Party Planner

How to be a total douche to people in other fields – that was the alternate title for this blog post. But my mom reads this blog sometimes and I just don’t feel like using the word “douche” in a title is a good “mom is reading this” decision.

I have a work buddy (affectionately known as my partner in crime) who is just insanely incredibly good at her job. She’s the boss of about 30 different departments and should probably have the title of Vice President, certainly does the work for it. I like to trail along and listen to her stories and egg her on when she’s making hard decisions. My job is a relatively lonely one – lots of time in the office writing things. And I’m not in charge of human beings long-term. I just tell them what to do to get projects done. My work buddy does all the stuff I don’t do.

We traveled out to a conference this summer – summer is a big time for conferences and trainings and presentations and whatnot. Because of the kind of work we do, Work Buddy and I tend to travel together fairly frequently. So we’re at this conference. And another person from another organization, upon meeting my work buddy, said,

Oh, you’re the party planner?

Rage swept over me immediately. This work buddy has spent the last 10 years in crap positions, working her way up slowly but surely pretty much by sheer grit. She has only recently become a “big” boss and is still agonizing, every day, over the fact that she’s now in charge of mentoring, supporting, and sometimes disciplining other human beings. There’s a lot of heart, there, and Work Buddy would love to be a Party Planner because she loves people.

But she’s not; she’s outside her comfort zone on purpose. I’m really glad – she’s an incredible boss. I would have killed to have a boss like her when I was working in a department like hers.

So I was so angry. I was like “how DARE THEY SAY THAT?!” The comment was a brush off, meant to be a brush off, and all I could think of was how much Work Buddy didn’t deserve that. Of all the people I work with, she deserves it the least.

She had it covered, though. She just smiled a smile that wise people save for idiots and said, “Close! The party planner works for me.” Then she turned to me and said, “let’s go.”

I loved that day.

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