Every Wednesday afternoon that I'm not otherwise preoccupied with work projects (read: every Wednesday afternoon), I volunteer at the art museum down the street from my office.
Now, this ain't your grandmama's museum, it's actually home to some Rembrandt, Picasso, and Degas, and has brought major exhibits from NYC and abroad. Up in these parts we reckin' that's a big deal.
I won't delve into the snobbery of the place that kept our local soup kitchen from relocating to the neighborhood; a neighborhood that already houses drug dealers, the much less fortunate, and your typical riff-raff. No, no, I definitely won't go there.
So anyway, I spend my Wednesdays doing random chores and projects the Director of Marketing doesn't have time to do herself. Like research, stuffing envelopes, more research, making copies, research a little more, etc. It's not what I would call making the world a better place,but I get to be surrounded by the art I love with people who love it just as much.
Now, getting to the part where I am awesome and you are so fortunate to know (of) me....
Yesterday I make my way down the street at my usual time, yet this time with a slight hesitation. The woman I work with emailed me the day before to say she was going to be out of town and would leave me a letter to "prep". I emailed her back:
"No problem....now what does that mean?"
I may have used a little more tact in my original wording.
This project was to be one of such a scale I have never attempted before, especially without her there.
I had to mail letters.
No, not just mail them, I had to find their recipients, merge them, print them, and label them. All on equipment I have never used for that purpose. Yes, Excel is Excel and Word is Word, I had no issues there, but which printer is hooked up to which computer? and where do you put the letterhead? and how does it need to be oriented? and where are envelopes? labels?
The first time I almost put my fist through a cubicle wall I was struggling to print a test letter.
"Hey Sarah, is this sucker supposed to take 15 minutes to print?"
"Try it again."
All the while, the person sitting in the office across from me says nothing as I struggle of the computer I am sitting at not being connected to the main printer.
Sarah: "Hey so-and-so, is this computer connected to the printer?"
Ms. Unhelpful: "No."
She was also responsible for number three almost-outburst when I discovered none of the printers were hooked up to that computer.
Number two (not that number two) occurred as I went out in search of the person who was to sign the letters I finally was able to print. I walked around the building looking for her, no luck. I went to her office and the door was shut so I stood there and listened for a minute, movement.
Score! Something is going right!
I knocked on the door and turned the handle to find the executive director sitting at his desk.
"Can I help you?"
He was annoyed. As he should've been, I walked in the back door of his office.
Finally, two hours and four un-ladylike words later, I finished printing and labeling all 16 letters. And in half of that time, I realized, I could have hand written every single one of them and been on my way to yoga pants and fuzzy slippers. That's when I bit my lip and got the heck outta there.
With every intention to go back next week and do more of the same. For Free.