Friday, 28 August 2009

Gain a new boy!

Well finally the interviewing is over. Poor Andi says she feels like she has been interviewing forever. And some of the candidates are a list of what not to do in a job interview - their various interesting behaviour include turning up in jeans, staring at Andi's chest - being an hour late, asking where the nearest pub is etc

And I thought I was a bad interviewee. Well I am - I get really nervous and talk insanely fast and my voice gets really high. I think it has been described as chipmunk on acid by so called friends in the past.

Thanks guys

Anyway I digress - we have a new team member woo! His name is Joe (we like names beginning with J here.) He is tall well built, black hair and huge brown eyes.  He seems polite and sweet and will be a nice addition to the sales guys who under Robs dubious influence are becoming more and more suggestive. While I don't object to this it is only early days and I am still trying to look sweet and innocent. This may be working a little too well though as Jim constantly apologizes for swearing around me - clearly he has never seen me on a night out - I have a complete potty mouth.

Job interviews .... in front of a whole office... relaxing

Did I mention we work in a pretty small office? The main room where the unwashed masses - that means everyone except Jay and Chip - are pretty packed - we have ten of us squashed in which is partially why Kay and Andi love their day working from home - a rare chance to breathe.

However right now not only are we all packed in together we are also interviewing poor unsuspecting young grads to join us. Andi needs a replacement for Kay.

Kay has been promoted and will now be the Production Manager.  Over lunch Kay tells me she has been wanting to get more responsibility in publishing for over a year and although this job seems like it will be hard work she is excited. She hopes she will learn a lot her only concern is they have not agreed to pay her any more money until three months later. She seems to trust it will be sorted and back dated. I trust her - she has been in this company a year - if anyone would know she will.  I smile and say I hope it all works out for her, I  know myself how boring admin can be.

The interviews take place while we are all  trying to work. I feel so sorry for the interviewees - it is hard enough without having an audience. Andi tries to be nice in the interview but it is awful - in front of a room of people. One interviewee looks so nervous and one poor girl whispers the whole way though.

Some are memorable for all the wrong reasons though. the guy who asks if they frown upon drinking at work - dude learn to hide it! Or the girl who asks how many days sick pay they receive (Find it out after you have been offered the job) Or the girl who when asked why she left her last job replies that her "boss was a complete bitch".  And I thought I was bad at interviews (I did one time inadvertently set off a fire alarm but in my defense I am sure they said first door on the left)

Thursday, 27 August 2009

I discover the local pub - yay!

I decide it will be good fun to join the others for a quick drink after work. I have been pretty antisocial since I joined as I tend to do stupid things when I drink. But as we wander over to the pub I feel upbeat. I will stay for one or two I think to myself. Self control that's what it is all about.

Andi is only staying for one or two  so this should be easy we will leave together. And it is nice we all talk about the company - Jamie tells us a bit more about Dave. I was curious why he left on such a bad note.

" The problem is Jay takes resignation as a personal insult." Jamie explains, "He makes anyone who is leaving feel like crap and then if he can tries to rip them off - he was trying to deduct commission from Jay." I smile nervously this doesn't seem good.

Several drinks later and I am learning more about my co-workers than I would have imagined. For example after leaving a work do last week Jamie got so drunk he ended up pawning his watch to buy drugs. And had to walk a mile to get home. I end up confiding about my last job when during my first week I ran out of money for food.

Forced to survive on dry pasta for a week as my only meal I was delighted to be invited to a dinner all expenses paid. Unfortunately the food was late arriving and I managed to drink two large glasses of wine - on a virtually empty stomach. And then pass out on the table. Not one of my best impressions I admit.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Printers hate me! My first marketing campaign

Oh yes - when I arrive this morning I am offered a book and told I should write a letter and get it ready to send all by my self! Woo actual responsibility and direction.  I happily write the letter and spell check it about twelve times before arriving at Jay's door. Ha - see I am important without me there would be no letter!

I am clearly a total moron. As if Jay would let me do that - as I finish he asks to see my letter and then adds so much red pen I really needn't have bothered. He then reminds me to "Be a good girl and bring it back once all my amendments have been made so I can check."

