My last year of college I started working for a very small company that was 10 minutes from my house. How I got the job was totally bizarre, but that’s my life. One day, I was taking my little cousin to school and a man pulled up next to us to tell me that my son and his son went to the same school. He assumed my cousin was my son, we will name this man Carlos. He said his son pointed us out to him because of my little cousin’s backpack, the school had given out free backpacks to all of the students. He asked if we wanted a ride to the school, we were about 4-5 blocks away so at first I said “no, thank you”. I’ve watched too much ID Channel and I know what can happen when you get into strange cars. Only reason I changed my mind was because we were running late and his son was in the back of the car. I gave my little cousin a look that basically said “if anything seems sketchy, hop out of this car!”. We got into his car and Carlos drove us straight to the school. After we dropped the boys off, Carlos drove me to the bus stop, I was on my way to class. While we were driving to the bus stop we started talking about how I was almost finished with college and looking for a job. Carlos mentioned that he owned a small company and was looking for an administrative assistant. I was familiar with because I had been an administrative assistant in high school. Carlos said that I was welcome to stop by the office for an interview the following day.
Taking a Chance.
That night, I told my mom all about my encounter with Carlos and of course she was a little skeptical. He had given me his business card so I looked up the company and it was legit. The bonus to this job was that it was 10 minutes away from my house. Plus, Carlos’ son and my little cousin went to the same school, I knew he would be flexible when it came time for me to drop him off and pick him up. The following day I went in for my interview and Carlos was not there, I thought it was no big deal. Clearly he needed someone to help him manage his time better which is why he was looking to hire me. There was another guy, we’ll call him Alex, that worked for Carlos. Alex interviewed me and said he would discuss things over with Carlos and get back to me. They had a brief discussion, and I was hired. As soon as I started working there things started to get very interesting.
I think I made a mistake.
It was probably my second week when I was starting to realize Carlos wasn’t this nice family guy he pretended to be. He was a womanizer, money hungry, liar. The company was very unorganized and I was shocked it was still running. I was paid way less than minimum wage, barely enough to pay my phone bill every month but I was expected to work extremely hard. After only being there for about a month, things started to crumble. Carlos was always in the field so I began to talk to Alex more often. Alex was very cool, him and I would have pretty deep conversations but he also had a very dark side to him. Even with his dark side he was still a very sweet person. There were times Alex would walk me to the train after work, and I always appreciated it because we didn’t work in the best area. There was one time that Alex scared me though. He had come in to work looking for Carlos, he was upset about something, and he was clearly drunk. Alex was so out of it that me and another female co-worker decided to step outside because we were getting nervous. Alex was not in his right state of mind so we didn’t know what he was capable of. Eventually, Carlos made his way to the office and was able to calm Alex down. They were like brothers, they would have disagreements, hash things out and then be the best of friends again.
Then, something devastating happened. One day I went in to work and Carlos’ eyes were bloodshot red. He said we all needed to have a meeting, but I didn’t see Alex. Carlos sat us down and told us that Alex had been involved in a tragic accident and didn’t make it. Although I had only known Alex a short amount of time, I remember bawling my eyes out. It was such a shock to all of us and hard to deal with losing a co-worker so suddenly. This was someone I was beginning to develop a true friendship with and now he was gone. (Out of respect for Alex and his family I’m not going to discuss the details of his death).
Since Alex was no longer with us, our workloads doubled and I went from being an administrative assistant to also being a case manager. I knew nothing about being a case manager. This was what Alex did, although he was trying to teach me before he passed. I was not prepared to take on this title. I was basically told I had new duties and that was it. This is when I started to get really unhappy and I spoke my mind about it, often. Carlos also began to treat me like his own personal assistant. I had his passwords to everything and whenever there was something that needed to be done at his son’s school he would bring me along. I started to feel really uncomfortable because people at the school would see us together and I did not want them to assume things. I especially didn’t want rumors to start because Carlos was married. His wife was very involved in the school as was my aunt. (More on the relationship between him & his wife later)
Carlos was married and he had three kids. He had a daughter from a previous relationship, plus a son and a daughter from his current marriage. I never really asked questions about his wife, because he rarely mentioned her. The only reason I really knew that she existed was because she would call the job periodically to speak to him. I would also see her at the kid’s school but I just never thought it was my place to introduce myself to her.
As part of my job, I was required to attend dental conventions with Carlos and the rest of the team. Yes you read that right, there is a such thing as a dental convention. During the second or third convention I attended with Carlos I meet a lady, we’ll name her Lisa. It was explained to me that Lisa used to be an intern at the job and that she liked to come help out during conventions. Lisa and I bumped heads from the beginning because I didn’t care for the way she spoke to me. She came into the convention demanding me to do things and I would ignore her. The way I saw it was that Carlos was my boss and if he hadn’t asked me to do anything then I just wasn’t going to do it. I think it was more so her approach than the fact that it was coming from her and not him. It was our first time meeting, we didn’t know each other at all, so for her to come in and demand things from me just didn’t sit well. After I ignored Lisa, she said something to Carlos and he came to talk to me about it. Carlos told me that Lisa didn’t like the fact that I ignored her but as soon as he said something I obliged, I let Carlos know that I didn’t care for the way she spoke to me and that at the end of the day she wasn’t my superior. That pretty much set the tone for Lisa & I’s relationship moving forward. We played it cool but deep down we both didn’t care for each other. I later found out that Lisa wasn’t just an old intern, she was actually Carlos’ mistress…
Click for Part 2.
Sincerely Chanel 💜