So, I got to the bottom of my inbox.
I had been working on this for weeks. Even though my job is designed so that a person will never get to the bottom of their inbox, I just had to do it.
You understand. I wanted to to show them. I mean really show them. I was going to do what no other person in my current position had ever done: I was going to get to the bottom of my inbox.
I even put together a folder for my supervisor:
Things Ignored for Three Months by Victoria
This folder contained what other assistants might have hid or secretly shred. I even said, I don't want to become the crazy secretary that starts hiding files!
This to the uproarious laughter of my supervisor. She laughed a little too hard at that, actually.
So, I handed her the file which contained those things which kept sifting to the bottom of my inbox over the last three months.
I said: help.
And, though no one ever did help me, I believe it was this act alone that began to turn things around for me. Because, at 3:00 pm on Wednesday I got to the bottom of my inbox.
That's when I saw a stray staple in the upper left corner of my now empty inbox. Mangled, with one of its tines broken off, it was clear that it couldn't be saved.
I placed it quietly into the recycling bin, and said a few words:
You know, you'll probably come back as a another staple. But maybe as a steel girder! There's no telling what's in store for you.
Really. Just no telling.
It was then that I took the paper weight that had always been there (atop the precarious stack) and polished it on my sleeve as though it were an apple or a diamond or something.
I then (as I'm sure you can imagine) put the paper weight back into the in box. Right there, in the very center. It made a glass-on-wood clunking sound that I don't think anyone in the office had ever heard before, because a few curious heads did pop up over their screens and look in my direction when I did this:
Just what is she trying to imply with all of that clunking over there?
And, then, just like that, everything improved.
I became more professional in my bearing.
I sat up straight and heard every bone in my vertebrae click audibly back into place as though a finger had gone skating across a keyboard.
I was a cog.
A hard metal cog with a hairdo that could now not only stand the test of time but maybe even humidity.
The very next day I wore red.
Then, the day after that, I completely ignored the doughnuts. Not as an exercise in discipline, mind you, but because I simply didn't register things like doughnuts anymore.
No, now I went for little cut up vegetables and fresh fruit. I mean all the way down six flights of spider-y stairs and out the crumbling entrance of this ancient building (pieces of chandeliers and plaster falling on me every step of the way) past security (by then, fast asleep) down the street, into a cab and directly to the farmer's market three towns over.
Waving my fist full of petty cash like a money pom-pom the entire way (because, as you may have heard, my inbox was finally empty).
I'll take one peck of apples for the office, please!
Yes. I was immune to all distractions, now.
Because I had gotten to the bottom of my inbox.
And at a juncture when others in my position (we'll call them Person X) had either given up or gotten fired. This usually preceded by weeks of nonsensical office chitter-chatter on the part of Person X, that then gives way to Person X's utter, sullen silence (nobody wants to talk to Person X) that leaves Person X with no recourse but to constantly surf for shoes on Zappos (the resultant spike in shoe deliveries for Person X a well known red flag signaling the end of employment for Person X).
But that wasn't going to be me.
Me? I ran the place.
Forget that. I was the place. I was the whole place.
I turned around (during what I sensed was a lull in the big important meeting) put down my watering can, and (without so much as thinking about it) presented a forty-five minute dissertation on curtain walls and steel case windows that, though it was shocking and uncalled for, brought down the house.
And when I say that there wasn't a dry eye in the conference room that morning, I mean that they were all crying.
For joy, people, sheer joy.
It wasn't ten minutes later that everyone gathered around my desk (some still nibbling on their organic, locally grown apples) to watch amazed as I clicked on the buy now button and purchased New York.
Yes, I do mean the city.