Mistaken Identity

Saturday, 30 April 2011

I've worked in various customer service roles over the years.  I'm sure that everyone who has worked in the industry, or has any kind of contact with customers, will have stories of rude, strange or otherwise silly people.

I had a little gem today.

A woman opens the door of the Shop, steps across the threshold and her eyes narrow as she looks around.  With her mouth half open in a scowl, she glares at me.  "You're not a sandwich shop?" she asks, sounding somewhat affronted.

Understandably, I'm a little puzzled by this as our rather large window display shows our non-food wares quite clearly (and she'd walked right past it), but I politely inform her that the sandwich shop is right next door.

The woman pauses, and then proceeds to take another step into the shop, her scrutinising gaze sweeping into every corner as if I'm possibly fibbing and have the ham rolls stashed under the counter.  As if satisfied that we have no bread products, she huffs, turns on her heel and stomps out.

I had a chuckle about it but I do wonder; was she just having a bad day or just didn't want to admit she'd entered the wrong shop by mistake?

Fingers Crossed

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Over the past week or two, I applied online to four jobs that I particularly liked the sound of (plus a few others but these four really caught my eye).  Checking back on the website, I see that two of the adverts have now been removed.  Since neither of them had specified a closing date I can only assume it has now passed.

Fingers crossed I'll hear back from them before too long.  The other two I imagine will be removed by the end of the month since they were posted right at the beginning of the month.

Two of the jobs are at the same company - plus it's in the next town over so I wouldn't have to travel as far and they have their own carpark. No parking charges!  That would be awesome. :)

Guess I'll just have to wait and see.

The Little Things #1

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The Little Things - a series of short and sweet posts about things that make me happy. Hopefully they'll make you smile too!

I recently had the absolute pleasure of being introduced to two adorable little puppies that were only 3 months old.  The moment I stepped into the garden they made a beeline for me, almost tripping over their own paws, tails wagging furiously, and tongues out ready to lick me to death.

If you have never been licked by two eager little puppies then you are seriously missing out.

Co-workers with no lives ...

Saturday, 23 April 2011

... and who think you don't have one either.

I was working at The Shop today.  Recently there was some debate over whether or not we were going to open on any of the Bank Holidays over Easter.  After some umming and ahhing from the boss, who I shall refer to as Nora, announced that we would not open on any of them.   Excellent!

Since then, I made plans with my partner; we've booked tickets for a gig, arranged a room at a hotel, scouted for a nice place to eat, made travel arrangements, and we are now both in happy anticipation of next Thursday evening / Friday.

Today, Nora nearly gave me a heart attack. 

She turned to me, calendar in hand, "Hmmmmm, I just don't know whether to open next Friday or not."   Um, what?  You made it clear not even a week ago that we would not be opening. 

Aside from the fact that I've already made arrangements, she doesn't so much as ask if I'm free to work that day, and there's the small fact of it being Royal Wedding Friday.  I think a fair chunk of the population will be otherwise occupied with either celebrating it or ignoring it as they so choose.  Not only that, but Nora is not even working next week.  She is out of the country on holiday and leaving me on my own for the week.  Yes, it's just me, minding the Shop, all alone.

Thankfully, she seemed placated by my reminding her of the public's preoccupation with the wedding and that we were unlikely to get many customers as a result.

A narrow escape.  I would not have been pleased if she insisted I work that day.

I used to know several other people in my Office job who regularly acted oblivious to other people having commitments or plans outside of the workplace. 

Once, I had made arrangements for a meeting for a large group; sorted the room out, got the paperwork ready, everything was done and dusted on time and ready for them at 3pm for the start of what was meant to be a relatively short meeting.  (I was also to attend.)

The gentleman in charge of the team, however, was not prepared for this meeting and he was the Chair.  Clive wasted over an hour sorting who knows what out before finally getting into the room.  That alone is inconsiderate when I had re-organised and rushed other work commitments to allow time to prepare and attend the meeting.  To be left hanging around for an hour, unsure as to when Clive was going to get his rear in gear was very frustrating.   But we finally sit down.  Then the aimless chatter and gossip starts up and dies down about 20 minutes later.  It's another 15 before the meeting actually gets underway.

So it's getting on for 5pm.  Most people start going home at that time.  Ideally, the meeting would have been coming to end round about now and I'd be able to go too.  5pm comes and goes.  I have commitments outside of work, one of which is a class that I assist in teaching.  At the latest, I could leave at half 5 and still get there on time.  If Clive and the others keep on subject we would whizz through the agenda and be done.  Alas, half past arrives and we are still on the first item on the agenda.

I stand up, I apologise, say I can not stay any longer due to my class and I'm excused.  I leave feeling somewhat frustrated at having to miss the majority of the meeting and not happy to have wasted so much of the afternoon like that.  I could have got so many other things done with my time.

