Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I'm retiring.

My boss informed me on Monday that my job was ending in December. He wants it to be a full-time position, with half of the time assisting the grant people. He let me know I was welcome to apply, but because it was full-time, benefits eligible, they had to open it up to other people.

I will not be reapplying, for various reasons. One, in particular, but I'll not go into it here.

Yesterday, he emailed me a lot of letters that I was expecting a little less than a month ago. I duly printed them on letterhead and sent them to his office to sign. This morning he let me know (nicely) that he'd expected me to add his contact information to the signature.

And here is why I will be damned if I ever take another job that has any hint of administrative support. I had the same frustrations at a different admin job I had. Mainly, I somehow missed the mind-reading class that all administrative assistants seem to have taken. When I worked for the hedge fund, my life was constantly reliving that scene in Office Space where Jennifer Aniston isn't wearing enough "pieces of flare".

"So, more then."

It's not quite like that here, but I still find myself visibly irritating my boss when I haven't done something as, for example, unintuitive as add contact information in a signature block. Obviously this is a minor example, but it is not "correct" to have contact information in a print letter signature block, particularly if it is printed on letterhead. I'm not even sure what he wants in the signature block - a phone number or email address is inappropriate, his title is already there and the address of our institution is in the letterhead. Of course, it's his letter and he can have it however he likes, but I can't possibly assume what that is, if it is not what is the traditionally accepted manner. What if he wants a small drawing of a giraffe at the bottom of the page or wants his name to be written in a coMbInatIOn of uPPer and LoWer cASe?

The reason I say I missed a class is because I get this impression from people that someone else would have known. It might be in my head, but I can't shake this feeling that someone else would probably have had this all knowing ability. Other people manage to be happy in administrative positions and don't seem to irritate their bosses.


karen leslie said...

Do other people really manage to be happy in administrative positions? I think rule followers can... But, people like us just do not belong.

I realized I truly didn't belong here when my supervisor expounded on me just how seriously my predecessor took her job...really...ordering flowers, groceries, entering expenses, checking the mail, making ridiculously detailed itineraries for plans that won't even last through the trip. Its work and I am happy to get paid for it but its certainly NOT serious. And, I will never be able to take it that way.

I can't even explain how much I understand the frustration of the "mind-reading" aspect of the job. And, the verbal rakings I get when I don't perform to satisfaction... Ugh, depressing.

p.s. Good for you! :)

fmcgmccllc said...

Nope, not you. I was not an admin but once in a while was called to help out. I learned the more inadequate the person requesting help felt, the need to correct your work would grow large. So I learned to make it easy for them, leave some small but glaring item to correct and they were much happier. I kid you not.