Big Bad Bosses
This weekend, I went to a party for a book editor who had formerly been an assistant to an agent I once worked for. Let's just say that she was the Abel to my Cain. She'd been there for three years and the Agent I worked for was over the moon about her. When I wondered why she wasn't working for him presently, or was a co-agent, he shrugged and said he didn't know either. This is before Agent and I had our famous falling out, resulting in my firing and him making a spectacle of himself to New York State Unemployment officials. For more information, here's an old post.
Anyway, Abel Assistant was a mutual friend and another assistant to Agent was there as well. And overall, it was very cathartic to be there. We reminisced about under-the-radar creepiness and vague feelings of being sexually harassed, the piles of manuscripts and unending letters to be typed, the curtness and shouting and rudeness and all the other fun stuff that bonded us like boot camp. I was glad to hear that while the nominal clockout time was 5:30 (something that Agent liked to brag about), Abel Assistant had routinely stayed after midnight to get anything done. Other assistant told me that he had no idea of expanding the agency, as he told me in the interview. I even had the satisfaction of hearing that a so-called close friend calling him a dick. It is immensely gratifying to know that something as humiliating as being fired from a minimum wage job can have nothing to do with you.
But, of course, it had everything to do with me. My friend, another who had interned for him, had been questioned on "what kind of men she liked to date." He never got that far with me. I was nervous about him from the start, as was he, only for different reasons. The one really great thing about actually practicing law is that you get used to being treated with respect. It's hard to give up, even in the name of paying your dues. I like to think that he sense that I wasn't his ideal assistant, some kind of sex-kitten girl friday who worked ceaselessly behind the scenes and provided stroking of the, er, ego. The poor girls who came before me had been subjected to the same weirdness and had put up with it for a lot longer.
If I hadn't been fired, I wouldn't have started writing. If I hadn't started writing...
I don't know how to end that sentence.