Working Girl


Fake it til you make it. Fake it til you make it. Fake it til you make it.

Thank you, Aussa Lorens for those words of wisdom. The mantra that got me through my first day back at work.

Although perhaps I shouldn’t have declared it to my new boss. Rookie mistake.

In my defence, it had been a while since I’d had to interact with grown-ups. Two kids and a stint as an overgrown fairy/pre-school dance teacher in fact. I was going to introblurt somewhere along the line. Better to get it out the way early on and establish my status as office numpty.

(Better though than on my first day working in a primary school where I got bawled at by the headteacher for walking through assembly. Way to make a great first impression in front of all the staff and kids. Little did they know though that in years to come I would enact my revenge by vomiting all over his cream bathroom carpet.)

After that though I don’t think I breathed for the first 3 hours.

I did learn some very important things though:

My feet have got far too used to comfortable shoes.
Despite pre-empting the chance of blisters and judicially wrapping my feet in Compeed pads, I still have a mass of new sores where my new ‘I’ve got a new job’ shoes have decimated my feet. The shoes may be beautiful, but the pain after 6 hours was ugly.

Smartphones have killed my keyboard skills.
Without a laptop even, let alone a proper computer, my fingers have atrophied. My right-thumb is practically super-human (although without the help of his side-kicks, Spellcheck and Auto-correct, he’d be useless, defeated by his nemesis, Teeny Tiny Keypad). But my other digits were definitely out of practice.

I have a complete inability to remember anyone’s name.
Although, again, I did tell everyone that I would forget who they were. There’s Boss-Lady and Woman-With-The-Gorgeous-Dress and People-I-Can’t-Actually-See-Behind-The-Partition-Wall-So-Can’t-Be-Important-In-My-World-Right? and Others-Who-I-Won’t-See-On-A-Saturday. Plus a couple of people who I do remember. That one of them is my immediate boss is probably a beneficial thing.
I can Google the others. Although possibly not on the office computer.

People have far more money to spend on property than me.
I took phone calls from cash buyers looking into places around £750,000. You could get five of my house for that and still have change to spare.
Or, to put it another way, I’d have to work 100,000 hours and save every penny to be able to cash buy at that price. Which, on my current contract hours, would take 12,500 months.

‘I’ll take it. Cash ok?’ are words that will never come from my mouth. Sadly.

At least I managed to play it cool. Quarter of a mill? No biggie. Which was better than when I worked for a tour operator and was asked to quote a price for first class flights to New York. I literally choked on the phone, double-checked, triple-checked (because it’s not like the flight gets you there any faster, you just don’t have the same DVT risk or have a 3-year-old kick the back of your chair for 6 hours)…and then the client accepted the astronomical figure and paid up. That may have been the moment when I realised there really was another world out there, a lot glossier and more inaccessible than my own.

I have property envy.
I should have known I would suffer from this. I drool at Grand Designs, Pinterest and Livingetc. So, it was pretty much a given that after a day spent ‘researching’ (ie pretending to look incredibly busy whilst trying not to dribble over) the brochures I would go home wanting a pool, personal sauna, boot room, aga, snug, outbuildings and annexe.

Don’t buy sandwiches from the shop run by the woman with pink hair.
She’s rude and incredibly scary. She would definitely spit in your sub.

My phone battery has the capacity to last all day when not used.
In fact, it was still at 78% when I went to bed. Who knew that could happen?

Sitting behind a desk negotiating property deals is definitely less taxing than negotiating with a toddler over anything.
And they’re paying me to do easier stuff than I do for free? This world is crazy!
Hats off to Eve for looking after Noodles for the day too. He behaved far better for her than he ever does for me, only disappearing once at baby gym and giving her the fright of her life. (You never do appreciate how great it is to have a non-mobile baby until it’s too late and you realise that you really do need eyes in the back of your head).

Husband would clearly rather have a 1950s housewife.
When I worked before he established a deal: I should still do the cooking because I got home first. He seems to have forgotten these terms as I got in after him, then took Boo to her dance class and still did the shopping and cooking. And he was still in a strop having taken it upon himself to open my bank statements.
He’s not going to be happy when I tell him that I’m working the next three consecutive Saturdays.

The only thing I’d like to keep from the 1950s are the clothes and the waistlines.

Ok, so I’ve hardly set the property world alight, but neither have I single-handedly caused the property market to crash in a single afternoon. But I survived. Yay, me!


11 thoughts on “Working Girl”

  1. And yet you still have time to write wonderful blogs. I am also terrible with names. What helped a little was to repeat somebody’s name after they have introduced themselves. I use the excuse that I sort of check whether I heard it correctly, while actually I just wanted to repeat the name so there’s a bigger chance I remember it.
    I do hope that besides all the little discomforts you still enjoy the job.

    1. Haha. Wouldn’t you just usher them through to cattle class with a ‘oh, the first class pyjamas are this way,’ restrain them in the sort of seat normal people have to travel in (not hard, since once you’re in you certainly can’t move, especially if the person in front reclines their seat) and give them the flight to muse on how they ought to be more f*king grateful for their lot. Or is that why it’s been a while I’ve worked in the service industry? :-/

      1. Yeah, the airline had a different take. They politely negotiated a re-schedule to a pyjama’d flight at no extra cost, off-loaded their baggage, acquiesced to their request that the other passengers be told why their flight was delayed (that one probably not so hard) put a PR spin on it and used it as free publicity and a chance to tell the world how much they value their frequent flyers and how nothing’s too much trouble for their passengers.

        Then the world did their dirty work for them. Customer service genius.

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