Any touches of personality in my letter have been scrupulously removed and it now smacks of pretension. Past caring I  print the letters. All 5,000 of them. I feel rather horrified as they build up on my desk. Oh shit - it is repeating the same letter - quick cancel cancel cancel!
Okay deep breath - I try again

Success it is printing!!! Then suddenly it jams. Oh crap! I kick the printer a few times and look around helplessly. I notice Jamie and Rob looking at me with amusement. Jamie takes pity and unjams the printer for me

Noooooooo it has gone back to the beginning.

Why why why would it do this?? That is over 1,000 letters I can't even use!

I take a deep breath and start again. Right I can do this. Fine print.

Oh God - this time the mail merge seems to have mucked up - it is saying dear

Cancel cancel canel -okay it has stopped - phew!

I try and look nonchalent as I collect the letters

Jamie and Rob have clearly noticed my monumental cock up - both are laughing at me. Great just great.

I set about hiding 7,000 wrong letters in various bins.

Oh God - my signature didn't print - I have to sign 5,000 letters.

Did I do something bad in a former life? Is this Karma? I decide to take up the boys offer of joining them for a drink - I could use a vodka or twelve.

Friday, 21 August 2009

No pants today - things are looking up

I feel like cheering or cracking open the vodka! The week that I left my underwear in the middle of the office is drawing to a close.  I survived the next days with minimal talking and no one has said anything. Although Rob  was singing the thong song yesterday and smirking. I think it was just a coincidence though....

I am getting there though - really - I am now a fully fledged marketing executive and I am learning. I even came up with some proper marketing strategies and ideas. Okay they were rejected by Jay pretty much without even listening to them but he promised to, "consider these ideas in the future certainly."

He did however call me good girl. Is there a way to discourage this I wonder?

As I think this about this Jay arrives - I smile in a professional manner - the manner of one who should definitely not be called "Good Girl"

"Kate?" He summons. I look up brightly with an air of steely professionalism.

Jay gives me a patronising smile before saying brusquely, "Be a good girl and make me a cup of tea."
I fume - right that's it - I'm spitting in his tea.

I wonders if Jay is as annoying in bed as he is in the office. My head fills with unpleasant images - the precise gray curls on his head and ... well you get my drift. I wonder if he shouts,
"Strewth!" or "Gosh" or "Jolly good show."

Do you know what - that's a visual place I do NOT want to explore.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Monday Monday - lets expose my pants to the whole office

Oh crap.

Crap, crap crap!

Today started off so well. I arrive in the office and see that the sales boys have had a re-arrange - Dave is now officially out of there and Evan and Rob are all settled in. The atmosphere is instantly better. We chat more and there is some degree of excitement. I still have to suppress a laugh whenever Jack says a word. Seriously this guy makes Gordon Brown seem animated.  My mind then decides to  imagine him shagging.  The thought horrifies me. That unenthusiastic American drawl. "oh yeah faster baby" the thought makes me shudder.

I notice Jamie is watching me and blush.  Imagining your new workmates in the sack probably not the best way to win friends and influence people.  I think and try to look busy. I smile brightly and offer to make a round of tea. As I walk across them room I see a small piece of bright red material on the floor. "Whats that?" I say and pick it up ands freeze.

That turns out to be my thong.

That's the thong that I was wearing yesterday.

I am wearing the same trousers as yesterday.

The thong must have been caught in the trousers and at some point worked it's way out of my trouser leg.


Oh God

How long has my worn thong been on the floor? Has anyone else seen?

I stuff it into my bag and make tea - I am in such a state of shock I keep alternatively giggling and blushing. This can not be happening. I try to avoid peoples eyes but can't help notice Rob seems to be watching me looking suspiciously amused.
May and Andi are both sitting together and seem completely oblivious. I can't even seek female reassurance.

Yes I hate Mondays

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Apparently marketing exec = general skivvy.

I feel as though I am settling in - with the help of google I am beginning to learn how to do this job. However I seem to have two tiny little problems.

The first one goes by the name of Jay. Remember him skinny, gray, kind of annoying talks like the queen, talks a lot of crap  and owns the company. Yeah.... him  I am beginning to get used to a cry of:
"Kate, could you please go to reception and fetch my visitors." Comes a "frightfully" posh voice..."And make them teas and coffee."

