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Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Longest Year: The Admin

It is a ubiquitous phenomenon around here that the more you get paid, the less work you have to do. My boss can disappear for weeks at a time, and I can spend days doodling in my office, but the poor admins sitting in open areas have to work all day.

She came to sit outside my office a year ago. She is extremely quiet, even when she is talking on the phone or cutting open boxes of office supplies. Her moves are elegant and precise and absolutely noiseless. She is unflappable.

She looks somewhere between 30 and 35, perpetually neat and orderly. She usually has her long brown hair tied up in a bun, but on Fridays when few people are in the office ("working at home," supposedly) she would let it cascade down in a puff of soft, wavy cloud.

I initiated small talks a few times with her as I dropped off forms and picked up pens and mouse and books. I learned very little, including that she recently moved and has two children. There has never been any mention of a husband, but hints suggest that he is around. They can't afford to buy a house, so they rent a condo. (Me, too!) She said she was born in Texas and lived in New Mexico, but there was not a trace of Texan accent.

So, on Monday, when I passed by her desk, I stopped and whispered, "I'm leaving."

She looked up with not a hint of surprise on her oval face. "Another department or altogether?"

"Altogether." I replied.

Her lips curled up slightly. "I don't like it here either," she rolled her light brown eyes. "They're so disorganized."

"Tell me about it," I chuckled. One of the few sane people around, she is.

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