Neophyte – Comes to work on time. Leaves a little early. Takes long lunches off site. Majority of life is still outside of answering service. Has no real responsibility. Happy to do any task, like cleaning crumbs out of your keyboard. Cannot believe s/he is getting paid so much to talk to college buddies on the phone and surf the Internet all day. Life is great!
Entry Level – Arrives and leaves on time. Feels important when boss asks him/her to work late and does so without hesitation. Brags to friends, “I picked the font for the new count’s website.” Considers a $50 bonus as indicator of undying company loyalty. Eats at desk on occasion. Life is pretty good.
Worker – Leaves late occasionally. Never calls in sick just to take the day off anymore. Is entirely responsible for meaningless projects, like changing “Systems Group” to “Technology Group” in all company documentation. Still comes into work with hangovers. Personal life is unknowingly vanishing. Is excited by a tiny raise and small promotion. Life is good.
Employee – Arrives early on occasion. Leaves late fairly often. Eats lunch at desk every day. Only has 1 or 2 remaining friends outside of work. Is actually responsible for real work that, if screwed up, will not damage the company significantly. Still has time to use company perks like hockey tickets. Life is OK.
Level 2 – Arrives at the call center early. Usually the last one to leave. Life is consumed by reports containing meaningless blocks of numbers. Derives all self-esteem from company and superiors’ approbation. Spends entire paycheck on objects that elevate status and image. Is totally immersed in work and loves it. Can do nothing but collapse in front of the TV to watch 90210 the few hours s/he is home. Life is stressful.
Level 3 – Same as Level 2 except their work actually affects the success of the firm. Doesn’t enjoy work anymore even though the salary is obscene and it keeps them away from their spouse all day. Considers quitting, but has large mortgage payment and doesn’t want to give up the wide screen TV. Doesn’t know what to do on a day off. Life is hell.
Manager – Tells other answering service employees what to do. Loves the power. Has to continually prove worthiness to managers up the food chain. Always works late in order to do the real work that can’t be done during the day. Has 5 times as many business outfits as friends. Home life starts to break down. Life is stressful.
Middle Manager – Spends all day describing things with buzzwords. Considers key employees, pens, and contents of recycling bin as resources. Still works late, but only for a conference or client. Sometimes in winter, sees the sun after it rises or before it sets, unlike Level 2s, 3s, and managers. Has no friends or home life. Life is OK.
Upper Manager – Likes looking at reports and talking at meetings. Usually leaves work on time, except when leaving early to play golf with other Upper Managers. Hardly ever needs to brown nose anyone anymore. No longer owns jeans. Cannot remember ever taking public transportation. Life is good.
Executive – Despite having vast riches and grown children, chooses to come to work because it’s fun. Says things like, “We need more market penetration in Liberia” and over the next few months, it happens. If it doesn’t, the executive must do even more work by saying, “Why don’t we have market penetration in Europe?” Magically, it happens and executive is called a visionary. Life is great!