We’ve Got Plans (for) You! — Part 1

Photo by Hunters Race on Unsplash

It was 1998 and I was living in Lexington. I was working a temp job as a file clerk in one of the corporate offices of Bank One. They were in the process of consolidating after another merger which meant there were a lot of files… actual file folders of official papers… that needed to be moved and refiled. That was my job. I knew the alphabet and could read, which met the minimum requirements for being able to take files off giant rolling file carriers and place them in the correct order in the new, merged file room. Student loans. Mortgages. Car loans. Business loans. All color coated by type and filed in order. The suits were closing 6 locations scattered across the U.S. and wanted all the files centralized to one location.

I always make the same mistake. I always start to think it matters: my work ethic. That if I exchange just a little of me beyond the time work steals from my life, that if I let myself shine just a BIT… that there will be a pay-off.

That file clerk job was the first job that some manager told me We’ve got plans for you. I started to learn the already antiquated computer system they used to classify and file the files I’d been filing for about a month. There were maybe 5 temps on the job. 3 of them barely made it to work. The other disappeared one day after she stole a regular employees purse. I thought my chances were pretty good. It wasn’t that I had any particular ambition to be a file clerk or to work in the bank. The hourly was $2/hr less than the previous job, which had been in a warehouse. But I still believed it was progress. I was a college graduate (on the 6 year plan) and I was working a white collar job. That’s why you DO, right? That was the trajectory. Or so I thought.

It was about two weeks after the first time I’d heard We’ve got plans for you that I got home from work on a Friday to a message on the answering machine informing me the bank no longer needed my services. There had been no indication that anything would be different. I went about my day. At no point did anyone in management explicitly say they were going to hire me as soon as the temp contract was up. But the department manager, a white, middle-aged marm who’s name I can’t remember but who I will call Beulah praised my work on no less than three occasions that final week and spoke that immortal managerial incantation

We’ve got PLANS for you!

The only other time I ever hear that sentence is in movies. The arch-villain, or at the very least, a mid-management villain, utters the words. In that context, the threat is always understood.

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Writer. Raconteur. Too many interests to list, so just keep reading.

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Ey Mick

Ey Mick

Writer. Raconteur. Too many interests to list, so just keep reading.

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