Monday, March 31, 2008

Dress mishaps

I ask you: how on EARTH does a person rip the front of their dress while sitting at a desk all day?

Boo.

And then the phone destroys her...

Okay, maybe I need to partially take back my last post, because this phone is going to be the BANE OF MY EXISTENCE! Apparently someone left a message while I was on lunch. I know how to check messages, I've done it before, and yet... I can't get into the freaking mailbox!

Oh password, what are you? This is not the time for coy games or pranks, this is a time for cooperation!

*side note: I couldn't remember if bane was spelled b-a-n-e or b-a-i-n, so I looked it up at gool ol' dictionary.com. There I learned that bane is the spelling when referring to a person or thing that ruins or spoils. However, bane can also be used as a suffix to indicate a deadly poison, and is often used as a suffix for the names of poisonous plants. So to use such information completely out of context and very melodramatically, perhaps I could call this phone a phonebane, or voicemailbane?

Do You Have What it Takes?

Frequently seen in job postings for receptionist positions:

Requirements:
-2-3 years previous reception experience
-professional experience with the Microsoft Suite
-experience operating/troubleshooting office equipment

What said job postings actually should say:

Requirements:
-be of an employable age and not an a-hole

Here's the thing: anyone of an employable age can fulfill the phone-answering, photocopy-making, document-typing and formatting, spreadsheet-creating, fax-sending tasks of a receptionist. That is because at this point in the history of the world, everyone of an employable age* knows how to do all these things, and if they don't already know they will easily figure it out, probably in less than 5 minutes. You see, employers of the world, while most of you are over 40 and even more of you over 50, and thus had to be taught how to use computers when they came out, the rest of us grew up with them already in place or were introduced to them at a very young age. Thus the ability to figure out the updated version of Microsoft Word without calling tech support. Thus the fact that we don't need 2 years of experience as a receptionist to make a spreadsheet and yank jammed papers out of a photocopier.

Now, I'm not saying that experience is useless. I'm sure that after a couple of years in an office you pick up some handy organizational skills and get a little better at some of the multi-tasking occasionally required. But let's be honest with ourselves for a moment: it still doesn't make that big of a difference.

*caveat: by "everyone" I mean everyone who lives and was educated in an environment where modern technology is used, meaning the parts of developed countries that don't screw over their poor. I also mean people who aren't a-holes, which might rule out a large portion of the population.

Monday Monday, can't help that day...

Greetings and Happy Monday! The day when all possessors of the BOJ take our posts, answer phones, make photocopies, and generally try not to let the weight of 5 WHOLE DAYS crush our spirits. Waking up to bright sunshine does make it a little easier though.

News item for the day: hopefully everyone knew about Earth Hour this past weekend. On Saturday at 8pm everyone was supposed to turn off their lights for an hour to save energy/send a message to the government about our priorities, etc. Unfortunately, this little receptionist was a wedding, and most brides are not too keen of an hour of dark and silence in the middle of their receptions. However, turns out that Vancouver's energy demands dropped by approx. 3% during Earth Hour, and North Van's dropped by 7%. Well done! Shake your hand, pat yourself on the back, and revel in your globe-saving sacrifice (as you commute from North Van to downtown in your SUV of course).

Friday, March 28, 2008

Notes on the Successes of My Peers

It's mildly depressing to put together the tax return for a girl two years older than me (read the same age as my older sister) who owns her own restaurant and is rolling in the dough. Of course, she also owes a couple thousand in taxes and is probably constantly stressing about whether or not her staff is stealing from her and if they respect her as a boss since she's essentially the exact same age as them. The only real difference between her and her staff is that they're all trying to make it as actors/models/singers and she really secretly always wanted to do that too, but her dad always told her since she was a child that the only people who go that route in life are people whose parents didn't give them enough love as children and so now they have chosen Desperately Seeking Attention as careers, and if she chose that she would essentially be saying that he didn't give her enough love when obviously he did, and what's she trying to do, call him a terrible father?

Anyways, that's a lot of pressure that I don't have as a receptionist who is seriously considering choosing Desperately Seeking Attention as a career. Coincidentally, my older sister is pretty much successfully following this career path, which of course doesn't make me feel inferior at all either. But that's for another rant.

It's snowing on March 28.

My entire life growing up I was told something that I always clinged to as a basic, fundamental truth. Something I could always count on. That IN VANCOUVER IT NEVER REALLY SNOWS EXCEPT FOR MAYBE TWICE IN DECEMBER/JANUARY BUT NOT EVEN REALLY THEN BECAUSE IT DOESN'T EVEN STICK AND IS BROWN SLUSH IN TWO HOURS!

I just don't know what to believe anymore.

Every Day is Fugging Day

Man, sometimes killing time by reading trashy websites can be dangerous. Case in point: whilst flipping through the pages of Go Fug Yourself (I say flipping through the pages because I consider looking at this website on par with, say, reading US Weekly or People or some other equally trashy magazine that you flip through without actually reading anything, except that I do read the writing in Go Fug Yourself, what with the constant hilarity of the written commentary), I saw Paula Abdul getting rightly fugged, as usual. Now it's all I can do to keep this:

"a do-do you love me? A do-do you love me? A do-do you love me? Sing it! Straight up now tell me are you really gonna love me for-ev-er (oh oh oh) or are you just having fun…"

In my head and not my mouth. GEEZ! Actually, it's kind of catchy. If this wasn't such a deathly silent office I'd probably start half-singing it to myself and do a little chair-dancing.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Receptionist

Ah, the receptionist. Remember when you were a kid and you'd go to the doctor's office or your parent's office? Behind that big, shiny desk always sat a receptionist. Even before most people had computers, the receptionist had one. Always friendly, always in-the-know. How much fun it must be! Answering phones, making appointments, filing, telling people to have a seat until their appointment. Yes. Reception. It's almost a dream job. Sort of like how being a cashier also seemed like the coolest job ever to the average youngster.

Alas.

The truth.

It is not a dream job, but is a Boring Office Job (BOJ) where you find ways to entertain yourself while also finding ways to look like you're working while you entertain yourself. This is to be differentiated from the Stressful Office Job (SOJ). The key difference here being that people with SOJs have far more work than anyone could possibly do in a 40 hour week and lots of pressure to get it done and get it done right. People with BOJs on the other hand have far less work than anyone could stretch out over a 40 hour work week.

Have have a BOJ. This is my new method of passing time.