8.23.2012

let's talk about my job, shall we?



I've wanted to talk about my job before, but to be frank, I was too embarrassed.

I did very well in high school and college, and I think people expected a lot out of me. I felt a little like I had failed myself and others by taking this job. I'm pretty much over that. I'm young and have my whole life to make something of myself. Right now I just need to be able to pay rent, and this job helps me do that.

With that said, I'm a secretary. Most people here refer to me as the Receptionist because I sit at a Reception desk and direct the two people a day who come upstairs for a meeting. Being a Receptionist is less than 10% of my job. The ACTUAL Receptionist works downstairs and answers all phone calls and deals with the slew of tenants that come in every day to yell and scream. My phone rings maybe three times a month, and the visitors who come upstairs are typically here to deliver something or meet with the CEO. I'm counting my blessings, trust me.

Anyway. I spend the majority of my day typing. I type correspondence for those who did not have the pleasure of learning the rules of English grammar. I activate and fix broken cell phones (not part of my job description, but I used to work for Verizon so I do it). I make people cute little certificates when they finish trainings. I go to the occasional meeting to take minutes. I help out the accounting department and enter rent checks into a cash log (yawn), and sometimes I help the file clerk file papers. I make a lot of copies and should have some sort of award for my ability to unjam the copier.

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Thrilling, right? Sometimes it's nice to not have super stressful things to deal with. Sometimes I have absolutely nothing to do. Sometimes I'm so swamped I want to cry. I do a lot of blogging during my downtime, if you haven't noticed.
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So anyway. Since I'll be in California Labor Day week, I had to train a girl to cover for me that week. There's a temp that works three days a week and helps whoever needs it, and she'll be the girl covering for me that week.

She had some stuff to finish up, so I told her yesterday to come to my desk sometime after lunch. I usually take lunch around 12:30-1:30. I walked upstairs at 1:32 to find the girl sitting at my desk. She looked me dead in the eye and said you're late.

Um, sorry?

I settled in and she instantly began jabbering about her passion for fashion. Like, on. And on. And on. About how she would kiss the feet of anyone who has worked with a designer and oh did you know that there are seasons in fashion? Even if you do know let me explain. (I knew, for the record. Like the rest of the world).

So here she was talking about her passion for fashion (read that with a sassy voice) while I glazed over. Because, if you know me, you know fashion/makeup/beauty talk makes me gag. A career in it? My worst nightmare. I will watch the Rachel Zoe Project all day long and love it but don't you dare stick me there in real life.

So then she asked me about what I studied/want to do. I told her about my degree in English and dreams to be a writer someday but plans to hopefully be a teacher first. She looked at me like I had five heads, one of them being purple.

She told me how she can't work in an office building without knowing every person by name and what they do. A good day for me is avoiding eye contact with everyone. She is cheerful and bubbly and peppy and perky. I'm that way when I'm not at work and just had three consecutive cups of coffee. Basically, we're polar opposites. I mean, polar opposites.

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I started going over things with her. I told her who to ask if she has a question or runs out of work, and she instantly responds with communication is key! I told her who gets cranky if their work isn't done within the hour, and she responds (with much pep, might I add) with I ask everyone what priority level their work should be. Everything I do is prioritized!

Whoaaa nelly. It was all I could do to not ask which motivational book she's quoting.

She took detailed notes of everything I told her. She needed to know everything about everything. Even the things that she didn't need to know about it, she wanted to know about it. She wrote down every word I said and raised an eyebrow of disdain every time I tried to crack a joke (which is often. It's what happens when I feel awkward. Which is also often). I told her there's a lot of down time and not always something to do. She freaked. But I need to have something to do! I can't not have something to do!

Can I be honest? I was annoyed. Part of me was like, this is not an important job. It's not rocket science. Why are you so excited about it?

And then I got really annoyed when I realized she's not doing anything wrong. In fact I should be more that way. Ok not completely, because she really was way over the top. And there's also a personality difference. I'm more laid back and mellow and quiet, she was bubbly and talkative and omg talkative (with a passion for fashion! sorry. can't stop. it's making me giggle).

All this was rolling around in my head yesterday and putting me in a not so awesome mood. And I realized again how I am just not cut out for the corporate world. My parents are. They are brilliant and have business minds and my dad climbed the corporate ladder and is extremely succesful and I could not be prouder to call him my father. But I didn't get those genes. I neither the personality for it nor the desire.

I need flexibility and freedom. I need to do what I am passionate about (my passion is not for fashion). And that's ok.

I finished up the little training session and told her to ask me whenever she has any questions. She responded with um yeah. I won't have any questions about your job.

Ouch.

