26 September, 2008


An edited version of a recent family email I sent describing my day job duties as a NYC singer here during audition season.
Names, departments, places of work, and other details have been eliminted so I don't get "dooced".

I've recently entered the real work-force with two part time jobs.
On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30am-1:30pm I work as a temporary administrative assistant.
LET me just begin by saying--if you work a real job- bravo to you.

A sampling of my recent schedule:
8:15am- arrive, punch in, login to my computer (it took the tech department 4 days and 5 signatures of three people to get me an email here).

8:17-8:55, or, before my office-mate gets here- try to make myself look busy to the boss who sits in the office next door by walking around with blue files in my hands (we hold all personnell files here and have to sign every piece of paper that comes through about them..and THEN refile them). Walk around with blue folders some more. File a few. Put a few in another pile to file later. (All this work actually takes 5 minutes to any normal person with alphabetizing skills, but I stretch it out for as long as possible).

8:56-9:45am- logon to the company email and PRINT, one by one, the 150 or so daily applications we receive for : Security guards, administrative assistant, purchasing managers, etc. BEFORE I can give them to my boss I have to make a cover sheet detailing how many applicants there were, where the found out about the job (ie, Craigslist or the newspaper), and then place them neatly on her desk. This is interrupted by the arrival of my 2 other office mates and stories of their commutes and the late trains from NJ, and their class schedule for that day, and their dinner out with their boyfriend last night, and the shoes they are going to wear to their friend's wedding this weekend, and eating an apple or a banana.

9:45-12- Think about how I wish I had brought a better-tasting lunch instead of just throwing some rice and chicken in a Glad container.
Also, get asked by my boss to follow up on emails and calls that I wasn't there for in the first place, get sent on wild goose chases like "find a file from 2006 from a company we no longer work with", and
"take these time cards up to the fifth floor". (5 minutes later) "Take these time cards up to the 4th floor" (10 minutes later:) "Can you get this guy to sign this paper on the 5th floor and bring it back here?" (we're on the ground floor)..and OF COURSE there are elevators, but if you had ALL of the documents lying around in the first place, I THINK I can handle carrying more than one thing in my hand at one time.

12-1:22- Look at the blue files again. Maybe file one or two---to leave some work for the next day.

1:22-1:30- pack up my purse as SLOWLY as possible.

Today, since I'm working until 5 I've managed to extend my 'doing nothingness' into the extreme. AND have I mentioned my boss isn't here until Monday?
I checked my email every 5 minutes. I read the entire NYTimes online. I wrote a friend's bio, resume, cover letter. I baked a cake.

Of course, the filing and alphabetizing work never ceases--new health forms, payroll forms, changes of address forms--dare I suggest to them to move everything to an online system and make PDF scans of everything that comes through so that NO ONE after me has to FILE anything ANYMORE?!
Yea, that would never happen I'm sure.
Until then, I'll be the one knee-deep in blue file folders in the middle of the office floor alphabetizing and sorting payroll receipts.

My SECOND job is every Wednesday from 11-4pm. I babysit two twin one year old girls.
And I swear, nap from 2pm-3pm included, I feel more ALIVE during those 5 hours than one SECOND of work in this office. And they can't even talk back. They just smile and laugh whenever I read the book "Is THAT my Dinosaur" to them for the 12th time.



Ok, now, really- it's not like I don't WANT to work. I'd love to do something--but if I finish all of the filing right now, there will be nothing. I'll sit here, waiting to be given more work, not get any, and then get sent on some idiotic task that doesn't really need to be done, but is being assigned to me because I'm here and look like I need something to do.

So. There you go. Note to self and my future business practices- streamline, streamline, streamline--if you don't know what your assistants are doing for you at all times, you most likely don't need those assistants.

That is all. Back to my exciting work.

1 comment:

Embly said...

dah! the whole digitize everything idea, it's a good one, but you know who would have to scan it all?
you. oh man would that suck. I would love my office to do everything digitally, but that would mean that little old me would have to do all the scanning...