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3.29.02 - Title Role

Yesterday, I whined about how I didn't like my title of "Administrative Assistant."  Didn't really describe what I did, I thought.  Some suggestions I got from the fine folks who read the site:

Chuck suggested "Office Lackey", which I've actually been called in the past.  Chefelf offered "Bitch Boy", something he has apparently been called in the past.  Mark had to go and throw "Helper Monkey" in my face after all this time.  Thanks, pal.

Tom thought "Desk Watcher" sounded good, a title with superhero-ring to it.  Dunno what kind of comics Tom has been reading, but they sound thrilling.

A completely different Tom recommended a good one:  "Crap-wrangler".  Yeah!  I like that.  Since a horse-wrangler herds a lot of crap, Tom said:

'...consider the primary definition of "wrangler" from the Merriam-Webster OnLine Dictionary: "a bickering disputant." Therefore, a "crap-wrangler" could be a disputant bickering over a bunch of crap...which was as accurate a description of those jobs as anything.'

He also threw in "Lord of Minutiae."  

[Let's take a short break while I search the thesaurus for other words meaning "suggested."]

Okay!  Christian proposed I dub myself "Officesmith."  Very classy, that, and implies some sort of craftsmanship, some honest and noble profession.  

Brian, on the other hand, went the other way by tendering the term "Pissboy", and Kate procured "Office Bitch."  Probably closer to the truth.

Abram, he of the ass which is wise, suggested "Assistant Administrator."  Har har.  He tried to make up for this by listing a slew of other choices, NONE of them WORTH A DAMN, but he did lament the passing of the simple title:

'Time was, you could make any job title into a last name, like "Baker", "Smith", "Whore" or "Tanner". Ok maybe not "Whore". But, it doesn't work too well with "Administrative Assistant". Imagine saying, "John Administrativeassistant".'

My Dad, a part-time Admin Assist himself, suggested "Flunky Guy."  Hell, I could have used that title all through school, considering my grades, as he well knows.

Also, a lot of people asked what was wrong with "Temp" or "Secretary".  Well, nothing, except EVERYTHING.  Actually, I don't mind "Temp" at all, especially since I'm milking it for all it's worth on this site all the time, but "Secretary" just makes me think of Carol Feltman.

I have to say, my favorite was sent in by Alison:

Repetitive Shit-job Doer.

RSD for short.

Yeah.  Yeah.  It's descriptive, not remotely subtle, contains profanity, and I like the acronym.  Think I might start using it.  Christopher Livingston, RSD.

I can dig that.  Thanks to everyone who sent in a suggestion!


3.28.02 - Website Update

(Sorry for the past two days of slack.  Had a weird sleeping problem.  I couldn't get enough of it.)

Yesterday, my boss asked me to call the handyman.  He didn't know the handyman's name or number.  So, I flipped through the Rolodex, and sure enough, there it was under 'H.'


Later, the handyman came in to start working on some shelves he's building.  He handed me his business card, and sure enough, it had his name, and underneath:


Even later, I was outside on a smoke break, and I was watching the handyman work.  And I thought:  "Handyman."

I like that, as a job title.  It's up-front.  It's honest.  

"Hi.  I'm handy, and I'm a man.  I'm a handyman."

He's not a Construction Facilitator or an Assembly Specialist or an Executive Manual Labor-Intensive Fabricated Structure Coordinator.  He's a handyman.

I think I want to be a handyman, just for the title.  I'm not particularly handy, and, well, not much of a man.  But I could learn.  I like building stuff.  I like drilling holes in things and using a measuring tape and I really dig that thing, you know, the spool of string in the metal thing with the chalk in them, and you stretch the string out across the ground or pavement or whatever and then you snap the string and it leaves a straight chalk-line on the ground?  I love that thing.

See, my title, on this job at least, is Administrative Assistant.  I have had that title many, many times before, but, guh.  What the hell does that even mean?

First of all, I'm not really an assistant.  I don't 'assist'.  I do things for people, I don't help them do things.  Sure, in a general sense, I help, meaning I make their jobs easier by doing things.  But I don't really help them do anything.

If someone needs me to mail something, I don't help them mail it.  I don't steady their hands while they write the address on the envelope, I don't murmur encouraging words while they fold they paper into thirds, I don't slide the adhesive flap across their lolling tongues, I don't carry them piggyback down to the mailbox, and guide their hand to the slot.

I just mail it.  Myself.

I don't help people type things.  "Hey, I'm here to assist you with your typing!  Tell you what, I'll type all the vowels this time!"  I just type things for them.  I don't aid them in locating a pen ("Getting hotter... hotter... red hot-- ooh, colder... colder... hotter!").  I look for a pen, by myself, and give it to them.  This concept of help is bullshit.  And so is my title.

Don't even get me started on Administrative.  Administrative, to me, means filing.  Organizing.  Arranging.  Recording.  Notating.


Come on.  I hate paperwork.  Administrative is the worst possible thing for me to be.  If there's one thing I'm bad at, truly and utterly and completely awful at, a complete and monstrous failure at, it's picking up chicks.  But if there are two things I'm completely awful at, it's picking up chicks and being administrative.

Anyway, that's beside the point.  I'm just not happy with Administrative Assistant as a title.  I don't think it describes what I do.  Not like "handyman" would, were I a handyman.

So, I need a new title.  Something simple and honestly descriptive, and only a few syllables, if possible.  Something like "Typing Guy", only I do more than type stuff, I answer phones, too.  "Front Desk Guy" might work, but it sort of implies I just sit at the front desk, and that's it (which, on some days, is almost true).



