It had been a few days since I had arrived at the palace and begun to wade into my new job, no easy task. I had learnt a few things.
1: No one wants to talk to you when you are assigned to Lord Vader.
It was like working for him was a disease and the death and destruction he dealt in was catching. People avoided me mostly and give me these weird sideways pitying glances. No one would tell me how many P.A.s there were before me. It was really annoying.
2: If you are going to be living and working here you have to dress the part.
I was decidedly unfashionable it seems. I would eventually need to go shopping, but since I was not even sure if I was getting paid ( surely payment for this job is a must and I was betting there was even danger pay) and if I was getting paid where the heck was my account. I had not been able to track down any of the HR people to ask these questions. It seemed they made themselves really scarce when Lord Vader was around. This week he was here due to some big thing with the Emperor.
I ran around in my Tatooine finest and I still looked like a refugee from the trash compactor. The current trend for office girl fashion was short tight skirts, some sort of dark shiny leg coverings with spiked heel shoes and a little military style shirt to match, various colours of course. Completely impractical and some people should just NOT wear short skirts. However, as no one was speaking to me, giving me advice or nudging me in any direction I continued to wear my Tatooine wardrobe. Comfy, practical and I didn’t look like a clone of all the rest of the nerfs here. Of course, the rest of the nerfs here looked at me like I was Bantha poodoo. Oh well….it was not like my boss was setting any fashion trends, at least none that I knew of.
3: Never, ever mention the Dark Lord’s name loudly.
Everyone whispered his name. Everyone whispered the Emperor’s name too. It was downright annoying and very silly. How could they all be so scared to death of Lord Vader and the Emperor? I had asked this and all I got were those pitying looks that said ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell, poor you, you will find out soon enough.’ It was beginning to get really aggravating. I was sort of at break point, to be honest, and swore that the next person who did that DADT look thing was going to get a smack. How the heck was I supposed to learn how to fit in here and do my job if no one was saying anything about anything, which usually meant something, was going on.
4: Even the Empire gets bogged down in paperwork.
I found my office all by myself the day after I arrived. Typically, I had some trouble with the card key but the really annoying protocol droid, that has been assigned to me or the job, better to say, since the droid has been around a while and the P.A.s don't last that long, helped me figure it out so that was okay. When I opened the door, it was not okay. What a mess. It looked like a sandstorm had been through the place a few times and then come back again because it didn’t do the job properly the first time. There were data pads and memos everywhere, lots and lots of memos, lots and lots of invitations, lots and lots of really stupid rules and regulations updates and addendums. Ship schedules, meeting schedules, official function schedules …. It was insane. You would think they could create a 'paperless' office with all the computer equipment here, but no. everything has to be hard copy. My first real job was to actually find my desk. My second job was to sort out everything lying all over the place and file it so I could find it. It took me a day to accomplish half of it.
5: Protocol droids are not particularly helpful.
It was not helpful, after having observed me for an entire day struggle with the clean up to then utter the phrase ‘I have been assigned to help you, I could have sorted all of these paper out, had you but asked me to.’Needless to say I no longer wanted any protocol droids near my office but actually, that was mostly wishful thinking, this protocol droid was as shunned as I was so I relented on the banishment thing and told he/she/it/they, that it could stick around as long as it didn't offer any more helpful hints after the fact. I should add that protocol droids are also not all that good at paying attention to what you tell them when it doesn’t suit their purpose.
I have not seen Lord Vader since our first meeting, thankfully, and since no one was talking to me, or casually dropping by my office to say hi, welcome to the fold or poor you, I got a lot of work done in a short amount of time.
I had a nice little office next to his main office, well, next to the waiting area actually, far enough away that no one could really see me if they were not actually looking for me but where I was close enough, I suppose, that Lord Vader can yell at me if he wanted to. There was an intercom system, I suppose, it is a bit uncouth to yell.
There was also a secretary of sorts but he/she/it/they was a protocol droid of some sort, mainly there to set up visiting appointments. This is a very, very, very bored droid. No one, and I do mean no one, wanted to see Lord Vader if they could possibly help it. I was, it seemed, responsible for everything else. Keeping the memos sorted, keeping his appearances at the Official functions such as big promotions(Admiral to Grand Admiral, that sort of thing), straight...this involved mostly saying 'I am sorry Lord Vader is unable to attend said function due to his busy work schedule...' silly really, answering all the really stupid letters and mail and memos he gets. It sounded insane but they existed, all these reminders and memos and letters and so on. And every Imperial official got them, so every Imperial official needed a P.A. to sort it all out for them. It was truly bewildering. I was sure that there were other things that would crop up, in this sort of job they usually did.
My office was not that big (thankfully) and had a decent view of the city from the west side. The traffic here was astounding, just a steady stream of flying things going, albeit orderly, in every direction. I had a nice desk with lots of space for all the crap that had been piled up on it by the previous assistant, a data terminal (I had yet to figure out my access code, and was hoping once that got sorted out I could get rid of this mess.), a comlink, and a lot of storage space for the excess paperwork, data chips, pads etc. There was even a small bathroom attached, which the housebot cleaned dutifully every day, he/she/it/they had been instructed to leave the office part of the office alone until I could find the floor again.). I still had not found the coffee machine though. I kept forgetting to bug that silly Protocol droid, whose name I could never remember, about it.But…so far so good.