May 13, 1999
Dripping


I can always tell when the Director of Regional Information Planning has landed in the office ahead of me in the mornings. 

The front page of the newspaper is missing. The coffeemaker is on, but the carafe is empty. And there is a pile of paperwork a bazillion miles high, waiting in my "Outgoing Fax" basket.  A bright yellow Post-It is stuck to the front of every single fax, with an identical message scribbled on each. The message says:

"FAX."

(Whew! Thanks for those AMAZINGLY helpful instructions!! I might have looked at all this stuff sitting in my "Outgoing Fax" basket and ... oh I dunno ... not *gotten* the fact that it needs to be FAXED.)

The Director of Regional Information Planning -- or The DRIP, as I lovingly refer to him -- handles the receptionist-bashing duties for this particular office. It's his job to make sure that:

1.)  I type each and every memo a minimum of eleven times, whilst he experiments with different verb tenses, subject titles and True Type fonts

2.)  There is no shortage of humongous last-minute *Triple-Urgent* FedEx Overnights to be prepared at 4:59 p.m. each evening

and

3.)  I never waste valuable time feeling competent or useful or appreciated. (Or graceful. How come the only time I ever knock my coffee over, he's standing there in the lobby, watching me?)

I know it's not about me as a person ... or as a receptionist. I'm very very good at what I do.

I know he's not a bad guy. In fact, he sort of reminds me of my eighth grade algebra teacher ... right down to the maroon sweater vest, nerdy argyle socks and Listerine breath. He's just one of those old-school corporate guys who sees the office like a great big Totem Pole ... with *his* exalted butt at the very top, and my dainty receptionist's butt squished into the mud at the very bottom.

I know I shouldn't let it bother me: I don't require a "thank you" every time I rinse out a coffee cup. (Besides, there are plenty of people in the office who validate what I do. I was sneezing into my flowers for a week after SecraTerri's Day.)

And I know I'm not supposed to bring it home with me at night. ("I keep forgetting that I don't care about the office crap," I told David the other day.)

So if I KNOW all of this stuff  --  if I'm really and truly "equipped" to handle it  --  why do I come home from work some nights, feeling like somebody let the air out of my tires? (And why does that spitting-in-his-coffee thing sound better and better?)

To Be Continued Some More ... probably this weekend. I seem to be writing this one in teeny tiny *chunks,* whenever I get a few spare minutes. Bear with me.




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