Monday, August 20, 2018

Who Would Have Thought

...that I would attend the wedding of my former boss (like I did this past Saturday) and have a great time. If you had asked me eleven years ago, when I had only just started at the Firm, I would have thought that very unlikely. Without exaggeration he instilled me with terror and for the longest time, I was convinced that he downright hated me and was out to expose my supposed stupidity. I found it very hard to believe that he had lobbied to get me hired and must have seen some kind of potential in me. For me, he was a bad-tempered bully who was looking for a victim to offload his own pressure and insecurity on and for lack of many more candidates (for the longest time the Vienna office literally only consisted of a handful of employees) that victim was me. There were many evenings when I sat at home crying, regretting ever having made the move and left my comfortable, if boring and unchallenging, job at Coma HQ. The main reason why I was so unhappy those first months was a big dose of imposter syndrome and he only contributed to that, constantly making remarks that suggested I was clueless and slow at what I was doing. Back then, spending time with him voluntarily outside work would have sounded about as appealing as a two-hour-session on a dentist's chair. 
Gradually, I lost my fear and discovered that he did not in fact despise me, but actually valued me both as a person and team-member. Several legendary road trips in his Porsche convertible to clients in Graz and Salzburg contributed to the ice breaking and getting to know one another better. We never lost touch despite working in different countries for the past 6 years and he is usually the first person to wish me a happy birthday, no matter what time-zone he might be in. Together with the Empress who I also found scary at first, we also share a near-death experience on a snowy mountain in Tyrol. In a nutshell, the horrible boss has long become a friendly "big brother" figure that I shared many funny and sad moments with and I feel honoured that he invited me to celebrate his special day with him and his new wife...whom I am still struggling to find a wavelength with. Given my track-record of (mis)judging people based on my first impressions, I am quite optimistic this is doable, though.

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