Monday, 12 July 2010

The wonderful world of work

(Images sourced from Google Images -

Last week I was reunited with the wonderful world of work. You could say I hadn’t actually stopped working what with all the essays, assignments and projects that had to be completed during my first year of university but between the parties, sleeping in til noon and the fact that I spent money rather than earnt it, my working world was shaken slightly when I re-entered the 7am rises and seven and a half hour days of grafting.

Well I say day consists of sitting in a rather comfortable, spinning desk chair, sorting through piles of folders, pulling out important legal documents and photo-copying them. This is carried out with chats every half an hour and biscuit breaks every two. Oh and the occasional data inputting on spreadsheets. Sounding cushty??

Yes it is and my colleagues there are lovely but the work consists of the most mundane jobs I have ever had to do. Today, no word of a lie, I spent my seven and a half hours PHOTO-COPYING!! Ohh my days there are so exciting but I am eternally grateful for finally landing a job and earning money! So much so that I would happily (well probably with some moaning along the way) stay on the project until it was time to head back to Southampton but unfortunately their need for me is coming to an abrupt end in two weeks time (fingers crossed it will be longer!).

Now I know I may sound like a hypochondriac but I swear it is bad for you to undertake such frequent use of a photocopier in such close proximities. I know what you’re thinking, this is my way of trying to escape the boring job but seriously I get headaches from standing next to the ultra-violet light all day and if we have to use it with the lid open, I can’t help but put my hand on it to keep the document flat and look at the bright light as it scans across (stupid I know!), both of which I’m sure are very dangerous! Or am I just being irrational?

Anyway, aside from my new found skill of photocopying, which of course is going straight to the top of my CV skill list (not!), I have learnt a lot in the short time I have been there. Not in terms of office skills as I would have thought but of the bogus sham that we call work. Through a fellow member of the project team, a 47-year old administrator who was made redundant this year, my eyes have been opened to the hypocrisy of employers and selfish, only-in-it-for-themselves attitude of supposed colleagues.

It must just be the naivety within me but these are a few of my unknown, new-found discoveries:

•If you temp for a company for any period of time, the majority of people would perform at their best thinking that ‘temp’ will soon become ‘permanent’ but as soon as the person you are covering for returns to work, you are out on your heels before you can say ‘Are there any other positions available?’ and you are merely a name in the sand

•The redundancy process – this one was a shocker – the company will know way in advance of making cuts that they will need are in trouble and will therefore plan their actions to their own advantage. The employee becomes a measly number on a wage slip and regardless of how long you have worked there for or however valued a member you are, you’re expected to accept your meagre redundancy fee and walk away silently
without a fuss

•Where losses could be avoided through higher earners taking a small pay-cut, companies choose to get rid of staff as opposed to do everything in their power to keep them

•When a company need a position filling, sometimes they hold interviews under a false pretence knowing full well that the successful candidate is an existing employee but interviews are held just for show

•Everything is to suit the employer. No matter how many ‘benefits’ your job boasts, in this economic climate, no-one is safe except the big executives

It all sounds very cynical I know and without meeting her you would think my colleague is an outrageous pessimist but she has taught me some working world knowledge that I can share with you and take with me when I attempt to enter the 9 to 5 society for good.

It is quite ironic - the government want to decrease unemployment so they cut down on public sector jobs (nice one Cameron!) but then every big name company that is responsible for employing thousands of Britons and paying many many mortgages, well they couldn’t care less about their staff when it comes to the almighty crunch.

So what hope do we have as future employees when we will all be job-hunting in the midst of an economic recovery? Perhaps my photo copying talents will come in handy after all...

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