Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Office Politics

One winter, I was hired to work as an office assistant in lift operations. Stephanie, the department manager, hired a woman named Anne to be the office manager. Anne's qualifications, as far as I could see, were being old and knowing how to type. Old might not be the right word. She could have been anywhere between 45 and 65, it was hard to tell. She had a dowdy vibe about her- her hair was set, her lipstick was a bit too pink for her face, she wore slacks with nude nylons and what have traditionally been called sensible shoes. Sensible didn't necessarily equate to practical, as we worked at a ski resort. Inside, I'll grant you. But still.

It quickly became clear that Anne was kind of a dummy. She had no knowledge of or interest in any aspect of the resort that she didn't encounter between her car and her desk. Blue Chair, Yellow Chair, these were just words on the schedule sheet to her. One day she looked out the window and and asked me to point out the Blue Chair. I explained to her that it was the one directly in front of her. The one that was painted blue. I don't think I ever succeeded in getting her to understand that the Triple Chair was called that because it seated three people.

Worse was the fact that she couldn't handle the chaotic nature of the job. It takes a certain type of person to juggle the phone, two-way radio and shift change while simultaneously working on the next week's schedule or previous week's payroll recap. Anne just wanted to do her clerical duties in peace, which was never going to happen in that place. I needed to usurp her. Which... was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be, since the assistant manager and most of the owners (supervisors) were on my side. She didn't take kindly to being ousted in favor of a 23-year old, but she probably went right out and got a real job, as opposed to the $8.50/hour the office manager gig paid. So, in retrospect, I'd say she was the winner in that coup.


Colleen said...

I never knew you were such a ruthless career climber, Therese. JK. She was dum.

therese said...

That was my one and only office power play. Sad.

Carol said...

I wear nude hose and Jamie and Nate
think I'm cool.
Scary the things my kids did back in the day that I'm just learning about

therese said...

Yes, I would like to think you would have the sense to wear actual socks and boots if you had to walk through slush piles to sit in a drafty office all day!

Oh,and PS- you don't know the half of it!!!!