This Isn’t Temping: Small Moments of Panic

I had a small meltdown this morning. I keep forgetting that even though I am a smart, capable, interesting person who is a performing arts producer, arts administrator, teacher and writer, right now I am also a secretary.

Most often, my frustration with being a secretary arises from the fact that it would be more efficient for me to spend my time (and my brain) doing non-secretarial things. We use all these collaborative tools and open, online systems in this office where I am temping, but still it is my job to use these tools on behalf of other people. Because it is easier for my boss’s boss to send me an email about updating the Google calendar, instead of just doing it herself.

I came from an office in which nobody had assistants, let alone secretaries, and now I am constantly in a world in which assistants and secretaries abound. A world in which these people are not helpful or sometimes purposefully obtuse. In which every meeting seems to be imbued with special power or some kind of complex relationship, as is often the case in development work.

My job here has changed again recently. Instead of filling in for this one person, I am now filling in for another person who is on vacation (and doing special projects as assigned, and being a secretary). They will probably let me go after this second woman comes back from her vacation.

I am probably just putting pressure on myself because I am nervous about the job that I am currently interviewing for (the second round, which involves meeting with six different people is scheduled for next week).

But in the meantime, I am a secretary. I am afraid I am a bad secretary. I am afraid this is what my life will be like for a long time.

  1. Clearly your life will not be like this for a long time!! Bump in the road, which I am positive will lead to greener pastures. Keep your antennae up and doing good hard work, even when it sucks (I’ve been there/am still doing it), is the best way out. Xo

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