Christmastime in the Emerald City

{August 8, 2007}   My Daily Routine (aka: Stabby Stab Stab)

For those of you who are interested in what my daily duties are, here is a minute by minute agenda of my pretty-much-every-day.

8:45 am Roll into work, and curse my Sassy Friend (formerly known as our ‘go-to girl’) for getting away with not showing up until 9. Unlock cupboard, roll out filing cabinet thing, binders and postage machine. Turn on computer.

9:00 am Put on makeup.

9:05 am First call comes in. They ask for their traffic ticket court agent, whom they refer to as a lawyer. He is not in the office yet. I put them through to his cell phone, as per his instructions. They then call back to ask why he didn’t pick up, and can I go get him? I tell them no.

9:10 am Open inter-office email program, delete 70+ junk emails. Open hotmail, delete emails from people I don’t like, and about 15 facebook notifications. Sign for packages from FedEx, UPS, Purolator, DHL, TNT, Globex, etc. etc. etc. Jot them down in book and stamp them with the date, unless I am too busy reading something of interest on facebook.

9:10 – 10:00 am Tool around on facebook, making sure to pet all the fluff friends I can find so as to earn munny. Stalk people from high school. Answer phone calls and put them through to extensions without actually listening to anything anyone says.

10:00 am Usually about the time the first real idiot calls in. Lately it’s been involving a scam whereby someone has sent them a fake cheque under a fake letterhead. They want to know what to do, since they cashed the cheque and sent the scammers money ‘to make the cheque go through’. Resist telling them that their only option is to go home and cry, and to stab themselves for being such an idiot.

10:15 am Sassy Friend comes by to discuss latest idiot move made by tool of a manager. Usually involving some attempt to fluff up her mullet, her tendency to leave early to pick her dog up from the groomers, or her manner of cackling when speaking of her husband’s suicide. 

10:15-10:45 am Various clients wander by with stories and greetings. Some are funny, some are not. Some of them should really stop telling me details about their sex life, especially when they are grossly overweight.

10:45 am Aforementioned traffic ticket court agent usually huffs in at this point, in a terrifically important hurry all over, giving unneccesarily loud instructions regarding his phone calls. Insult either his hair, his tie, or his condo. Demand latte.

11:00 am  Phone clients to tell them about the packages that have been sitting on my desk for over an hour.

11:00 am – 12:00 pm Catch up on my webcomics. Continue to check facebook. MSN Sassy Friend about stupid people. During this period, one of the following will generally happen on a daily basis:

a) The post man will come up to deliver express items. I will hand him all the mail from the previous few days that were supposed to be delivered to other floors; inquire as to the possibility of other floors getting our mail and simply writing ‘RETURN TO SENDER’ instead of showing the same courtesy as I. The postman will apologize with a second grade grin as though this excuses him. I had a friend who did this same thing. She carried cookies in her pocket and looks like a walking STD.

b) Vagrant will come in demanding to see someone who is either no longer in this office, or does not have an actual office here, only renting one by the hour for appointments. Client will throw a hissy fit when they cannot see this person. I, in return, show zero sympathy. On one occasion, client was convinced that she would be dead by the end of the day if she was unable to see her lawyer. Security was called.

c) Someone who does not speak English will show up looking for someone, and will have no idea of the name of the person. They will keep shouting ‘immigration! immigration!’ as though that makes me bilingual, and as though it were not possible for there to be more than one person of whom they might be speaking.

d) Someone will call four times in a row for the same person and get really irate when they cannot reach them. They will make an attempt to interrogate me with that authoritative voice that is supposed to get them their way. I will return with an even more authoritative voice and inform them that I am the receptionist, have no control over whether or not someone picks up their phone, and that if they would like to speak with whomever they are calling, they will simply have to leave a message. With tone more than words, I also inform them that it is generally not a good idea to get pissy with the person who may or may not hang up on you.

12:00 pm Sassy Friend relieves me for lunch break. Go surf facebook while munching on sorry attempt at being healthy. Alternatively, if I have forgotten my baggy of carrots, I am forced to cross the street to buy sustenance, and consequently forced to behold the hideous surroundings and jackasses who do not know how to stop their cars before the white pedestrian line. Unabashedly yell at said drivers.

12:15 – 1:00 pm Try to enjoy my lunch while sitting in Sassy Friends office. Glare at clients who have the nerve to ask me for a brief tutorial on our monster of a photocopier. Possibly wave some sort of foodstuff at them to indicate my current unavailability. Clients who inquire about the mail are informed for the umpteenth time that it is never done before 1:30, as I get the mail after my lunch. Me sitting here eating clearly indicates that I am not yet done my lunch and the mail is therefore not yet sorted. Go back to your office, peon.

