This Summer I worked at the Mayor’s Office of Special Projects and Community Events (MOSPCE). The office is responsible for organizing mayoral events at Gracie Mansion and all around the city. It strives to create community support within NYC and to honor all the service of everyday New Yorkers. I worked with MOSPCE for six weeks 9-5pm; however, I also went to all the events and thus once or twice a week worked 9-9pm. A normal day consisted of answering phone calls from guests inquiring about their invitations and RSVPs, logging information into massive excel spreadsheets, collaborating on the office’s database of guests, organizing the office’s materials, and brainstorming the design and the layout of a future event. Some of the events that I helped to organize include the Fatherhood reception, the Pride LGBT reception, the Val-Seave, to simply waiting for directions from my superiors on a headset radio.
Working at the Mayor’s Office was my first real job experience. It was mentally and physically exhausting as I entered the adult world of work. I was not ready for the amount of mechanical drudgery that a cubicle job entailed. I found myself bored and questioned the importance or even the need of the work that I was doing; however, I soon realized that I had to change my mentality in order to volunteer successfully as well as keep peace of mind. Because it was a government job everything ran slowly and had to be okayed by about three other offices, but every little piece of seemingly useless work did eventually add up to the final product of the event and thus was of much importance. I had to dispose of my personal desire for immediate gratification and knowledge of my impact. Volunteering at other places before it was easy to see the effect of my work, such as with feeding and teaching people, but at MOSPCE my influence was harder to detect, and thus at first it angered me because I thought I was somewhere where I was utterly useless. Working at MOSPCE firstly taught me that I am more interested in hands-on work and would not be suitable in a cubicle environment, but it also revealed to me all the teeny tiny necessary work that any organization does, especially a governmental one, just to reach their goal. I came away with so much respect and appreciation for workers who somehow come together and put in such hard, strenuous work for something much greater than themselves, getting little satisfaction in return. Before this experience I was a bit impatient in my volunteering, wanting to ensure that I could actually be of help, but now I realize that in order to help real change occur and to have a grand impact in the future a great deal of patience and drudgery is sadly essential.