Tuesday, 6 October 2009


It's 2pm on a grey damp day and I'm sat in a very overheated reception area struggling to stay awake. The secondment is only into its third week and I'm already beginning to think that it wasn't such a great idea to come here after all. You'll understand how much time I have to think about stuff when I tell you that I've already drawn up a mental list of the pros and cons.

On the plus side, the first week was excellent fun. Running around and exploring a huge school, including spooky block is not exactly what I would call work. Everyone was in good spirits, we were united in our cause and we seriously couldn't believe the amount of stuff that has been left behind here. It's also been fun getting to know new managers, especially ones that like to talk and gossip as much as we do. You wouldn't believe the stuff I've heard this past couple of weeks about high up peeps at work! I've also enjoyed being able to drive to work 2 days a week as it's doing wonders for my ever ailing flexi; in fact there's a serious danger that I might actually return with positive flexi! This is something I have never known, wonders will surely never cease!

However, the cons far outweigh such nice things. For starters, we've hardly got any students. On Fridays we have none at all. Can you believe that? A university campus with absolutely no students on it. It's too much to comprehend. And we've also got absolutely nothing to do. Again, this is a very alien concept. I'm used to being surrounded by paperwork and telephone queries and emails demanding information. Here, nothing. And next week we get a permanent member of staff to join us so there'll be four of us twiddling our thumbs. It's one of those strange situations in that we have areas that need covering hence the need for staff, but with nothing to do those staff are just struggling to stay awake. It's completely and utterly bonkers. I have honestly never known anything like it my whole working life. Don't get me wrong, I've had boring jobs, but I've never worked anywhere where there is absolutely nothing to do. Last week, the heating was broken and it suddenly turned autumnal so we were really rather chilly. They fixed the heating last Friday and now the place is like a sauna! But they don't know how to control it so it's just switched on. Permanently. Are you getting the bonkers here? Am I conveying it accurately enough for you?

To top it off, last night was our first late night of opening, and also my night to work late. It started off just grand as I didn't have to start until 1, a nice sleep in on Monday mornings is always welcome. By the time the other staff left at 6 I'd had one woman in reception shrieking and screaming and crying hysterically and a very confused old man looking for the school children who used to occupy the building! Add to that the fact that it's very very dark outside with very few lights and it's a huge old building with lots of squeaks and groans, I was thoroughly creeped out by the time I left just after half 8.

The biggest thing of all is that I'm so disappointed. I wanted it to be something really good. Something for me to get my teeth into. Everyone kept telling me what a great opportunity it was going to be. So far, I've probably excelled myself in manual handling having spent a few days lugging furniture around, and it turns out I may excel myself with blogging and email catching up due to excessive availability of time. RAH peeps, a big RAH!

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