Drowning among her piles of books and journals, of the newly arrived order that Angie had to assemble and transport to her office, she wondered: “What on earth am I doing here?” She has been having dark days, not because they were necessarily dark (i.e. gloomy or sad) but because she has been spending an average of 8 hours underground in her office, and because she has been having some thoughts of leaving everything behind and moving on, letting on and facing her fears, breaking free and leaving this dim sad place alone… Pain in her shoulders was reminding her every second of her long day, of the boxes she had to carry, move and transport on a trolley to her office. Pain was reminding her, that after all, she is a beautiful mature smart young woman who has more qualifications than what her boss was acknowledging and what that stupid storekeeper was perceiving. Angie wondered why on earth her boss who has been great in everything so far, was acting that way. It only daunted on her a few days ago: “well, my boss could be jealous. After all, I am just her assistant. The person who assists. And no matter what, I am just someone who is supposed to do what I am being told to do. Angie, Angie, you are taking all the initiatives and doing all the thinking, do you think people above you in the hierarchy in this limited bureaucratic institution would appreciate that? Where do you think you are?”
A few days ago, her boss came into her office, without evening knocking on the door and gave her a paper to read. Angie’s boss was about to have a meeting with the big boss in a few minutes, and she wanted to discuss a few things with the big boss regarding the department, one of them included a raise or a promotion for Angie. By the way, Angie has been waiting for this raise for two years. And BUH, fortunately or unfortunately (I am becoming fond of these two adverbs) had only managed to raise Angie’s salary of a whole 20$ per month. (Oh, GOD! BUH must have spent a fortune in that raise!!!)
The paper that Angie had to read had to do with the tasks that Angie and her boss were performing in that department. And to Angie’s surprise, everything that Angie was doing was: “assisting her boss”. Some tasks were removed all together. Some projects that Angie had initiated and worked actively on implementing were mentioned as tasks done by her boss and in which Angie was “only assisting”. Even one big project that Angie has been working on for almost a year, was mentioned under her boss’s name and Angie was only assisting. To Angie’s surprise students’ assistants were also assisting Angie. For the record, students’ helped with one or two volumes, whereas Angie worked on almost 40 volumes.
For the last two years, Angie has been trying to change things in that department at BUH. She would think and get creative only to face another rejection. Her boss would give her all sorts of excuses: lack of money, lack of time, lack of personnel, … The most plausible excuse, the one that her boss usually uses, is, the lack of money. Angie would sometimes wake up in the night hearing her boss nagging about the lack of money and listening to her repeating over and over again that “the department at BUH cannot afford these things”… Her boss even mentioned that when she took the job of editor 9 years ago, she was supposed to run the whole show with almost no budget. And even with the change of big boss and changes in the institution, she still has this mentality of scarcity.
A sign on Angie’s door, remind her every morning of the following:
“Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you will go, just remember how far you have come. Remember everything you’ve faced. All the battles you have won. All the fears you’ve overcome. All the chapters you have written. Remember the moments that came before when you had this same doubt and overcame it. You can go as far as you let yourself go. Let go and you will soar farther that you’ve ever imagined.” — Unknown
Thank you for reading.