After I finished yesterday's post, I forcefully pried myself out of bed (as divas usually do before 10am) and proceeded to get ready in the ohemgee-I-have-no-time-to-look-even-remotely-good fashion, which is to say, very quickly. After speaking with my agent and an email containing job details, planned my journey (just over an hour on the tube) and was out the door in 45 minutes. People who know me will agree, it's a job well done. I didn't know much about the job except that I was going to be office relief until Friday working 8:30am(ugh)-5pm (which means I finish work earlier than Ben, a fact I feel a bit smug about (sorry babe x), although I think his paycheck compared to mine gives him the upper hand in a big way). I found the office easily in a not so inspiring part of Vauxhall and introduce myself to the secretary thinking I could possibly be working with her seeing as its a bustling building with a lot to do.
Au contraire mes amis.
She gives me a couple of sheets of paper stapled together containing duties and instructions and promptly sends me next door to the way less flashy building and tells me to get settled in and acquainted with my duties and if I have any questions I can call her. Right. I head next door and am barely in the office for 5 minutes when people are filing in asking for keys to rooms and other questions I have no idea how to answer. Im sorry, but my vague list of duties did not include anything you people are wanting, therefore I cannot help you. To be honest, this is one of the worst situations to be in as I absolutely despise looking silly and as if I'm struggling with the simplest of concepts and tasks, which is exactly what is happening to me.
The job is not a difficult one, I mostly let people in and out of the building and the car park, assign visitors passes, occasionally answer the phone, and deliver and prepare the post- it's just that doing it with limited information is a wee bit more of a challenge. It's a good thing that I am quite accomplished in the art of winging it and looking as if I know what I'm talking about when I really haven't a clue. I was just saying to Ben last night over dinner that if short term temp workers like me weren't versatile they would never succeed in their placements-it's as if you are constantly living in your first 2 weeks of employment, which we all know, is the very worst place to be.
After settling and winging it, apologising all the while that I am just the relief and I don't have all the answers, I discovered something very important. There is very little to do and a lot of time to do it in. As for most jobs, there are things that are appropriate to do while working, and some that are not. These things were not noted on my list of duties, and not wanting to do something against policy on my first day I spent most of it sat in silence studying my list of duties as if I was trying to remember it word for word (and by now, I almost have).
The day progressed at a snails pace when eventually the lady I am relieving stopped by to chat and change the CCTV tapes. I managed to extract important information from her, and found out that yes, I can take an hour break and go next door for some (free) food, yes I can listen to the radio, yes I can use the computer, yes I can read and keep myself otherwise occupied. Well that is much more helpful, thank you, and would have been well appreciated yesterday when I sat here in silence watching the clock trying to look busy when in fact my brain cells were experiencing half-life in epic proportions.
So today I came armed with a crossword and a book and have switched on the radio as well as the computer to let the Internet guide me blissfully through the next few days. (Ooh the post is here, something to do for 10 minutes!) Okay post sorted, that's my job done for the day, back to bloggity blogging. I have to say I cant believe I am making £8.00/hr (almost $13.00/hr, an amount that makes my eyes pop thinking what I had to do at home to make that much money) to sit here and update my blog, listen to the radio and generally do what I would be doing at home. Work may be hard to find, but when it is had, you really cant believe how good of a score it really is.
This is how divas roll.
This is how divas roll.
So far most people have been lovely, patient, and friendly as people usually are with someone new, but then there are the ones that look at me as if there couldn't be a worse replacement for their beloved receptionist (I can see why, she is a warm and friendly grandmotherly type lady). They show me not-quite-covert impatience and indifference, wondering why I haven't automatically absorbed the conveniently left out bits of my babysitting details. I have had deliverymen whinge about having to walk up a single flight of stairs to deliver a package as I was instructed not to sign for anything other than the Royal Mail. I have been forced to wander around an office looking for the person I am supposed to pick up the evening post from, extracting stares from the associates seated around me. I have given poor directions to a contractor for the Men's toilets as they aren't even located on the same floor as the Ladies (I thought it was safe to assume that they were...I already had to go on the hunt down to find the Ladies on my own).
Best of all, though, I have seen a midget walk past the office window with more swagger than the UK's finest street crew Diversity.
So this is day 2 an hour and a half from being finished (not until I complete the second and last duty of the day-collecting the post to be sent out) and I can't say that I am not enjoying (having earned the right, mind you) sitting down letting the day roll by and the sterling collect in my pocket. I just hope that I will gain enough experience from job-hopping around to secure something similar without the dying brain cells bit.
Those, I would like to keep.
your diva abroad x