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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I’ll Take “Locking Your Boss in a Bathroom Stall” for Five Hundred, Alex!

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to play everyone’s favorite administrative assistant game “Bring Me A Rock”!

The rules are simple. Your boss will ask you for a rock. You will bring her a rock, and she will ask if you can find a bigger rock. You will then bring her a bigger rock, whereupon she will ask if it only comes in black and can you get one in red? You will then find one in red and she will want to know if there are any other shades of red, and sure as heck, you will go looking for another rock in a shade you hope she likes.

Turns out you can get that particular rock in another shade of red and prematurely congratulate yourself on your resourcefulness. Surely you are an executive admin of the highest order. You bring it to her quite full of admiration for yourself.

She loves it. Now this is the kind of rock she was talking about!

Can you get six more of them before the 3:00 meeting?

Take your time. There’s no rush.

It is at this point that you will either 1.) burst into tears, 2.) go out for lunch and not come back, 3.) be promoted to CEO, or 4.) knock yourself out getting her what she started describing hours ago but couldn’t elaborate on properly.

Today’s Bring Me a Rock game?

Can You Get Me That One Report?

“Hi, Pearl. Can you get me that one report except updated?”

“Sure. Which report would that be?”

“The one you ran last Thursday. Oops! Gotta go! Just e-mail it to me!”


Hmmm. I ran five reports Thursday, a wide array of reports ranging from the you-just-click-here kind of report to the I-can-recreate-this-report-for-you-but-I’ll-need-a-gallon-of-top-grade-motor-oil-a-masseur-and-a-passport kind of report.

Crossing our fingers, we run the click-here report.

Ha ha ha. Foolish mortal. That is not the report.

You try again, calling her. Which report was it? What kind of information are you looking for?

Oh, you know. I’m looking for week-over-week comparison between factored and unfactored pipeline, preferably by alphabetical order of the client’s home office’s state capital and cross-referenced by the salesman’s shoe size.

Oh, and if we could have the currencies listed in dollars, euros, and those giant stone coins, that would be great.

Oh that report.

So when you come looking for me, and I do hope you will come looking for me, I will be either 1.) weeping copiously in the women’s bathroom, 2.) walking down the middle of Nicollet daring a bus to hit me, or 3.) sitting at Nye’s Pollanaise at the piano bar singing John Denver tunes with Sweet Lou Snider and my new best friends.

Thanks for playing “Bring Me A Rock”!


Pat said...

She definitely owes you a-gallon-of-top-grade-motor-oil-a-masseur-and-a-passport, and also an additional week of paid leave of absence and a spa treatment.

savannah said...

your boss needs to sit on your side of the desk for a few days, sugar! the thing that bugs the most? if she just took a moment to collect her thoughts before assuming that "i'm the boss and very busy, so i can't stop and form a complete sentence or thought" attitude, everyone would be more productive! (a life lesson i learned having sat on both sides of the desk!) xoxoxo

(thanks for stopping by and sending good vibes - he'll be home at midnight tonight!)

Simply Suthern said...

I got similar request this morning in the form of a "Ballpark Quote Request" which translated means it is carved in stone and they will hold your feet to the fire if you exceed it. All the info I got was they need a piece of pipe in Georgia and they need the quote this morning. I didn't ask what currency thay were using. What is the exchange rate for the giant stone coins? Never mind, I'll use confederate dollars. I seem to have some of those squirreled away for a rainy day.

Deborah said...

Tears are, once again, squirting out.

You make it sound fun though Miss P.

Pearl said...

Pat, do you need an assistant?! Sounds like you know how to treat one!

Savannah, wouldn't that just be perfect, though? I've long felt that everyone, in their lives, should be a waitress, a maid, a daycare provider, and a taxi driver. Oh, and work fast food and retail and probably a half-dozen other service jobs that routinely are treated poorly!

Simply Suthern, Now THAT'S how we play Bring Me A Rock! A piece of pipe in GA... Why I oughta...

Deborah, it IS fun. :-) Fun and frustration are often holding hands, don't you think?

powdergirl said...

I'd head straight for the Polonaise, Pearl, but I'd watch out for that dangerous Polka band!

Nothing worse than being the target when they're rollin'out the barrel.

Tristachio said...

I used to be an Admin Assistant and all my job consisted of was sitting around looking at things on the internet for 10 hours and pretending my German boss was the funniest German man in all of the world.

sage said...

You got me wondering if my administrative assistant has a blog and is making fun of me!

