Thursday, April 26, 2012


This week's challenge: Using between 33 and 333 words, compose a piece using the third definition of this word "confidence."

3 a: a relation of trust or intimacy >
   c : support especially in a legislative body

I had a little more trouble than usual with this week's challenge because the only thing that came to mind was a memorable afternoon of my own life, and somehow it seems like cheating to draw almost literally on that. But I got nothin' else. So here it is.


Chicago's House of Blues restaurant was busy with the distracting din of lunch hour, yet I was able to focus completely on the paper in my hand.

“Well,” I said cautiously, realizing these words could not be taken back and would not be forgotten, “I appreciate the vote of confidence this represents.”

My boss’ face went from light to dark. “That’s not exactly the enthusiastic response I expected.”

I fought to not let myself get angry. Looking at the org chart he presented me as though it was gold, I just now learned I'd be managing a staff four. Starting tomorrow. Tomorrow!

“I’m sorry,” I said, not meaning it. Why should I be sorry for not being happy enough to suit him? I became a copywriter because I wanted to write – not to sit in meetings, conduct performance evaluations and justify the billable utilization of a creative team. I did not ask for this. I did not want it. He went ahead and maneuvered me into this promotion without even asking if it was how I saw myself. And now it was a done deal: BBC (Blessed by Corporate). “It’s just, you know, tomorrow. Wow.”

Placated, my boss smiled sympathetically. “Now don’t go second guessing yourself, thinking you can’t do this. I know you can. And I know you’ll love the bump in salary, too.”

“Thank you,” I said, appearing grateful but feeling desperate. Oh, I knew I could do this new job. I also knew how much I didn’t want to. I hate bosses, and, now starting tomorrow, I would be one.

It took me 18 months to get my finances in shape so I could resign. Too bad. I really enjoyed my erstwhile job there as resident underachiever.


  1. Love the last line and "resident underachiever". Sometimes it stinks to be the boss of people. Sometimes, like you, I'd rather be the Indian.

  2. Anonymous5:36 PM

    There's definitely an expectation that everyone will always be glad for any promotion, isn't there? We don't talk about the other side of it much.

  3. Well written. I liked the phrase "resident underachiever".

  4. Sometimes little life stories are perfect for this kind of prompt writing! I thought this was a great response to the challenge.

  5. Anonymous12:00 AM

    I enjoyed reading your story. I would've had that sick feeling, too. It's so nice to just go do a job and not have to concern yourself with the comings and goings of others.

    Here's to being underachievers!

  6. Anonymous6:07 AM

    Thanks so much for joining up to this week's Trifecta Challenge. I like your take on the prompt--nothing wrong with using first-hand experience, if you've got it. I like your confidence here. Hope to see you again soon.


Sorry about adding Comment Moderation, folks. But look at the bright side, at least I've gotten rid of word verification!