Saturday, 27 January 2007

No job. New job. Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to me. I'm 39. Big whoop. It's also Holocaust Memorial Day. Happy. Happy. Happy.

I haven't got the job as a Clerk Assessor at Wolverhampton City Council. I can ring for feedback on Monday.

Monday and Tuesday were spent in full make-up first for the job interview and second for a tour round all the employment agencies. That's how I got a temp position in a God forsaken business park on the outskirts of Wolverhampton. A complete new build complex on green belt land and entirely designed for cars, there are no pavements.

During the icy spell, we had to skid across the streets with the cars doing strange thing on the black ice beside us. It is deadly. The buses are specially timetabled to run during peak hours only. A local bank called Birmingham Midshires has a huge complex here. There are so many people working there that can't/don't drive they even has a coach firm contracted to shuttle people back and forth to the main road.

One evening, after I missed the first of the special buses, I tried getting on one of Birmingham Midshires buses only to be asked for my id. Even though there were only 3 people on a 30 seater coach, the driver still insisted on id. I told him I was new. Nope. Oh. I thought it was a general service. Nope. Birmingham Midshires only.

There's literally nothing else around. Three different sandwich vans show up during the morning and if you miss those then there's nothing else to eat during the day.

I'm a temp to possibly perm General Office Assistant/Administrative Assistant in the Sales office of a new homes builder. There's a kitchen where there's all the water you can drink, a 'fridge overfilled with sandwiches and a dishwasher from an old show home. The front fascia is missing so that sales advisors could show how the machine could be built in to the kitchen decor of the buyers' choice.

The toilets are twee and very well looked after. On the backs of the cubicle doors are notices with the deathless verse

If you Sprinkle
When you Tinkle
Be a Sweetie
Wipe the Seatie!!!

There are air fresheners everywhere in the building. Little "classy" glass ones giving off citrus scents, automatic puffer ones giving off magnolia and lily scents and if they don't do the trick, ther are spray cans dotted about as well. If I hang around one area for too long I start to feel sick.

The four women I've shared an office with all have cheery high pitched voices. I sound butch by comparison. They deal with new house and apartment sales, part exchanges, the sale of part exchanged old houses and the computer data entry of said sales. I do the filing.

There are hundreds of house sales and hundreds and hundreds of bit of paper. It's tedious work but it's absolutely vital to keep each file up to date. As a way of doing something different, I was given the job of sorting out some of the shelves in the stationery cupboard.

Flags, banners, hi-vi vests in assorted sizes, hard hats, cuddly dogs, giant dog stickers, plastic and metal keyrings, promotional leaflets, specs for different houses (we have to watch out for brick, render and special West Midlands types of houses/apartments/coach houses) and brochure folders. Underneath all this there are post-its and pens but they don't take up too much space.

The high point of this week was being given a login and password. I can now print labels, sort out the file of form master copies and, next week, I'll be shown how to access the pro forma letters so that I can write and print off letters to clients. Whoopee!

I've even got a whole 6p an hour pay rise. £6ph and I'm working in a proper office. Whoo Hoo!

Excuse me. I've got to go to the optician now. Old age is creeping up on me.