An invitation to the comentariat to present their encomiums of truly wonderful staff members who save our bacon for far too little compensation.
We've all had to deal with bad office staff members. The one who loses everything, then blames you for it. The one who you need to bribe with little gifts to make sure that you get the thing you need in a timely manner. The one who always seems to be out of the office for two days. The one who snarls and sneers, but can't be fired.
Right. But what about the good ones? And the really great ones? Put yourself in the position I was in last Friday, less than 24 hours after I submitted my tenure file. I found 3 or 4 typos in the narrative. Not a disaster, but I'd like to put my best foot forward. And the "open period" to add to, subtract from, or make changes to your own file absolutely, positively ended on Thursday.
So, an office staff member would have had several alternatives when I showed up Friday (very few classes that day for us), 10 a.m., with revised narrative in hand:
1. Sneer and/or pretend unctuous sympathy, but refuse to make the change; possibly spend the next six months telling anyone who would listen (including department chair) about your impertinent request.
2. Apologize, but refuse to bend the rules, on the grounds that rules are rules.
3. Chuckle, say "oh, I think we could probably risk it," pull out a folder, and say "pop it in here with the other stuff I'll be putting in the files this afternoon."
C., the head office admin. in my department is a type 3 -- for this and almost all similar occasions. I will never stop loving her.
Please use the comments to contribute your praises of your own favorite office staff members. Then go tell them in person how great they are. Get them a gift card to the local coffee shop. Remember: they make about half what you do, but you couldn't do your job without them.