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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!


Sep. 4th, 2003 12:41 am (UTC)
Addendum: where they can be found
Level 1: Does not have own place to sit. Either has no fixed work station or has work station shared with others. (i.e. sits in miscellaneous chair in office or shares desk (not just cube) with others of same level. May be kept running all day long and not have any place (or chance!) to sit. May not have computer access.

Level 2: Has own place to sit. Area may be shared either spatially (i.e. large cube with multiple occupants) or temporally (occupied by others during other time periods). Advanced level 2 personnel may have non-shared workspace, but only the smallest or least-private available. Cubes with half-height walls are distinctly level 2 accommodations. Has computer access but monitor visible to passers-by; advanced level 2 may have viewing filter.

Level 3. Has own place to sit. Area not shared by others (exception for temporal sharing for receptionist; even if temporally shared is emphatically this employee's space - woe betide any who re-arrange contents of drawers or steal pens). Common locations include private cubes, large double cubes. May also be found in shared offices. Likely to be in single office only if small, lacking in door, or otherwise unsuitable for higher-level employee (exception for Attack Secretary for level 5 employee). Has own computer; monitor may be visible or screened from passers-by.

Level 4: In office, possibly private but likely shared. May have window. Monitor likely screened from passers-by; likely to be seated facing door. Door open unless privacy needed for phone or personal conversation.

Level 5. In solo office. If there are any windows in the building, there's one here. Sits facing door; monitor screened. May not have passers-by. Advanced level 5 will be found in inner office of nested system, guarded by level 3 or better Attack Secretary. Door may be closed even if no conversation is being conducted.
Sep. 4th, 2003 03:04 am (UTC)
Re: Addendum: where they can be found
Good points! I shift and sit where I can. I generally get the desk of whoever is on leave :) And I always feel overlooked on the computer...
Sep. 4th, 2003 11:49 am (UTC)
Re: Addendum: where they can be found
Exactly! You've nailed it. I keep getting shunted from vacant desk to vacant desk here, depending on who's away. They have to page me over the intercom to find me. Ugh.

"Attack Secretary"...heheh.