Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ways to piss the secretary off

If I'm ever fortunate enough to have a secretary, I'm pretty sure I'll be the most awesome boss ever. For one thing, I'll call her whatever she wants to be called. Secretary? Sure. Assistant? You got it. Queen of the Office Who Always Makes Me Look Good and Saves My Butt at Every Turn? Absolutely. Because every secretary knows that for the most part, it doesn't matter what you're called as long as you're paid on time. But then there are times when you're hanging out with a bunch of people who have important-sounding jobs, and "Executive Assistant" just sounds better.

I tend to go through phases of intense irritation with everything about my job. Predictably, this usually happens when periods of high stress at work and at home collide with going too long without time off. I'm just coming out of one of these funks, and I am now able to write this post without coming off as just a bitter woman who hates everyone and everything. If you have a secretary or assistant, see below for some really good ways to piss her (him?) off.

1. Stand over their desk and stare intently at what they're working on. Bonus points for making some smartass comment about the trivial nature of the work. Triple bonus if you're the boss and you assigned this work to them.

2. Find out 2 weeks in advance about a project that needs to be done, forget about it until the day before deadline and tell them that it's a rush job. Then, when they're almost finished with it and have printed 500 copies of it, find some small error that MUST be fixed and make them fix it immediately.

3. Pry into their personal lives and make inappropriate comments about it. An excellent example: Passive-aggressively insist on knowing what type of doctor appointment they are going to, then, upon finding out that it's an appointment to discuss difficulties in trying to conceive, make some "joke" along the lines of, "Maybe you just need more practice." (Yes this really happened, no it wasn't recently, no I'm not trying to get pregnant.)

4. Act like you are better than them because you make more money. Because clearly, more money makes you a better person.

5. Make them the office maid. Put a ton of food in the fridge that is already packed to the brim and leave it there until it grows mold or feet or both, then pretend like you didn't put it in there and make the secretary clean out the fridge. Alternately, you could also leave all your dirty dishes in the sink and never wash them, even if the secretary leaves them in the sink for a week to try to send you a silent message that this is not her home, you are not her guest, and she should not have to clean up after your grown-up behind.

6. Similarly, always make the secretary re-stock the fridge with pop and water. Even if she just stocked it the night before but you had a humungo meeting and all your people drank everything and now the fridge is empty again.

7. Never make any copies yourself because you "don't know how." You're right, it's much easier to give your originals to the secretary, then stand over her shoulder at the copy machine as she performs the incredibly difficult task of punching in a number and hitting the huge green button.

8. Whenever she's working intently on something, always stop to ask if she's "having fun." It is important to be consistent with this and ask it every time. But the key to this method is to find fault with whatever she says. If she sarcastically implies that she is not, indeed, "having fun", make a joke about how pissy she is and see where that takes you. If she says that she is having fun (in an obvious attempt to get you to shut the crap up and move along), stare at her in mock shock and earnestly dissect how on earth she could be having fun doing whatever it is that she's doing.

9. Sing her legal name as you walk down the hall to her desk. Never mind that she's told you she doesn't prefer to go by this name. Your mission of instilling pure, unadulterated dread at the sound of her own name will be accomplished. And make sure to get dead serious and a little bit angry whenever she jokingly calls you by your legal name in return. What's good for the goose is NOT good for the gander in this instance.

10. Stand at her desk for a long, long time and shoot the sh....breeze, even when it's blatantly obvious that she's got a ton of pots on the stove and the office is essentially going to hell in a hand basket. Deep down, you know she'd rather talk to you than put out one of the hundreds of little fires that are sprouting up before your very eyes.


IASoupMama said...

OOh! May I add to your list?

Ask you assistant to create a flyer for an event because you "have no graphic design skills," then ask her to make approximately 75 "small changes" to the flyer until it looks "just like what I was envisioning!" Because emailing it back and forth 18 times was so efficient... Why didn't you just give me a sketch?

Anonymous said...

Ask You assistant to watch your dog while you are up north for the week as a personal favor, (Since she knows you just had your friends Dog stay for a weekend.)

shasta @ bloggingwithmittens said...

Expect your office manager to also be your secretary, then complain when she doesn't remind you of appointments she didn't know you had.


breedwoman said...

Give your sec a million 911 things and then get mad at her when they aren't done ahead of time.