I Don’t Work for Him Anymore

“Hello, I’d like to speak to [old boss name redacted]”

“Um, he’s not available right now. What is it regarding?”

Truth is, I don’t know if he’s available right now. I haven’t worked for him in a year.

The story goes that I quit because I found a new job. The real story is that during COVID, I had been trying to keep the company boat from sinking, even though, he the captain, was doing nothing to steer the ship. I was leaving because the boat had finally sank, despite my efforts. I was the last person that knew where the holes were, because no one else had cared enough to plug them.

The truth is, my boss had been absent from the business so long, I’m not sure he could have saved it. Or cared to.

When I left, I promised I would help as much as I can anyways. So, I continued answering the debt collectors calls and making excuses, and make the proper people aware that they had called. I still monitored my old email to make sure that he didn’t miss important emails from the expeditor we had hired to take care of a case. He should have taken care of it a year ago. Pre pandemic. When things were taken care of more easily. Seems like another lifetime.

There was one thing I knew for sure. If I stopped monitoring the calls, the emails, the messages, no one else would be monitoring the calls, the emails, the messages. Nothing would be monitored, taken care of, or done.

But… you don’t work for him anymore, why do you bother? Why do you care?

I’m not sure. Maybe I feel semi responsible still, these are all projects that I worked on, that I wanted to see to the end. Maybe, part of me still wants to save him from himself. Or save the people around him from his own “ostrich in the sand” syndrome.

“Well, he must have been really good to you and appreciated you a lot.”

He did in his own way. He continued paying my salary. I guess I still see myself as an unsolicited heroine in his story. He would be grateful that I saved him, and then go on to tell others, “See, it all works out in the end .” But only because of the unsought heroes and heroines in his own story. Only because we are uplifting him in hopes of somewhat uplifting ourselves. If he succeeds, that means we succeed. If my coworker cares about the clients he refuses to care about, then she can have the flexibility to raise her family. If I succeed in saving his business, I save my job. If his boyfriend succeeds in saving him, he saves his relationship. All while really going unnoticed, except when the glory is to be had.

The glory and success of our endeavors belong to him, always.

Lately, when I have been getting a call about his business, I continue passing the message along, but with no response anymore. I realized that I don’t need to save him or his business. Especially when he isn’t even asking. You can’t save someone from a boat they don’t even know is sinking. And truthfully, isn’t paying you or giving you anything positive in return.

I need to focus on my own ship.

So today, I answered the phone like this:

“Hello, I’d like to speak to [old boss name redacted]”

“I’m not sure. I no longer work for him anymore.”

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