I’m a receptionist now. I get to sit and answer phones and eat lunch at a desk!
It’s not all fun and games, though. It’s a surprisingly difficult job for a woman to do. For one thing: everyone is frustrated that they cannot have sex with you, so you have to act a bit like they could do, if they weren’t so awful. Because the art of femininity doesn’t come that naturally to me, I have to really put the effort in and it’s stressful. I’ll be sitting at my desk (see above), brain full of thoughts and feelings and plans to secretly eat all the office snacks over the kitchen sink when no one is looking, when – suddenly! – I have to transform into “Lady Receptionist”. This sounds like a terribly ineffective superhero name, which is fitting, as I am a terribly ineffective receptionist. Possible reasons for this include that I am afraid to lie for people, I don’t like looking after people I don’t already like, and since I stopped drinking milk I make awful, awful tea. On the plus side: at least you know that when I seem to be a complete mess, I really am a complete mess. I do what it says on the tin.
But after six months, I’ve learned a thing or two. So, for anyone who is looking to step down their receptionist game, look no further! Here are some tips.
Lady Receptionist Pro-Tips
- Nails. Either get enormous fake nails put on so that you look like a Classic Lady Receptionist, alongside some cat eye glasses, so that you can’t actually use the keys, or perform any of the other myriad physical tasks clumsily lumped in with your job description. “Please change these lightbulbs/clear out this office/wrap this gift for me.” Sorry, no can do, I have mauve talons now. Alternatively: entirely remove nails altogether, and just go with raw gummy flesh there instead. It’s a bold look but might save you time ripping them out by accident later on.
- Smile. But not too much, so you don’t look like you’re laughing at them. Not all the time, so you look like a genuine, down-to-earth receptionist – you’re not like all those other receptionists. I prefer to alternate between a scowl and furrowed brow that says “I’m too busy for you!” and a wild-eyed, maniacal grin when you offer them tea and coffee knowing full well that you have run out of both.
- Cool, calm and collected. All of these are overrated. It is best that everyone knows that everything is a disaster, all the time. Otherwise, how will anyone know what a passable job you are doing, holding it all together?
- Professionalism at all times. Once a week, wear a really big ugly collared shirt and cartoonishly oversized suit trousers, so that you look like a baby businessman. After that, note the looks of relief on everyone’s faces when you go back to your shitty ordinary broken clothes.
- Take things with a pinch of salt. Also consider: sugar, trans fats, a big ol’ glass of wine. All useful remedies. I, personally, have started to branch out to include revenge, in a subtle, receptionist way, whereby I deliberately give you a smaller and less nice plain white IKEA mug. Ha, ha.
- Try to brighten people’s days. Maybe try to tell people jokes as you carefully bring them drinks, but make sure to mutter them quietly into your chest so that they have to ask you what you said, and then refuse to repeat it. They will *love* how mysterious you are!
- Be diligent. If you find yourself getting anxious, just remember that you need to do everything 100% perfectly, 100% of the time. No one will notice if you do, but boy, they sure will if you don’t!
- Be friendly and gregarious. “Hey, I love your shirt!” “Oh, uh, I just got it from H&M like five years ago.” “Okay, I will stop liking it then! Thanks!”
- And when all else fails… remember that that receptionist slug from Monster’s Inc. was also a receptionist, and everyone loves her, now.