Tuesday, 30 March 2010

An insult so good I almost appreciate it.

Millionaire on the phone, growing increasingly exasperated with me telling him that we will not re-fix his doorknob, that we manage the communal aspects of the building and nothing in specific flats.

"Look you... put me through to your manager."
"I'm sorry sir, she's on another call right now... but she won't be able to advise you any differently... under the terms of your lease-"
"This is ridiculous. I'm sick of talking to the monkey... put me through to the organ grinder."
"... ... ..."

Monday, 29 March 2010

Job satisfaction

So over six hundred pounds of my hard, hard, bloody hard earned final salary has disappeared into the ether, and I doubt I will ever see hide nor hair of it. So following the tight restraint of March, where I had had £270 deducted, April is going to be UNBELIEVABLE. I mean, Oli spending his birthday money to buy us Tesco Value food unbelievable.

Does anyone want to make me an early birthday present of the domain name www.onehousinggroupareoutrageousfuckbags.com? I could have so much fun with that.

Either that or food vouchers.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Everyone's got one novel in them...


When I was a teenager, I could write chapters upon chapters upon chapters of story (fanfic, yes, but that's still a story!). Now I'm older and - theoretically - better, I seem to grind to a halt whenever I hit a thousand words. The result is reams and reams of short, abstract stories and a lessening confidence that I will ever write 'properly' again. NaNoWriMo would have been a great opportunity to give myself a literary kick up the arse, but is completely unfeasible with a Job and an Oli and a Social Life.

When Oli and I got back together, I made a joke that one day I would write a novel based on us (I laughed that I was going to title it 'Mice on the Underground', but that's another story entirely...). Obviously there would HAVE to be a degree of artistic license but I'm pretty sure I could create something out of it all... and at least I know the beginning, middle and ending already!

What is exceptionally helpful is the fact that, when I think back, I already see things in 'scenes', everything is pre-compartmentalised. Sometimes when I am lying half asleep, my brain starts drafting them - and they jump around: 2007 to 2008, back to 2006 and so on. This has led me to want to write it out of timeline - which I know is just making everything ten times harder, but the challenge kind of excites me! Because that's what this would be, after all, a massive challenge. Could I even do it? Could I do it well? Could I be the right amount of detached? Could I make it funny, make it real, make it readable?

Who knows?

But I do like to think about it...

So last night I was lying there, half asleep, and my mind was off in February 2007 and I thought - maybe I should actually begin to put these little vignettes down somewhere? That might be another use for the new blog, other than moaning all the time.

Plus I am blatantly not going to actually set myself to writing until I am about 50 - by which time the finer details will probably be escaping me...?

At the very least, could possibly be a nice present for Oli - I could present him with a collection of little scenes from Our Great Love Story - the happier ones, obviously, not the ones where I drink half a bottle of whiskey neat and cry...

Amusing contractor names...

... I have come across in my first week of work.

S&M Electricals (really??)
Prokill (as opposed to anti-killing?)
Simply Alarming! (and yes, with the exclamation mark too)

Without The Wong and the other Crazies I must find amusement where I can!

Friday, 19 March 2010

New job

So here I am at my new desk. For the first time in my life I have a stack of three in-trays - to do, pending, to file - exactly like there is in the movies (as opposed to my old in-tray which was filled with chocolate raisins, Whittards tea and a broken stapler). I am feeling very grown up, quite professional, but oh, how I miss my old desk, covered in photoframes and coloured gel pens, post-its with notes from my work friends stuck everywhere and everything stuffed in pastel coloured folders that the Facilities Manager ordered for me specially. Here they operate a clear desk policy, which I do understand the merits of... but I have to spend over forty hours a week sat here in this bland, souless little corner.

Looking at my old desk one last time before I left last week, I had to smile, because even though I had cleared out everything, it still looked like a girl's desk - well, my desk - it was as if over the past year and a half my personality leaked out so much that it will be infused there forever.

It has become apparent over the last week that I work better autonomously than with others - who knew! Whether a blessing or a curse, my first manager was useless and that caused me to step up and take a lot of authority on. Back at OHG I was used to coming in and getting on with work (mine and hers!); I didn't need telling and I knew the ins and outs better than anyone anyway! Now I am officially an assistant - and although my manager seems a genuinely lovely woman - I am strangely resistant to being instructed. I am hoping it is because we are both new to the company, and in time, when everything is more familiar to the both of us, I'll be left to my own devices as before.

Generally, the job is okay. Utterly, bone-shakingly, GUTTINGLY boring. Same as when I was at OHG, I really don't give two craps for other people's maintenance problems. All that's really happened is that I have swapped crazy people on Housing Benefit in moudly little bedsits for millionaires with too much time on their hands. Both types of people, I am discovering, are equally arrogant and rude. Unlike most of the other assistants here I have no plans to train to become a qualified Property Manager (although they pay for you, you get a payrise and the first exam is apparently multiple choice!) But at least at OHG there was the madness, the excitement, the unpredictablity. I was writing difficult, challenging letters - which, whilst not exactly creatively fulfilling was at least a form of writing. I had a hand in managing over 12,000 units. Now I am just involved with 13 blocks. I am going to go crazy.

I know I moaned and moaned and moaned about the workload and the pace at OHG - and I still agree, it was far, far too much for one person to deal with - but now it's gone I miss it. Normal office pace seems painfully slow to me. At the end of my first day my manager asked me how I thought the day had gone - I was just about to answer 'nice and quiet' when she added, 'I'm sorry it was such a mad one! Hope it hasn't scared you off!'

Basically, it's a long old day for me (mentally, and generally speaking - used to skipping lunch and working 9.45-4.45, so being tied into 9.15-5.30 is proving a difficult adjustment), made more arduous by the mentality that every day I spend here, every new procedure I master, every new piece of information I retain is a waste - I should be in a job that is going to be - or at least CONTRIBUTE - to my career. This job is, in fact, probably detrimental. If I couldn't manage to struggle my way out of the property industry after only having ONE job in it, how the hell am I going to manage it after two?

I have a sinking feeling that this time in six months I will be happily reporting passing the first stage of the MIRPM examinations.