Why am I still in the office? WHY?

It’s 8 PM. I have been here since 8 AM. It’s fuckin’ friday. Why the hell am I still here?

I’ll tell you. At 4:46, as I’m slowly packing my desk, my boss wanders out and tells me, by the way, before you go, I need something printed.

Okay, fine.

Turns out to be four different color documents (2-4 pages apiece), at 500 copies each. They’re damn adobe PDFs that won’t print coallated, so I must then coallate (however the fuck you spell coallate-- god damn it I shoud be getting drunk by now!) and then staple all of this. He needs them by tomorrow morning.

Why the fuck do people abuse their assistants? You pay us dirt, you treat us like shit, and you expect us to be fucking smiling all the time.

Generally, I like the guys I work for, buy they’re all high-paid execs with stay at home wives and sometimes I swear they think woman=servant. Or maybe they just don’t realize that I’m a person, not a piece of office equipment (The All In One Desk-- with automatic mechanical secretary! Just $299.99, by Whamo!), or that I don’t, in fact, sleep here. (I’m always here, right? I’m here when they get in, I’m here when I leave. I must live under my desk.)

Fuck! I’m hungry. I haven’t eaten anything since noon, but if I order in dinner, I’ll be giving in to the inevitability of my fucking night gone down the tubes. I feel like I’m in college again-- oh wait, in college I did nothing on friday. Late nights were suplemented by sleeping till noon.

So I’m just stapling and coalating away here. Look! Cyan toner empty! Cocksucking printer.

Off to storage room to hunt for cyan toner. Will return soon to kill myself.

When you give them to him, do remind him that lack of planning on his part does NOT constitute an emergency on your part.

Yeahhhhhhhh…I’m going to need you to go ahead and come in tomorrow to finish printing those documents…that would be greeaaat…m’k ?

I feel your pain!

Breath deeply, and steal some stationary to make your self feel better!


Similar thing with me today. Much cooler boss.

I work at an appraisal firm, so the 16 guys I work for are always rushing to get a report out the door, regardless of what time it is.

I was trying to get my day wound down so I could leave, and Bossman came along and asked me could I replace these pages with (his) errors on them in the final, bound copies? He has to run out and pick up the photos and can I scan those and pop the photo pages into the binding, too? I gave him a fake smile and said, sure. That’s the photo place by the liquor store, right?

He came back with Bailey’s.

Last minute, with liquor. gotta love that Boss.

Sadly, we have crappy stationary.

Yep. Still here.

“steal some stationary to make your self feel better!”

Is this the office equivalent of the disgruntled burger flipper who spits on the burgers?

Get a fucking life.

  • PW

You’re still in the office because you haven’t been recalled yet. Count your blessings. :wink:

Ahh, the things I have done for proposals. . .

I have:

Flirted with/hit on the skeevy loser who works at kinko’s to get him to bump my binding job ahead of the four hour line . . .because my my boss didn’t finish it until the last minute, and I have to make 5PM fed-ex pick up, as it needs to be there at 10 AM

Driven (at 8PM) to the fed-ex distributon center at the airport and begged them to put a package on the plane. . . because my boss didn’t finish it until the last minute and it needs to be there at 10 AM.

Opperated hole punchers with my feet (while coallating with my hands, of course). . .because my boss didn’t finish it until the last second and there isn’t TIME to have it bound, since it’s going to New York at the fed-ex planes for the east coast close at 6:30.
Also, I’m now a lean cuisine commercial, as I’m eating a pint of brownie turtle sundae for dinner.

Obsidian, great posts :slight_smile:

Hope to see more from you. Welcome to the boards.

“My emergencies are no longer you concern. I shall have Security escort you to the door immediately.”

What is your relationship with your boss?

Can you go to him, bright and early Monday morning, and talk to him about his habit of dumping late work on you? IMO, flirting with the Kinko’s guy is a bit much. Wait in line, then go back to the boss and say, “I’m sorry, the line was long at Kinko’s. They were unable to finish this on time.”

See, you are getting the late work done, so he’s going to continue to give it to you. You need to point out to him that dumping work on you at the last minute leads to errors and omissions. Say, “I notice you’ve been giving me a lot of stuff at the last minute. Is there anything I can do to help you get it done sooner? I worry that we will miss deadlines.”

Plus, make sure you are getting paid overtime. If not, tell the boss, “I was here until 8pm finishing this latest project. I would like to leave early next Friday.”

Let us know how it goes.

Tell the asshole you have plans later on that involve his sister. No really, just tell him you cannot stay and got restaurant booked or something.

Heh - I got treated like office furniture last week too! Whoohoo! Oh, the district manager is going to be working out of this office for the forseeable future, so we’re going to have to get you to go ahead and move your desk into this 15X20 office that already has four people working in it. You don’t mind sitting with the constantly-running printer two feet from your head, do you?

Obsidian, administrative assistants will always be treated like crap in offices, but you have to decide how much shit you will eat. I’m sticking around because we just bought a house; once we take possession , I’ll be looking (even harder) for a job where I have a chance of getting some respect. It’s all well and good to come here and rant about a crappy Friday, but it sounds like this guy is taking horrible advantage of you on a regular basis. Are you doing anything about it? Do you have a reason that you are putting up with this shit?

featherlou, I’m unfortunatly currently sole source of income for my household. (Meet my unemployed hetero lifemate: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=215631). She supported me when I was out of work for 5 months, so I owe her. I can’t quit, and I’m afraid if I bitch too much I’ll get fired. Also, though I was pretty pissed last night, the overtime (which I am definitly getting) is a real help. I made over $200 extra dollars just this week.

