When I first graduated from college, I interviewed at a Terribly Fancy, Incredibly Impressive Company for an internship position. I’d been warned by no less than three people that the person I’d be interning for was Devil-Wears-Prada awful.
During our interview, she questioned my time spent teaching English in Brazil, saying
“Why would you want to go somewhere so poor and dirty?”
She rolled her eyes at least three times.
She scolded her receptionist for bringing her a Diet Pepsi instead of a Diet Coke.
And when she offered me the internship, I joyfully accepted it.
Why? Because I was convinced that unlike everyone else who worked with her, I’d be the exception to the rule.
I’d be so insanely competent there would be no cause for eye-rolling.
I’d be so immeasurably talented she wouldn’t ask me to fetch her sodas.
I’d be so cool and calm and professional she’d instinctively sense my boundaries and treat me with respect.
Spoiler alert! None of this happened. On my first day she said “Are you trying to not answer the phone?”
On several occasions, I worked 30+ hours. Like, straight. Like, through the night.
She would frequently get so angry she’d refuse to look at me or talk to me and my instructions would have to be passed on through a third party.
Eventually – after months of Sunday night anxiety stomach aches – I left said job.
And because I am was a somewhat naive individual, I spent several more years believing that I would be an exception to pretty much every rule that’s ever existed.
Be ye not so stupid as me.I’m probably not the exception to the rule. Neither are you & that's totally okay. Click To Tweet
This discovery is both depressing and totally freeing. It allows you to relax, turn off that annoying part of your brain devoted to over-analyzing, and probably enjoy your life a lot more.
If that friend is usually on time to pick people up from the airport, they’ll probably be waiting for you at the gate.
If your boss generally rewards creative ideas and competence, there’s a good chance you’ll get that bonus.
If your co-worker pulls their weight most of the time, you might actually enjoy that group project.
If your date speaks highly of his mom, he’s probably a passably decent human being.
If your buddy owes money to a bunch of people, he’s probably not going to pay you back. Even if you’ve known him since third grade.
If that cutie cheated on their other partners, they’ll probably cheat on you, too. No matter how loving and supportive and sexy you are.
If your building manager never fixes anything on time for anybody else, they’re might just ignore your request about the leaking window.
Of course, there are ways to make it slightly more likely that you’re the one shining anomaly. (Be extra kind to your building manager all year round! Make your buddy sign a loan agreement! Probably just don’t date cheaters!)
But you know what’s way easier than that? Making peace with the law of averages and making your choices accordingly.
When have you been the exception to the rule? When have you disappointingly NOT been the exception?
photo by stefan stafancik // cc
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