I don’t want to always be the bitch pointing out the other worse bitches, but this afternoon at 32 degrees in my office with no aircon, damn it, I will be that bitch.
Sometimes people keep it real and understand the natural flow of things in a large organisation, where several teams need to work with each other to get a thing done. We’re all cogs of a (sometimes) well-oiled machine. We all have to do our thing to make the other thing go. I’m not a mechanic but I think I’ve used the metaphor correctly, yes?
Sometimes people do not at all keep it real and instead they decide a thing that needs to be done is broken, and they just keep on phoning different people on different phone numbers until someone answers them who they can yell at.
Sometimes that person who gets yelled at is me, and sometimes the times is today.
Why people want to cause fuss on 32 degree days is beyond me. Our emergencies are not medical emergencies. It’s ok if they wait til Monday if there’s a net in place to catch the people who might need catching. We come back, we empty our net, we make sashimi (wait, I think I did this metaphor wrongly), we fix the metaphor, we fix the thing, we move on.
None of this terrible prose is really capturing my intended take away message, which is: focus on who matters. If those people are ok until the problem can be fixed, we’re good. Stop calling things a disaster when they are really just the possibility of a phone call.
Sometimes I am decidedly not helpful. Sometimes this is because I think the person should just do it themselves, sometimes it’s because I am busy and have other issues that feel more important.
Mostly, though, I flatter myself that I exhibit quite the ‘can-do’ attitude, particularly at work when I am being paid well to do things.
I realise I’m leading myself into a trap here; I hold others to the same expectations I have of myself. I realise not everyone is as great as me. I know this.
But fuckssake, I am very much completely over the whole concept of humbly asking how something is to be done when I do not know, with keen awareness of the fact that we’re all riding a high-maintenance rollercoaster of administrative powerplay, and having the careful asking thrown in my face.
I’m quiet, and nice, and competent as fuck. Just go ahead and assume I am asking you how to do something so that I do it the correct way preferred by you, and not because I’m an idiot who exists merely to ruin your life. Feel safe in that assumption, I urge you.
A person should not want to cry while drinking heavily so early into the working week. It’s Tuesday, mate. Please, just help me with the thing.
Because that is actually your job.
Hey fictional senior colleague,
I think what hurts the most (from how hard I laughed, not in the feelings) is that what you’re actually saying while implying I might be, in fact, Scared of your Scary Senior Self, is that I don’t give your non-work related posturing any reply airtime.
Because I literally do not care about the unspoken, read-between-the-lines idea that a much less senior (and let’s face it, only administrative) member of staff should be pandering to your less-than-whatever email banter, I of course must actually be a-skeered of you.
I don’t owe you replies to emails that aren’t progressing my work. I’m pretty fucking busy, and while I’m not that important yet, I will be one day. Like in the future, when you’ve retired and you’re waiting for someone to trot you out for guest lectures but I’M IN CHARGE NOW so nobody does.
I’m not scared of you, I’m just ignoring you because I don’t care about your stupid feelings
That’s heaps cute though.
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.