Confessions of an Unglamorous Office Assistant

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I’ve been looking for a new office position since mid-July. I’ve sent letters and resumes, I’m registered at three temp services. I can code and data-enter two hundred electric invoices in a week, and can knock out a stack of water invoices (like above, a hundred of them) in three days. That includes scanning to attachment to make the accountants happy.

My old boss Kari, whom I followed to two jobs, would tell you that I’m ridiculously punctual and reliable, and that she never had to worry about me working unsupervised. I can think on my feet, and the success of my employer is my top priority.

So why aren’t I working?

I’ve been reading a lot of LinkedIn articles and letters, and I’ve come to one conclusion: I’m not glamorous enough.

My resume is filled with practical, but decidedly non-exciting, skills.

Yes, I can mail merge. I can create mailing lists. I present a professional appearance and demeanor. Of course I type. I file correctly (Far, Fat, Few, Fuse), I answer the phone using correct spoken English and syntax. I take messages with the caller’s name, phone number, time of call, and message — and I try to glean more information so that the message recipient has more to work on than, “Ms So-and-So wants you to call her back.” I compose letters using a bare minimum of information from my boss, again utilizing correct grammar and spelling.

How long have I been using MS Word? I have no idea. I’m sure there was a time when I didn’t, but I was typing on a Selectric then. Yes, I can create newsletters using Publisher, but for a real challenge, try it in Word (which I did when creating marketing material in real estate). I have legible handwriting, and I know how to minimize risk to my employer. I can document incident reports, when necessary, precisely and succinctly. I have grown a receptionist position into an administrative assistant position by taking on more responsibility and freeing my director for other things.

But I do not have the great, huge, billboard-inspiring accomplishments like “Overhauled entire filing system while verifying employment and income for 100 waiting list applicants and catering a dance recital for 60 coworkers’ children.” Not having the great, huge, billboard-inspiring accomplishments just means that to me, there are more important things to do than quantify every thing I do for my employer so that my resume looks more impressive next time. I like being support personnel, I don’t want there to be a next time.

Let me be the support person you hired me to be.

(Resume available upon request.)

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Back to Basics

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“Basic” can be defined as “forming an essential foundation or starting point….”

I spent yesterday and part of today reworking my resume for a staffing service, and I was hung up on how they wanted me to fill out the “Career Profile.”

In six brief bullet points, they wanted me to say what I do, not who I am.

I found it difficult because I discovered that I am adjectives, I am -able words: Dependable, reliable, capable.

Is that really what I am? Adjectives?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Visiting: St. Louis Gateway Arch

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Yesterday, I spent ninety minutes on the phone catching up with an old high school friend. He’s traveled to every continent on this planet except Antarctica, and will likely do that at some point, I’m sure. He links to travel blogs and challenged me to take a shot of the Arch  that hadn’t been done before.

Since “Just Visiting” is getting back on track as an actual road-trip blog, it’s only fitting and I accepted.

Now, I have pictures that my dad took of me at the Arch in 1968, when it had barely been open a year. I was about five. When I moved to St. Louis in 1988 or 1989, I didn’t drive and didn’t know anyone with a car. I got to know the Arch grounds and the surrounding downtown neighborhood  intimately. I’ve walked it. I’ve explored it. I’ve gotten drunk on the Landing and played slots when the Admiral was a casino.

I am here to tell you that I don’t believe there is a shot of the Arch that hasn’t been taken before. Just Google-image-search “St. Louis Gateway Arch.” Your return will get a gazillion images, including the architect’s drawings and crayon drawings. Do the same search on Flickr, and you’ll find more.

Also, there is a dearth of public observation decks in this town, unless you’re connected or can rent a riverfront hotel room for a couple of hours. In going through older photos I’ve taken of the Arch, I noticed that our urban planners didn’t give us any lovely, unobstructed views of the national monument, thereby ratcheting the need for creative camera angles even higher. (In St. Louis, “planners” is a very loosely defined word.)

But it’s all good.

You learn to work with it.

The thing about the Arch is that, obstructed or unobstructed, morning or night, winter or summer, it’s a gorgeous piece of engineering.

Its stainless steel exterior plays with light – no two mornings are ever alike, nor evenings, because of the changing nature of sunrises and sunsets. I’ve seen foggy mornings where half of the structure is lost in mist, and at 630 feet tall, that’s pretty impressive. If you watch sporting events originating from St. Louis, like baseball or football, you’ve likely seen local “beauty shots” incorporating it. Standing beneath it and staring straight up to its apex can almost as exhilarating as riding up the capsule-like elevator to the top, and feeling the whole structure sway slightly in the wind as you look out of the windows at the top.

It’s perfectly safe, though, and the view is spectacular. Don’t forget to ask the docent how they change the red airplane warning light outside on top!

For more information about the Arch, hours, admission charge to the top, link here.  The Arch, its grounds, and the Jefferson Expansion Memorial (which includes the History Museum in Forest Park), are administered and curated by the National Park Service.

(All photos by me, except the Feb 15 1968 set, which were taken by my dad.)

Wishing Upon A Star

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Today’s is the last motivational/inspirational photo I’ll be posting here.

I’ve opened a storefront on Fiverr.com, wherein I will send daily photos to your inbox for $5 for 7days (that’s only 71cents a day!!).

You’ve seen the quality of my images; if you’ve enjoyed them, I ask for your support by subscribing or gifting a subscription to someone.

I’m not collecting email addresses, I’m not going to spam you, everything is handled through Fiverr.com whose site takes credit cards and PayPal.

For those choose not to subscribe, thank you for allowing me to share my images with you these last few weeks!

I’ve created a new blog around the corner to introduce the Fiverr storefront and show samples of the work.