But it's ok. The whole experience made me think. We all have different passions, you know? I'm not weird for wanting to write all day every day, and she's not weird for her passion for fashion (can't stop! won't stop! so much sass!). Bloggers aren't weird for filling their posts with new photography or cooking adventures. We were all wired to love different things. I was not wired to climb the corporate ladder. I was wired to string words together, share them with others, and teach people how to do the same. And that's ok. (And I'm also wired to love all things retro and vintage like my new glasses people at work think are horrifying. Just throwing that out there.)

So go do what you love to do. Even if it's fashion.

15 comments:

  1. Preach it, girly! I'm totally right there with you- at a government desk job when I would be willing to do my dream job for minimum wage...if that were even a remote possibility. You just have to hope that with enough ambition, paying your dues and prayer- it will happen! At least, that's how I get through my days ;)

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  2. dying. I am utterly DYING right now!!!!!!! our jobs are SO similar and yet different.. I have no girl talking about fashion to me haha But, wow. the first e-card is something I say to myself almost every day when people (I don't work for!) relay some stupid message and then want me to email this person and mail this thing when... they could've done it in less time it took for them to explain it to me HAHA
    you kill me. I love it. I love YOU :)

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    1. oh. also! loving the lay out :) I am wanting to change my name too! You may have just given me the boost I needed! but, you're is way more creative!

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  3. That girl sounds like my worst nightmare. Anyone bubbly and/or peppy should be shot. Especially in a work environment.

    So, after reading your texts yesterday, I thought the clients were the ones you needed to be scared of...clearly, this chick is scarier!

    And now I'm going to list more reasons why we were separated at birth:
    -Love me some Rachel Zoe, but I could care less about anything "fashionable"
    -I have zero interest in climbing the corporate ladder and I believe 100% in doing whatever I need to do to get by
    -Sarcasm, cracking jokes, and being awkward is exactly why people think I'm an idiot. Really, we're just smarter than them, right?

    Also, this is a long comment so I'm stopping now.

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  4. She sounds crazy. And I need a job like yours! If there are any in the area let me know:)

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  5. Hahaha! I think I'm somewhere between you and her (without the passion for fashion and inability to take a joke and rude exiting comment). I see and understand both sides of your situation, and you're right by recognizing that neither of you are right or wrong. Just different. And that's a beautiful thing. :-)

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  6. hahah I would probably kill myself if I had to train her!
    I must admit I love your blog, sometimes I find myself reading it out loud like I know you would. I know this of course, because we are much alike!

    Jessica

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  7. Michelle, I adore you. I was laughing out loud-ing (lalwz) so much while I read this, and Ry, while making coffee, was like, "What's so funny?"

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  8. your job is SO similar to my job. i work as a 'senior admin assistant' at an e-commerce company...but yes, secretary is bascially accurate. i've been here 6 years, mostly bc i like the coworkers, and i'll be honest the pay is pretty good! but it's not something i'm passionate about either..there are some assistants who love what they do, and that's great. but mostly i've stayed this long bc i had a really great boss for most of my time here. he left about a year ago now..ugh.

    i kept laughing at "passion for fashion"...i am so not the bubbly type, i just don't have the energy. those people have to be exhausted when they go home, right? i mean to be that "on" all day? it has to be draining!

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  9. haha, my coworkers think my oversize, retro glasses are AWFUL too. They don't get it!

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  10. YO YO Hipster. It's me.

    We are hiring in my office, and a girl came in today to fill out an application, and she said, "so do you guy like have a phonebook?" she used the word "like" at least 343 times. So on a post it note I wrote, "no effing way" and placed it on her application. I"m delightful.

    I'm not built for corporate either. The best job I've ever had? Grocery store, hands down fantastic, and I miss it every single day.

    you're normal, fashionistas with smiles that fly out of their feet.. (?) I cannot stand them.

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  11. My love for you increases by the post.
    I would be whity right here if I could but my brain is drained of all whit... its all over the walls of my classroom... well talk when i get it back... which may be Monday... or May... well see.

    love you and your new blog name.

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  12. It's funny, because in my 'job life', I was basically always a secretary and/or receptionist. I liked it, but it's not what I wanted. And really, what I want is this...raising my kid, etc., but what I want career wise (eventually) is the same as you. Those last few sentences are exactly how I feel. And that's okay. We can climb other ladders. :)

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  13. Those first three paragraphs - my lord - it's my life. I went to school and have a masters to teach high school social studies but I'm currently working at a small marine construction firm as, essentially, their office admin. While my job is crazy and sometimes I like it, and I know I won't do it forever, I just feel so embarrassed to tell anyone anything about it, because I really feel like I let everyone down by being here and not teaching. I was so happy to read that you feel the same way - thank you for sharing!

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  14. Can't stop! Won't stop! So much sass! :D Love it love it love it!

    If she does end up having to ask you a job-related question after that little barb, you could raise your eyebrow at her the way she did when you were trying to crack jokes to break the ice.

    Ooorrrrr you could NOT be passive-aggressive, but I find that little bits of poetic justice help me get through my unwanted office environment, so whatever works.

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