A very good/bad thing happened last week (was it really only a week ago? Goodness.). You may have read in one of my earlier posts that the best things about my job were:
- The view from the very large window next to my desk (Eiffel Tower, anyone?)
- My boss is possibly the nicest woman on Earth
- The canteen
Only, I found out very suddenly a week or so ago that my boss was not going to be my boss anymore because she’d been offered a promotion to a very important role in a completely different department.
My eloquent response was something along the lines of “…oh”.
I will hasten to add that I very quickly followed this with many heartfelt congratulations – not only is was (*sob*) she my boss, I had also come to view her as a sort of mix of mentor, confidante and friend. So, for these reasons, I was genuinely very happy for her to be embarking on such an exciting development in her career.
However, for these same reasons, I was also absolutely gutted. I mean, so upset. I actually felt almost bereaved for a good two or three days afterwards. More than a few sneaky tears escaped when she was telling me. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? But that’s how nice she is. You just don’t get bosses like that – or people, often.
It also threw everything somewhat upside down for me personally, as when you’re hired specifically to be someone’s personal paralegal and then that someone departs from your department, nobody quite knows what to do with you. I wasn’t worried about losing my job – I was firmly assured that this wouldn’t affect my prospects with the company – but a week-and-a-bit later and I’m still not entirely sure of what my role is going to be going forward, or who I’m going to be reporting to, or various other important things like that.
Fortunately, as I gloomily contemplated the changes to my work life, there was some unexpected light suddenly thrown onto the very near horizon. The girl who I am most friendly with at work (if I say my ‘work best friend’ I sound about 5 years old, but you get the gist) had left the previous week (talk about kicking a girl when she’s down, Universe), her internship having reached an end with apparently no prospects of turning into a job, because the job just wasn’t there.
HOWEVER, someone, somewhere must have worked some HR magic or something, because whilst I was mid-mourning, I received the very welcome news that said friend had been offered a job after all – and would be coming back the following (this) week! I was a much happier bunny (seasonal…) for this discovery.
I do actually need to revise the above list of Best Things About My Job anyway, because although my desk view is still wonderful (novelty value not even slightly worn off) and I am still very much enamored with the canteen (did I mention there are mountains of cheese?), my new-ish favourite thing has to be the social aspect. Alright, I can go hours at a time without speaking to a soul whilst I’m working – but a (slightly fluid) group of us has formed, and we lunch together every day, and there have even been a few outings to the pub (and it is an actual pub too, rare though they are in this part of the world). This was not at all the case when I first arrived; I attribute the change entirely to our resident social butterfly, who only returned from maternity leave a couple of months ago and has since then worked the kind of social-y magic that we borderline introverts can only wonder at, awestruck.
The group consists of people of about ten different nationalities and that, in itself, is just brilliant. You know there’ll never be trouble finding something to talk about, because even the most trivial or mundane topic can give rise to a forty-minute discussion, purely based on the different experiences and perspectives from all the different countries. This was one of my very favourite things about the time I spent hostel-hopping from city to city in both France and California (different trips…): I loved meeting so many people of such a range of different nationalities, with their willingness to share their culture and world views, and their openness to, and interest in, everyone else’s.
So much cultural diversity makes for fascinating conversation and, in the right company, a lot of fun and laughter – as is the case at work. I enjoy it immensely.