The Wonderful World of Work
This magazine marks my two-year anniversary as Editor, which means
I’ve worked through 24 months of deadline stress, editorial paranoia,
late-night typing and print day relief.
It’s a pile of 24 magazines with my face on the first page and 24 times I’ve sat staring at a blank word doc trying to conjure inspiration for this very column. I’ll never be rolling around in piles of dosh from it, but I can honestly say I love my job and not many people are fortunate enough to do that. Thinking about this milestone in my editorial career makes me think back to some of the other jobs I’ve done in my working life. My first job was at a very fashionable hair salon in Leeds in the early ’00s. I was 14 but fibbed and said I was 16 to get the gig. I had to pretend I was interested in hairdressing (which I wasn’t) and I spent 10 hours every Saturday shampooing strangers heads for £2 per hour whilst faking that I knew all of the awesome nightclubs the hairdressers gossiped about, when in reality my curfew was 8:30pm and I spent Friday nights hanging out with my guinea pigs. Yet, when they handed over that crisp £20 note at 6pm, it made it all worth it. My parents always taught me the value of money, but it was then that I got a hunger for working, so from that point on, I pretty much took any job I could get!
The worst job I ever accepted was shortly after I’d left university and was feeling particularly poverty stricken and desperate for cash. I enrolled with a temping firm and they called me up with a weekend of work at Harrogate Flower Show. Now, I thought this sounded wonderful. Surely I’d be paid to simply faff around with some daffodils or at worst hand out Champagne to North Yorkshire’s posho’s. Well, it turned out the job was cleaning the toilets and the only flowers I got to sniff was the synthetic fragrance in the bleach they gave me to squirt down the bogs.
I did land a job as a model for a wholesale clothing company once though which was a great deal more glamorous than that of toilet scrubber. Although the clothes weren’t exactly in vogue per say as this particular wholesaler specialised in work wear. Yet, as I strutted along the improvised runway donning crisp chef’s whites complete with hat, I felt I really embodied the role and made those corporate buyers believe I could work in a kitchen. Perhaps more Toby Carvery than The Ivy but still...
The first ‘proper job’ I had was selling advertising for a radio station in York.
I really wanted the job and worked so hard on preparing for the interview which required me to give a presentation. What I didn’t prepare for was the unexpected mathematical quiz they sprang on me. Well, let me tell you, I’m particularly pathetic at maths and have a severe phobia of being put on the spot with a sum. So I froze and said nothing, my brain went completely dead and I gawped at them whilst internally screaming, even when they broke it down for me. Even when they GAVE ME A CALCULATOR, I couldn’t concentrate on what to type into the damned thing. Mortifying really, I still cringe to this day but I actually got the job and did well at it, so it turns out I’m not a complete moron. Yay!
Therefore my advice would be to those seeking out their ideal job would be to say ‘yes’ to everything. What have you got to lose? You never know, it might give you great material to write about one day, to fill up that blank word doc.
"If you have any embarrassing stories you want
to share, I'd be delighted if you'd send them to
me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After all laughter is the best medicine and I
promise we'll be chuckling with you - not at you!"