Today's blog features guest blogger Meghan Macioce from Sun Motor Cars describing the typical day of a multitasking, problem-solving administrative professional in today's fast-paced world.
It's Monday morning, and I'm at the office early.
Few people ever see my workplace like this. The parking lot is empty, and when I let myself into the building, I'm glad I remembered my sweater, because the heat's not even on in the building yet. That's how early I am. But for the bliss of a quiet, empty office and the fruits of a few hours to get things done, the frigid office is worth it.
I take a detour on my way to my desk, stopping by the breakroom and flicking the lights on. I fill the coffeemaker, glancing at the empty trash can. In a few hours, it will be filling up with used K-cups and the breakroom will smell like dozens of cups of coffee brewed and consumed. But this morning, I get the first cup. Hot coffee will chase the chill, perk me up and hopefully get my brain going. Later, the breakroom will be packed with my coworkers perusing the variety of flavors and bickering over the last hazelnut, but for now, the breakroom—and the office—are my domain.
But once I'm settled at my desk and working through the tidy stack of paperwork I left on Friday, time passes fast, and it's not long before the heat comes on, people start filtering in, and I smell the unfortunate combo of the coffeemaker and some sadistic soul microwaving eggs.
That means it's go-time: time to balance the work I have yet to do with the fine art of fending off crazy requests, distracting phone calls, and unnecessary emails.
It's not even 9 a.m. before I'm asked for my first favor, and it's a doozy. My colleague asks nicely, complimenting my multitasking talents and even offering to buy me lunch, and while it's tempting to let him go on for just a minute or two longer—hey, the flattery is nice—I have to say no. One favor outside of my job responsibilities isn't a huge deal… but multiply that by a half-dozen or a dozen, and I'd be sunk. If I say yes to him, I have to say yes to everyone. So I say no, wondering just how swanky of a lunch it might have warranted.
But as it stands, I'm on my own for lunch, so after a few more hours of answering emails, troubleshooting issues and trying to make it through that pile of work I started on, I head to the lunchroom, ready to clear my head and reset with a little lunch and good conversation. By the time my break is over, I've caught up with a few coworkers, learned that the copy machine is out of paper (again), and figured out how to handle a customer issue that has had me stumped.
The afternoon goes just as quickly as the morning as I work along two divergent paths, finishing the tasks I already had scheduled and on my radar while troubleshooting and prioritizing the things that pop up from other people throughout the day. What I really want is to finish all of my work and all of their requests, but I'll have to find a stopping point so I don't abandon something halfway through only to confuse myself with it tomorrow morning.
The end of the day isn't quite as quiet as the beginning, but it's starting to wind down as I straighten up my desk and workspace, creating the same kind of stack I'd started my day off with. Today, that stack is mostly ad hoc requests from my colleagues. Tomorrow, it will be my to-do list when I get here in the morning.
Tomorrow, I'll be in the office early. The last thing I do before I leave is hang my sweater on the back of my chair. Because based on the size of the pile on my desk, I know I'll be glad I have it.
Meghan Macioce has worked at Sun Motor Cars for 12 years where her primary function is to book all auto deals and ensure proper funding. Raised in New Jersey, she now resides in Pennsylvania with her husband and 3 young children who love to keep her busy with sports and other fun activities.