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The Bureaucratic Verizon Wireless

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Essay title: The Bureaucratic Verizon Wireless

I have been faxing out my resume every day for two weeks. I have two interviews scheduled but neither of the jobs sounds very promising. One position is for 30 hours a week. I can only assume this is so they don’t have to offer health care benefits. The other position is in a one man personal injury, law office. The attorney did not sound like a pleasant person while setting up the interview. He will surely be a tough character. The phone rings and the caller ID reads GTE. Did I fax them my resume? I scramble to get the GTE newspaper ad in front of me, take a deep breath and pick up the phone. “Good Morning, this is XXXXXX”. The lady on the phone compliments my phone voice and said she would like to set up an interview with me tomorrow at 9:00am. Her name is Shelia and she gives me directions to the office building of GTE in Alpharetta. I repeat the directions to make sure I have it written correctly and again she compliments me by saying that I am the first person that she has spoken to that repeated the directions back to her. As I enter the office building the next day, I am amazed at the size and formality of the building. There is a security desk at the door. They have me sign in and they give me a visitor name tag. They tell me to have a seat while they call Shelia to come and take me to her office. I think to myself that I hope that I am dressed professionally enough. I interview with Shelia and she is a passionate lady in her early 50’s. She is a straight shooter and to the point. She is leaving after working for GTE for 9 years because she does not want to stay while the company goes through a merger. She says all of the changes that will happen just do not interest her; she likes things the way they are and would rather leave it that way. She details the benefits included in the job and we discuss in depth the Executive that I will be assisting. She tells me that he is a kind, soft spoken man that has been with GTE for 21 years. He is the Vice President of Customer Care and Technology. My job is to run his office by doing everything from sending out communication on his behalf to booking all of his travel arrangements and scheduling all of his meetings. These are all tasks that I have done previously. We set up an interview for me to meet with Dan Mead the next day. I assume that she had to approve of me first. I return the next day and Mr. Mead’s only question was regarding the length of time that I had worked at my previous jobs. This is certainly a concern for a man who has held the same position since he finished college 21 years ago. None of my previous jobs have lasted over 2 Ѕ years. This is evidence of the changing culture of our workforce. I explained how one company went out of business and I described that I was not pleased with the unprofessional environment at most recent office and I needed a change to a job with more stability and future promise. He liked my answer and he offered me the position as Executive Assistant. He of course warned me about the up coming merger and told me it would be very busy over the next year. He said he would like to have an assistant that gets the job done and works well with a great amount of autonomy. He needs someone with more current technical skills and communication ability. I assured him that I was up to the task. Wow, my first “real” job in an absolute bureaucracy. I had indeed entered into a bureaucratic world that was unlike any other company that I had worked for before.

What was GTE in 1998 is now Verizon Wireless. Verizon is the epitome of a large bureaucracy. As stated by Weber, “The fully developed bureaucratic mechanism compares with other organizations exactly as does the machine with the non-mechanical modes of production” (Gerth and Mills 1958: 214). Verizon is one of the front runners for telecommunications companies in the United States and can hold its own with other fortune 10 companies. This well oiled machine, Verizon Wireless is now known to be one of the paramount corporations for both consumers and employees alike. With all of the benefits and restrictions of working at Verizon Wireless, I took away lessons about how to operate within a bureaucracy that are invaluable to me still today.

My first day on the job and Mr. Mead is out of town. He is in New York, tied up in meetings regarding the merger. Well, this is going to be easy I thought to myself. After that first day, the job was never easy again. I soon learned the pecking order of the Executive Assistants. There were only 12 “Executive” assistants. The other administrative staff were given the title Assistant. The “Executive” added to my title made a big difference in my day to day operations. It got our computers repaired quicker and the mailroom stayed open as late as I needed them. Likewise, my printing orders moved faster and I was able to order the more expensive and efficient office equipment. I learned quickly that

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