Moving On Up

31 Silver Linings – A Writing Challenge {Day 23}

At work today, I was trying to print handouts for a meeting I am going to tomorrow but the printer kept jamming.  I’d lift the cover, take out the toner, extract the errant sheets, put the toner back in and begin the process all over again.  I went through it about four times before all was said and done.

As I was doing this, almost by rote, it occurred to me that I’m one of the few in my office who knows how to handle a situation such as that.  All of us have advanced degrees, some more advanced than mine.  Yet I am the one that has the experience, the sort of “working my way up the ranks”, that allows me to deal with any office tasks as second nature instead of slinking silently away in hopes that next poor fool will fix the issue.

I started working when I was 14, making cotton candy at a local amusement park.  I held various jobs in the off season, including retail and one extremely short stint in a day care center after school.  I worked through college, first on campus in the Student Activities office and then in an office.  I can tell you with great certainty that I had little to no interest in going to work in an office after class when my friends were all hanging out and seemingly having fun. I was the youngest in the office by a good 20 years and it definitely was an old boys’ club sort of consulting firm.  Yet the office manager welcomed me and endeavored to teach me all she knew on my afternoons, holiday breaks, and summers in the office.  And learn I did!  While I couldn’t do shorthand, I transcribed dictation, wrote letters, responded to correspondence, handled all incoming calls, made copies, created handouts for meetings…the list could go on and on.  I learned how to fix errors, how to act respectfully in the workplace, and how to not let the male consultants walk all over me.  (I also learned that sometimes your VP might keep some hooch in his desk drawer, but that’s a story for another time!) I don’t think I ever realized how much that “after school” job impacted me and my career until I stood there, holding the toner today….

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One thought on “Moving On Up

  1. Pingback: 31 Silver Linings – A Writing Challenge {Day 1} | So Here's the Thing

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