The next few weeks I stayed at home typing up mailing lists for the radio station promotion department. I was in touch with Richard every other day, but right now it wasn’t looking like I would be entering the building any time soon.
Then, out of the blue, a plan to get me into the building was hatched by both Richard and the General Manager. The receptionist had been let go and they were using a temp agency to fill the position for the time being. The secret plan was set up and I was the headlining star. No, there were no billboards with my face or name, but I was the ‘it’ girl. Here it was, my chance to finally enter the building, somewhat legitimately. I was hesitant, to say the least, because I wasn’t hired to be a receptionist, I was hired to be the promotion coordinator. I took a deep breath and accepted the mission. Three weeks following my stay at home, in which I was paid, I finally entered the building.
Richard met me at the entrance and we quietly landed our stories straight. The story for all, except Richard, the General Manager, and of course the Human Resources department, was that I was working for a temp agency filling in until the company found a full time receptionist. Okay, sounded easy I thought. I can do this!
I met with one of the personal assistants (secretaries as they were referred to back then) who escorted me to the ‘desk’. She asked if I was familiar with the phone system and the on-air personalities. I had to admit I had seen a similar phone, but only recognized a few of the on-air names.
‘That’s okay’, she said smiling. ‘You will learn the personalities quickly’.
She sat with me for a few hours going over my duties and giving me the low down on the company. A big name family in the Toronto area had just purchased the company recently. They were making changes daily, so not to be surprised if I see people leaving. Leaving? I thought. What does that mean? Although, I didn’t have the nerve to ask, I was beginning to get that ‘oh oh’ feeling. I was educated instantly on what was meant by ‘cleaning out house’. My first weeks there I saw on-air personalities and others carrying out their cardboard boxes. Honestly, I never knew what to say, other than goodbye to them.
I also learned quickly that being receptionist I was privy to many secrets. I was not viewed as any threat so staff became very open with their thoughts on the organization and fellow staff members. During this time I was also given small promotional tasks to complete while at the desk. Richard had told me that it would be easier to slip me into the promotional coordinator position if it looked like I could handle certain duties.
Over a month passed and it was time to slide me into the coordinator office. The owner was rarely on our floor, so he would have no idea what happened. Next thing I knew, I had my own office and finally the position I had been promised. To this day, I’m still not sure how the General Manager and Promotion Manager did it. All that mattered at the time was that I had my own office and working on daily promotions, but I was still hidden from the owner for the next few months. That was the easy part as I was the type of person who just blended in; I didn’t make waves and was quite transparent.
It looked like my promotional career was on course. What I didn’t know or see coming was that my private life was about to take a gigantic turn, which would change my being for the rest of my life.
© 2014 Paula Bilz. All Rights Reserved.