Once upon a time, when I had only been at my job a few months, I had occasion to bump into the managing partner in the lobby. I was standing there with my direct boss, and the managing partner said: “Who is this? I don’t believe I’ve ever met her before.”
The problem with the exchange is that the jerk HAD met me before. Twice, actually. The second time just one month prior, when I spent an entire Sunday helping him on a project. This was a project that involved multiple face to face exchanges between just the two of us, not something where he only passed by once and saw me in a sea of other faces in a large conference room.
The law firm is not so large that he should be forgetting the names of any employees, and he certainly should make it a point to remember the person who came in on a Sunday just to help him out at the last minute.
But he didn’t. Because I was faceless and nameless to him. A cog in the wheel. The help. I was a paralegal slave, not an actual team member. I remember that day and how irritated I was to come in. When it was over, I told myself that I did a good job and that it would be worth it later because I worked on a big, important project for one of the biggest shot attorneys in the entire organization. I was wrong. He didn’t even remember who I was. It was like it never even happened.
And that was another day I wasted away from my family helping a stranger get ahead. Someone who would never even remember my sacrifice or my hard work.