Wednesday, March 9

On Being An Automaton at Work, and A Big Hilda


Despite the nonsense that too often defines my workplace, I really enjoy going to work and work in general. As the receptionist at a billion-dollar company, I chit-chat with those who pass by my desk and come to our office. It's usually just surface, meaningless pleasantries, but sometimes a caller or visitor or co-worker has something weighty on their mind, and I hear it. And sometimes we get a maniac and I have to press the "silent alarm" that summons the police, and try to keep the person from doing something extra-stupid until they arrive.

The reception desk reminds me of a confessional. I keep many, many secrets for the company, and a few of my own. One secret is that I do not like everyone I work with, but I feel that no one can tell who I like and who I greatly dislike. I strive for a combination of being both bland and bubbly, and I know when to stay silent and when to call out a cheerful hello to someone passing. Or so I hope.

Each day brings a different set of remarks that I trot out, dozens upon dozens upon dozens of times.

Mondays tend towards asking people if they had a pleasant weekend, or if they did whatever it was they had told me they were going to do back on Friday.

Tuesdays are all about how it isn't Monday anymore.

Wednesday has its share of hump-day remarks, and I'm known for anxiously asking people "how are you holding up?" I don't know how that got started, but they love it, from the high to the low. People are strange.

Thursday I call "Friday Eve," and "Not not long now" is my stock remark.

Friday is "TGIF," "Yay Friday," and "What plans do you have for the weekend?"

My work persona is bought and paid for, and they want me cheerful, motherly, interested in discussing the weather, and smiling gently. Interestingly to me, and a bit insultingly, no one ever asks anything about my life. But I put on my "interested face" and always inquire about theirs.

I do enjoy serving others, but the work persona is far from my real self. I'm shy and very hermit-like off the clock, and my pets, art and reading are my passions. 

Since it's Hump Day, might as well post something for those who do dread the day. Big Hilda, the creation of artist Duane Bryers, is always good for a HEARTFELT smile! This Hilda is one of my absolute favorites. Just everything about the scene speaks to me and makes a lump in my throat. I have a vintage bike very much like Hilda's, but turquoise blue.


4 Elf-Friends have commented... :

  • Paula Kaye

    Big Hulda makes me smile and I am glad you share her with me! I love that polka-dot suit! I should have adopted a work personality so that the people I didn't like wouldn't have known it. Sigh!!

  • Olde Dame Penniwig

    The work personality puts a strain on me sometimes. I try to just think of the paycheck and something pleasant!

  • Joanne Noragon

    Are you Lois?
    I worked for a big company for many years. Far enough back and long enough for our phone system to go from four lines with a hold to a great centrex system. Lois mastered it all. She helped everyone, was pleasant to everyone, and told me not to worry about sending my daughters to high school and one was in band and the other in some other group where "they will be OK."

  • Olde Dame Penniwig

    Not Lois, but I had an aunt named Lois who ran the PBX at a big oil company for many years!

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