For insties: I spend 100% of my day off the phones, in my own office, with a door that closes and LOCKS. I have minimal to zero supervision on most days and am still expected to get all the work done on time. And guess what...I DO!!
The magic ingredient? Solitude! Sweet sweet nobody but ME to deal with all day!! No Customer Service involved! No surly staff to cajole, no micromanaging supervisors to hover, no angry escalations to resolve. Just work work work and plenty of it! There are the occasional committee meetings but I'm there in a service capacity only, sitting quietly and invisibly in the back of the room until some exec needs a last minute copy of such and such or presentation lighting for whatnot. I only have to speak when spoken to. I don't have to make direct eye contact with anyone. I don't even have to be particularly friendly as long as I can still manage to seem pleasant and
Such is the life of a nameless administrative assistant!
I wish I could go into detail about this job without revealing too much about the highly confidential stuff I do; it's probably not even wise to be bragging about it here to all the cyberworld under a thinly disguised pseudonym. Still, the experience has been a revelation. For once I am getting a true sense of what my real strengths and weaknesses are as a worker. I've only ever been in situations where I am forced to make the gig work, no matter how awkward a fit I happened to be for it. A job is a job and you should thank your lucky stars someone was willing to take you on, right?
WRONG! Who knew that some people get to spend 40 hours a week doing things they actually find interesting and are good at! This is an option?? Why wasn't I told!?
The ironically anti-social appeal of a high stakes people pleasing job like assisting top level execs isn't the revelation. Rather it's the fact that I have never really operated within my comfort zone in any job. And this in turn has blinded me from my actual career options.
So why has it taken me til I'm damn near 40 to figure out that I need to be doing what I like to do? Why had I assumed my life would be one long marathon of Survivor, making do with what little I have available to somehow make it to the next day, the next hurdle, the next life changing crisis until one day I collapsed from the exhaustion of it all. But hey, I lasted this long that's gotta count for something??
I realize also that this is a hyper privileged first world epiphany to be having in the first place. I don't know how to feel about that. I don't intend to contribute to the oppression of others less fortunate by acting as if my situation is somehow universally meaningful. It's not. In fact it's clear that this specific proletariat struggle is meaningful only to me in the ways I've lived my own life. But right now it means everything to me that I finally understand that my life doesn't have to be endured. It can also be enjoyed.
And for this I am truly thankful. I'm going to miss this gig when it ends in September. I'm looking into some permanent opportunities where I'm at now, but there are no guarantees. Except that I have me, and that I am a good enough reason to do the things I love to do and make a living at it to boot. :p