It isn't just me - May gets called for this too as does Jack. So it can't even be called sexism. I think it is just called thinking he is far too important to make his own sodding tea ism. Is that an ism? Anyway I digress problem 2 - Dave.

Dave is beginning to scare me. Constant taunts about how crap this place is and some stand up rows over pay with Jay. (I wonder if perhaps he is just annoyed that his name doesn't contain a more prominent ay sound but apparently this is frivolous and not funny) I know it is mean but I can't wait for him to leave. I am sick of his glaring and general moodiness. Luckily for me it is his last day on Friday and he and the sales guys celebrate by going out at midday and not returning until 3pm completely plastered.

This again is partially my own fault - like a moron I volunteered to cover the phones. I actually figured they would suggest we took in turns so I could join but no they seemed delighted again. Hmmm must stop volunteering for things I don't want to do.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Hi Office you are paying me but what do I do?

Ah the burning question which has still not been fully answered.

My boss's idea of training me consisted of here are the publications have a look through them and come up with a plan.

Right I think I can do this - I must first understand what the hell we are selling - then I can figure out how to promote - Get me - I'm figuring out marketing all by myself!

I look at the clock after reading through the products and am stunned. I expected it to be at least next Tuesday. Right so I work on magazines that make time stand still. How to promote? It's a thinker.
Product 1 - For bankers and other such people - it's dull and online
Product 2 - It's dull and online and in print and it looks like it was designer when dinosaurs were still living - my grandfather would think this looked uncool. Would it hurt them to add some colour? Looking at the design is a good cure for insomnia though...
Product 3 - For lawyers advising rich morons. You've guessed it - it's dull.

So I google - yeah it's cheating but only if they find out and there are lots of articles with helpful ideas I can pass off as my own. Possibly slightly unethical but quite a lot of fun. I am also looking forward to the arrival of two new sales men. As far as eye candy goes there is only Jamie here and something tells me he might be trouble.We also have a new editor joining us soon.

Apparently there is a big welcome drinks next week for them all and me as well. I rather like the idea of this free alcohol and hopefully attractive men. I'll let you know how it goes. I am trying to maintain a vaguely professional image here (no falling asleep on the table, vomiting in public - you know the kind if thing)

Must not have more than two glasses of wine. Must not must not must not. I am the queen of willpower

Friday, 14 August 2009

All about my co-workers!

As things start here are the reoccurring players in this little drama. I will update this when needed.

The star and heroine of the show. I am your omnipresent voice. Fearless and always right. Okay the last part is bollocks but you get the picture. I am in my mid twenties with long blond hair,  fond of shoes and prone to embarassing myself on a regular basis..

The CEO of the publishing company I work  in . Both very posh and very patronizing. He has called me "Good Girl" already. Hello do I look twelve? (actually don't answer that considering they asked for my ID when I brought a bottle of wine yesterday) Jay is  scary due to stubbornness - ability to fire me, total lack of empathy and inability to listen to anyone else's opinion. He has grey hair so styled it wouldn't move even in a hurricane and is tall and skinny. He wears designer clothes at all times and is fond of braces. Sadly it is true. He is in his mid forties

Australian Admin girl. Soon to be promoted to production manager. She is brusque and to the point. She has brown curly hair and somewhat overweight. She hates dirty jokes and thinks the salesmen are immature and annoying. She is in her early thirties but seems older as she is very mature. Surprisingly we do get along.

Andrea - known as Andi 
Admin manager from the Ohio originally but has lived in England for seven years and worked at this company for six of them. Works from home a lot but when she is in the office is slightly confusing - incredibly professional but more than capable of downing copious amounts of cider and being one of the boys. She has mousy brown hair and is slightly bigger than average but by no means fat.She is in her early thirties

Salesman with an axe to grind. Average height bald and in his late twenties.

