Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Workin' for a Livin'

I can barely remember a time when I wasn't quite so busy.

It was maybe six or seven years ago. My job was simpler. I didn't have 2 jobs. I didn't have a mountain of bills to pay. I didn't constantly try to impress women all the time. I had more hair (Okay that has very little to do with being busy). I could be content to watch Seinfeld re-runs until I was blue in the face.

I'm not even sure what I was doing with all my time, but I wasn't this tired. Or bitter.

Just as an example, I'll give you a little job story. I was always under the impression that my job was to serve the faculty and staff of my particular college, not the college itself (as in the building). Somewhere along the line, this changed, and every Tom, Dick and harry who uses the place gets referred to me. For awhile, it was okay because I wasn't so busy all the time and I wanted to be helpful, until I realized that not only am I not being paid (enough) to help these people, but they are getting away with free A/V service that their department or group or whatever should be paying for. Cheap bastids.

This probably applies to everyone's job, but I feel a little bit of forethought goes a long way. A few years ago, a conference room was constructed in my building, and it was decided a conference room should have a conference phone. Seems logical. A phone line was put in and a phone purchased. The first time someone needed to make a conference call, they said, "Matt, can you hook up the phone?" Because I'm the tech guy, it suddenly became my job to know how to work this funky, Star Trek-looking phone. What's next? they call me when the fridge blows out? But I wanted to be helpful, so I figured it out. That was probably the same logic that led the college to purchase a podium for every classroom a few years ago, and call me to install them. "Matt, can you put these in? Is this your job?" Frankly, no. I don't believe that large, wooden blocks have anything to do with me. But I wanted to be helpful. Same thing when they decided that our lobby renovations should include huge display screens, before they asked who would maintain them and actually put stuff up to display. Guess who made the first three presentations? Me, who has never actually made a powerpoint presentation before in his life. I didn't mind doing it, if that were actually my job. I think I just would have liked someone to call me and say, "Hey, we're doing this, and it's going to be your job." That's all. Forethought.

This is becoming a ridiculous rant about my job. I know we all have done things outside our bailiwick, and we all have days where our jobs drive us crazy. For the most part, I like being the person that everyone can depend on, and I don't mind helping out whenever anything in the building needs to be carried, fixed, assembled or basically just dealt with. I guess I'm just saying I hope what they say about karma is true (not that she's a bitch), because I'm wondering how much longer I can really be this helpful.

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