All In a Day's Work

Please send your stories to onlinewatercooler@gmail.com as this is definately a group effort.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

It's the "most wonderful time" of the year

Sung to the tune of...well...the original.
Original lyrics by yours truly.

It's the most wonderful time of the year
When we don't get a bonus
Cause sales, they are all down
And we're all in tears.
But it's the most wonderful time of the year
It's the hap-happiest season of all
With those bills coming daily and all of these vacays
There's no money at all! But
It's the hap- happiest season of all
Cause the bonus we won't get
Well, we already spent it
Shopping around in the mall
And the scary low numbers
In our banking accounts
Are shrinking til they are so small
There's not much we could do
The numbers just won't do
They are down so much lower than past
And this new bonus structure
Just didn't work out well
We're hoping this trend will not last.
It's the most wonderful time of the year
There'll be much penny-pinching
And a little more "grinching"
When payday's not here, but
It's the most wonderful time
It's the most wonderful time
It's the most wonderful time
It's the most wonderful time of the year

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Bathroom 101

Evidently this is not the "common knowledge" I had thought it was:
  • The toilet seat cover serves as a sanitary device for the variety of people that use that particular toilet. There is no need to leave the seat cover for the next person. There are more. I'd like my own. "Sharing" defeats the purpose.
  • Brushing your teeth in the bathroom is fine. Attacking your gums like they are the reason the world does not have peace is not only unfair to your gums but unpleasent for those that have to see you do this.
  • Please do not hum/sing/talk on your cell phone while in the stall. I'd rather be in there alone, don't make me want to kill you to get it that way.
  • Toilet paper is not going anywhere. I'm fairly confident we have enough for you to use again tomorrow. There is no need to rip off a piece and only use half of it and leave the unused on the floor. I won't use that either.
  • I understand that the appropriate place for bowel movements and intestinal releases is the restroom. However it is NOT appropriate to strain as if in childbirth. Perhaps a doctor's visit is in order.

Just thoughts...

Monday, August 14, 2006

How to arrive in an office.

I didn't realize this was so complicated, but evidently it is.

As the "bodyguard" of the office, the admin assistant's role is to handle as much as possible to free up the time for the "important" people to do their job. That's what we signed up for! So when people walk into our office with a cart of boxes and ask:

"Is Mary Poppins here?"

(pretend Mary Poppins is my boss - although I don't think I would have much job security if that were the case seeing as she can snap fingers and get things done, but we're pretending.)

My job is to find out as quickly as possible:
1) Who this person is
2) Why they are here
3) Would Mary Poppins WANT to meet with them
4) How to come between that person and Mary Poppins as to not waste Ms. Poppins' time.

I often feel like an idiot when I discover who the person is or the fact that everyone in the office knew who it was except me. Or the ever-so-lovely cases where everyone in the office knows about the scheduled meeting but me. Or the even better times when there IS a meeting and Mary Poppins is not here. Then it's a game of getting them here without the meeting attendee feeling unimportant. Good luck with that.

I realized today how much easier life would be if people stated a few things upon coming into the office.
1) Name
2) Why they are here/what company they are from
3) Who they are wanting to see
4) If that person is expecting them and if so, what time they are/were expecting them.

Seems like a lot but it's not. I've figured out the ways I will use from now on.

For the expected arrivals:
"Hello! My name is Cinderella from the marketing department at my company. I have a 1:00 meeting with Mary Poppins."

For the unexpected:
"Hello! My name is Cinderella from the marketing department at my company. I was hoping to meet with Mary Poppins about a previously discussed topic/an idea I think she would like - is she, or someone else, available?"

Oh, how the world would change.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Wouldn't it be great if...

Wouldn't it be great if.... (from an admin point of view)

...people realized that my desk is just that...my desk. You piling your crap and leaving it around prevents me from not only staying organized, but looking professional when guests come in. And I don't like cleaning up after you.
...people realized that my mind reading skills have weakened over the years. Your client coming in for a meeting with you when you haven't been in all morning nor did you tell me to expect people for a meeting does not immediately cause me to know who they are, where you are, or where the meeting will be.
...people stopped complaining about the lack of organization for hours upon hours a day. If you worked on what you were complaining about for 5 minutes a day it would be done in ...well, 2 days. And I don't want to hear your voice no mo'.
...people who do the "fake happy" phone call greetings didn't "fake happy" to the people they work with. We know you're faking it. It doesn't help.
...people came in to work periodically. Or told us they would not be coming in.
...people had any idea what they were asking me to do. (including how long it may take or how tedious a task it may be.)
...callers understood basic concepts of the companies they are calling. Don't call me asking for the phone number of my direct competitor. I don't call Costco asking for Sam's Club's phone number.
...the hot dude next door was actually interested in one of us. (hey, a girl can dream)
...spell check was used on a regular basis. I mean seriously, people.
...business proposals made some sense.

