I did it. Or at least I thought I did. I dutifully scoured all paragraphs, quotes, punctuations, anomalies, similes, and anything else that could have been incorrect in the essay. I sat with the editors and producers slumped over stacks of papers infiltrated with red ink and yellow highlights absorbing the material. I was the first to arrive and the last to leave.
Not only that, I made copies, organized tape databases, refilled printers with ink, brought the producers their lattes, fraps, mochas, grande, venti whatever-type-they-needed-when-they-needed-it coffee, ran out to the library in the freezing cold and sleeting rain to get a 1970 yr. old book for the writers, and so forth.
So when I heard our show was ending, I believed a promotion was well deserved.
It was a Tuesday. In January. Seven months from birthday. I brushed off my pants, straightened my collar, patted my curly fro into place, spit out the gum that I had been chewing all morning to help me from munching nervously on snacks, and walked into my exec’s office. I sat down quietly to gather my thoughts.
“I want to be considered for an associate producer position,” I said.
She looked at me.
“I’ve been working as a production assistant here for the past 2 years and I’ve began applying for jobs. I don’t think that with my current job title employers are really able to take me seriously. I want them to know that I’m knowledgeable of the position. My title doesn’t say that.”
The exec looked at me. She nodded slowly. “It’s reasonable. I’ll let you know.”
That was it. I expected more, but nevertheless I walked out of the office feeling empowered, mentally toasting myself with imaginary wine.
It’s now a Thursday. In March. And I’m 5 months shy of my birthday, which means I’m 5 months shy of failing at my goal to get a promotion at 23. And there is still no update or reassurance that I’m actually being considered.
The other day, I got a call back about job I applied to a few months back. But not just any type of job, oh no. The job that I’ve been doing for the past 2 years.
The question becomes then, do I settle to keep my career in full gear? (This means abandoning my goal.) Or do I pause, wait until my job ends and see if I do in fact get that promotion, which will put me in a better bracket for applying to jobs in the future?
Frederick Douglass said, “Without a struggle, there can be no progress.” But is settling part of the struggle?