My boss currently in Switzerland - this is the man who hired me and who will be mentoring me so I can become a brilliant genius in the world of marketing. Yeah right. Jim is funny and quite laddish making many rude jokes and fond of swearing. (So am I actually but am being on my best behaviour for the moment) He likes to laugh and enjoys a buoyant atmosphere. He is in his forties, greying hair and tallish and on the thin side. He is often seen with a "cheeky glass of wine"

Another sales man. He is similar to Jim in some ways - likes a drink likes a laugh has quite a filthy sense of humour and likes to have fun. Clearly a bit of a ladies man as he seems to have several girlfriends on the go. Enjoys a pint and is easy going and relaxed. he is in his mid twenties with dark hair - with a bit of a curl and is of average height and build. Not bad looking and a definite flirt to any woman who isn't Kay.

The accountant - incredibly camp incredibly gay and incredibly sweet. In his twenties again with curly hair and olive skin. He and Kay are close and often disappear out together.

Graphic designer. Wears filthy jeans and has dubious body odours. If you can get past this he is actually very nice. Slightly on the chubby side and I am guessing in his late thirties.

The sales junior who is only able to speak in Monotone. One of the youngest as this is his first job since university. Jack is American with a southern drawl. He is on the short side with light brown hair. He clearly looks up to Jamie and is trying to impress him.

The new sales man who will be replacing the disaster that lasted only two hours. Quiet and consciousness he becomes one of the only sales men Kay can stomach. He is a good listener but can also be very good fun. Is getting married in a few months and seems slightly under the thumb but an all round nice man. Slightly on the chubby side he is in his mid thirties with light brown hair. He also seems very fond of blue socks

He is a new salesman who will be joining us shortly. He is rather young looking in the face and gives an impression of innocence. Do not fool for it - a close personal friend of Jim he is a practical joker and a terrible flirt with the ability to sell ice to Eskimos. Charm by the bucket loads and witty with a fondness for pints he is a force to be reckoned with. Jamie immediately idolizes him. Rob is in his early thirties and is tall and slim to the point of almost being skinny. Light brown hair and freckles and an infectious smile

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

My new job - I survive the first few weeks

The new job continues and I survive! I make tea, I listen to conversations I smile and I try to fit in. At no point do I find out what the hell I am supposed to be doing but so far no one seems to have noticed. My boss returns from Switzerland buys me coffee and tells me to read the publications.

He also seems to get drunk a lot - apparently there is a boy bonding session every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday lunchtime. I somehow get stuck answering the phones a lot of the time when these are happening I am not quite sure how.

I try to bond with the two women in the office but they both work from home a lot. May is nice to me though when she is in and even draws me a map of where to go for lunch. I found all these places on my first day but it's nice to be nice so I think her.

I also begin to bond with Chip our resident American and very gay accountant. He is funny and extremely sharp. I find my rather sarcastic sense of humour challenged and we quickly establish a friendship based upon mutual piss taking. Maybe I can fit in here.

On my third day two new sales men start - neither cute unfortunately (what are the odds?) One is American with the complete inability to put any expression into his voice. If he came in and said the worlds was being invaded by giant rabbits (I have rabbit fear okay?) it would still seem dull. The other Fred is quiet. So quiet in fact that we don't notice after his lunch when he doesn't return and it takes two days until we realise he hasn't been seen since Wednesday.

After some investigation we find his letter of resignation sitting on his former desk and discover all of the blue biros have vanished.

What a great company this is......

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Pretentious posh boss aka total moron

Hooray I think when uber posh CEO arrives.

Seriously in my interview with this guy I wanted to start talking about how frightfully marvelous tea and scones were of an afternoon. I have a bad habit of unconsciously mimicking other people's accents. I am well spoken at the best of time - next to this guy I sounds like I am mocking the queen. Which I do like to do with some regularity however - lets save that for later.

The CEO - lets call him Jay looks around sees me and says, "Kate. You're here. Good." He looks at me for a second with a glance that makes me feel immediately like a bug. I have this horrid feeling he is wondering why the hell he hired me and probably thinking that he must have been higher than a kite. (He was actually but I still think he made a wise choice)

Lets describe him for you - he is a sex God - well actually no unless grey hair with a lot of gel is your thing. Hey I don't judge...