Also, I have 5 direct bosses, and 7 other people I provide administrative assistance to. Each one only has an ‘emergency’ once in a while, but put together it’s pretty regular. (Last night was actually the first time that particular boss has had a late proposal, usually it’s a different one) They are completely oblivious to what I do for the others, to the point where in my performance review one asked me what exactly do I do all day.

Some of my guys are great; they buy me lunch, they bring me things when they travel, they write me thank you emails and cc the whole company. They are genuinly aware and appreciative of the hard work I do-- which is all I need to not feel like maid. Others, well, you know the drill.

One boss in particular is my favorite, and he’s been muttering now and again about moving on, and has told me there will be a desk for me wherever he goes, which I would do in a heartbeat. For now, hell, I don’t know. The health plan is fantastic. (low deductible PPO paid for entirely by the company). Direct reimbursment for dental & vision. Two weeks vacation from day one, and it rolls over from year to year. Not long ago I was in a car accident, and they gave me full pay for the time I was out, without touching my vacation days.

I fear my next job could have the same crap, but with less benefits.

I have started to work up some numbers on how much money we’re wasting through this last-minute shit. Priority Overnight with fed-Ex, my overtime, exhorbitant color printing charges and kinkos because the printer fritzed out and we’re so close to deadline we can’t wait for me to fix it, etc. It adds up to a lot.

Hey, xash, thanks!

OBSIIDIAN, with respect, I think I’d start being a little less accommodating:

I would not beg the Kinko’s people to do anything. If the project’s finished in time, great; if not, it’s Kinko’s fault, not yours, and maybe they’ll get the message that they need more lead time on the projects.

I would not race to FedEx/beg to have them accept the package. Drive normal speed and ask normally. If you make it/they take it, great; if not, it’s FedEx’s fault, not yours, and maybe they’ll get the message that they need more lead time on the projects.

If they’re asking you to stay too late too frequently, I’d start saying “no”: “I’m really sorry, but I just can’t; I have plans at 6:30 that I have to make. I can stay until 5:30 though, would that help?” Maybe they’ll get the message that they need more lead time on the projects.

You know, when you’re an assistant, you’re often regarded as replaceable. And unfortunately, you probably are. So that means that you’ll probably have to deal with some crap.

But it sounds to me, Obsidian, like you’re weighing the costs and benefits of your job and choosing to stay because the benefits currently outweigh the costs. I had a job where I often got stuck late, too; it seemed like everything happened at 5:00 on Friday afternoon. But the benefits more than made up for the aggravation, and I really enjoyed it. (I only left it because Papa Tiger’s job moved.)

Sounds to me like you’re taking a really sensible approach to the problem: By pointing out the extra costs of the last-minute work, perhaps the higher-ups will then mandate that people get things done more timely. Which will also save you aggravation. It takes the burden off you possibly being perceived as a whiner and instead shows you to be someone who’s concerned with the company bottom line, always a good thing even in an admin assistant.

But in the meantime, enjoy your overtime money and stay real good friends with the guy who may be moving on! :smiley:

I think that is a stellar idea. When you submit that, also submit your suggestions to cut down on these extra charges. (It’s the old axiom, if you mention a problem without offering a solution, you’re just complaining.)

Jodi, I appreciate the thought, but Mama Tiger is right. My favorite boss told be that when they advertised for my job, they got 400 resumes in two days, which was when the mail server crashed and they closed the box. I can’t say no. They’ll just fire me and replace me with someone who’s desperate enought to ask ‘how high?’

I just started a new job – they call it “legal secretary,” I call it “office furniture with a name” – where the people are very nice, but it became obvious from day one that I was going to have to compromise.

Now, I’m old enough and experienced enough that I can get away with a certain amount of calling my own shots – I could always go back to working at home if I wanted to (which I’ve been doing the past couple of years, but my income was variable enough we decided it was time for a regular paycheck), and they know it, and they also really, really wanted to hire me so they’re bending over backwards – but that’s the tradeoff when you work for other people: It’s their workplace and their rules.

I figure that the tradeoffs for me are going to be:


  • starting work at 8:00 a.m. (I am so not a morning person
  • having strong restrictions on net-surfing at work (including
    absolutely no message boards – I’m in an SDMB-free work
    place, waaah!)
  • having my comings and goings watched (the receptionist, to her
    disgust, has to write down when we each arrive and depart,
    morning and evening as well as lunchtime)
  • not getting to sneak out early, even on Fridays, since our office
    administrator wants those 40 hours from us no matter what

But on the positive side:

  • I get 2 weeks paid vacation time from day one and two weeks
    “personal” time, that I can use for sick leave or anything else I
    want to use it for
  • while I have to put in those 40 hours, I can flex my hours around
    things like doctor’s appointments so I don’t need to use my
    personal leave for it, which means that I can effectively have
    four weeks of vacation time a year
  • the firm has been known to be very, very supportive of loyal
    employees, like the paralegal whose wife had brain cancer last
    year who was given four months paid leave, three before she
    died and one after she died, without making him use FMLA
  • I’m treated like an intelligent human being with a brain who’s
    capable of making intelligent judgments, especially by my new
  • I can go talk to our office administrator about any concerns I
    may have at any time, and she not only listens to me but
    responds in a timely fashion
  • they’re paying me well above going market rate, which is quite
    amazing since although I’m experienced, I know nothing
    about all this weird Louisiana Napoleonic code shit

So while I realize that I’m probably in a more secure position than you are, Obsidian, I still understand that there’s ups and downs for every job, and it always comes down to a cost/benefit analysis. Sounds to me like you’re doing a good job of understanding the benefits (and it sounds like, other than the last-minute crap, you’re well treated) and just doing the normal bitching about the costs. Like my coworkers bitch about things, but I notice most of them have been there from 5 to 15 years, so it can’t be THAT bad…