I’m an analytical writer. Most of my job consists of looking things up and then writing long reports about them. It does not require much interaction with my co-workers. The only people I actually need to speak with are the director, the members of an expert panel to whom I present my reports, and the administrative assistant. I’ve never had any problems functioning in office settings in the past, but something new came up today.¹ I had forgotten to include some data with all the reports that got mailed out to the panel yesterday and needed to send them out as soon as possible, so I asked the assistant to do it. I’ve never needed anything from the assistant until this point, and it felt weird to ask her to do shit for me for a couple of reasons:
1. Until this job, I was always at the bottom of the office hierarchy. Even when I wasn’t necessarily someone’s bitch, I had to do all of my clerical/administrative tasks myself. There simply wasn’t anyone willing/able to do it for me. In other jobs, I was the office bitch and had to deal with many people’s constant idiocy. In a work setting, it’s new and different for me to have someone else do things that I really could do myself but prefer not to.
2. The assistant is older than me, not by much, but she is. I’m guessing around 26-27ish compared to my age of less than 26-27ish. This isn’t really a significant difference, but it is there. I’ve always been raised to respect/defer to people older than me, no matter what the age difference, and have generally held by this rule for most people.² It’s strange to have rank over someone older than me. It just feels awkward.
I’ve never been the boss of anyone before this, but I should get used to it soon enough. It’s just weird to have someone to do shit for me. The worst thing that could happen is my going on a huge power trip, which would lead to having the assistant do things like pick up my dry-cleaning or systematically take over small, defenseless countries so as to build up my base(es) of operations in a bid to take over the world. If this pans out, I’ll soon rule a world in which all people’s job title is “Assistant to the Glorious Supreme Sovereign.”
And to think this will all begin with having someone do my mailing.
¹ It’s not problematic, just new.
² This is unless we get to be friends, in which case I’ll expose them to my particular brand of sarcasm/cynicism/haterade.