Daily Archives: October 5, 2009


When I returned to work after vacation in June I learned my boss, the founding director of our research center, was asked to step down.  As consolation they offered him the directorship of the burgeoning Global Health Center of which he’d been interim director for the past two years.

What would happen to me?

I don’t mean to sound uncaring, after all, I’ve been the big guy’s Executive Assistant for nearly a quarter of my life and we’ve built quite a bond, but the possibility of losing my job in this economic climate was more than a little disconcerting. I spoke with our Associate Director, our soon-to-be Interim Director and our Business Manager and was assured my job was in no danger. There is also great consolation in the fact I’m well respected by our faculty and a valuable asset to the Center.

Ultimately, my fate will lie in the hands of our future permanent Director.

“Turn and face the strain.”

Last week we transitioned but the university still hadn’t identified space for the big guy and his new Center so he’s still in his office, reached by passing through mine. Talk about fucking weird!

All these years my working days have been dictated by the big guy’s calendar, which is still in its box at my desk, yet it means absolutely nothing to me, officially. Nearly all the files in my office are strictly related to his professional life, as are the majority of files on my computer, but they too are meaningless. I’m supposed to put all this aside and move on, as if he’s died. But he hasn’t.

So, for the next month or two I have to deal with work in this terribly uncomfortable situation. I have to begin to dislodge myself from the structure of which I’ve become the foundation. It’s as though I’m living in a Fractured Fairy Tale where my stone house has been blown down, I have to build a straw house that will inevitably been blown down, only to build a wood house which may be blown down. It’s all upside out.

I only hope that ultimately, I’ll be able to reinforce that wood house with something more concrete.