Today’s Motto: Better Call Charlie!

“Charlie, do you have a minute to spare?”

This is the question I am asked the most at work.  I am usually asked this when I get in the door (coat still on, lunch bag still in hand, and book bag still attached to me); when I come out of the bathroom; when I am eating lunch; when I am knee deep in filing; when I waist deep in a project for my boss (the executive director, by the way); when I am getting ready to go home for the day…you get the picture.

Yes, I understand that everyone has times like this in their jobs, but this happens every day.  It is nonstop.  The people who drop by my office.  The phone calls and emails I receive.  I’ve learned how to prioritize – I have to in order to survive with some of my sanity in tact.  I love my organization, even if at times, I wish for something more lucrative. But I like that I am in the public sector and suspect that I would lose my soul if I even stepped into something corporate.  But that’s for another post.

I am bombarded with questions all day long – who isn’t?  Some of these questions require answers that I’m not knowledgeable in; others require me to do some digging; most questions I can answer off the top of my head.  But if I am working on a project, I usually push off the questions that I can answer for another day.  Most of the time, this doesn’t work.

I try.

Two of my friends, both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul fans have a motto:  Better Call Charlie!  I laugh, mostly I sigh and grin, a bit chagrined.  I don’t have the answers to every question.  But sometimes, I’m the only one accessible enough to answer a question.  I suppose that’s what most people like about me.  I am approachable and I do try to help everyone.

Sure, sure.  Even at the cost of myself.  I hear it’s a trait of the female gender.  I’m working hard to reverse that in myself.

Others swear up and down that I actually run the place.  Not true, I tell them.  I don’t make the hard or money-related decisions.  I couldn’t possibly tell you what to do if an actual crisis with a client actually happens.

But I can damn well tell you that I know who to turn to for help.

And even though “I don’t know” is a perfectly acceptable answer to give, it seems that I’m the only one who says it.

Okay, it’s usually comes with “but I can find someone to help you get that answer.”

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