Wednesday, 16 July 2008

I'm all about the fair pay slash no pay

Look at all these people marching down Southampton Row at lunch time today. I did. I stopped and stared for a while while these thousands of people chanted their way down the road in a unified kind of way (apart from one guy who was going "WHAT DO WE WANT?" "MORE PAY" WHEN DO WE WANT IT?" "NOW" before correcting himself and changing it to "WHAT DO WE NEED...WHEN DO WE NEED IT" ah yes, the old need vs. want dilemma - I'm familiar with your cause, particularly when shoes are involved)

But I was also kind of like fair pay? Try NO pay on for size, you're preaching to the wrong girl here you little scamps. Then I got a bit emotional at the sight of all these people, but I think that was more PMT than empathy really. So I went "be gone with you, go defeat Gordon Brown and save the world!", patted them on the proverbial back, then cleared off back to the office.

I'm finding it a little difficult to, how do I want to put my personality at work. I'm in that stage where I'm being all meek and polite, which isn't really me. Well the polite bit is; polite and posh I can do, everyone's posh there, meek not so much. It makes me uncomfortable not to be able to have a bit of friendly banter, but I'm trying to shoe horn some in when I can.

Matters aren't made better by the fact that my fellow work experience employee is the most boring sack of spuds I've ever come across, so rather than camaraderie I feel competition. I'm like come on Jo, you know you can be more bloody enigmatic than her and come out on top here, she did classics and law at uni - I mean for gods sake, someone give her a Berrocca. But at the moment I've just got the conversational skills of a feeding giraffe. I don't know if she's in on the whole oneupmanship I've got going on in my head, I doubt it, but I'm feeling the pressure.

She pipped me to the post today though. Got up to get herself a glass of water, which I do all the time, except she went one better. "I'm going to get myself a glass of water. Would anyone else like one? Or maybe a tea or coffee?" and I thought oh you smarmy little sly fox...of course 5 people jumped at the chance which softened the blow a little. Because really it's the sort of question you ask when you secretly hope that no one wants any. A bit like 'Does anyone want that last bit of chocolate cake?' and if people know what's good for them, they'll say 'No, it's all yours'.

But I know her game. And I'm onto it. Ha.


Hannah said...

Oh, oh, I'm behind the curve: congrats on the job - what are you doing?

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

2 weeks work experience at a publishers...nothing paid or permanent i'm afraid! see for details

Blue soup said...

Congrats on the work experience, evne if it is neither paid nor permanent - hopefully it will help you get to where you want to be.

On a tangent however, the public sector pay row is really getting to me. They should be thankful they got anything at all! Not striking!!! There are so many people out there who do not have the luxury of an automatic pay rise, and effectively take pay cut after pay cut every year. With inflation hitting ball busting heights, perhaps public sector workers ought to be a bit more humble, shut the F*** up and slink away quietly, counting the pennies they have over the rest of this miserable country at the moment!!!

Er, thank you.

Homer said...

I thought Unison were unrealistic to turn down a pay offer comparable to what all other public sector workers have negotiated, until I realised that lots of them are so low paid that every last tenner counts.

My friend at school does three jobs there, works her arse off from 8.45 to 5.30 every day and still doesn't make five figures. And she only gets half pay in the summer holidays.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

bluesoup - You know I don't even understand the whole striking thing, like I don't know the ins and outs of it, but surely everyone in the world thinks they're underpaid? Apart from actors etc...I mean, is anyone normal happy with their pay check?

homer - THat's the other side to it, I take it for granted that I'm in a position where I could, if I wanted, get a job that paid enough to at least earn over's difficult to imagine having prospects where you don't even get into 5 figures..


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