The Good Cook said...

You have the patience of a saint and a boss straight from hell.

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

could you throw all those rocks at her? Do you think she'll understand?!?

Pearl said...

powdergirl, a polka does sound good right now, doesn't it?!

Tristachio, I would be willing to move -- is your job still open?!

sage, I have spoken with your Admin through the World Wide Admin League and she assures me that you are decent to work for but she wishes you would pick up some flowers "just because". :-)

The Good Cook, I am patient, but I am also subtly mocking her. :-) It all balances out!

Roshni, I am lobbing mental rocks as we type. :-)

Jocelyn said...

I got all distracted with the Nye's reference at the end. In the early 1990's, I had my best night ever there; I was singing with Lou and turned my head to see Dave Pirner et al saunter in. For a moment there, I thought I might get lucky.

Turns out sitting with Lou was lucky.

Anyhow, eff all on that report. The fact that it even exists makes my head hurt.

Pearl said...

Jocelyn, I once secretly stalked Dave Pirner for absolute BLOCKS before I decided I did not have the nerve to introduce myself. :-) God but I love him.

Anonymous said...

I say lock her in the can. Or, opt for John Denver. A little sunshine on the shoulders never hurt anyone.

The Retired One said...

Oh, Pearl...I SO feel your pain! Been there! Only my CEO would THINK he told you something specific..he'd say "You know, that thing I told you to do exactly like so and so" and I'd say, "nope, you never described so and so" and he'd say: "Sure I did, right after I told you the other so and so" and I'd say: "nope you never told me that so and so either"...and I'd have witnesses, and he'd say, NO, both of you don't remember right. Sigh.

Mandy's Kidding said...


When people ask me to bring them a rock, I tell them I have three other rocks to find and deliver and they won't get their rock until tomorrow EOD.

Pearl said...

mrwriteon, good point! It IS March in MN, after all -- we need all the sunshine we can get.

Retired One, I've worked for that one, too! Eventually, I did the same to him -- convinced him of things he never said. It was good fun.

the fly in the web said...

What happens to this boss when you take a holiday?
Does the business collapse...because it sounds as though she is about as focused as a fart in a colander.

Pearl said...

Mandy, oh, that's beautiful. :-)

Joanie M said...

She sounds like an asshat.

Anonymous said...

Lock her in the stall for real, with the lights off.

CatLadyLarew said...

I'd suggest hitting her over the head with the rock, then dragging her into a bathroom stall and leaving her there. Just sayin...

Zaedah said...

So, your boss and mine do lunch often? Trying to grasp Medicaid/Medicare reps is a lot like that, though they don't ask for rocks. But what they sometimes request stretches the boundaries of HIPPA laws and teeters on fraud.

I'd kill for them to just ask for a rock!

Jeanne said...

Upon returning to work today after a wonderful long weekend in NYC, learning how to plot magnificent fiction, my boss had a delightful backlog of rocks that needed to be found.

We are, I think, to be admired for our self-restraint in not hurling said rocks.

Tempo said...

We play that game too... but here it's called. 'Do it however you recon'
The trick is to read the bosses mind and do it exactly how HE recons it should be done.
(Oh, you've done it like THAT!)

Same game, different name!..or as I call it..' same shit, different day'

the walking man said...

Option 3 on her tab. Take your lap top and Z drive with you and work from the bar between John Denver tunes.

Willoughby said...

Been there! I used to be a Legal Assistant (not to be confused with an illegal assistant, I worked for an attorney). Ever try getting a duplicate copy of the rock from a district attorney? I accidentally misplaced some court documents, once (okay, I shredded them, it was my first week and I thought they were supposed to be disposed of).

The mad woman behind the blog said...

While I was out hunting rocks the ol' boss was drinking my hard to find tea.
I say we put together a posse. Or a stoning! Put these damn rocks to work.

Not that I would ever condone violence, just pretend violence. Maybe we could throw rolls of toilet paper or make sharp nosed paper airplanes from these damn reports!

sage said...

i should tell the story of picking out an orchid for her on secretary day--I ran into the florist and pointed to the nicest one they had and then a week later I asked her when the rest of the buds were going to open... She looked at me funny, then realized that I serious and informed me that I had purchased a silk orchid!

Marla said...

Hey Pearl ~ Remember that one post you wrote about that one guy that was so funny. You know, the one where he.....oops....gotta go. Just send me the link.

Lucy said...

Did you get the rock???