- Title Role
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:
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.
"Desk Watcher" sounded good, a title with superhero-ring to it.
Dunno what kind of comics Tom has been reading, but they sound thrilling.
different Tom recommended a good one:
"Crap-wrangler". Yeah! I like that. Since a
horse-wrangler herds a lot of crap, Tom said:
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
proposed I dub myself "Officesmith."
Very classy, that, and implies some sort of craftsmanship, some honest and noble
the other hand, went the other way by tendering the term "Pissboy",
and Kate procured "Office Bitch." Probably closer to the truth.
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:
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:
Yeah. It's descriptive, not remotely subtle, contains profanity, and I
like the acronym. Think I might start using it. Christopher
I can dig
that. Thanks to everyone who sent in a suggestion!
- 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
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
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
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.
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).
- Jurassic Bawk
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
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:
"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
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.
revealing this information, and this is my favorite part of the article,
Hutchinson adds: "Giant chickens are an impossibility."
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?
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:
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.
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."
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.
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."
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.
(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.
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'.
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!
Week on Not My Desk!