Eleven months ago when I started my new job I thought it was going to take over my life. When I had to go in at 1pm every afternoon and stay till 6pm, I secretly mourned the loss of half my free time. When I was asked to start coming an hour earlier each day, I quickly had to adjust to even less lie-in-bed time. By the time I was asked to start work at 9am every day, I’d just about gotten used to the routine of spending most of my time inside the office, though I wondered if I would ever really enjoy it. Today my work hours are permanently fixed – forty hours a week – I will probably have the same routine for the next forty years, in whatever job I do. And I don’t really mind any more.
In this current role my job isn’t entirely restricted to the forty weekly hours that I’m paid to be there. I often have to keep an eye on my work e-mails when I’m at home, in case things go wrong and I’m the only person who knows how to fix them. I’m not bothered by this; it’s quite nice to have a purpose and a proper role.
On Sunday we all had to spend the day in the office being trained on how to sell the multiple products that the company has developed. It was weird going in on Sunday, and it ended up being a long day, but I wasn’t even bothered by the inconvenience. I was furnished with a better understanding of the company products which have nothing to do with cashback, something I’d been in desperate need of for months. As well as cashback on online purchases we also push gift vouchers, childcare vouchers and cycle-to-work incentives to our users. All are important products that until now I couldn’t have spoken on with any authority.
Despite not really having a choice about going in on Sunday, I was quite glad to go, and after the training was over the bosses took us bowling in nearby Queensway, which was nice. For the first time in months I felt like part of a real team, and I chatted to everyone quite easily. Well, I didn’t chat as much as some, inevitably, but I noticed that I wasn’t the only relatively quiet one there, and I didn’t feel at all out of place like I used to last year. Because I’ve only been bowling about three times in my life I could hardly be called a pro in the sport, and my final score put me to shame. But that was OK as my team still managed to win, with two of the members being bowling experts and all.
This week I’ve focused on the customer enquiries which, as Christmas approaches, just keep coming in. Today I got through 230 enquiries, more than anyone in the company has probably ever managed in a day. When I dedicate myself to a task I can always manage it, I just need to give myself the time and the space. After spending eight hours just looking at dull, repetitive enquiries about cashback, my brain feels a bit frazzled. But, again, I’m not bothered. It’s not the most exciting of jobs, but it’s something I’m good at, and for the trickier enquiries, of which there were a lot today, you have to use your brain. Which I love.
Practically my whole life is revolving around the job at the moment, so much so I could be in danger of becoming a workaholic. I guess it’s better than being chronically work-shy, which I was until this year. Today I felt supported by my colleagues in my decision to focus on the cashback enquiries. Jan spent most of the day away from the office so I could have some peace, and our roommate didn’t crack any ‘gay’ jokes. He seems to have quit altogether with the comments this week. I’m not sure if someone has said something to him – I certainly haven’t. All I know is that without the gay jibes it’s a much nicer, cleaner environment.