Eighty percent of managers fail in their first eighteen months. This is what Fortune says. Fail as in get fired. Well, or just sort of leave which is what you do when you're a big shot who isn't getting treated like one. The problem is, last time I left because I thought I was a big shot, I ended up having to take money out of my IRA thirty-five years early.

Tano and I are having quiet togetherness on the sofa. It is supposed to be relaxing reading time and I should have picked up Middlemarch instead of Fortune. Then I would be sitting on the sofa with my legs curled between Tano's thinking, I am so lucky to have a great job and a great boyfriend and a great book. Instead I am fidgeting and worrying and Tano's side of the sofa is wet because I kicked over his water.

"Sorry," I say.

"I thought we were relaxing."

"I think I'm getting fired."

"If I had your job I'd be worried too."

I need something supportive because you can't succeed if you don't think you will succeed.

I pace.

I thumb through my stack of books about writing business plans and hope I don't have to write one before I know how.

I try out my new briefcase. I pace with my briefcase over my shoulder. Tano asks me to get him a Balance Bar. I go to the kitchen and put the Balance Bar in my briefcase and take it out when I get to the sofa.

Tano says, "How much did that cost?"

"Three hundred. Italian leather. If you want the part, dress for it."

"I'm amazed. It's impressive how committed you are to being an executive."

I like that he's amazed. In the Cosmo quiz-yourself section it says one mark of a good relationship is liking the same things about yourself that he likes. I think this counts. My job is good for us because he is amazed.

"Tano," I say, "are you amazed in a good way?"

"Why are you carrying your briefcase around the apartment?"

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