I can count on my hands, the hands of others, an infants new toes, all of the millions of times I stated with vigor that I would never be sitting at a boring desk job, which is really to conclude that all words mean absolutely nothing.
Still at the temp job and now taking photos with the staff for holiday cards, creating a summary of myself for our website, and setting up my newly redone office. Cue panic.
To manage the sinking feeling in my chest that my life is becoming obsolete and I’m falling into a stapler and paper shredder abyss, I devised myself a small game. I call it my amusement tally and the premise is to collect the hysterically stereotypical elements of my administrative assistant life and then remember them all at once and laugh in the bathroom stall.
Example of Tally –
How many days does my boss talk about how the team across the hall wouldn’t share their wifi with us so we wont share our fridge with them?
Answer: Every day
How many times does my other boss sigh to himself because the other boss says if you do it in this order, it creates order”
Answer: Every hour
Last month I got a huge chuckle out of a situation that was not funny in the moment but is perfectly hilarious now. It was one of my bosses birthday and the other boss walks to my desk and plants a stickie note there that says my other bosses name and then writes “birthday lunch 12:30.” By the time I read it he has left and is on a call with a client.
I have so many questions.
Does the other boss know that this lunch is happening or is it a surprise? She has mentioned nothing about this and she mentions everything that ever enters her mind ever. Also why can’t you give me this information out loud? Does it feel more surprise-ish if we pass secret notes? Do I put a corresponding stickie note on your desk that says “Yes. I’m in.” ? Are you inviting me to go or is this mandatory? Am I getting paid still for an extended lunch? I have zero cash on me at the moment since you have passed me this mysterious neon note an hour before the possible surprise lunch begins. Are you driving? Do you all normally drink at lunch? Are we still going back to the office after? Also I’m straight broke, are you buying?
At 12:30 with the most anxiety I’ve felt in awhile, I simply followed my bosses out to their cars and got in one, decided to just answer yes to everything since everything is lost on me anyhow, did not pay for a penny of lunch, participated in office talk for two hours, came back to my desk to lay my head down on it and thank the universe for delivering me back here, to this desk, and to these letters I have to send out. I could have kissed those letters.
In two weeks we are having a similar work luncheon of which I plan on finding out every detail about beforehand so my social anxiety can take a breather, and I can sort everything out from transportation to outfits to planned topics such as the stock market and the new housing development being put in in the neighborhood. Maybe googling “things I don’t care about” would be faster.
Some of my amusement tally I’ve become used to, much to my dismay. Like I don’t even notice the hilarity of squabbles over the fridge and sharing the copy machines anymore because it’s white noise but luckily I am around when my bosses fight over where to put a fake plant and if we should start our filing tabs to the left now so there is some forced and designed joy left for me to have.
Occasionally I turn my head to the side facing our door, as if I am Pam Beesley looking at the camera when Michael Scott says or does something and it makes me feel better that the door frame and outer hall understand my struggles and can relate and are also saying “omg” or texting me “smh” in equal annoyance.
More stories to come after my next business luncheon, of which I’m sure I’ll find myself nodding about office hierarchy and salary comparisons, and then off to have a bottle of wine after as my reward for not making up a family emergency to leave! Can’t wait!