Actually, the strange week started some weeks ago when I was talking to a local business woman via email.
“Oh, by the way, do you know anyone who might be looking for some work? I need someone for a few hours a week.” I quickly put myself forward for the position as Boofuls Towers Lodging Emporium has gone more than a little bit quiet for the winter. Keeping the proverbial wolf from the door has moved higher up my priority list over the last few weeks.
“I haven’t worked in an office or been employed by anyone except myself for over twenty years. I can’t do spreadsheets, never used a PC for many a year, cappuccino drinking Mac user that I am. Boofuls Towers has to take priority so hours will need to be flexible.”
“Ok, come and talk to me.”
So I did.
We agreed that we would give each other a month’s trial and at the end of that time if either of us wasn’t happy then we would call it a day with no hard feelings. It sounded like a plan to me.
On Monday I rocked up at the appointed hour, having quickly prepped, cooked and served breakfast to our B&B guests. Stressed wasn’t in it! Acutely aware that I smelt of bacon and eggs I sat my designated computer and began to familiarise myself with its workings. “Can you just knock me out a quick spreadsheet?” came a cheery voice from the office next door.
Not so much knocked out as dragged kicking and screaming out I eventually managed to produce a fairy passable spreadsheet. A spreadsheet I might add that was promptly laid on one side and not even glanced at.
That was the start of a learning curve that set off in a vertical direction dragging my poor aching brain behind it. “Do this, cross reference it to that, log it on this ledger, that has to be cross-referenced with this, file that, make a note on here and it all has to be spot on as we can be inspected by the FSA at any point. No pressure.”
” No pressure? There were times when I thought I wasn’t sure if it was going to be my brain exploding or my heart exploding from its many palpitations.
At the end of day one I sloped out at the appointed hour crestfallen, tired, headachy and glad to be leaving. On day two I left positively depressed ( is that a contradiction in terms?), the headache had developed to a migraine. Day three I got home to a dog bouncing off the walls demanding to be taken for a walk, a ton of my normal work to do and an alarm on my phone telling me I had an appointment in ten minutes. At that point I burst into tears and admitted to Boofuls that I hated the job.
I hated the quiet, tap tap tap of the computers, I hated the quiet efficiency. I hated the lack of bustle. I hated not knowing what I was doing. I hated being out of my depth and overwhelmed by the responsible nature of the job. On day four I went in and resigned. Although I know my employer was disappointed, I suggested that it was better if I left while I was still completely useless rather than after I achieved a level of usefulness.
I was sorry that it didn’t work out as I’d hoped. If I had enjoyed the job I could probably have coped with the rest of the disruption to my life but I can honestly say that they were four of the worst days of my life. I was so relieved as I left for the last time.
So. What have I learnt from this debacle?
Mostly I have learnt that squiggle shaped pegs do not fit into square holes. Every single person who knows me knew that job wouldn’t suit me, as they all told me later.
Noise, a certain amount of chaos, creativity, music and laughter – along with a good dose of organisation, hard work and responsibility. Those are the elements that will make up the perfect job for me. Hmmmmm.
Any ideas, anyone?