Stylized line drawing of mark playing the flute

I'm always afraid I'm in trouble

I’m am always convinced that I’m in trouble for something.

Jane will tell me that she needs to talk to me and I’ll get all nervous. Then it ends up being about dinner or plans for the weekend, something totally innocuous.

At my last job, I was terrified I was going to be fired every time my boss would call me into her office. She’d ask me to come over, my heart would start racing, and then I’d end up talking to her about planning a birthday party or scheduling an interview or something.

It took almost 3 years before I could go into her office without a feeling of panic. In the end, she took to ending each request for me to come by with β€œYou’re not in trouble!”.

It happened again just this week at my current job.

The head of our group asked me to stay back for a second after our morning meeting.

(Oh Jesus, I’m fired.)

He pulled me aside, away from everyone else, like there was something super confidential that he was going to tell me.

(What did I do? Was it that thing? I didn’t think that was a big deal.)

Then he put a hand on my shoulder and whispered that my zipper was down.