June 8, 2007

If I get a raise, perhaps I can buy him a clue

The Husband was very supportive of me when I was changing professions ten or so years ago, and trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. He gave me input on revising my resume, an kept an ear to the ground about potential job openings. Whenever I was changing positions or applying for a promotion, he encouraged me and tried to help me identify my strongest assets to play up during interviews and performance reviews. My career has advanced from receptionist to departmental secretary to executive assistant to board governance support.

Yet, The Husband continues to be stymied by the idea of my need to actually work. When he is home and I am at the office, he calls for the dumbest reasons, and seems put off when I tell him I need to ring off, or if he leaves me a message that goes a few hours without being returned. Last night, he asked for my help for a task involving stuff we are cleaning out of teh basement.

"I can't do it now," I told him. "I have some work I brought home that I need to attend to first."

"Why are your bringing work home?" he questioned.

"Because I have to give this report to the CEO by 11:30 tomorrow, but the people who have the answers I need to fill in the last pieces of information didn't email me until after I had left the office."

"Well, that's not your fault!"

"No, it's not my fault," I explained. "It's not anyone's fault, really. I asked for for what I needed, she gave me the answer when she had the chance to, and now I am using it to finish my task. Regardless, the report needs to be finished by a certain time in order to be reviewed in time to make my print deadline."

And I did my report, and then we did the thing in the basement and all was well.

So, I am gearing up for an offsite meeting on Monday, and I have to be at the hotel at 6:30 a.m.

"So, I guess you'll be home early," The Husband speculates.

"No, regular time."

"But I thought the meeting was over at 3:00."

"It is," I explained, "but after we break down from the meeting, I have to go to the office to finish whatever edits the CEO has to the briefing materials, so I can pass the project off for review by the legal department before it goes to print."

One meeting I had in Denver last September lasted until 5:45 Colorado time, and the cars were leaving at 6:05 for dinner. I barely had time to disconnect my computer, retrieve the handouts, pee and change out of my suit, much less make a phone call. When we got back to the hotel, it was after 10:00, and I didn't want to wake The Husband up with a "good night" call from two time zones away when he had to get up early the following morning. When I called him on his cell first thing the next day, he was on his way to work and angry that I had not called the night before. Since, you know, all I was doing was hanging out with coworkers and meeting attendees.

Funny how someone who wants me to be praised for my good work ethic and ability to perform is upset when I do what it takes to meet the deadlines and make the department run smoothly.

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