Without ripping my tights

There are days I make coffee for people. There are days I create a make-or-break presentation. There are days I add layer upon layer to a map to find a radius of land. There are days I shop for copy paper and diet soda. There are days I am crawling around on the floor troubleshooting IT equipment, praying that I don’t snag my tights or flash my co-workers. There are days I am composing letters of persuasion or support, or new employee bios.

There are days I surf the net.

Yesterday I met with the new property managers for the building and covered the necessities of burned-out light bulbs, suite and building amenities, and executed documents. I have a hard time keeping a straight face about executed documents. I prefer to say signed. Executed brings to mind images of rolling heads and zapping bodies. None too pleasant, yet giggle inducing in an extremely unprofessional way. I’m not one with a high acumen for professional behavior, but I know what acumen means. I’m the one who holds the award for most consecutive f-bombs in a single fit.

My mother must be proud.

checked dress

I left the meeting, brushed blueberry muffin crumbs off my checkered dress, slammed the remainders of my coffee, and grabbed my camera and keys and left for an hour and a half road trip. First stop – inventory contents of a storage unit, or crawl around squirrel-like in the dust, dirt, and cobweb-covered contents of the garage while taking pictures and notes and not dying. Second stop – lunch with one of our field guys.

I returned to the office, shot off some emails, downloaded the images, and printed off a stack of executed documents (off with their heads!) and left to drop off papers to start the final steps of a project I have been running for three months.

Today I will take one of our fleet cars to the dealership for service, taking advantage to whore my back out to the heated seats, send next week’s office schedule to the team leaders in the home office, remind one of my bosses to send me his expenses, and pull some research points from a database I built and maintain.

None of it is glamorous.

No matter what I am doing at any given moment on any given day, I am available to give someone peace of mind. Be it to pick up or drop off something that cannot wait for an overnight delivery, but can wait the four hours it will take to make the drive, or set up the conference room for a particular kind of meeting while I place the order for coffee and pastries for ten. I empty the dishwasher and refill the copy paper. I coordinate office events from birthday lunches to community service days. I check the mail and sign for packages. I shop for napkins, hand sanitizer, and sugar-free vanilla creamer.

I am there to do it so everyone else can function in their work. I am behind the scenes. I am the answer to “how are we going to get that done there?”. I am using two pieces of punctuation because I don’t know what’s right.

I do so much, yet I don’t do anything at all. I’m not negotiating for the future. I’m not managing any portfolios. I’m not doing a whole lot in service to the business of my company. I am doing a whole lot in service to those who are the business of my company. It’s clearly a different role than the rest of the office. After fifteen months, I’ve grown to enjoy my position on the outside. It suits me to sit on the edge of the action, but like a sheepdog moving the crowd of business around the pasture so it thrives.

We need chargers for the dinner tomorrow nightcall Melanie.
We need a video conference set up for three locationscall Melanie.
We need the new phones installed in the Atlanta officecall Melanie.
Why the hell isn’t this printer printing?Melanie!
We need pictures
call Melanie.

When the airprinter doesn’t work, it falls on me. When it does work, no one notices. But that’s not to say my efforts are not acknowledged. They are. When I hear how nice it is to come in to the Atlanta office and have it work and function as it should, like an extension of the home office in Missouri, I know my efforts were successful. That and the kick-ass Christmas party.

I went as an elf

I went as an elf

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16 thoughts on “Without ripping my tights

    • Exactly. Ha! Next time I’m making nameplates, I’ll make myself a new one with Director of GSD as my title.

      Thanks for the punctuation lesson. I thought myself dizzy on that one, so I went with both.

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  1. Having someone who keeps things running smoothly is critical to an organization’s success. Sounds like they’re very lucky to have you. By the way, I love that you doubled the punctuation. When in doubt, throw in an extra mark! 🙂

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    • I am the master shit catcher, as it rolls downhill I make sure it turns into manure and not a bio-hazard. Plus, making and taking coffee to the executive vice president guarantees me a few minutes of an exclusive audience, and that has served me well, like the three-month project I mentioned, which will be fully operational in the first week of January.
      The double punctuation was the only option. The question was a quote in a sentence that was a statement. I couldn’t sort it out because I over-thought it.

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  2. My husband works in IT and it’s a pretty thankless job. When things are working (which is most of the time), no one really notices or is grateful. When things break (because that is the nature of everything), it’s his head on a stick. Like you, he is in the business of making sure “the business” runs smoothly; he is an executive but his position is not one that IS the business, he simply assists. They’ve grown and this Christmas was the worst on record with regards to any show of thanks. I see him growing tired and used. I’m glad the people you work for still have a kick-ass Christmas party – we used to love his. This year, we didn’t even go. I love your elf outfit, btw.

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    • That’s terrible your husband’s company doesn’t do anything to give back to the people who make it work. The circumstances leading up to getting this job were pretty terrible, but it’s been a silver lining, and the way they make sure to celebrate, I mean actually celebrate the employees is motivating. And it’s not just once a year, but they do expect hard work and sometimes long hours.
      But mostly, what I do goes unnoticed, and I’m good with that.

      Like

  3. Pingback: Friday Night Funeral | This Is My Corn

  4. Pingback: Setting The Example | This Is My Corn

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