Learning at Work Day is on May 19th and in honour of it some of us are posting things we have learnt at work. My jobs to date are as follows:
Waterstone’s book seller (loved this job!)
Barmaid and waitress (liked the barmaid side, detested waitressing. I have no grace and no patience.)
After School Assistant (this job was ok, I had some great kids)
After School and Holiday Club Assistant (meh; hated the early mornings during the Holiday Club)
Shop Assistant and Ghost Tour Guide (yet to do the ghost tours, but the shop is nice and easy and relatively laid back).
So, the number one thing I have learnt at work: I work best on my own.
Now, this isn’t to say I’m not a team player, but I definitely prefer working on my own and being left to my own devices. I think this stems from 2 of my jobs having very bitchy characters and I just couldn’t be bothered. I go to work to make money and do my job, not to start backstabbing and telling tales about colleagues. Some of the people I have worked with were like children, and I thought we had all gotten past this stage. Some people will never grow up, unfortunately!
Number two: The customer isn’t always right.
In any job dealing with the public, you have to keep the thought in your head that majority of the public are absolute idiots.You have to be very good at putting a smile on your face and keeping these thoughts well and truly locked away, otherwise you would go insane at the sheer stupidity expressed by some people.
The number one thing that bugged me working with the public was people who thought something was your fault, when it most obviously wasn’t. Most people understand this, but I have heard, and experienced, people being rude to me because the food wasn’t up to scratch (I’m the waitress, not the chef), people being annoyed that I didn’t know the title of a book (your description of ‘What’s that new book by what’s-er-name? It has a white cover.’ was in no way helpful) and people who think you shouldn’t make one mistake, ever. I’m only human!
Number three: Kids are hard, hard work.
The saying that kids are the best contraception out there is 100% true. For me, anyway. Before I started working in nurseries, I was quite broody. It’s a phase a lot of girls go through in their early twenties, I think. After working with kids: no thanks! I love kids, I really do, but my god was I glad to give them back at the end of the day.
Also, it’s very hard to work with a lot of children who have all been brought up in different ways. Some have had no discipline at home and run absolutely riot. Some are extremely sensitive. Some think they are invincible and think jumping off a high surface onto a wooden floor with a lollipop in their mouth is a brilliant idea.
People who work with kids do not get paid half as much as they deserve. It’s not an easy job!