didn't bend your morals, but this would have been a better story if you just went for the ride..that's what she said.

Anonymous said...

You should have taken him up on the offer. I would have.

necola said...

I wouldn't have gone either - however I work with a girl that would have (and done worse if you catch my drift) in a heartbeat if she thought it would get her a promotion.

You are a better person than me - I'm not sure I would have kept up with his meter :)

well-intentioned heartbreaker said...

oh dear lord. is it sad that i can relate? and i was once in charge of feeding the meter to save my boss's beamer from getting towed?
oh the life of a office manager (/personal assistant/coffee maker/general office bitch)..

Laura said...

maybe its just me, but a motorcycle around nyc with your boss seems not just ridiculously inappropriate (ummm are you supposed to be straddling him/ holding on to his waste?! ew) but DANGEROUS (hello lawsuit meet company's freakin CEO)..
But i do love your blog and your self respect!

Caz said...

Maybe it's different in Non-profits, where no one has enough money to do anything, let alone pay someone to sit around doing personal tasks for them, but at this job I've never had to do that! My boss even appologizes profusely the few times I've been sent to get her coffee since she's running very very late to a meeting. Sure I do the shitty jobs like data entry and spreadsheets out the wazoo, but they never ask me to do personal stuff.

Anonymous said...

HAHAHA Thanks for the comment on my post... I had to check out your site and I'm so glad I did! I can't believe you're doing tasks a la Devil Wears Prada, only this time it's more like the Devil Wears Racing Stripes.

Perhaps it's time to rise above the competition... sign up for a motorcycle safety class through a local school/DMV! Then, next time CEO asks you if you want to take a ride, flash your driver's license with the "M" classification on it and say, "Why don't I just take it for a spin and fill up the gas tank on my way back to the office? Oh, and I hope you don't mind, but while I'm out I might have to stop in at that little boutique down the street -- I saw a pair of aligator heels in the window that are to die for!"

;) hehehe

margottobed said...

cute blog! thanks for visiting mine!

Bayjb said...

OMG. I can't believe that is what he tasked you with today. I give you so much credit for taking it. You're a hero to us all junior staffers :)

Gjelly said...

There's a guy at work I'd like to take a morotcycle ride with. He told he'd take me out if I brought my helmet....

He can't give me a promotion though. :-)

Anastasia said...

Good call. cause when you said the other girl had "Taken a ride on his motorcycle" i was like uhhh is that a metaphor?