Monday, 3 October 2011
My Top 5 Worst Jobs I've Done - Listography
If you don't count being a mum (which is the best job in the world despite the long hours, no pay and unreasonable expectations) I have only had five jobs in my life so my Listography Top Five Worst Jobs I've Done can include my entire employment history. I will list them in chronological order rather than any other sort of ranking system.
1. Peter Lord Shoe Shop, Slough.
As a first experience in the work place, this wasn't terrible. My starting pay was £5 for a Saturday which seemed like an awful lot to me back then. I enjoyed the shoe fitting training and really liked when the new parents came in with their little ones to buy their first shoes. I also enjoyed the old ladies with their bunions who were looking for the wider fitting shoes that Clarks specialised in. Although it would get me in trouble for wasting time, I never hurried the old ladies that wanted to chat and tell you their whole life story.
There were a few things I hated about the job. One was the pressure to add sundries to your sale. The manager would hover at your side to make sure you gave the customer the opportunity to purchase the recommended (overpriced!) cleaner. Another was being able to see my non-working peers hanging out in the shopping centre having fun while I smiled politely at customers in my uncomfortable floral blouse that was required dress.
2. Solarbo Kitchens, Bath
For somebody that is not very comfortable talking on the phone, this was an odd choice of job for me. I didn't exactly choose it. It just sort of landed in my lap at a time when I needed to find work. I sat in a small kitchen showroom in a rather lovely part of Bath, showing potential customers the range of kitchens available and following up telephone leads. My primary purpose was to set up appointments with the salespeople for which I would receive commission.
I loved the kitchens but I didn't have to work there long to realise that customer satisfaction and value for money were very far down on the list of priorities for the company. There was a Watchdog style investigation and the showroom was closed down. The company was dissolved.
This may not have been a high point in my 'career' but I did learn a lot about Kitchen planning!
3. WH Smiths, Bath
I was a Christmas temp at WH Smiths after my kitchen showroom job suddenly ceased to exist. I quite enjoyed working on the tills and trying to spread a little seasonal cheer but I hated working on the shop floor. I felt very inadequate when anyone asked me a question because with no training and no experience I was pretty clueless. The worst part of the job was that I was working for my first husband (although we were yet to be married at this stage). He couldn't decided whether to treat me as the woman he lived with or a work colleague. He mostly avoided me.
4. King Edward School, Bath
This was the first job I ever really loved. Although a degree in chemistry was an over-qualification to work as a school lab technician, it reminded me of what it was that attracted me to science in the first place, rekindling a love that had been cruelly crushed after three years of feeling out of my depth at University. I felt very at home in my lab coat, I got on well with the teaching staff and I enjoyed being in the school environment. If I had to choose one thing I hated about the job, it would be clearing up the Biology lab after a worm dissection. It didn't happen very often but when it did..... yeurch!
5. Primary School, Shropshire
The final piece in my employment history to date was returning to work after a long break to raise my four older daughters. I was offered a job as a teaching assistant in the local primary school my girls attended. I mostly loved it but it was frustrating only supporting the teacher rather than being the teacher. I took a Foundation degree in teaching and learning and was about to apply for the course that would top this up to a full BA and give me a teacher training qualification when I fell pregnant.
I am now back to doing the job I love the most - being a full time mum.