It's no secret that it's hard out here for a pimp; pimps of all ages, colors, and creeds are looking for work, any work, any time, any place they can get it.
So it's touching that some employers still go to great lengths to attract candidates by penning thoughtful job listings with an emphasis on f-u-n. Like preparing a gourmet breakfast for a starving man.
But recently, one company—a new tech start-up called "Medium," founded by Twitter and Blogger co-founder Evan Williams—went a little overboard with the fun. Got a little too swept up in the romance and the legend of the office-managing profession. Smoked a little too much crack before sitting down to crank out the ol' job description, then chugged a little too much absinthe "to take the edge off."
We open on a party; the greatest party in the world, where the temperature literally could not be more perfect:
Ever been to a great party where everything is perfect? Every guest always has a full drink; the music is the right tempo and volume; people are mingling effortlessly; the food is delicious; temperature is ideal all night; the decorations are playful yet tasteful; there is never a line for the bathroom; folks are talking about the latest movie or an upcoming concert; another group is having an erudite discussion about politics and might have just solved the US debt crisis; everyone is happy to be there and wants to stay forever…
This sounds like a great party right? When people talk about "the days" of Studio 54, they are talking about this party. This is like a party from a rap video. Forget the Build-a-Bear component of the birthday schedule; let us simply linger on in this party all day and all night until our moms pick us up.
You're not one of the people attending the party, obviously; you're the host regulating room temp. All night.
Just like that perfect party host, you'll make sure all the details in our office are organized and that everyone is having a great time every day.
"No two days will ever be identical," the listing promises and this is true, in the sense that each day is given its own unique date on our modern Gregorian calendar, and that each sunrise marches you one step closer to your inevitable demise.
You'll be in early to make sure that the office is setup - dishwasher unloaded, coffee brewing, supplies stocked, conference rooms set up for meetings.
And this is where the office manager job description evolves to the next level of Pokémon.
From this point forward in the job listing, the banal day-to-day tasks of an office manager will be catalogued with what can only be described as a manic, borderline psychotic, level of enthusiasm. Ball up that future tense and throw it out the window. FUCK tomorrow. You are living for today. You are no longer the "maybe," the "could be," the "would be" office manager. You ARE the office manager and your screen is getting buried under pop-up reminders from Google Calendar asfdfgashgfgasd HOW YOU GONNA HANDLE THAT!?!?!?!?!
Hop on the computer to check all the relevant Google Calendars (we use Google Apps). The screen is filled up like a multicolored mosaic, but like an expert code breaker, you understand it all with a quick glance and make a map to plan out your day. As people filter in, your warm greeting and unwavering smile make them forget how much Muni sucks and reminds them why they are excited to come in each day to be with their work family.
Not bad, rookie. Seems like you've really settled in great at your new job. Looks like you've got everything under control. But, wait. When's the last time you checked those invoices?
A few invoices came in since you last checked. One needs approval so you send off that email and then enter the rest in the accounting system before filing those PDFs in our cloud storage file vault.
OH MY GOD THERE'S SOMEONE DOWNSTAIRS, GO GET THEM THEY'RE WAITIIIIIIIING.
The first visitor calls up for a meeting; you jump in the elevator to get them from downstairs.
*ack* *ack* *ack*, heaves the visitor. A dry, raspy cough. OH MY GOD THE VISITOR IS CHOKING, GET HIM/HER SOME WATER NOWWWWW.
On the way up to the meeting room you stop by the kitchen to grab them a drink.
OH MY GOD, THE PROJECTOR IS BROKEN:
Returning to your desk someone calls from the back room, "The projector screen isn't working". Rushing back, you start troubleshooting and determine the AV cable is broken; a quick swap and they are ready to go.
Sweating profusely, you fall back into your chair. Your heart is pounding. This is how it feels to be an EMT, no, this is how it feels to be God. But no rest for the weary, champ; time to do fuck knows what with bank account numbers (white ‘em out, fudge ‘em; is anybody gonna check this? Christ!) and prepare a PDF about it. Just grab a little piece of scrap paper to check your math and OH MY GOD THERE IS NO PAPER ANYWHERE. YOU ELIMINATED IT FROM THE OFFICE.
Back at your desk, its time to finish the bank account reconciliation and prepare a PDF for review - your environmental sensibility is bolstered by the trees saved by being paperless and the highly effective recycling & compost program you champion.
Just when you're starting to settle down to your new resting heart rate of 360 beats per minute, some CLOWN swings by your desk to shoot the shit about WHO THE FUCK CARES going on this weekend. It's all you can do not to rip his heart about with your bare hands and take a big ferocious bite of it, right there in the office, violating the serene space with sprays of scarlet blood, because your body craves meat, muscle, PROTEIN. The only reason you are able to refrain is because this guy is such an AWESOME PEEP, always been REAL DECENT to you, ugh FUCK, you love everyone SO HARD:
Someone stops at your desk to chat about a show they are going to next weekend, a couple others gather and a few of you decide to all go because you're all just awesome peeps.
The next office issue hastening your already rapid descent into insanity: NO MORE PENS IN THE "PEN CUP." You have seconds to act!
That first meeting is over and you bid farewell to the visitor before heading back to the conference room to get it ready for the next meeting. Ugh, half a cup of coffee and there are no more pens - no problem, you'll have that sorted out in seconds.
Now it is your thankless task to coordinate the office lunch order (questions, questions, a million questions—everyone emailing you wondering about portion sizes, levels of spiciness, "Does this have peanuts?" "I can't have peanuts," and A.J. Daulerio, I mean someone, some random hypothetical office employee, keeps trying to order things not on the menu; no matter how many times you say "They don't serve ‘nachos bell grande' at this restaurant" he just keeps asking for it it, insisting it be made manifest! Don't these animals realize you work here, in the office, with them—not at the restaurant from which you are ordering?), and then finalize a bowling trip for next week because these people are CHILDREN.
Confirm the office lunch order for today before making some calls to setup a bowling event the following week -
BUT O! HOW SHARPER THAN A SERPENT'S TOOTH IT IS TO HAVE A THANKLESS CHILD.
realizing that only half the people RSVP'd, you head around the office to rally the troops for what will be a great event.
Now you must slink around the office, from cubicle to cubicle, begging people to attend the stupid bowling event you didn't want to organize in the first place.
"Rachel? Rachel, did you hear about the bowling thing happening next week? I sent out a couple emails about it, but you haven't RSVP'd. It's going to be a great event. I put a lot of effort into—oh. Oh, you don't like bowling? Oh, okay. I can't really take you ‘off the list' because it's just an email that goes out to whole office, so—oh, okay. Sorry, I'll let you get back to it."
You had a family once. You had a mother and a father who loved you. You had friends, awesome peeps, who would invite you over to their house, not the make them coffee or deliver their mail, but to converse, as equals.
You had a life.
Would you like to be our Office Host?
Your first task will be reining in the frustrated novelist who's writing our HR briefs.