I support those who have a higher pay grade
|"Cyndi, I'm sorry this is short notice but I need this done by Tuesday for a meeting with Level 3 Executives. You can send 10 copies of the packets through the inner office mail. On second thought, you need to deliver them. I can't have them lost.
(signed) Connie, Level 3 Admin Assistant.
Well, Good morning to you. I thought when I opened the email. You're their assistant. I support you as well as the assistants of those other 10 assistants. Why couldn't they do it? Because you're the best at what you do I gave a snort at that thought. I'm good at what I do. I like helping people. I like supporting my people. Notice the emphasis on my? Having last minute projects thrown at me when I already have a mountain of projects to finish for others, just makes me wish I wasn't so good. How many times has someone told me Just give an important job to a busy person and they'll be sure to get it done. Okay, I understand the concept. I just hate that it's true.
I sighed, What do I do now? I reach into my side desk drawer and lift up the folders. Tucked in the back is a box of See's chocolates, my dad sent me. I love chocolate. I have to ration it or I'd eat it all in a week. It's become my emergency Valium substitute. I pop a salted chocolate caramel into my mouth and let the frustration and anxiety of the new project's deadline fade away. I can only do my best and that is all I can do.
After the chocolate is melted and mixed with the salt, I bite on the caramel and soon its all gone. My computer monitor blinks as another message comes through.
"Did you get my last email?" It's the author of the previous email. I bury my head in my arms on the desk.
Nope, no time for that. I quick type back "Yes, I've put your request in the Que." That's all I can do. I'll work on it as I have time, I tell myself.
The day went by quicker than I'd thought as I looked at what Level 3's AA wanted done. It wasn't as bad as I'd thought. I pulled up the pages to be copied and sent them to the copier to be printed, collated and bound. The binding was an extra step I had to do on my own. I typed the event into my hourly calendar for the next day. Shouldn't take me long to do it.
Five o'clock ticked off and I returned my desk to its neat and orderly state and picked up my bag.
"Cyndi!!! "Thank goodness you're still here!" It was one of my level 3's I work with and love.
"What's the matter Nancy?" I stood ready to escape to my haven.
"I thought I had all this done just the way you showed me. Now I find the pages are printed on one side and not two. I can't fit them in the folders. I have to deliver these to my boss in twenty minutes." Tears streamed down her face.
I'm a sucker for anyone in trouble. "Did you reprint them?" Her head bobbed.
I set my things under my desk and pointed to a table outside my cube. "Lay half the pile here and I'll assemble them while you do the other half." They were finished in ten minutes and Nancy blew kisses as she ran for the elevator. I reassembled my gear and headed down the hall to the elevator.
I turned the corner and ran into a hard body. Strong arms grabbed my shoulders and kept me from falling. "Hey, Watch where-Cyndi? What are you doing here?" The man now putting distance between us glared at me under thick, bushy, black eyebrows. He looked at his watch. "I didn't approve overtime. Why are you still here?" my boss demanded.
I couldn't tell him I'd been helping Nancy and I don't lie. "I ran into a co-worker and we chatted for a while." It was sort of the truth.
"Oh, It's your own time so I guess you can talk to whomever you want to." He nodded at me and walked on down the hall.
I gripped my bags and gnashed my teeth. It didn't do any good to cry over spilt milk. One day I'm going to up and walk out the door and leave them all treading water.
I managed to squeeze into the crowded elevator just as the door shut. The box with its sardine stuffed occupants, shuddered, and began its decent. A few floors down it shook, shuddered and ground to a halt. It didn't move. I could hear a finger rapidly pressing the buttons on the panel. When nothing happened, someone pressed the alarm. A moan and cries of fear erupted around me.
My mind rebelled, Calgon, take me away Like that was going to happen. There wasn't a thing I could do. Sandwiched between the stench of stale smoke and sweat, I shook my head in despair, this was one day when being good at your job didn't pay.