Until the Great Re-Org of 2009–
May continued employment be with you
And also with you
–I was an Executive Admin. With typing skills that pushed me into hurricane-like velocities, the punctuality of the Amish, and the increasingly rare office skill of knowing when to just shut up and listen, I cut a dashing figure in my Executively Administrating outfits.
I was acutely aware of the kind of stress that went into being the Vice President of Stuff. The people I supported were busy people, expected to work 70 hours a week. They relied on me to keep their best interests in mind.
At one time I had a wonderful boss, a handsome, fabulous man we’ll call George. At six foot four, George had a bad hip, the cumulative effect of having been an aggressive athlete throughout his life. We’d discussed this in one of our initial meetings insofar as it would be reflected in any travel plans made, even if it meant taking two flights where one was possible.
I’d been working for him for less than a month when he found himself in two, back-to-back all-day meetings. Two days of serious nodding, of listening intently and generally trying to stay “engaged” over long periods of time.
Limited breaks, working lunch.
At 10:00 on the first day of this meeting, I take a liberty.
Knocking briskly on the door of the conference room, I walk in. A dozen suits turn to look at me as I stride into the room and hand George a note.
“Please see me immediately in the hall.”
George stands, nods to those at the table as he leaves the room: “Gentlemen.”
Once in the hall he looks at me expectantly.
“I thought you might enjoy a good stretch,” I say, smiling.
George stares at me and then smiles back. “Pearl, why you little…” he mock-threatens.
“Why I oughta…” I counter.
Over the course of the afternoon and the next day, I pop in a couple more times:
“George, will need to reschedule your elbow-bleaching appointment so as to accommodate your appointment with your aroma therapist. Please advise.”
“George, your office chair is on fire. Permission to put it out?”
And every time, George would stand, nod to those at the conference table: “Gentlemen”.
Then he would leave, walking the halls for 10, 15 minutes, working out the kinks in his knees and hips.
Happy Monday, everyone. Here’s hoping someone passes you a note, excusing you from pain and boredom.