To people with sexy phone voices who make you break the rules

Goddamn you sexy-voiced professors, you do it to me every time.

I get in the habit of flexing my vast administrative powers simply for my own entertainment: if someone is less than polite to me, it may take me a little longer to attend to their request. If someone expects unreasonable turnaround times, it takes the regular amount of time plus 10% more time. Weird.


I am not always the living worst. Sometimes I do a complete 180 and go out of my way to help someone. I like the ones who are good at banter; the ones who know they’re asking a lot and open with a wonderful easy-out disclaimer like: “I realise this is probably pushing it, but…” or even “I’m a complete idiot and I just realised I need such-and-such, like, yesterday”. Bow down and admit you need my help and I am right there with ya.

The other way to get me to help you, and I’m not entirely proud to admit it, but it needs to be said: have a smoky velvet-like phone voice. Make it warm, infuse it with humour, dip it in gratitude and I will expedite whichever form you like. I will stop just short of filling out the form for you, because I am mindful of setting expectations too high, but fuck it – I’ll stretch the rules a little, why not? Now let us both laugh at my funny joke.

The cherry on top: a follow-up thank you email wishing me a good weekend. I. Am. Yours.

To Friday afternoons

Hello, it is 4:08pm on Friday. Welcome to the longest 52 minutes of your life.

I hate Friday afternoons the way other people also hate Friday afternoons. With a passion. I hate this particular one not only because of where it’s located in relation to the rest of the days of the week, but also because this particular Friday calls for me to sit in an office at 32 degrees Celsius. I am not doing anything useful – I am quite obviously writing this.

You know the craziest thing about Friday afternoons? There is so little time (relative to the age of the planet Earth) between hating on the Friday and it being the very best time a person can have. I refer you to exhibit A: 4.59pm versus 5.01pm. See the change? Nothing subtle about the sweet taste of FREEDOM (you must read that word in a Scottish Mel Gibson yell accent, or GTFO).

The real suckers here are the people paying me to fake work. I think. Either that or it is me who is the sucker. In response to your imagined point (I don’t even know who you are: you could also be imagined) I contend I am a victim of the capitalist agenda, despite not being able to back that up with anything. Got it?

As long as we’re clear.

To people who are an administrative customer service nightmare

I’ve worked with the people for long enough to know that success in the workplace is about knowing that for the person asking it, their question is the most important one in the world. You should know I am damn good at being helpful and considerate of this fact, speaking in soothing tones, etc.

All things considered, it is very difficult not to reply with an email dripping with sass when a long-time academic (who can, in all probability, READ and LISTEN) decides to passive-aggressive email you about something you’ve already given them an answer to, with a cc- to someone much higher up the food chain, because they just didn’t like the answer you gave them the first time.

I don’t make shit up about who to submit a form to for sign-off to fuck with your world. I can affect the pay cycle and your superannuation, motherfucker. Why would I bother lying to you about who is responsible for signing off on your form? It’s not me who is meant to do it. It’s not me who even needs to see it’s been signed at all. I don’t care if an illiterate pirate signs it with an X.

Also, if this was so damned urgent, why is it pertaining to something from 2013? That is 3 actual years ago. Your semblance of urgency is ridiculous to me. Go and think about your choices.

And me? I will be waiting until Wednesday to reply to your email, because if I were to write back this afternoon, I’d hurt your stupid feelings.