I logged in to write this at 23:59 on Wednesday evening…so I STARTED this post on Wednesday technically, but with my aggressive ADHD combined with my borderline narcoleptic tendencies I’ll be lucky if I finish this before I pass out with all the lights on like I did on Monday night trying to solve the #R1EscapeRoom. I even made it onto the BBC website!
Ignore the typo. If you don’t see it, then don’t worry about it.
Anyway, yesterday/Tuesday (now) Greg James got out of the Escape Room and I could finally get on with my life. Unfortunately getting on with my life involved babysitting for a family that I swore I’d NEVER babysit for again because they have three kids and
I babysat three times last week on top of my 40 hour/week job…two of the nights were Saturday and Sunday so needless to say, having had exactly zero days off in a week and a half has made me a bit tired. The kind of tired that makes me like
I also babysat for this family I swore I wouldn’t babysit for again on Tuesday night. (What resolution and incredible resolve!) Yesterday afternoon I almost fell asleep at my desk because I was so exhausted, but I pushed through! And here I am, a bit late, and a lot wishing like I was asleep. But I shan’t break my newly developed habit of writing every Wednesday (…Thursday).
Since the biggest source of stress in my life at the moment is working I thought I’d write about shitty jobs this week. Pretty much any job that isn’t me being my own boss and writing full time is shitty to me, but I do it because almost everything I do requires monetary transactions for goods and/or services. Like the bedroom that I’m typing from this very moment. Costs me a pretty penny for these four walls, but you know how it is being an adult. Being an adult is just realising how much you fuckin freeloaded off your parents for eighteen years. (Thanks mum!)
I wouldn’t say that I completely freeloaded. I got my first job when I was ten walking dogs. Best job I’ve ever had. And I’ve had a lot of jobs. Off the top of my head I have been a dog walker (10), babysitter (10-present), actress, (11…I got paid to be in a computer game lol), admin assistant to a theatre company (12-14), lifeguard (15-present), intern for film company (16), bartender (21-present), operations manager (21), tutor (22-present), assistant to life coach (23), managing director of a sales company (24), operations director of a company in a specific industry that might give away too many details about myself (25-27), freelance freelancer (27-current), aquatics director (seasonal 27-current), accountant (current).
No word of a lie, I’m ready to fuckin retire. But alas, I have not saved much (read: nothing at all), so that seems entirely unlikely at this point, unless the money I won from a lawsuit against the VP of the sales company I was working for comes through. He slapped me in the face. Not a very nice guy in the end. But a judge awarded me £100,000 for it, so at least I feel justified in making a pretty big fuckin deal out of it. Unfortunately he left the country so who knows what’ll happen with that.
That job was pretty bad, but at least for the most part I was my own boss. My only “boss” was the VP of the company who unfortunately is a garbage person, but I worked really hard and I was really good at my job, so I won’t lie and say it wasn’t hard to turn down a promotion and a huge amount of money to stay with the company instead of suing them. At the end of the day, there was just no way I could get up and go to work with someone who’d hit me, so I regret nothing. And aside from the whole being hit thing, I did learn a lot from that company. I couldn’t afford to go to business school, so I sought out jobs where I could learn how to run a company whilst being paid to do so.
Which brings me to the job I had directly after the whole slapping debacle. Well, the first permanent job I had. I worked in a pub and briefly in a recruitment agency (which was NOT for me, although the people were exceptionally lovely. I still speak to the owner of that company because he was so nice) before finding this job, which wasn’t terrible. I was recruited to interview to be an executive assistant to the owner of this company. I did naht get the job as it went to another Oxbridge graduate who spoke Russian (they were trying to expand into the Russian market so this was apparently the tipping point between the two of us). However, I wanted to work for this company very badly and the owner had mentioned they were looking for an administrative assistant, so I asked if he would consider me for the role and he said of course, but that I’d be bored out of my mind, so he offered me the opportunity to also develop one of their subsidiary companies, which I accepted immediately. Within a year I’d taken that subsidiary company from doing no sales to selling about £130,000 of contracts. I did the admin, sales and project management for over a year by myself before they finally added ONE person to my team and we doubled the sales again.
What happened afterwards is what makes any job terrible. They hired an Operations Manager to evaluate the company and who did what and where to cut expenses. This person, clearly knowing very little about what I actually did all day, reduced my role to that of a salesperson and informed me that after working at this company for three years my salary was going to be cut by 70% and that I would be working almost exclusively off of commission (which was also set at a lower rate than I was receiving). So I went from not only having a salary, making commission off of every sale I made, and getting a percentage of the profit form the company I was managing to basically nothing. I took a holiday to Greece and quit via email whilst drinking coffee on the beach in Paros less than a month later.
One thing I learned from working in sales is that you have to figure out what drives people. It’s almost always one of four things that are referred to as the Four F’s…fame, fortune, family, and freedom. I have never been driven by money. If I were I’d be working at a bank or would’ve taken a training contract with a corporate law firm straight out of uni. Whilst I’ve been extremely fortunate to attend a university that opened up a lot of opportunities, growing up relatively poor taught me that if you absolutely need money there is always a way to get it.
My primary driving force is freedom. I just want to be able to get on with things and be my own boss. I got close to that with the managing someone else’s company, but I think the most demoralising thing has to be being unappreciated. I also realised after three years that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life making someone else money when that someone clearly gave no shits about me. Working for people that are only driven by money has got to be one of the most dire things I’ve ever experienced, so you can imagine my inner turmoil living in a capitalist world.
I’m aware that working is a part of life. I’ve never thought differently. As previously mentioned, I didn’t grow up incredibly affluent and my single mum told me that I would always have to work, so I should at least do something I enjoy. Hence working almost exclusively fun jobs in industries I liked prior to my twenties. I think it’s a symptom of becoming an “adult” that you think you have to suddenly become very serious. Get a serious job, think seriously about your future, make serious money, etc…Well, I did all that, and very shortly after entering the “real” world I was like, “Wow…office jobs are like going to a school that you’re never going to graduate from.”
I’ve been working through staff agencies since I left that job I quit on a whim. Like I said, I know I have to work, and I don’t mind working as long as I don’t feel trapped. The company I’m working for currently is fine, and I like the people, I enjoy knowing that I will have enough money to pay rent and buy wine, but were they to offer me the job permanently I’d turn it down without hesitation. Mainly because I have a much better and higher paying job that starts in May that allows me to be outside all day, but also because I can’t look someone in the eye and tell them that I would like to work for their company indefinitely when it’s a blatant lie. The only company I want to work for is my own, and until I can make that happen I will gladly work 7 days a week for as long as I have to.
If you want to contribute a story about a shitty job(s), or about your views on employment in general please do! You can email me firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me or send me something on Tumblr.Or just comment on this! Be a writer do whatever you want!
Thank you to everyone who got involved last week! Here’s my faves from “Can you not?!”