Once upon a time, in an office building not so far away, which belonged to a company called Glass Bathroom Bank, there worked a young woman called Cinderanna. Now Cinderanna was an administrative assistant, which means that it was her job to help the people in her department to do their jobs. But Cinderanna had a bit of a problem.
You see, Cinderanna was a nice person. Maybe a little too nice. Whether people were in her department or not, Cinderanna would help them if they asked for it. And so, over time, Cinderanna began to accumulate bosses, until she had a full ten of them (all names have been changed to protect the terminally embarrassed).
Cinderanna started her administrative assistant career with just one boss, an intelligent and kind gentleman called Forest, who had a fairly small group of people reporting to him and didn't need much done. Out of both boredom and niceness, she agreed to start helping not only Forest but his neighbor down the hall, Moore, who had a slightly larger and far more rambunctious department reporting to him, including two sub-managers, Roddy and Walker.
Next, a visiting manager named Marie got to be friends with Cinderanna, and brought her gifts of produce from a lovely garden at home, as well as asking her to write a few meeting invitations here and book a conference room there. Marie's colleague Rafe also got into the act, requesting that Cinderanna put his invoices into the expense system, since he didn't know how to do that himself.
Six managers were sometimes a little much for Cinderanna, but fortunately her busy times were fairly short, and she greatly enjoyed the stretches of time when no one needed her. Forest had given her tacit permission to use her computer for other things than work (like writing and blogging) during her downtime, and no one ever bothered to look over her shoulder and see what she was actually doing while her fingers danced on the keyboard.
But Cinderanna's journey wasn't over yet. A reorganization within Glass Bathroom Bank meant Forest got a new boss, whose name was Jason, and Jason was very impressed with Cinderanna's work. Not only did he start asking her to do things, he instructed most of his other sub-managers, Forest's peers, to do the same if they didn't have assistants of their own, which they did not.
Thus Cinderanna acquired on her list of bosses not only the highly enthusiastic Jason but a visionary named Gabriel, a quiet man named Ernest, and a cynic called Hubert, who started hiring expensive outside contractors almost before his nameplate had time to settle into its place on his door.
Cinderanna found her head spinning just a trifle more these days. Trying to keep the supply closet stocked was an adventure in itself, since upper management was constantly diminishing her ordering abilities in the name of cost-cutting. Still, Cinderanna couldn't help but notice that cost-cutting didn't seem to prohibit the managers themselves from flying to Glass Bathroom headquarters every month, staying in an expensive hotel for two nights, and ordering in local bistro food, all on the company's dime.
Meanwhile, trying to get computer software for the one hundred or so ordinary employees who worked for her ten bosses had also become more of a challenge for Cinderanna, as the system she used to order that software had recently received an "update". Where before Cinderanna had been able to request all the software she needed on one form, she now had to fill out a separate form for every piece of software, and often those forms required information she didn't have and had a difficult time finding out.
What with all of this, along with meetings with federal regulators to be scheduled, invoices for hundreds of thousands of dollars in contractor fees to be paid, conference room battles to mediate, and a thousand and one little ordinary things to handle every day, Cinderanna found her zest for life waning. Things like her writing and her singing faltered as she had to channel more and more of her energy into simply getting through the workday.
How does the story of Cinderanna and her Ten Bosses end? I don't know, and neither do Forest, Moore, Roddy, Walker, Marie, Rafe, Jason, Gabriel, Ernest, and Hubert. What I wish some of them understood better, though, is that Cinderanna is only one person, and she feels a bit overwhelmed sometimes, trying to deal with all ten of them at once. Being polite to her at all times, and giving her as much notice as possible of things like new contractors who need lots of equipment or large meetings to be set up, will make everybody's story end more happily.
Thanks as always, O readers, for being here for me. Please be patient if your comment doesn't post (I'll approve as soon as I'm able -- it's an anti-spam measure, since apparently somebody thinks this blog is a great place to sell cheap sunglasses), and I shall see you all on Fiction Friday, which may very well feature the adventures of Mr. Latvian Door and Olaf the Super-Pup!