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Hierarchies of employment

I've been so quiet here lately because I've had nothing of great importance to say, and also because work has actually been keeping me very busy. It did inspire me to look around and observe that in the average office you can tell how important someone is just by catching a glimpse of the task they're doing. (I think this occurred to me while I was on my knees in the lunch room, stacking bottles of water into the fridge, and musing that you never see the Vice President of Operations doing something like this.) So, here's a basic sketch of the hierarchy, as I see it. Feel free to adjust or add on, according to your own observations.

Official Index of Workplace Importance

Level 1: Peon
Can be identified by these actions and poses: Filing, esp. on knees. Rinsing out coffeepots. Photocopying large stacks of paper. Carrying heavy but not expensive things.

Level 2: Mildly Useful Assistant
Sorting mail. Typing. Bringing coffee or refreshments to Important Personages. Filing occasionally, but not on knees. Photocopying smallish stacks of paper. Carrying expensive but not heavy things.

Level 3: Essential Help
Talking on phone for business purposes. Sorting important mail. Bringing coffee or refreshments to Supreme Beings. Photocopying one page every so often. Making other people carry and file things. Going to meetings with Important Personages and Supreme Beings, but only to take minutes.

Level 4: Important Personage
Talking on phone for business purposes with door closed. Receiving important mail, pre-opened. Going to meetings and giving the presentation. Asking for coffee and refreshments. Looking at catalogs and choosing some of the expensive and heavy stuff that gets ordered.

Level 5: Supreme Being
Talking on phone for business purposes from home or place of vacation. Receiving important mail, sealed. Going to meetings for purpose of scaring others with mere presence. Receiving coffee, refreshments, and expensive stuff without having to ask.

(I'm somewhere between levels 1 and 2 right now, if you were wondering. But, hey, I'm not complaining. There are worse jobs, to be sure.)

Edit, 9/5/03: Recommended humor reading: kenshi has put together a very elaborate D&D-style taxonomy to expand upon this. Check it out!

Comments

impetuousnote
Sep. 3rd, 2003 11:16 pm (UTC)
Very well said...or typed I guess. I don't exactly work in an office setting, but there is definitely a lot of paperwork in the tourism industry. The better part of my day today consisted of helping a sick passenger fill out his 3I report. (basically that means he sat there looking at me while I asked him questions such as, "What were you eating right before you vomited all over the tour bus?") It occurred to me then that I have never seen the district manager around when these forms need to be filled out. Must be nice to be in the 4-5 category eh?
mollyringle
Sep. 4th, 2003 11:44 am (UTC)
Heh! Well, at least I don't have to ask people questions like that. :)

I'm betting most people in the 4-5 levels don't have the time or inclination for LJ's...just us peons and assistants.