Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Primary School

So I want to work with children. I applied to various jobs in such related sectors and have somehow found myself in an office setting where there not even a mere whiff of an under 21 year old. I really needn’t have worried. The dynamics and spontaneity that such children’s involvement demands can also, it seems, be applied to the workplace. Not only are timetables pinned up on various walls and fire alarms tested, but the behaviours of the fellow workforce can be likened to that seen by children at school. Allow me to draw on the key comparisons:

§ Personal items of stationary go missing, presumably borrowed – sometimes with permission, never to return. ‘Novel’ and ‘funky’ pieces of stationary are most at risk, as well as those that can achieve a function beyond that of a pencil, namely scissors.
§ Morning, lunch and afternoon breaks are essential.
§ Likewise is a daily dose of milk – only this time things have advanced a little with the addition of caffeine in such little plastic cups. Failure to have a break results in stressed, irritable and distracted individuals.
§ Packed lunches are the norm, complete with abandoning of any items which contain nutritional value after 12pm.
§ Blame is flows like water. It is never your fault/ responsibility. Blame can be passed around like a parcel, from friend to friend or department to department.
§ Bribery works.
§ Failure for something to work – mainly technical – results in much shouting, screaming and crying.
§ You live by the clock.
§ You are encouraged to partake in various fitness drives and after school, sorry work, clubs.
§ You can’t wait for work to end but when it does you realise that there is not much else to do because you have secretly or overtly been emailing /sitting next to friends all day, corresponding on the sly.
§ There is a dress code. Most individuals try to bend and customise this as much as they can.
§ Anything that gets you out of the classroom / office is a welcome treat.
§ At any given time at least one individual has a cold.

I was worried when entering such a professional setting that I would struggle to appear grown up and mature – a true professional – but now I realise am more qualified than I thought…I was, after all, a child once too.

Monday, 29 October 2007

And thus it begins...

I have found myself in the land of professionals. A city girl, a commuter, an office worker - complete with my own desk and extension number (business card production on standby). Anyone who vaguely knows me knows this is a recipe for mayhem, no maybe that is too tame, chaos possibly?

Every day is an amusing and eye opening experience for me. Observations and reflections on the highs and lows of human nature take up most of my day (or is that called day dreaming) and despite feeling like a fish out of water, tied (I hasten to add not literally) to a little cove of office space, I remain fascinated with this lifestyle.

I am probably as much a part of this 'ecosystem' as much as the next fellow, making it all the more interesting and in most cases just plain amusing.

Therefore, as suggested to a friend whilst recalling some of these observations I have decided to provide an account of some of the most random and peculiar observations I have and continue to make.

Welcome to 'Pieces of Professionalism' - designed to keep you informed as much as it is to keep me from being swallowed up by working '9-5' - to stay suitably random.