I have now worked out that the best way to get people to talk to you is by brute force. Join in where you’re not invited, and contribute even when you know no-one cares to listen. Let me give you an example;
Miss Attitude walks straight past me (I was only surprised that she didn’t punch out as she walked) and on to Dogsbody’s desk to say good morning.
“Good morning Dogsbody”
“Good morning Miss Attitude.”
Then Dogsbody reignites the conversation;
“Did you see Apprentice last night?”
“No, I don’t watch Apprentice” (she’s probably still out at her anger management class at that time).
There’s a silence - my opportunity to jump in...
“I do! I do! I watch Apprentice! Me! Me! Here! Over here! Me! Fellow Apprentice watcher, wooo hooo! This way! Over here!! Me! Me! Hello! I know Apprentice!! Me!”
They both look around, trying to decipher where the voice has come from, and eventually realise it came from me, the mouthy work experience kid who keeps butting in where she’s not wanted. Miss Attitude looks pissed off (so basically normal),, and Dogsbody looks nervous – should he follow Miss Attitude’s lead, or, have a nice TV banter – which we know we all love to do.
Up yours Miss Attitude – he chose the banter yea!
“Oh my god - could you believe it when Lord Sugar said....”
See? Force. Sometimes when it comes to conversation, you just have to take it. And if in the process you manage to push out Miss Attitude, then all the better.
And god was she living up to her name this morning (not that I’m sure/hope) she knows her name...) Apparently she has a deadline and was stressed, something I would have been sympathetic about had she not huffed and puffed all morning until I thought she’d blow the whole bloody place down. Then suddenly she turned...and smiled.
I was terrified.
“Hey...” (I think she wanted to add my name but has unfortunately had yet to bother learning what it is...)
“Yes Miss Attitude?”
“Can you do me a favour?”
“Only if you ask nicely Miss Attitude.”
Of course, I knew this would be beyond her capabilities, so the whole thing was called off.
Actually she was very nice. For those 15 minutes that she wanted me to help her with research anyway. Then I gave her the work she needed and – poof - goodbye Miss Sickly Sweet, and oh, hello again Miss Attitude, how you were missed (by Satan).
And it turns out this habit of getting the work experience monkey to do stuff for you doesn’t just come from my immediate circle of associates.
My phone rang. I looked at it surprised – it was the first time I’d received a phone call all week. I picked up;
“Oh hello – are you busy at the moment?”
I look at the three page list of stuff I need to do and the pile of paperwork growing around me.
“Err...yes, I am a bit mysterious unknown voice – but what can I do for you?”
“Well I need you to...and I need it done now. We go to press in an hour.”
“Right, ok, sure, no problem - I’m sure I can just re-arrange my schedule a bit and get it done...err, hello?”
But she was gone – no thank you, no bye, just gone.
Then I received an email, ‘cd u cm in pls.’ I recognised this kind of code work by now. I went into the assistant editors office.
“Right I need the answer to this. And this, this this, this, this, this and this immediately. We go to press in an hour.”
“Right, ok, sure...just give me a second....hmm...really all now...?!”
“Right, ok sure....”
I get back to my desk, the phone rings again – a different voice this time.
“Are you busy at the moment?”
Not even a hello this time.
“Err...yes, I am a bit second mysterious unknown voice – but what can I do for you?”
“Well I need you to...and this...and this...and I need it done now. We go to press in an hour.”
Yes, I’ve heard. “Errr....ok?”
So needless to say that as the girl who can’t say no, things got a little hectic today. And of course that has put me behind on all the stuff I’m meant to have completed for tomorrow as it turns out that I am only human after all. God I can’t wait until the weekend.
Conclusion: Maybe I should just go back to the old waitressing job. It was far less stressful.