Friday, July 21, 2006

I am a front desk clerk

This was sent in by Chris, a friend of mine that was given this while working as a front desk clerk at a hotel. The purpose of the blog is to compile work stories from all over so send in your stories!
________________________________________________
I am a Front Desk Clerk…

I have advanced degrees in accounting, public relations, marketing, business, computer sciences, civil engineering and Swahili.

Of course I have the reservation you made six years ago, even though you do not have a confirmation number and think it was under a name that starts with an "S."

It isn't a problem for me to get two connecting, non-smoking, pool side, downstairs outside suites (with two king size beds in each), four rollaways, and yes, I would be happy to install a wet bar in each room and stock them at no charge. Of course it is my fault we don't have a helicopter-landing pad.

I am a front desk clerk - I am expected to speak all languages. It is obvious to me that when you booked your room for Friday, that you really meant Saturday. My computer has entrusted me with all our financial information and decisions. Of course I remember that when you were here four years ago we accidentally charged you for a 72 cent long distance call you hadn't made and will make sure it doesn't happen again.

I understand that MacGillegetty's Widget Manufacturing Corp. is a vast empire that can make or break our hotel. Yes I am lying when I tell you we have no more rooms available. It's not a problem for me to quickly build two more so we can accommodate you and this time I will include a helipad.

I am a front desk clerk - I am quite capable of checking three people in, two people out, taking five reservations, answering twelve telephone calls and unplugging the toilet in 420, all at the same time.

I also know where the best vegetarian, kosher, Mongolian BBQ restaurants are. I also know exactly what to see and do in this city in less than fifteen minutes and at no cost.

I take personal blame for airline delays, traffic jams, rental car flat tires and the national debt. I should have realized that you meant to make your reservation here and not the "Galaxy Delight Motel" down the street and that you are entitled to the special five dollar discount because you're a member of the Accounting and Bagel Club of North America. Yes I will be happy to cash your Japanese travelers checque for 10,000 yen into Canadian currency. Even though it is Sunday morning, I am constantly aware of the exchange rate for all the world's currencies, after all, I am a front desk clerk.

We are expected to smile, empathize, sympathize, console, upsell, downsell, (and know the difference), perform, sing, dance and fix the computer (all at the same time).

I am a front desk; I can do all things… (and look busy when the boss is nearby).

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Working in a predominately female office is hard enough on our guys. We have one guy that's in a committed relationship and another that is not, but dreads the stories of menopause and crafts that swirl our office constantly. But who would have thought that the office would be whipped into a tizzy when ...a single male comes in.

A guy swung by unexpected to schmooze with Committed Relationship Guy (CRG). He really had no idea about the structure of our company or even what CRG's role was but he decided after talking to myself and another gal that that's who he wanted to talk to. He sat in our "lobby" (2 chairs set up amongst the start of the cubicles) and fiddled on his laptop while the office carried on around him. CRG came out to talk to him and we all observed - okay, eavesdropped - on their conversation to find out more about this guy. Seemed like he was in his 30s, no ring on the left ring finger, nicely dressed, nice laptop (although a little to into it for my taste), seemed like an okay guy. Until CRG pointed out the boots.

Single Male was wearing tan cowboy boots. His response to CRG was "I'm not afraid - they're the most comfortable shoes ever!" Riiiiiight. No one cares. You're a schmoozing business man wearing...cowboy boots. (no, we are not in the south) Another comment was CRG asking what Single Male did before this "Oh, sales. Nothing related to this work. I'm not afraid to say that." Apparently you're not afraid to look like an idiot either. Whatever.

He leaves and the office that had seemed to be carrying on as usual ERUPTED. The river of estrogen overfloweth. No joke. It was as if a prince had rode in on a white horse and we let him leave emptyhanded. This semi-decent guy was now described to those that didn't see him as "Strikingly handsome" and I was chastized for mocking the boots. Boss was hard at work playing matchmaker for our only Single Gal and wouldn't take no for an answer. She was convinced he had done a dramatic double-take when Single Gal walked by and that was enough- CRG was asked to email him and ask if he'd be up for a blind date.

Maybe 20 minutes later, Single Male wrote back to CRG telling him their were lots of good looking gals here, how did CRG get any work done, he'd love drinks so call when you have a business deal for him and he'll see what he can do. And then he asked if it was a girl wearing a white skirt and a colored blouse. 10 points to him for remembering, but negative 10 for mentioning the WRONG GIRL. This was my friend that had talked to him when he first came in. How many drastic double takes did we miss?

And yet, a day later - the office is still buzzing. Lord help us.