Monday, December 05, 2011

Working nine to five (thirty)

Last week I went and worked in an office for the first time since I left my old company back in July. I was obviously a little nervous at the prospect, not least because it was for a company I'd never worked for before, but also because in the months I've spent working at home I've fallen into some bad habits like sitting at my computer in my pants, wandering around the house singing loudly, and taking an hour out of each day to watch Thundercats. Add in the fact that as my previous company was impossibly informal and I developed some long-standing bad habits there, and I was faced with the very real prospect of being forcibly removed from the premises while swearing loudly and wearing only my undercrackers mere seconds after settling down at my temporary desk.

Fortunately, this did not happen. In a shocking turn of events, it seems I do have a degree of self control. Who knew?

So new temporary job was in Putney, which ironically was also the location of my very first job many years ago. It was a bit weird being back in the old stomping ground after such a long gap, but equally somewhat lovely. Putney's come on a bit since the late 90s; Our Price is long gone, but there's now a rather good Topman (which would've been dangerous back when I was earning a tiny wage). It's also - THANK GOD - gained a Starbucks where in the space of just four days I developed a rather flirty relationship with one of the baristas. Never has "do you want cream on top?" sounded so euphemistic.

Anyway, the job was good. It was odd because it was actually the first time I'd worked in a proper serious grown-up office, where some people wear suits and take phone calls on headsets that look like they were stolen off Vogue-era Madonna. I dressed smartly too, at least on the first day. It was all downhill from there to be honest, though; even the guy working at the train station who I got chatting to each morning greeted me on the Wednesday by saying "oh, dressing down today, eh?"

Oh, and trains! As a result of there being no parking at the office I was forced onto public transport each day, which was actually surprisingly fine. Because I'm basically at the end of a line I was assured of a seat every morning, and trains these days are way nicer than the odious cattle haulers they were back when I last had to get them on a daily basis. I think the novelty would quickly wear off if I had a permanent job, but for four days it was, y'know, fun. And yes, I did giggle like a speshul every time the driver tooted the horn.

As for the work, well to be honest it was easy monkey work and I thoroughly enjoyed it. After the high-pressure hair-tearing stresses of the last few months at old job it was actually quite lovely just to be the person who spins round in their chair and waves their hand in the air asking for something to do rather than be the one who has to deal with deadlines and scheduling and page plans and contributors and all that crap that actually prevents you from just doing some damn editing. And do you know what? At the risk of blowing my own trumpet, it was nice to be reminded that I'm actually pretty damn good at it too.

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