About a week ago, the dude and I were at the mall. We went to fye to flip through some vinyl and check out what other deals they had. Walking around, I came across a stand of Pop! Vinyl figures. “Would it be stupid if I got one of these for my new desk?” I asked him. He assured me it wasn’t. At this point I wasn’t sure if my new job would provide me with an office or just a desk, and I didn’t have my expectations too high since it was considered an entry-level position.
Without much hesitation, I went for the Pop! Vinyl figure of Daenerys Targaryen – known to most as Mother of Dragons or Khaleesi on Game of Thrones. I didn’t put much thought into it. She’s my favorite character on the show and I’ve been known to say things like, “I’ll take what’s mine with fire and blood,” or “I AM THE BLOOD OF THE DRAGON,” after a few drinks.
To my surprise this Monday, my first day at the new job, I was taken to my new office. Yes, an office! With a door! I’ve never had my own office. At my job in New York City, I had a corner desk with a window, which was wonderful, but all I wanted there was a door to close to deter visitors and additional work whenever there was too much on my plate. At my last job, I had a table masquerading as a desk that was just one of many in a dark, quiet, silent room. It didn’t seem bad at first since I followed suit and went into my own world in my headphones as everyone else did, but the nature of that job made any setting seem awful. Now I had an office with a door – which I’ve yet to close as I haven’t felt the need yet – and a space to make my own.
On Wednesday I brought in a few items to personalize the space. The dude bought me a Lil BUB calendar for whatever my new space was going to be, and I proudly put it above my computer so I could look up at BUB’s majestic face whenever I needed to. Side note here: I’m a HUGE animal lover and all BUB products donate proceeds to Lil BUB’s BIG fund for the ASPCA, which benefits special needs animals. Looking up at it from time to time reminds me that you can find small things to do everyday to help those in need.
Next I put my little Dany Targaryen figure on my desk, and then it hit me. This seemingly childish, nerdy, figure had much deeper symbolism than I had realized when I bought it. For those unfamiliar with Game of Thrones, the Targaryens’ house sigil has a three-headed dragon. Their family was known for their dragons and were said to have “the blood of the dragon,” and so on. In the first season, Dany is given three dragon eggs, which are beautiful and thought to be only decorative treasures. SPOILER ALERT: Dany walk into a funeral pyre holding the eggs, and as the fire dies down, she’s still standing there, unburnt, with three baby dragons that hatched.
Those that read the books know that in Dany’s long title is the term “the unburnt,” and it seems like an appropriate title for myself after what I went through at the end of 2014. I was let go from my first job in the Capital Region for reasons that, in my opinion, were BS. My job was numbers based, my co-workers and I were ranked against each other, and we had quotas that we were told to aim for, then told were not in place, and it always went back and forth with nothing in writing. My numbers went down for just one month, and despite the fact that others’ were consistently lower than mine, I was let go. I wasn’t sad about losing this job – I took it to move to this area and had hopes of moving up to a different department with this company as soon as a could, considering I had a good amount of marketing experience. More than anything I was furious that the CEO who told me this “clearly isn’t your cup of tea,” was able to wield any power over me. I left his office saying, “Thank you for the opportunity, I learned a lot while I was here,” and he didn’t even look up at me.
I wasn’t the only one let go in those times. Others that were doing even better than I was were also let go for no reason at all. It started to feel as if those that knew they were overqualified for the position were getting the axe despite being good employees. In that way, our being let go felt like something the CEO was doing to stroke his ego and add to his own sense of megalomania.
The only tears I shed after this event were for the fact that I was let go in early December and now wasn’t able to get gifts for my family for Christmas. My family is amazing and supportive and I try to show them how much I appreciate them, especially during Christmas. The day after I was let go, I applied for unemployment, started networking, and applied to any job for which I was qualified. Three weeks later, I was offered a job that was miles above the one I had lost.
So despite this man trying to make me feel like a worthless loser, trying to ruin my holidays, and ultimately trying to break me, I rose from the ashes unscathed and feeling more confident and powerful. My new job has been exciting and challenging, and whenever I feel like I’m having trouble understanding something or doing my work, I look over at my little Dany and am reminded that no one can ever bring me down.
The vindictive part of me has dreamed of driving past the old office while the CEO is on a smoke break, giving him the finger, and shouting, “YOU DIDN’T WIN,” but instead I have this little figure on my desk to remind me that he isn’t even worth it.
“He was no dragon. Fire cannot kill a dragon.”