Other Duties As Assigned

Melissa Stagnaro

There is a line in almost every job description that is the catch all. Tasks not expressly listed as regular responsibilities of your position fall under this line item, usually called “other duties as assigned”.

Into this category fall all of those things that your new boss was afraid to tell you before you were hired. Probably because he knew you’d never accepted the position if you were aware of them in advance.

I was aware of the fact that I would be responsible for taking some of my own photos when I was hired at The Evening Sun. I can hardly be classified as a great photographer, so it was natural to be a little nervous. Luckily the cameras we have on hand are good enough (read: expensive enough) that it’s hard to mess up too badly. Just don’t tell Jeff I’ve already managed to lose a lens cap.

What I didn’t know when I accepted this position was that I would have to have MY picture taken. Repeatedly.

For some, this may not seem significant enough to be classified under the “other duties as assigned” category. But I’ve found it akin to torture.

Maybe if there was some degree of prior notice, it wouldn’t be so bad. I could take a little extra time selecting a professional, yet flattering outfit and maybe even use a styling product or two in my usually product-free hair.

But, no. I’m convinced that Jeff waits to see if it will be a bad hair day or if I’m wearing something particularly hideous before suggesting that this would be the perfect day for a photo op.

All I know is that each of the photos taken in my three week tenure at The Evening Sun could easily qualify as a “Before” photo or a feature of the “Fashion Don’t” section at the back of some glossy magazine.

I’m going to go back and re-read my employee handbook. I hope there is something in there about personal time. I’ll need a few hours this afternoon to see if my stylist can fit me in for highlights before I go home to cull my wardrobe.