So, today I will be mostly ranting about my failures as a human, residing in the North East of England, and my struggles to find suitable work. I was previously working as a teacher in a college, but left as I found the workload incompatible with caring for a family of 3, especially when my eldest came out of school and needed to be educated at home. I know I am not alone here, with teachers leaving education and going part time by the truckload – to attempt to get that work/life balance. Ironically, one of the main reasons I went into teaching was because the potential for part-time work and school holidays seemed better than other jobs, but the opposite turned out to be true.
So I have been applying for sooooooo many jobs, and hardly hearing back from any, which is weird, ’cause years ago, in my early 20s I could walk out of a job and into a new one the day after , and I was far less experienced, qualified and responsible than the epic individual I am today (ahem). I was turned down for soooo many unskilled minimum wage jobs, rejected because I “didn’t meet requirements” despite having a law degree, a PGCE and an MA, as well as plenty of experience. That knock to the self-esteem aside, I scored 2 interviews, one for an agency and one for Wilkinson’s.
While waiting for my agency interview, I noticed a blob of conditioner on my ear (Something about Mary style). I was concerned, but luckily I managed remove it and wipe it on my coat before I went in! Noice. When I was in my Wilkinson’s interview, my handbag strap inadvertently opened a button on my shirt, exposing my bra to my interviewers, who suddenly realised the interview was much more informal than they had originally anticipated. Anyhoo, the agency never gave me any work but Wilko’s did! Yay! So age 37, I went to work as a shelf stacker, and you know what? I didn’t mind. The team and supervisor were really nice humans and the work was straightforward, and best of all it fit around my family and I didn’t take work home. However, it seems I am a failure at stacking shelves, which brings me to yesterday, and the point of this rant…
I was also given a job as a part-time Receptionist (from a different agency). I haven’t worked on Reception for about 17 years, but it’s not exactly rocket science. So, at my Reception role, the main Receptionist knew that I basically just sat there, answered the odd call, and sorted post in the afternoons, so she gave me a job to do. She said, “Can you put invoices in envelopes?” I was like, er, yeah! She then went into detail about looking at the addresses to check if they were this address (i.e internal) and pointing out that some clients had more than 1 invoice, etc. She seemed genuinely concerned that it was too difficult a task for me to handle. The look in her eyes said it all. Is this how I look to people? Like an utter muppet, who needs detailed instructions on how to take a shit? Anyway, I was personally affronted by this, thinking “God, exactly how useless does she think I am?” But, it turns out she was pretty spot on and I can indeed fuck up the unfuckupable. It’s almost a skill I should put on my CV.
First, I franked all the internal mail that did not require franking as it clearly had this address on! However, I just re-enveloped them and popped them in the internal mailboxes, destroying the franked envelopes that were clear evidence of my incompetence! I may be incompetent, but the least I can do is cover that shit up! Then, about 5 mins before closing (and after the postie had been), I notice a pile of invoices left on the desk (literally in front of me) that I had not posted. I could not frank these as it would alert the office behind that I fucked up and needed to frank mail after the postman had left, so I put them in envelopes, put them in my bag, bought 2 books of stamps and posted them myself on the way home, so no one needs to know that the only job I had to do that day was fucked up twice over! I’m an incompetent genius!
I got home and got changed into my Wilko’s gear and headed in to my evening job. Within 5 mins, there was a tanoy asking me into the Manager’s Office. You know that’s gonna be bad right? When I was there, I was told that I am basically too slow and my previous night’s graft was utter shite. So, not only can I not stuff fucking envelopes but I can’t stack shelves either! Man, I’m a right catch, me. I am like Mr Bean and the fucking Chuckle Brothers had a love child, that’s the level of competence we’re talking about here. They were asking how they could support me to be less shit at the job, and I just stared at the floor, looking at the shadow that my self-confidence left behind. I think that my issue is two-fold, 1) I go to a special place in my own head when doing monotonous tasks (it’s like time travel! I go to many worlds in my own head, Rick and Morty style) so I don’t realise the passing of time and 2) I am thorough and a bit of a perfectionist, so when I see loadsa stuff in the wrong place I spend a while correcting it, oh and 3) I have poor sense of direction and tend to forget where stuff is (also relates to my Receptionist fuck up!). So yeah, World’s Shittest Shelf-Stacker and Envelope Stuffer. That’s an award I just gave myself right there, because someone’s gotta make me feel good about me!
Feel free to join in my other adventures of incompetence, ’cause there will defo be some! Hey, in other news, my boyfriend told me that some lad came into his workplace (he does windows for commercial premises) asking for a job, with tracksuit bottoms tucked into his socks and everything: “Any jobs gannin, like?” “Well, that depends, do you have any experience in Windows?” “Naw. Wey, unless ya mean smashing them? haw-haw.” So, needless to say this guy is probably still unemployed, but kudos to his honesty. You probably wouldn’t catch him trying to hide his fuck ups.