Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Brick In The Wall

Work is incredibly, unbelievably, awful. I was going to say 'indescribably' but I think I've described it quite well.

To clarify, not all work is awful. Just my work.

Yep, I took the plunge and with media related toil not forthcoming, I crawled shamefaced back into the world of retail.

To add insult to injury I've even been demoted from my previous position of duty manager down to a lowly 'customer service representative' or shop girl as anti jargonistas might say.

To make it worse it's for a huge, huge company. It's all so regimented. There is no time for warmth or humour. No space in the day for co-workers to become colleagues.

After I left my old job I swore I would never do this again. Never stand for hours, feet aching trying to serve indifferent members of the public. Instead I was going to do a job I was passionate about, something which related to my newly gained qualifications. After 9 months searching for such a job and three days in my new 'position' I can honestly say I never realised how good I had it.

I used to work in a video store, not a 'mom and pop' video store as Kevin Smith might phrase it, but part of a multinational chain. It was good though. There were 12 staff, we knew and loved each other (a few quite literally 'loved' each other) and laughed together even on the worst nights. Now I have 700, yup, 700 co-workers and I know none of them, none of them has made an attempt to know me. I spent my time at in the video store talking about movies, from art house to Segal, soppy romance to Serenity and I loved it. Now all I have to talk about is the colour of the blouse a customer is buying.

I need to be challenged in my work, I actively want to be. The biggest challenge my 'CSR' role has so far thrown up is how to remain standing on my poor throbbing tootsies long enough to make it to the bus stop after ten gruelling hours flogging trouser suits to 70 year olds.

I have inadvertantly become a very, very small cog in a very large wheel and I don't like it- not one little bit.

To add indignity to insult and injustice to further injury, today I was bullied by a squat, evil, she-ogre of a manager. Not that I had actually done anything wrong, apparently she just likes to torture the new starts and rub in her superiority like salt into gangrenous wounds.

I'd tell her to stop, however, despite her diminutive stature she is built like a brick shit house and displays a disturbing facial similarity to a bulldog chewing a wasp. Her demeanour practically screams 'don't mess with me'. So I shall cower for now and instead frantically scroll through the jobs sites until I can get away from the nasty lady and the soulless corporation she, and now I represent.

I've sold my soul for minimum wage.


Slimsam said...

Oh Heather ... poor you. It sounds just awful. Get out while you still have your sanity intact.

Fraudulent Little Tart said...

Is it better to be a big fish in a small pond, or a small fish in a big pond? I've so far not managed to decide which I'd prefer.
I do know however, that I could never be a 'CSR' again, so hats off to you H, even though you hate it, you're there. The only plus will be on payday (until you see exactly how much Mr Tax Man has taken). I hope you are successful in your quest for the job of your dreams . . . and soon!

POE said...

Eeek. It sounds awful. Can't you try the local video stores?

baggiebird said...

Ahh the multi national blue chip souless corporation. I work for one of those. I have to admit though i'm not a CSR and I don't think I could ever be one.I really think that you have the hardest job, the general public are just not nice.

The department I work in is great everyone knows and gets on with everyone else and we have a good time. We even manage to have the odd night out together, which usually involves drinking lots of Vodka and attempting to get a taxi home at 3 in the morning!

Rabidus Badgerus said...

I feel your pain. I used to work for a large pharmicutical (need your pedant skills there please!) company (ooo guess which one!) and I didn't even know who my manager was there were so many of them. Hardly a word was exchanged between "co-workers" for the four months I was there, except "you got any more till rolls?" and a hand briefly brushing past to ceremoniously dump it on "your" till.

That said, my experience with a smaller (well, chain of multinational) company that I've been dragged kicking and screaming to join is no better. It is much worse. I hate everyone for a start; all four of them. I look forward to the day when I'll smell normal after a day's work - no sweat, diesel and occasionally tears. :-(

I've sold my soul for slightly above minimum wage, but as part of the deal I have to cut off my bodily parts with a spoon.

What a long post I've written, badgers these days really are very clever.:-D

Lynsey said...

I too feel your pain Heather. After I couldn't find work after uni (nowhere seems to want people who are qualified in watching films) I got a job at a famous supermarket. I lasted exactly one week and one day before I had to quit. I am not of the dispostion to deal with snarky, rude people and that shop was bloody full of them. And then because I felt bad because the one job I could get I couldn't do, I lost even more self esteem. However with my big plans to move out and get my act together and all I fear that once again I am going to have to take what I can get and I just hope I don't wig this time.
Good look with it Heather, I know you'll come good:)

Billy said...

Retail work can be ok in the right circumstances - this doesn't sound like that at all!

The only advice I can offer is to keep looking for a better job and, during those horrible moments, keep reminded yourself that you are getting paid for this so at least there;s something good coming of it.

Terri Nixon said...

Ooh *wince* that sounds perfectly dreadful. I work in a large office building but a fairly small team - and it's not retail. But all I ever wanted to do was be Manny Bianco (even though I didn't know he existed at the time) and work in a dusty little bookshop and drink wine all day! Okay, in reality I wanted to be a journalist and move to London, but ended up in a pasty factory in Callington for 5 years. You get less for arson. We do what we have to do, but it rarely coincides with what we really want. I hope you find something more 'you' very soon.

chatterbox said...

Sounds awful... At least you know you aren't going to be there forever, and eventually something better will crop up. In the meantime, plan your escape - I'll bet there is an escape committee somewhere...
I've found that where work is concerned if you say 'yes' to anything not actually worse than what you are doing at the moment, eventually it all works out. (I could suggest that principle for all areas of life but ..ehem..
could get complicated very quickly!)

annie said...

Poor baby. I remember this feeling. Just tell yourself "this too shall pass..."

(I used to work for a bookshop chain, that was fairly civilized, working with people who were into books and films and music... Could you apply to one near you, as a better way of marking time til you get to do what you really want?)

Molly Bloom said...

I can totally relate to your feelings. I used to work in retail...but it is soul destroying. I hope you find something new soon. Good luckxxx

skeadugenga said...

Poor Heather, I'm sorry its so horrible, but remember it is just a means to an end, while you look for something better x The toad will still be there when you are long gone to pastures new.

qwbmpxjf? they're having a laugh aren't they? who is still sober enough at this time on a Friday night to type that!

homo escapeons said...

LOL a bulldog chewing a wasp, that's great! She is an object for your pity, not your scorn.

I had a few of those choice retail positions and all that I can say is that you have to keep thinking that the next person coming in through that door might change your life forever....
or not.