Monday, 10 August 2009

London EC1 where the City Workers run

After months of nagging, whining and 'mughhh, I'm boredddd, get me a joorrrrb' emails, an employment agency got me a couple of weeks PA work in the Square Mile. At least, they think it's a couple of weeks. Could be less, could be more. As with most of the temporary jobs I'm sent out on recently, the HR departments are verrrrry vague when it comes to end dates. The employees are all too ready to tell me why: it's down to companies spazzing out and making redundancies, before swiftly realising that they don't have enough people to do all the work. So in come the contractors and temps - aka, the employees they got rid of in the first place - because they can't advertise for permanent staff yet. They pay the agencies on top of temp's hourly rate, so most of the time there's a strict usage policy. They pay a big price for employing someone they can let go at the drop of a hat.

This property firm has been hard hit by redundancies, so much so that I arrived on Thursday in the midst of a complete floor reshuffle; they're reorganising the seating plan so that the empty desks are less obvious. In all honesty, I'm not sure why I'm there. There doesn't seem to be any pressing need for admin support in my team, recently cut down to four people. I've seen the director I work for once for about half an hour. In fact, one employee, having been introduced to me, wondered aloud how the director managed to "swing that one". Dunno mate, but it works for me. This girl ain't complaining.

To keep the day moving I am given tasks that are all - without exception - preceded by the words "This is a really really dull / boring / monotonous job, but err, could you..." To be honest, I wish they'd cut the preamble. I'm not sure what they think this sort of role usually entails, but administrative jobs are never anything but dull, boring and monotonous. That's exactly why I do it on a temporary basis, charged by the hour and paid by the week. It's easy, regular money. Besides, since when has telling someone a task is the admin equivalent of filing toenails ever made it more bearable?

The respite comes when I'm out and about, in the morning and at the end of the day. That's then I walk to and from Aldgate tube, right past the suitably massive, glass fronted phallus that has come to represent this part of the City. Ha. Touché, London, touché.

Ahh, the city. With its breast-ogling bankers, fold up bikes, suits, boots and B.O scented tubes.

It's good to be back in your sweaty little clutches.


Anonymous said...

I visit friends in London a couple of times of year. The heady scent of the Tube in summer...I'll resist booking my flights for a few more weeks. Thanks.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

Yay! Welcome back. The scenario you describe is exactly how I found a staff position after I was laid off; they let everyone go and subsequently found themselves shorthanded. Dolts.

I love the Gherkin. Are you making fun? Better not. I'll twist your thigh.

Anonymous said...

...a couple of times OF year? Fuck, the sooner they bring in speech to text the better.

arbyn said...

oooh the Gherkin! I love that building. My friend used to do security there. Try and get a look at London from the top of there -- worth it!

Robbie said...

Congrats on finding work....let's hope they don't get your name wrong ;)

sas said...

yay for you on the job!
i do think there is a book in the life of a city pa. or at least several well worded post re: the swinging city dicks.

Anonymous said...

ah ha! so you could very easily come on Thursday... :p

smidge said...

yah for the job, but to be honest that sounds like my idea of hell.

Actually scrap that, Edinburgh during the festival is my idea of hell!

Emsbabee said...

I dares ya to don a yellow blouse and get all Sugababes in front of the gherkin.

Emsbabee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emsbabee said...

Just realised I've done it again. You really seem to bring out the dirty old man in me.

Elaine said...

I'm laughing at Emsbabee's comment. I think you shoud do that right now. You owe it to us, as your adoring fans :)

Anonymous said...

Welcome back to the world of the employed.

You have no excuse to miss Thursday now ;)

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

benders - Yeah, best to hold off if Eau de Tube isn't your favourite smell. Spelling mistake overlooked, please continue.

Unbearable - HA! I'd never make fun of the fact that planners saw fit to place a massive cock in the middle of the most male dominated financial district in London. Never.

arbyn - I've never actually been up it. Maybe I'll give it a go. Lunch, anyone?

Robbie - I didn't give them the chance. Have introduced myself only as Jo. My email address is Jo too. I take no risks.

sas - Oh, I reckon so. Even if I only get to mingle with them for 1 hour 20 mins a day. That's enough.

PJB - We shall see!

smidge - It's not the most interesting job in the world, you're right there. But it pays better than my fridge.

Ems - I'm beginning to think you're the sort of pervert that Internet Safety adverts refer to. Can you confirm or deny this?

Elaine - You want me to grind against a gherkin? On video! Filthy!

Perp - Oh you as well now hey! Blummin thursday...


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