I just started doing some part-time office work for a friend, and I am quite grateful. The money – any money – is nice. It means one less bill we have to leave unpaid, and a tiny bit less stress in my week. But mostly, I am grateful to be doing something… anything. Just sending out resumes into the void is sheer misery.
When I was an Executive Assistant, I was a really good one. I have (or had, pre-kids) an excellent memory, a tool that helps when you’re juggling millions of tasks. I write well so I typically required little oversight when it came to turning out business correspondence, memos, etc. I could usually resolve issues that came up without much hand-holding. Basically, my perfect job (in an office setting) involves being told what to do, clearly and specifically, and then being left to do it. I don’t mind tedium, or making big piles into small ones (or better still, making them vanish altogether). I kind of get off on it. Interestingly, while I am not an organized housekeeper when it comes to my own home (massive understatement), when put into an office environment I become almost obsessive-compulsively neat. I like my inbox empty and my mind focused on the task at hand. There’s something soothing about it. Being an EA was never my dream job, and still isn’t. I’d rather be writing, obviously. But it is something I’m good at, regardless of how much time has passed.
Yesterday was a good thing. My back hurt, a lot, since I am no longer used to sitting at a desk and have terrible posture, to boot. But all of that data entry helped me. My head was (mostly) in a better place for several hours. Being distracted from my personal demons was a very good thing. I got to work in QuickBooks, which I hadn’t done previously. While I’m just starting out now I know in a few weeks it’ll be one more program I can add to my resume. I got to work in Excel, which I have worked in often enough in the past, but hey, it had been 11 years. (The gears were moving, but I could hear grinding noises.) Bottom line, I got to work, and work is good for me. My friend trusted me enough to just show me what needed to be done and then leave me to do it. God bless her. I never respond well to micro-management. It makes me cranky.
Anyway, I am glad to be working, even for a few hours a week. It’s a good starting place, and I very much need one.