He then says "Well I am sure the team have you all settled in my now." then promptly buggers off. Without a second glance. Feeling more than a little abandoned I amuse myself by spinning my chair around.

Then May helpfully comes over and tells me my boss is in Switzerland until Wednesday with one of the salesmen and the women who will be training me will be in a 11am.

Fantastic! I waste the day looking at various websites and waste £15 on a pair of shoes off ebay. And I got paid for shoe shopping - maybe this is the perfect job for me I think.

Friday, 7 August 2009

My weird new co-workers and bodily functions

After what feels like hours pass and I seriously considering hurling myself out the window to escape Stee who obviously now feel comfortable enough to fart loudly at me. Just as I am mentally forming a resignation letter in my head a few more people arrive.

The first man is less than reassuring - he stomps in glares at me and sits down without a word. Lets call him Dave. Dave is a salesman and clearly angry about something. I wonder if perhaps it is because he is prematurely bald. If I were bald in my twenties I might be angry too.

I bite my lip and wonder if I have somehow pissed him off by existing. Don't be paranoid Kate, I think to myself. Clearly he hasn't even noticed you exist. It is true Dave ignores me and goes and sits at his desk.

After Dave I am relieved when May shows up. She seems friendly. May is a Australian and brusque to the point of being rude. Still she introduces herself - shakes my hand - smiles at me and more importantly than any of this shows me where the toilets are and makes me a cup of tea. I actually consider kissing her on both counts - I am at this point severely caffeine deprived and frankly bursting. Had I be waiting much longer I would be ready to come out and declare myself May's bitch. Which while she is nice she is not entirely my type.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Day One: The new Girl

Good things:

I found the office and they even let me in- score!

Bad things:

Pretty much everything else – I feel like I have wandered into failblog. So far epic fail.

I am a little disconcerted when I arrive. There is only one other person there - a designer with interesting facial growth and a dubious odour - still I begin smiling widely.

He looks a little concerned - Oh dear perhaps my smile is actually crazed I try desperately to look nice and normal. To my horror he physically takes a step away from me looking horrified.

Nice one Kate scare off the office nerd.

"You must be the new person." He mutters unenthusiastically, "We haven't set your computer up yet". He then turns away and logs on to his PC ignoring me.
I bite my lip and glance around. They do know I’m coming don’t they?

The Designer (also known as Stee) is now watching porn and ignoring me.

I try to read a few of the magazines. Hmmmm legal crap and some financial rubbish wow this is fascinating.

I wonder if I should cut my losses and run the hell out of this place. Surely there will be better jobs… but I so wanted to do well. I bit my lip again -I am actualy bleeding now! Good start Kate!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Secret life of the office

So my secret office life - or perhaps more appropriately all the things I really got up to that should probably have got me fired.

Hi - my name is Kate and I am working in publishing. I do try and behave myself but tend to find not unlike Britney "oops I did it again" is a rather over-used phrase of mine. This blog is detail a few years of my life where I broke pretty much every office rule. And you know what - I had a damn good time doing it. And I wasn't the only one getting up to no good. So time to expose this little publishing company and everyone who worked there. Names are changed so no one tries to sue me but everything else is true.

Oh and boys and girls.... don't try this at home....

Bad things I have done already and the job starts tomorrow:

1) lied on my CV - my last job was not marketing assistant - in fact it was not even admin assistant

2) Pretended to know more than I do in the interview

3) Exaggerated my pay - hey it worked I used to earn 19K and they are going to pay me 22.5K fools!

So rules for success in the new job
Step 1 - Choose perfect outfit - need to look professional and yet approachable. Nice but not slutty. Professional and not boring. Cheap but not obviously - hey my salary for this role is 22,500 - Next is barely in my price range.

Step 2 - Be on time. Be on time Be on time. I will achieve this by A setting three alarms with varying levels of annoyingness. A sign next to be bed saying "Get up you lazy cow or you will be fired" will also assist.

Step 3 - Do not talk utter crap - listen and nod - everyone always thinks quiet people are hard working and serious

Step 4 - Do not sleep with any of your work mates.

This new company has about 20 employees when I join. I believe I will be the third woman to join. Must be one of the guys but not isolate the women.

I can do this!