Ok, so I know they said smart casual, I know they said jeans / trainers would be fine – but I wanted to make an effort on my first day you know? First impressions and everything.
And for anyone that knows me they will realise that making an effort generally means brushing my hair and wearing a skirt. Yes, I really am that easy. Still, an effort nevertheless.
But it wasn’t until I had managed to navigate my way on the train/tube/highway, climb the stairs of the giant news building, met the office dogsbody, and jogged around outside, inside, up floors, down floors, shake it all about floors (I believe our mentor referred to it as a ‘’quick tour’ of the premises – he certainly didn’t lie), that I realised what a waste my efforts were. Waste in the sense that no-one even bothered to look at me when I walked into the newsroom. Waste in that I could have been wearing a Mr Blobby outfit with a tiara and diving boots and they wouldn’t have reacted any differently. Right, jeans and trainers tomorrow then.
So it seems that I was right. That the ‘work experience’ monkey is something of an annoyance to be avoided at all times, not something to play with and be friends. Stupidly, I tried to make small talk with the young, friendly looking girl next to me.
“Hey, I’m Vicky,” I said. “How long have you been working here?” (Standard, I know, but when the girl won’t even look at me what else have I got to work with?!)
“Four and a half years,” she grunted back, flicking through her email, “I should be writing now so...”
- u - You want some help?
- Y - You need some advice?
- Y - You want to show me your style so I can learn and worship you?
- Y - You want me get you a coffee?
- Y - You want me to do it instead?
“So...I should leave you to it then?”
“If you would.”
And the day didn’t get much better. After an awkward start of being forgotten, followed by an apologetic stroll to the very stressed out ‘dogsbodys’ desk to ask if there is something I could be helping with? I get told to research. Ok, that’s fine, I’ve got no problem with research.
It’s the deathly, cold silence rippling across the office that I have a problem with. So quiet, so uncomfortable, so unlike the office I was working in before...
Then there was the computer. The f*cking computer. Why me? Why does it always happen to me...
“Err...dogsbody...my computer seems to have locked me out?”
“Well just log back in again.”
“Right...err...about that...did try...obviously....but it doesn’t seem to be working because it’s locked. Did I mention that before?”
“Yes...Did I mention that before...?”
“Did you put the password in incorrectly three times?”
“No – I was just browsing the net, “researching”, and it locked...”
“Are you sure you didn’t put the password in wrong? Three times?”
“Errr...yes. Quite certain...”
“Ok, well phone I.T.”
“Right...could we not have avoided this whole...ok, I’ll call I.T.”
And so began another delightful job throughout the day – calling I.T. to ask them to fix my computer. And not once did this happen, oh no. Not even twice, no no no. But six times. Yes, six lock outs. For no reason.
"Did you put the password in wrongly three times in a row?"
"For the sixth time, no I F*CKING didn't!"
End of the first day result? I wouldn't want to work for this well known publication.