1:00 – 1:15 pm Hang out at my reception area where Sassy Friend is still covering for me. Share lunch break stories of idiots on phone, outside, and in the office. Laugh and point. Leave to retrieve mail. Hoist mail out of mailbox in lobby. Wait with jackasses for the uber slow elevator. Glare at the ignorant jerks who walk through the doors ahead of me without offering to hold the door for me and my armload of mail. Dump mail in Sassy Friends office, and sit back at own desk.

1:15-1:30 pm Check Sassy Friend’s blog for hilariously recounted in-office idiocy, or out-of-office hilarity. Chuckle at references to myself and my wacky ways.

1:30 pm Sassy Friend brings over mail for people who are no longer here and haven’t had the courtesy to inform the post office or the give-us-money-for-Jesus people who send out paper wasting postcards. Also in this pile is mail for those clients who wish to be called when so much as a give-us-money-for-Jesus postcard comes in for them.

1:30 – 3:00 pm Tool around on facebook. MSN awesome friend every time client or boss does something stupid. Try not to let eyes glaze over as international tax consultant comes over with incredibly boring story about how the corporate big wigs in his industry don’t know what they’re doing, as though this is news. Cringe at phone call from disgusting old lawyer who has a crush on me and his failing attempts to be charming. Traffic ticket court agent comes over, tie askew. Demand the tie be fixed, pseudo-flirt with him in French; enjoy resulting latte. Receive email from boss asking for some ridiculous task to be done, such as accumulating every clients home phone number ‘just in case’. Ignore request.

3:00 pm Call clients about their mail.

3:00 – 4:15 pm Try to find new things to do on the internet whilst whittling away the time. Attempt to write blog, though get sidetracked by constantly ringing phone. Stupid phone. Stupid people on phone. Come up with new ways to amuse myself, such as answering calls from telemarketers and letting them ramble their way into a hole before hanging up on them, or allowing for a long and awkward pause when a caller horribly mispronounces a very simple name. Ignore impatient people waiting in reception wondering what is taking their lawyer/tax consultant/court agent/whatever so long. Half the time, the lawyer/tax consultant/court agent/whatever is not even in their office because the idiot in reception is two hours early, two hours late, has the wrong day, or doesn’t have an appointment at all.

4:15 pm Wince at pile of outgoing mail that has accumulated during the day. Record in billing program so as to be sure to earn our penny for every item stamped. Begin stamping. Tell client waiting in reception for traffic ticket court agent that he is ‘tied up with a long distance phone call and should be out in just a minute.’ Call said court agent and remind him that he has a client waiting for him. The same one I called him about forty-five minutes ago.

4:15 – 4:45 pm Continue to receive phone calls from idiots who call back to interrogate me after getting someone’s voicemail. Continue to inform them that just because I am at reception, it does not mean that I am able to page them, get up and fetch them, or magically make them appear in their chair just because they happen to be calling from Pakistan or Conneticut. Hang up on the ruder ones and claim to not know what happened when they call back. Vow to take anger at world in general out on the ignorant TTC patrons awaiting me at the end of the day.

4:45 – 4:55 pm Swing back and forth in swivel chair, having grown tired of the internet, staring at nothing in particular.

4:55 pm Begin packing up binders, rolling filing cabinet thing, postage meter etc. Glare at anyone who has the nerve to ask me to prepare an outgoing FedEx package for them, or dump a shitload of mail in the outgoing box. Inform them that I am still here, but my brain has left for the day, having given up after a fingerless, speech-impedimented person wandered in to find employment counselling with a company that is never here without an appointment and who probably drooled on the carpet on the way out. Their mail can wait until tomorrow. Check facebook one last time.

5:00 pm Curse my automated phone program who seems to think that my business day ends at 5:01 and not 5:00, and therefore continues to send calls in while Sassy Friend is already standing in front of me, hustling for the elevator so as to not have to share it with Tool of a Boss.

5:01 pm Turn off computer, leave glass mugs half filled with water all over desk to be put away some other day, grab purse and mail, and make a dash for the door before Tool of a Boss can see us and invite us out for drinks at her place.

5:04 pm Jab finger in elevator button for the twentieth time and curse its eternal slowness. Ride elevator down to lobby, dump mail, ride escalator down to TTC.

5:05 pm Begin end of day stress relief, usually involving elbows in the ribs of poorly trained TTC riders and insulting every poorly dressed female on the train. Compare stories of in-office idiocy, and look forward to the next day.

Once again….this is what I do for a living. Every. Single. Day. Sometimes I love it. Sometimes I want to jab myself in the eye with my letter opener. Today? Feeling a little jabby.


talea says:

Fucking AWESOME!! Even though it is clearly a ripoff of MY daily breakdown, I commend you for being ridiculously hilarious and honest in this. I was dying laughing.
Love, your sassy friend.

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