Office Administration for Dummies

As I’ve alluded to, I have been a student for literally ever. Like, I was born, I waddled around for a few years because I was a toddler, I started Kindergarten, AND I HAVE NEVER LEFT ACADEMIA SINCE. So, when I started one of my first (albeit temporary) office jobs a couple of months ago, I had a couple of things to get used to. At first, I was all, “I HAVE TO DO THIS EVERY DAY?”  But now, I’ve got the whole work schedule thing down. This is what I’ve learned.

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8:30 – Arrive to work. Be there 5 minutes early so it looks like you got there 10 minutes early. If you’re late, spend extra 5 minutes explaining how bad the roads were, which is likely not why you were late at all, but it’s Canada, so it’s always a reliable excuse. If it was the reason you were late, exaggerate the amount of near-collisions you witnessed so people believe you. Ugh, [Current Rival Province] drivers. They’re the worst.

8:45 – Morning meeting to talk about who’s doing what because So-and-So stayed home sick again. Do that for about 45 seconds. Spend remaining 9 minutes and 15 seconds talking about what you did the night before. This builds a strong sense of comradery.

9:00 – Complain about the office being too cold.

9:15 – Check E-mail.

9:45 – You know what, the office is actually quite warm. Encourage coworkers to wear a warmer sweater.

10: 15 – Go for coffee.

11:00 – Check E-mail. Respond to invite for Office Potluck, forgetting immediately what day it’s scheduled on.

11:30 – Complain loudly about someone wearing too much perfume or cologne in hopes to passive-aggressively remind them how allergic you are.

12:00 – Lunch. Leave packed lunch in the fridge and grab something from a nearby food truck, because you literally can’t even stick to your meal plan today. Have someone probably named Karen tell you how good your food looks while they pretend to be upset about eating their homemade salad packed in a mason jar. You know you’re not jealous, Karen. We both know I’ve given up and gained that 5 lbs back. Enjoy your sustainably grown and packaged lettuce.

1:15 – Check E-mail. Avoid tricky ones, because you can deal with it tomorrow. What are you, a robot?

1:45 – Head to meeting. Naturally, complain about temperature/humidity/lighting of the room. Do. Not. Fall. Asleep.

3:30 – Go for coffee.

4:00 – Scramble to finish all the work you were supposed to do for the day.

4:35 – Leave the office 5 minutes late feeling a humble sense of accomplishment because you stayed late. Again.

Good work, self.


My neurotic inner voice is telling me that I should end with a note to remind you, i.e. current or potential employer, that this is an exaggerated account because I think I’m funnier than I probably am. Regardless, my colleagues and I work very hard. Though we are concerned for our circulation when the building is consistently so cold, we are nonetheless committed to excellence. I assure you I have been regularly recognized for my work ethic, professionalism, and productivity. Thank you for your continued support or future consideration.