She stands on guard for you. Always on-call, she is more than happy to jump when you say jump, and always higher than you asked.
Ignore the manicure set on her desk. Turn a blind eye when you see her diligently filing - her nails, not the files. Snacks for survival are important, as long as they are discreetly inhaled. Bread and water are sometimes her only ration when the chain looped around her ankle, attached to her desk, can’t reach as far as the lunchroom.
A multi-tasker extraordinaire, she waits for your next request. But don’t forget – there are others vying for her valuable time. She can answer a phone, open mail, sign for your lunch delivery, and read a list of instructions from another superior, all with a gracious smile.
She loves her job. It is HER job - her pride and joy. As others in the same field can equate to, this is her baby. Her maternal instincts kick into overdrive; caring, nurturing, planning for the well-being of her charges.
Sparkling manners are the essence of her existence; professional etiquette and protocol at all times. During deadlines, ‘month-end,’ or ‘crunch time,’ however, other co-workers’ manners are often forgotten, often at her expense. Ever with a smile, patience, and understanding, she turns a blind eye, never letting snips, snarls or gripes bother her.
Anticipating your every need, meeting and deadline, she is on top of it all. Thinking twenty steps ahead of you, she plots, contrives, schemes and manoeuvres. She could be a champion at chess.
She is a drugstore, a dispensary for various ailments from headaches to chocolate-craving attacks. She is the keeper of band-aids; treatment compassionately rendered accompanied with condolences and sympathy. She is the resident fire-warden, willing to wear the fire warden hat, despite embarrassment. Your safety is her priority.
She’s a seamstress, a psychologist, ambassador and actress. Being the eyes and ears of the office, she often sees and knows too much. Her acting and diplomatic skills are always in play – both on the phone and in person - to perfection. She is bodyguard, guard-dog, and guardian of secrets.
Without her you wouldn’t have coffee. Without her, your lunch reservations wouldn’t be booked - the best seats in the house, thank-you very much. Without her, your printers/fax machines/photocopiers wouldn’t be fed daily with toner and paper. Without her, you would have to walk up/over to another floor/department to deliver a piece of paper. Without her, you would have to answer your own phone. Cherish her and be grateful. Your boo-boo might need tending one day.
She flirts with the courier to get your packages to their destination – toot sweet. She bribes the maintenance man with cookies to get your chair fixed – double toot sweet. When the printer/computer/photocopier is on the fritz, her PR skills are put to the test to sweet talk the techie-guy into saying ‘how high’ when SHE tells him to jump – triple toot sweet.
She resorts to being a scrounge, a thief, and a manipulator. When you are in need of a specific tool that, without it, you simply could NOT continue on, she wheels and deals with other departments/floors/offices for that perfect size of sticky-note. Your offices’ supply budget simply could not accommodate such a request, but by sacrificing her morals, she finds that aquamarine, 2 1/8” x 5 1/7” sticky note pad – just for YOU.
When you don’t know whether you are coming or going, ask her. She will know.
Who is she? She is your receptionist.
Belligerent clients, files stacked yea high, and emails galore make you wonder how you survive every day. As you stomp your way out of the office to get a coffee, you pass by the receptionist’s desk, and see her absently chipping away at her nail polish, idly staring off into space, as it would seem. Think twice before you send a disgusted look her way – she is likely plotting ways to make your eight hours all the better.
Just for you.