The summer of 2005, I was placed at HydroTech for a totally craptastic temporary secretarial assignment. Pasted inside my journal, I found this email that I sent to my friends regarding my short time there, so I will now transcribe it because I’m panicked for content:
I arrived at this pipe-cleaning place at 8am and met my “boss” for the day, Anton. Literally, my only duty all day long was to answer the phone and take messages. I was supposed to get their name, company, phone # and reason for calling. Basic secretarial minutia.
Right after I arrived, Anton gets a call on his cell. He stood next to my desk and repeated in a raised voice everything the caller was saying to him. Common sense told me, “Hey fatty, maybe you should be taking this down” so I grabbed a pen and scribbled down everything he was repeated. When he hung up, he put his hands on my shoulders (gross) and said, “That’s really excellent that you knew to write that down when you heard me raise my voice. You’d be surprised how many people wouldn’t know to do that. Good job.” I wanted to yell, “Yo, I was on the Dean’s List.”
After an hour, he said he had to go to the doctor and then he would be back. He called about 45 minutes later to tell me not to be alarmed, but he was being admitted into the hospital. I was officially there alone, save for the very weathered and grizzled mechanic in the garage (John). He had me put John on the phone so he could take care of the scheduling and other odds and ends.
Shortly thereafter, Anton called again and had me take down some info. Basically, he had a few companies he needed me to call to confirm appointments. When he got done with one of them, he said, “You have their number, right?” I said, “No” and he literally freaked the fuck out on me,
“What did I tell you this morning?! The most important thing is to get their phone number! Without that, I can’t do anything! DO NOT DEVIATE FROM THAT! Do you see what you did?! Where does that leave us now, Erin?!”
I somehow calmly (and you know my temper, so this is a feat) explained to him that the company in question had not called, and that maybe John had spoken with them because I knew that I had not. He yelled (from his hospital room!), “Why the hell is my goddamned mechanic answering the phone?! This is the only think I asked of you!!” And I indignantly said, “I HAVE ANSWERED EVERY CALL THAT HAS COME THROUGH HERE TODAY. PERHAPS JOHN CALLED THIS PLACE ON HIS ACCORD.” Then I suggested that I could just look up the number, and you know what that fucking blue-collared prick said to me?
“You aint’ that good.”
Excuse me?! I’m not good enough to LOOK UP A FUCKING PHONE NUMBER?? So while he continued on his tangent of how I’m a moron who can’t take a message, I somehow mustered up enough intuition from my sorry moronic ass and FIGURED OUT HOW TO WORK THE BIGSHOT ROLODEX ON MY DESK and found him his motherfucking number.
Nine hours of sitting alone in a wood-paneled office and dealing with THAT cocksucker? No thanks.
And that’s today’s issue of my Summer Jobs newsletter.
Erin “Housewife Never Sounded So Good” Kelly