3.25.02 - Jurassic Bawk

Speaking of dinosaurs, it seems like every time scientists dig up some new fragment of dino bone, find a new dino skull, or, like, put in ten minutes of solid dino thought, the views on dinosaurs completely change.

Just this month, for instance, scientists calculated that in order for a Tyrannosaurs to run at the highly touted speed of 45mph, about 86% of its mass would have to consist of leg muscle, which doesn't leave a lot of room for anything else, such as bones, something that would seem crucial to the creature's survival and reputation.  A T-Rex, even one running at 45mph, isn't going to scare anyone if the rest of its body is all floppin' around like a big sack of cottage cheese.

Scientists conclude the T-Rex probably ran at a top speed of 10mph, which would certainly do a lot to change the tension of the film Jurassic Park:  

*ROAAAARRRR*  "Quick, get in the jeep!  Floor it!  C'mon hurry hurr-- oh, okay, we're fine.  We're okay.  We lost him.  Hey, can we stop for soda?"

This new information comes from a guy named John Hutchinson, a Stanford researcher.  They way he came up with his 10mph theory, according to an article I read, was by cutting up a chicken, taking measurements, and then scaling the chicken up to the size of a T-Rex.  Which leaves them with, as the article states, a chicken weighing over 13,000 pounds.

Immediately after revealing this information, and this is my favorite part of the article, Hutchinson adds: "Giant chickens are an impossibility."

Huh, really?  Well, thanks, Hutch.

I'm not sure why he felt the need to put this on the record, but I like to think that as soon as he mentioned the 13,000 pound chicken thing, the reporters, who were only half-paying attention to him anyway, suddenly jumped up and raced for the door. A 13,000 pound chicken!  They had to call their offices quick to file the story!  This was major!  Was the military interested?  Had the White House been informed?  Did KFC have a new dippin' sauce ready?

But, alas, no.  Hutchinson had to be a killjoy, and I imagine the reporters shuffled slowly back to their seats, muttering and grumbling, snapped their pads back open in a huff, and resumed trying to pay attention while Hutchinson droned on about the T-Rex's leg joints.

So, a slow T-Rex and no giant chicken.  Great.  Just ruin everything fun, Hutchinson.  Just make everything lame.  He even went on to spoil lots of other great dino fun for everybody:

The Velociraptor, previously thought to be a vicious, lighting-fast pack hunter, was in actuality solitary, slow-moving, and dined daintily on wildflowers and dandelions.  "Sometimes it would just lie on its back for hours and watch the clouds change shape," Hutchinson said.

Instead of issuing terrifying, deafening roars, most large meat-eating dinosaurs, such as the T-Rex, communicated aggression by tinkling nervously.  "Like a poodle," Hutchinson explained.

Triceratops, a rhino-like dinosaur and a children's favorite, was a chronic masturbator.  "Day in, day out, wank-wank-wank.  A total pervert."  Hutchinson accompanied this news with a descriptive hand-gesture.

Dinosaurs are not really extinct; instead, they are simply hiding.  Probably in Canada.  "But you'll never find them," Hutchinson explained.  "Ever.  So don't look."

Brachiosaurus, largest of all dinos, did not roam the plains majestically.  Their preferred form of movement was to sit down and "scoot".  "Like a poodle with an itchy butt," Hutchinson added.

The Carcharodontosaurus should have been given a much shorter name.  "My secretary suggested this one.  I think she's tired of typing it," he said.  "But I won't change it."

"And you can't meet her."

The Stegosaurus, a school bus-sized, plant-eating dinosaur that lived during the Jurassic period, recognizable by the seventeen bony plates embedded in its back and the spikes in its tail, roamed what is now the North American continent, ate ferns, mosses, and conifers, and, according to Hutchinson, was a complete and utter asshole.  "A total jerk," said Hutchinson.

The Pteranadons (top left) once filled the skies.  But they weren't really good at flying and they crashed a lot and bonked heads, Hutchinson discovered, so it wouldn't really be all that cool to watch.

"Even if you could watch," he said.

"But you can't."


Warning!  Got some addictive Diversions this week, so be careful.  First, we've got a shockwave game called Spaced Penguin.  If you liked that laser game from a while back, you'll probably be into this.  You have to launch a penguin across space and into his space ship, minding the gravity of nearby planets and while trying to pick up bonuses.  It's not a tough game to finish, but getting all the bonuses can be tricky.  Give it a shot!  It's a cute, fun game.

Also, and this one consumed most of my day on Saturday, Looplabs.  Here, you can create your own electronica-style music, or just mess around with different loops and beats.  It's a really neat setup (Flash 5), although you'll probably need a fast computer and connection to get the most out of it.  You can also listen to songs others have saved.  You can even hear my lame, fumbling soundtracks, if you do a search under songs for 'notmydesk'.

Finally, another fun Flash site called Flashcan.  Here, you can make your own Flash movies with little pre-made background and bits of animation.  You can even custom make greeting cards and send them to friends, who can change them and send them back.  Very neat stuff.  Have fun!

For those of you without Flash or Shockwave, c'mon, join us in the 21st Century, willya?  Actually, I know none of these Diversions are great for messing with at work, so next week, I'll try to have some simpler, less-conspicuous toys and games.  Links on the sidebar, dawg!


Last Week on Not My Desk!

Alas, Alack, Alarm
Bag Reel
A Hyena ate my Dingo Baby!
Missed Connections

My Desk Archives

Smurf Rescue
Donkey Kong
Space Panic

More VotF

Mary Jo Pehl Interview
Kids Page
The Temp Test

Hall of Henchmen


Art Page
NMD Store
Message Board
Publishing Progress
NMD On Paper
Chapter One

All material 2000 - 2002 by Christopher Livingston, except for this statement.