A Day in the Life of an Office Manager

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Monique, office manager, shares a bit about her role.

Describe your role. 

My role is a complicated one, I wear a lot of hats. I am here to ensure everything is going how it's supposed to be going. I am here to support our full-time and part-time staff in their day-to-day work. It can be making sure they have the folders they need to make client files; it can be making sure shelter vehicles are running properly to get staff and clients from point A to point B safely, it can be fixing a toilet that isn't flushing properly, it can be securing certain donations and setting up those drop offs or even just adding paper to the printer to keep print jobs flowing. There are many things that go into my job as being the office manager but I enjoy doing all the things because then I can ensure everything is just as it should be.  

What led you to become an Office Manager? 

To be honest, I had not heard of FOF before, so I had no idea this job was even available, but a very good friend of mine approached me at my previous job and told me all about it and I was immediately interested in the position. It wasn't even the benefits of the job like they pay or the weekends off that got me, even though those are perks, it was more the culture and the staff that really made me consider applying and then once I started meeting everyone here, I knew I needed to get this job and I would do anything to make it happen!  

Describe the relationship you have with donors/supporters/volunteers. 

Overall, I would say I have a strong relationship with our donors, supporters, and volunteers. Mainly because I am their first point of contact when they are calling FOF. I would say there is a lot of trust in these relationships because they count on me to know what is going on, what our needs are and who they need to be in contact with.  

Do you work with the same donors/supporters on a consistent basis? 

There are a handful of donors I do work with on a consistent basis and have made some good personal relationships with them, but for the most part we are getting more and more new donors every day!  

How do you support the team and offices? 

I support them by being available to them for whatever they need. Venting about their days, asking for advice, asking for certain supplies, helping troubleshoot technology issues, anything they need from me, I try my hardest to provide that for every one of them.  

How do you start each day? 

I start by opening the Waterloo office each day, making sure the doors are unlocked and the lights are all on. I open the meeting room spaces and make sure they are clean and tidy. Then I come to my desk, and I check the admin line voicemail and make sure everything gets followed up on, while I am doing all of that I usually have my computer starting to turn on so I can check emails and get those followed up on as well. Then I assign our crisis line and housing hotline to make sure calls go to where they need to be!  

Are there specific community partners or resources you work consistently with? 

Trinkets and Togs, in Waverly are a community partner we work with a lot. Not just me, but I do send donors and clients there are well. We get a lot of calls about items we just cannot accept, and T&T is a great place to send those donors on behalf of us because then we still get to use the funding from that donation to supply vouchers to clients for things we might not have or cannot provide for them!  

ACES our tech team, is another resource I work with a lot. I tend to be able to figure out the tech issues myself but there are some days where I am just stumped, and they are always willing to jump in and help me! This is probably one of my favorite relationships and I would say we all have become friends in our technology journey. 

What is the most enjoyable part of your role? 

Running all the offices! I love making sure everything is going how it should and that everyone has everything they need to be successful. I like to think I have FOF running like a well-oiled machine, everything coming together smoothly.  

What is the most stressful part of your role? 

Technology issues will always be the most stressful part of my role. It's a great thing when it works but when it doesn't, and you have everyone waiting on you for a solution, it can get a little stressful. 

Does work follow you home?  

It only does when we have big things going on, for example when we moved offices that was a lot of work so I spent a lot of nights going over in my head how to make it all flow easily and come together to be as seamless as possible 

How do you unwind? 

I go pick my little guy up from daycare and you can usually catch us snuggled up on our couch watching Law and Order SVU.  

Share the story of an impactful day or person you worked with. 

The first person that comes to mind is a wonderful donor. She hand makes us bags! This has been going on for about a year and a half now and every couple of weeks or so she shows up with new bags, with new designs she has made for our clients, and they are extremely helpful when we are supplying donations. They are nice and sturdy and have tons of room so they hold a lot of items and make it easier for clients we serve to carry things around! Not only does she make the bags, but she will put helpful things in them like toothpaste and toothbrushes! She also became one of our financial and event auction donors during this too! We have also developed a personal relationship with me being her consistent point of contact, so she has always checked in on me before I was pregnant, during my pregnancy and now after I have had the baby! She even got to meet him one day, so it all kind of came full circle. She holds a special place in my heart, and it really brightens my day every time I get to see her!