Confession: I am a Fraud

On May 1st, I started a new job. I am still a librarian and I still work for the same system, but I got a new title and began working at a different branch.

My new title is Library Information Supervisor. It’s a mouthful but it loosely translates to Assistant Manager of the branch. When the manager isn’t in, I’m the boss. That’s right, someone actually made me in charge of something.

It’s been quite the adjustment. I’m someone who still feels like they’re playing dress up when wearing my interview clothes. A blazer and heels doesn’t feel natural. So starting a job where my title is supervisor has made me feel like a complete and utter fraud.

There have been several occasions at work that have made me want to run away or scream “Don’t come to me. I have no idea what I’m doing.”

  • Anytime someone asks me if they can take a break, I get confused. “Why are you asking me? I don’t care if you take a break.” Then I remember, “Right! They have to ask me cause I’m in charge.” The answer to their break question is always yes.
  • Being a boss bitch is not in my future. I cannot just tell people to do something. I have to always add a “please”  or  “when you get the chance.” I also cannot say no when I’m asked a favor.
  • But I do think I can handle being a boss baby. A boss bitch is in control all the time. She knows what she wants and she goes for it. I imagine a boss baby is a much more tame version of this. I have an idea of what I want and I’m willing to do some things for it. Just do not ask me to ever fire anyone. If I’m responsible for firing, then employees are working for the company for life.
  • Reprimanding someone is almost as bad as being reprimanded. Twice I had to have someone step into my office because we needed to talk. (My office means the real boss’s office because all I have is my own desk.) Having to do this filled me with so much anxiety. Please everyone do your job so I never have to have these conversations. They’re uncomfortable for you. They’re painful for me. No one wins!
  • Patrons suddenly listen to me. Prior to my promotion, patrons never believed I knew what I was talking about.  “What do you mean there are fines for late books at the library? I’ve never heard of such a thing. Let me speak to a manager.” Now when a patron says this, I’m the manager they speak to. There’s something about being summoned by phone to come speak to a patron that gives you an aura of authority. Most of the time I’m just repeating what has already been told to them but NOW they actually listen to me.
  • You cannot hide as easily when you’re a supervisor. I’m not lazy and I do like my job but I will be the first to admit that I like to slack off. I always get my work done on time but there’s a lot of browsing the internet in between. Spending time taking a quiz to determine what  pastry I am (thanks Buzzfeed) was totally fine in my previous position. Between patrons complaining and employees asking to take breaks, I cannot get away with it as easily now.
  • Every week gets a little more comfortable. When I first started my position, I came home every night on the verge of tears. I felt completely overwhelmed and out of my element. Now, the verge of tears happens only every other week. (Progress!) There are some days where I even feel like I know what I’m doing. And when I don’t, there’s always faking it!
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16 comments

  1. Sounds like good qualities in a boss. ‘A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the β€œtop of the pyramid,” servant leadership is different. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.’ greenleaf dot org

  2. Kudos on the new position! I’m sure you’ll be just fine, just keep being a decent person to your work team, set boundaries though because ultimately you have to answer to results. I’m 32 right now, currently unemployed because my previous workplace had some shifty moral standards, I might write an article on that pretty soon. Please (as you so politely say to your employees) follow my blog and we can sort out these #thirties together.

  3. OMW, I absolutely loved reading this! I’m turning 30 in a few months and have just started a new job as the marketing manager. Now i’ve had this title before, but never before have I been put in a position where I basically have free rein to handle the brands myself. I feel just as daunted and nervous as you were and I feel the same kind of anxiety…I now have hope…so THANK YOU!!! and I think you will make a brilliant boss!!

  4. Hahaha… I so imagine myself being a boss baby if I ever had a supervisor role. I kinda had one when I was kinda like the assistant manager at a bookstore. It was nerve-racking, to say the least. Glad you’re making progress!

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