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.

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