The next day I ask one of the attendees what time the meeting finished.  About 7.30pm was the answer.  Sad thing is, the meeting wasn't of any major importance - it was mostly statistics on phone calls and how well the team was doing. General guff that could have waited, stats that could have been emailed round, and pats on the back could have been done informally at any time. 

All of those people had families waiting for them at home.

I'm glad I left when I did.  I had a very enjoyable evening with friends.

So ... how did I get here?

Friday, 22 April 2011

In my last post I mentioned that in a previous employment I was a lowly Council Minion.  I emphasis the 'lowly' because I was nothing more than an office grunt who had no say in anything.  Regardless, I worked hard, most of the people I worked with were pretty good people, and there were a few perks to the job that I appreciate more now that I'm not getting them!  Flexible start times being one of them - not necessarily a good thing to tell someone who hates getting up in the morning and therefore starts getting up later and later ... I fell into a very bad habit not getting to work until nearly 10am!

Anyhoo.  Like most places across the country since the proverbial brown stuff hit the fan, there were a lot of changes and redundancies going on. It was only a matter of time before our department was up for review and my team were extremely apprehensive as to what was going to happen to us.  More than likely a few of us would go. A team of 9 or 10 people would probably be considered excessive, even for a department as big as ours.  It didn't help that various responsibilities and tasks were being siphoned off and given to other people or teams to deal with.  Couple of my own tasks were removed, leaving me with less and less, and then an entire team I provided support for were being transferred elsewhere.  I had a sneaking suspicion that my post could be one to go.  There was simply not enough work being left for us to do.

I don't believe for a minute that I was the only one keeping an eye on the job market in the hopes of finding something to go to before being made redundant.  Naturally, we kept quiet on the off chance some bigwig higher up caught wind of it and picked us for redundancy.  Better to leave on your own terms than be told to leave, right?

I thought I was extremely lucky to be offered a new job with another company.  For me it was like a dream come true.  I had an interest in their area of work, it would be the start of a whole new career - it was a training position with a little sales work on the side.  The money wasn't brilliant, it was a drop no question, but ultimately, the offer of a training position in my career of choice - I was not going to say no!

Thus I escaped the drudgery and uncertainty of the office and embarked on my shiny new job!

Until I realised I had been lied to.  :(

It became apparent, horrifyingly so, that there was no training forthcoming.  At any point.  The job had been pitched to me as primarily training with a little project management/sales on the side.  Imagine how frustrated and angry I was when it turned out to be nothing but project managing.  NOT what I signed up for!

There were a myriad of other reasons for rapidly loathing my new employers, and whilst I'd never before left a job without another to go to, within a few weeks I was at breaking point and told them it wasn't working out.  Had I been able to job hunt or been permitted time off to attend interviews then I might have stuck it out.  But the sheer despair and frustration rapidly became far too much for me to handle.   I don't particularly want to go into too much detail, primarily because it would make for an extremely long and miserable rant of a post that I don't think you'd want to read!  But I think you've got the gist of the situation.

So, there I was.  Unemployed for the first time in my ten-year working life.  It was coming up to Christmas, but I was out of luck with any temporary shop work as they had all been snapped up or places were not taking any more applications. That sucked.

But I made the best of it.  I had plenty in the bank to tide me over, it wasn't a dire emergency by any means to get a job immediately.  So I tired to relax a little in the run up to the holidays.  Spent some time working on improving my CV, scouting the newspapers and job websites, although there was precious little available. 

Christmas and New Year came and went.  I applied for anything and everything that came up.  Eventually applied for work delivering leaflets in the local area.  I got offered some work and I gratefully took it.

But the pay was minimal.  I had to keep looking, either for something to replace the delivering, or something to do as well.  And luckily something 'as well as' turned up.  Part time sales work about half an hour away.  Again, I snapped it up, grateful for the work.

That is where I am today. Two jobs and still looking!

Starting out

Here begins a new blog, written by Working Girl - that would be me, obviously.  This blog is ultimately an outlet for my need/desire to write, and to simply express my thoughts as I attempt the following tasks:

  • Seek full time employment
  • Enjoy my time / life / money more

By 'full time', I mean to say that I am seeking a 9 to 5, Monday to Friday job.  Oddly elusive at this moment in time, I might add.

And as far as enjoying my life more, I guess that in the past I have been so focused on saving money and feeling bad about spending any, that I feel as if I've been missing out on things.  I need to learn to relax and enjoy myself more, instead of fretting about every purchase or feeling guilty over nothing.

As the title of my blog suggests, it's all about working to live, and no longer living to work.

That's the gist of what this blog will contain; my efforts to seek my desired employment, insights into my working life as it stands, and thoughts on money, spending, saving, and trying to enjoy life.

Hope it'll be of interest to you!


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