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.