Thursday, March 16, 2006

Things Around the Office

I forgot to take my lunch, so I treated myself to a bagel and coffee on the way to work. Then my partners in global governance innovation started it off with a 9am sharp meeting to discuss our annual community event. Lots of planning goes into an event of this size -what theme to use, what to have as giveaways, invitations, keynote speakers, costs, flying people in from all over the world and who's in charge of what. My CIO is a quick-witted bloke who excels at brainstorming sessions. From his mouth emanates a constant flow of information, ideas and suggestions on how we should go about getting things done, and how they should be done as to avoid as much confusion as possible. Plus, he is a good manager and a good delegater. He knows everything that goes on in the organization top to bottom. It's a matter of talking fast enough so that he can maintain the input-output equilibrium. He has a stressball with a transparent gooey shell that makes red liquid splash around inside it when you squeeze it. I find it appropriate for him. He is light-humored and sane but I think that he has enough stress that if he didn't vent, his head would pop and his brains would squish like that.

As we left the meeting I half jokingly commented on the privilege our Event's Coordinator has in being responsible for the milestone chart, which delineates the progress of the group. "Do you use a special program for that or something?" I asked. How naive I was, but after all, it is one of my personal ethics to be written on my contact card that I "always ask the important questions". Since I was so interested and she was so helpful, she took up the opportunity to show me all kinds of cool things you can do in Word. I use Word primarily as a word processing program. I had no clue about what you could do with AutoShapes -make text boxes, arrows, diagrams, etc. -all good stuff if you want to visually represent to dos along a timeline.

Learning opportunities abounded today! My boss had some press kits that she wanted put together. We didn't have any more of the prepared fact sheets about our partnerships so I raced the elevator to the first floor (taking the stairs) and delved into the tech department of our building looking for the graphic designer who I knew would be able to point me towards some glossy paper. As it turned out she was hoarding, well, not hoarding but sitting on them like they were an egg, well, not literally, -the last of the glossy paper!! Kindly, she asked me how many I needed, then like a mother rationing candy to a child, counted out fifty sheets of paper. Off to the photocopier!

The photocopier proved to be more of a complex machine than I had anticipated. I looked around all the sides of it, analyzed its function and made little beep beeps as I pushed the screen to peruse the copy options I had at my fingertips. I soon figured out that not only did I need to man the photocopier deftly, but I had to coordinate the print options of my computer as well. So I could be seen running back and forth between my office and the copy room to see if the one was influenced by the other. Is it working yet? I tried several things until I came to a pseudo dead end. When all else fails, ask a smart lady how to use the machine. Luckily, a kind researcher who is also intelligent, attractive, funny AND good with the copiers showed me how to do the manual feed, what the different trays were for and how you could trick the photocopier into thinking it had more ink when it was almost out. Man she's good! The best thing about these people at my work is that they actually like helping. She didn't sigh or stomp or call me a stupid despicable creature. Instead, she showed me the ropes then said "good luck!" After that point, a beautiful relationship blossomed between the photocopier and I. I haven't used it to its fullest potential, but I am well aware that it is capable of punching holes, printing on two sides and stapling my papers together for me. As its fan blew softly, I watched with delight how the papers shot out with such precision.

So then I got to spend some quality time in my office with my boss catching up from her absence yesterday and then we skipped over to the mall to grab some chicken for lunch. She went to Ottawa yesterday to meet with the heavy hitters of political media on parliament hill. We're talking CBC, CTV, The Hill Times, people like this. While she was there she Blackberried me and got me to send bio's so that she could prep for interviews to proposed appropriate story pitches. Speaking of Blackberries, we weren't so impressed to find the title "Give Africans the Blackberry -and they will do the job" as the headline of the article on our project (which actually involves a lot more than that). You may say it's just a title, but people read titles. They don't read articles. Even though you read titles, I doubt you're even reading this right now! Oh well. No biggie. You can't win them all. *wink*

My boss, the Media Relations Director, is stellar at her job and she loves it too. She's always coordinating people together, strategizing ahead of the game and making sure people know what they're doing -a very charming people person. It's a busy life with all the traveling and stress but after yesterday she said she accomplished her main goal which was to see her kids before they went to bed. I pictured them bolting up out of their beds in their pajamas at 10pm saying "Mommy, is that really you?" and then running in slow motion, arms outstretched, emotional music blaring, landing the hug, just like in the movies. I imagine it was sort of like that. My boss is cool.

Unfortunately I won't see her tomorrow. She's Irish, and tomorrow is her national holiday. She showed me a video of her daughter kicking up a storm doing Celtic dancing. In other words the place will be quite empty except for me, the researchers and the techies tomorrow. The Graphic Designer is going to Mexico. I'll have to work my magic and conspire with others to get some kits successfully courriered and information communicated. Five other people were missing today because of the flu! We're dropping like flies. Apparently one of the girls that I was supposed to meet with today was in a meeting yesterday when suddenly she turned green and had to grab the waste basket. Others have similar symptoms. The flu is going around like crazy. People were whipping out the sanitizer today I tell ya. We were afraid because one of our employees just came back from abroad and she's sick today, so we're worried she brought the avian flu (not really worried). Peculiarly, I haven't been hit yet, even though I met with patient number one just moments before the projection.

Well, I hope to keep on my feet and away from the reaper. If I can make it until tomorrow night than perhaps I'll drink something green and celebrate the eighth of me that's Irish. If that doesn't happen, I've finally worked a job that is actually fun. Put pennies on my eyes.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Filed under Personal Diegesis


Blogger J said...

Actually, you didn't sound silly asking if she used a special program to create the milestone chart -- most people use Microsoft Project for that.

Next time you want to sound computer smrt, suggest to her that she use MS Project instead of playing around with silly boxes in Word.

11:51 a.m.  
Blogger opinionatedinjerzee said...

no questions are silly questions!!

4:55 p.m.  
Blogger iamnasra said...

wow what day you had...but your job is colourful for sure...

Hey I hear you are quite a singer or is this a rumor

2:02 a.m.  
Blogger Jason said...

Glad you are getting to do something that you enjoy. Are you still doing the cell phone sales?

7:57 a.m.  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

j -Yes, I'm glad I asked. I could have learned a new program but I learned a lot more about a program I thought I knew everything about. I'll have to mention Project in passing. That will give her a new fish to fry.

opinionatedinjerzee -That's what I think!

iamnasra -Hey! You spell colourful 'colourful' too! Yes, my job is as colourful as a rainbow. I don't know who told you that I'm a singer but they've obviously leaked top secret information. They will be ferretted out!

jimmy -no, I am finished with cellular sales for the time being. No hustling, just Media Relations, which is a hustle of its own kind. I have to enjoy it while it lasts because it's a limited-time placement, but it's great!

8:24 p.m.  

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