Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Adventures in Working Full Time

At the start of November, I quit my job at the local pub. It had been my favourite job to date and had proved invaluable as a regular and flexible source of income throughout my Masters, but now the certificate was earned and the gown hung back up, it was time to pretend to be a grownup until my career began in the new year. And so I took inspiration from the Yeti's successes in his full time job... by which I mean I copied him and went for a job where he was working. That's not necessarily as creepy as it sounds: this company is huge. It's one of the biggest employers in my region and is based in two cavernous buildings - in short, except when we arranged to meet, we never saw one another.

I've worked full time jobs before, but never in a (semi) permanent role, and never for a corporation. That shit is weird. And very, very different. Here are some of the things I experienced and learned in my time as a headsetted wage slave...

  • A lack of lanyards can cause a mutiny. I've never had a lanyard before; I've only ever needed to carry around my student card (and my ID in case of crafty 'OK-just-the-one' type drinking sessions), and that itself only needed to come out of the wallet for library visits and scrounging discounts - so wearing it around my neck didn't seem entirely necessary. But it turns out there are some places where you need cards just to go to the toilet, never mind to get into the offices. At this point, when the company does not provide lanyards, shit will apparently kick off. Still, some of us cooler customers* made the best of it and sorted our own out. Check out my very professional card-holder, for instance...
  • Work canteens can be amazing. OK, there was that time where they served me a pasta bake that was so dry it was like eating sand... and there was also that time where everyone who'd worked the Saturday shift had gotten food poisoning... but £3 for a decent portion of very edible sweet and sour chicken and rice with a can of branded pop? Incredible. Also, the slices of cake were more like slabs. Awesome stuff.
  • It can, at times, be like being back in school. And I don't just mean the class-based stuff in training. On that note: people in their twenties shouldn't be in cliques, never mind people in their fifties...
  • People are awful. I thought I'd encountered bad customers from working in pubs most of my adult life (what can I say? Goes well with the student thing), but that was a cake walk to dealing with someone who doesn't understand their bill and has been on hold for 15 minutes. 
  • But some people are ace. I met some really ace people while I was there, and dealt with some really lovely customers. Faith in humanity: restored.

Now to enjoy a few more days of freedom before I go into the full time slog in earnest... at least this time it's in a career I actually care about and am therefore likely to enjoy.

*I realise that use of the term 'cool customer', or any variation thereof, inherently negates any coolness present (if any).

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