Thursday, May 29, 2008

A dying breed

I suppose that, after the thorough--and well-deserved--drubbing I took concerning my unconsciously judgmental description of my mother's honorable service as an office worker in the Women Marines during World War II, I should talk a bit about the current state of the profession, in which I am currently employed.

You see, my boss is one of the last of the scribes. He hand-writes memos, letters, etc., and hands them to whichever secretary is available to type them. He insists on keeping a hand-written calendar for scheduling. He can barely find his way around a keyboard well enough to answer e-mails.

And that's why I'm employed.

Someday, he'll retire, and be replaced by someone who types her/his own memos. At that point, the office staff will probably be reduced. And, given that my work is episodic anyway--sometimes I'm crazy busy and working 'til 10, while, at other times, I spend my time surfing the net (and writing posts when no one's looking)--I'll probably be the first to go, or, at least, to be bumped back down to temp. work, being called when needed.

But as long as I work for an organization some of whose employees need to be told that the computer is actually turned on already, and would be usable once they turned on the monitor--you can't make this stuff up, folks--I'll probably have at least some semblance of a job here.

I rather hope so, as I enjoy my job. I'm a pretty decent editor, which is even more necessary for some of the major projects on which I work than for letters and memoranda, and I'm one of the better formatters on staff, which is handy for both two-page and 200-page documents. I take great pride in my work, and consider it my job to make my employer look good. Now, if only they'd pay me a decent salary . . .


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