Camille De Marzo – A Silver Lining

They say that every person will get fired at least once in their lifetime. Yet, at my tender age of 23 I was sure that statistic did not apply to me.

I had been recruited by a middle-aged business woman who I met on the Long Island Railroad. We shared long conversations for months on the way to and from another job in Manhattan. She worked for a prominent business publishing firm and informed me that I was just who they needed at that time. Being offered more money and benefits, I was eager to try something new and happy to boost my resume. She was the Assistant to the Publisher and I was to be the Junior Assistant to the Publisher.

Things were working out well, she taught me a lot. The owner and publisher of the sizable company was smart, successful, well-connected and demanding. They definitely raised my game. Nearly one year later at the company holiday party, where we were all laughing and mingling, she asked me to come into the office we shared so that we could exchange Christmas presents. She gave me a beautiful collectible piano that she knew I would love. No sooner did I open it she also informed me that due to company cutbacks, six people were being let go and I was one of them. I was shocked and devastated.

In hindsight, I remembered a day that stuck in mind as the mark of a changing tide. She had been on vacation for two weeks leaving me to support the Publisher on my own. When she returned to a warm welcome and a fairly snag-free report she asked him how I did. His reply, in a playful tone, was “we did great, we didn’t even need you.” I saw the look on her face and probably could pinpoint the exact moment that my fate was put in jeopardy. I know that he did not mean it literally and in no way was I looking to or ready to take her job, but I think she thought otherwise.

Long story short, I was given two month’s severance, decided that I had had enough of working in New York City, and was about to start a job search on Long Island. A friend suggested that we take a great trip first so off to Morocco and Spain’s Canary Islands we went and had a blast. When I returned, tan and mended, I answered an ad for a company called CMP in Manhasset. I had never heard of it, but little did I know that my life was about to change.

I joined CMP, a growing and successful trade publisher, as an editorial assistant in a vibrant, smart, and fun department and began an 11-year fulfilling career. I learned immeasurable skills, worked hard, traveled, received numerous promotions, collaborated with smart and wonderful people, and cultivated a group of precious friends – my favorite being the author of this book. Oh and yes, I met the love of my life, with whom I just celebrated my 30th wedding anniversary. How lucky was I?

Who knew that on that cold December day in 1983, when I cried the whole train ride home, that I had been granted the best favor of my life.

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