I find it difficult playing the part of the Tazmanian Devil I am expected to be at work. When the printer runs out of paper, or when Gracie Grater can’t immediately find a form, it doesn’t qualify as an emergency to me. Even the fire alarm blasting into the office is no longer an emergency – practice runs really have ruined it for everyone. The upshot is that the collective office perception of emergencies heightens every single event – and who, in those gritty times, better to address it than Queen Administrator?
But what if my job were as important to me as Ms. Manager seems to think it should be? What if, when Gracie Grater wails about her pen disappearing from her desk, I, Queen Administrator were to appear immediately with a glazed smile and a new pen? What if, when Prof. Petulant waved around an empty jar of coffee in the middle of the meeting, staring intently at Queen Administrator, I was to produce a full one from my bottom drawer and, with that glazed smile and thousand yard stare, not only make him coffee, but wash his cup up too?
But swallowing the practicalities of being inane is a practical difficulty. I have started to get around it by brainwashing myself. Every morning, as the journey to work starts to draw me closer I tell myself the three following things:
- You are not who you think you are for the next 7.5 hours of your life;
- If you were not at work, not only would your department fall apart, but it is wholly likely that the entire organisation would be lucky to still be in business by the following morning;
- You are, as they always say, an absolute star (more on that later).
Is it giving up to give into the bizarreness of being everyone’s new hands? In some areas this is a metaphorical concept – a bottom of the barrel compliment at times. Where I work, it’s actually true. But it’s one hundred per cent easier than trying to make them change.