Friday, January 29, 2010

The one

For most of last year I worked on a temporary assignment with a woman who used to be
"The Executive Assistant for the CIO of Communication" for a large company that dramatically downsized. And I know that she used to be "The Executive Assistant to the CIO" of this company because when I first met her she told me that she was "The Executive Assistant to the CIO" 11 times in one day.
Over the course of the 6 months that we worked together, she tapered off from the 11 times a day to about 2-3 times and towards the end she was down to at least once a week.
I didn't really care for this woman and she point blank didn't like me.
We were on the same level, and she didn't like that. She needed to be above someone, and since both of our badges to her dismay read "Office Clerk", she was none to happy.
Me, I just wanted my direct deposit every week. I could care about title's just pay me my salary and let me go home.
All this brings me around to my current job and some revelations that I had about it and her recently.
We all knew that she was unhappy and yearned to have some sort of Senior Staff Admin Assistant Glory on the Highest Title and that she really wanted to work for an Executive as opposed to a manager. But I always thought it was just about the status of saying this is what I am and this is who I work for. But I am now realizing that it was more than that.
It's about being the one. The go to person in the office.
She didn't have any social skills to speak of and my manager said that was the main reason that she didn't like me. I talked to everyone and everyone easily talked to me. She didn't talk to anyone and she only snarled and grunted at me, so I thought that she had a mental problem and went on.
I have been at my new job for 4 months now, and I still love it. But sometimes it tires me. Because now I am the one.
We are out of coffee, tell Carmen she will get more.
Stinky in the office, tell Carmen she'll call and make it go away. Still smells in the office, tell Carmen again!!
We need paper,pens, to schedule a meeting, reschedule a meeting, time and attendance adjusted , anything and everything...I am the one that they come too.
And at times it is a heady feeling. My boss loves me, she tells me so and apparently people around the hospital have commented on my personality and skills. But it is a heavy weight.
In past real jobs, I am the one who comes to work, usually takes lunch by myself to go run errands or read a book, then goes home.
If something went down, unless I was involved, happily I was the last to know. Until now....
I know everything now, and sometimes that's not a good thing. Sometimes I know when someone is going to be written up, or suspended, or fired....
And I don't like being the one to know that, because usually I know a day or two before that person does and it makes me sad.
Don't get me wrong, for the most part I still love my job. The days fly by. I never know in the morning what is going to happen and sometimes I love that. But sometimes I find out stuff that I just don't want to know.
This Christmas, I was sitting at my desk typing mailing labels to send out and listening to my "Charlie Brown Christmas" CD and all of a sudden I realized that for the first time in a long time I was really happy and very much at peace. It felt wonderful.
Today I spent most of the morning setting up new mailboxes for everyone and running the Friday morning Bingo game. Yesterday I scored mugs for the whole department, cause I'm the one with the hook up in PR.
I love that I am not surrounded by gray cubicle walls and that I get to walk around a lot. That is a hell of a perk for being the one.
And quite a few times I have been pulled into senior staff meetings that started off being very serious, but ended up with managers throwing candy at each other and making really bad jokes. I get to see a side of the management staff that no one in the office gets to see or would ever imagine was there, because I'm the one.
So I understand why the woman that I temped with was so unhappy, you don't have to try so hard when you're the one. Everyone comes to you, you don't have to come to them. Now that doesn't quite excuse her stank attitude, but I do understand it better.
However , when it comes to days like today when you don't get to say goodbye to a very nice person, who started the same day that you did and you have to turn in his badge to the HR department, it really sucks being the one.

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