Coming back after 2 weeks in paradise was never going to be easy. Last week, the bright weather sustained me, but a less than restful weekend in Norwich, bad nights due to the dog and a dreary job have not kept my mood buoyant.
Before I went away I had an interview for the job of my lifetime. Being a PA is pretty much the same wherever you do it; whatever sector you are in it involves diary management, meeting management, travel organisation, dealing with people asking you to create another 2 hours in the day out of nowhere. It sometimes includes personal stuff, like booking restaurants and collecting dry cleaning. I’ve never yet been asked to purchase a birthday present for someone’s wife though. It’s the sector you’re in that makes it interesting.
The job I was up for was in a great environment (education, one I am very familiar with), the salary was much higher than I’m on now and had better holidays, pension, you name it. It would have been a “job for life” really. Out of 4 external candidates I got invited back for a second interview, and was head to head with an internal candidate. The whole process was very slow, they were aware that I was going away and promised to decide on the Friday before we left, the day of MrS’s mother’s funeral. The day came and went and I heard nothing, the recruitment agent called me to let me know it was taking longer to decide than planned. Finally 6 days into our holiday I got a disappointed email from the agency letting me know the client had gone with the internal candidate. I hadn’t realised how much I wanted the job until that point. Because there had been 2 panel style interviews I don’t really know what swung it, although I suspect it came down to practicalities – the other candidate could start straight away. I on the other hand would have to have checks run on me and references gathered. The client said they were keen to talk to me and feedback to me on my return from our honeymoon. I’m still waiting.
I don’t have time for people who say they will do things and then don’t. If you can’t do something, don’t say you will.
Currently I feel very demotivated and the mundanity of my job makes the days drag. I don’t sit with any colleagues; I sit near my bosses who are great but aren’t in the office mostly and when they are they’re not inclined to watercooler chat to pass the time. My job is boring. I know lots of people get bored at work, lots of people have boring jobs. But I know also that there ARE people out there who LOVE their job, positively spring out of bed in the morning buzzing to get to work (my boss is one of these). At the very least I would like to be interested and stimulated in what I do every day.
When I was younger, pre children, I worked for Norwich Union (now known as Aviva). I got promoted 3 times in 3 years; I was really good at my job, but then they re-structured, and because I was the newest in my grade I got made redundant. Great idea eh? Someone who had been there less time than me but in a lower grade got to keep their job. At that point I got redeployed to a department that had nothing for me to do, and 3 months later I was back in my old job, but by then I was pregnant with No1.
So I’ve never had a trailblazing career; 10 years out of the work place is a long time. Fortunately I’d kept up with technology and taken touch typing and shorthand qualifications so I reinvented myself as a PA when the time came to go back to work. Roll forward another 10 years and the job has changed beyond belief. I last typed an actual physical letter over 2 years ago. I never use shorthand. People use email instead of actually talking to each other. We’re stuck away in cubicles and people increasingly work from home.
Today I have dealt with a blocked toilet and collected lunch for 6 people (2 meat, 2 veggies and a kosher). This is not what I imagined when I first started work at 17.