Working life

I’m not doing a lot at work, and to be blunt I’m completely bored, but it’s good to be back in the system.

The first two weeks was spent training and in induction. Monday we were meant to begin easing into the job proper, though it’s been a lot more easing than it has been work. A large part of the problem is that we’re not properly equipped yet. I don’t have a phone yet, for example, nor the headset that would go with it if I had a phone.

There’s a shortage of double-jacks too which, in theory, allow us to listen in on calls. They have to be shared around. Even if we were properly provisioned there’s not a lot of work. It’s unusually quiet I’m told, so the reality is that are very few productive minutes each day. What I’ve discovered in that time is that while a lot of the job is straight-forward, there are complexities for the newbie unfamiliar with the products, what they are, how they work, how they fit together. Even assuming I was listening in to every call it’s going to take longer than I expected to properly familiarise myself with it all.

I discovered a couple of weeks ago how I very nearly missed out on the job altogether. Psychometric and cognitive tests have been a bit of a thing for me lately. I had to do one for this job, and took it as a formality. Problem is – as I found out – is that I did too well. The feedback I got second-hand that I was some kind of “f genius”. That’s gratifying, except that I was so far off the chart there were serious discussions about my suitability for the role. Ultimately it took an executive decision to shoe-horn me into the job, which I found out by accident.

There’s certainly an awareness of me. I was told in training that the upstairs had been ‘warned’ about me, and that they would be watching closely. Yesterday someone said “when you’re CEO…” Today I was told jokingly to hurry up and finish my book because the company could do with someone brainy. (In counter-point, my training colleagues have branded me Mr Cool because I seem so laid back).

There’s a growing sense that for some people in the organisation I represent a sly hope. There’re vested interests I’m told, ingrained habits and old-timers careful to protect the power they have accumulated. It appears a source of frustration for many. I’m the Trojan horse, engaged for one job, but with the speculative hope that my experience and corporate veneer might be a catalyst for change.

While all of this is happening I got a message yesterday morning from the guy I met at the party the other week talking about his projects. He was all bright and excited in his email, looking forward to getting the greenlight for his proposals, which, he said, have been largely framed around what I told him. I think he’s keen to get me on board, which would be nice (and deeply ironic), but unsettles me because much as I would love that I have made a commitment to this place. I haven’t sought this position, but I still feel obliged.

What I know about myself is that I can never be someone who sits in the corner churning their way through a pile of work. I was reading an article about Bob Hope yesterday and how he had a great need to be loved. Well I don’t need to be loved, or even acclaimed, but I think I need to be at the coal face, and preferably the go to man when everything gets tough. It invigorates me, and doubtless it validates something too, but I’m good at it too.

It helps that in a role like with this guy I’d earn more in a day than I would in a week working here. It’s nice, but more to the point that sort of income would solve a lot of problems.

Of course talk is always cheap. These things float by promisingly, only to be ignominiously deflated. If it happens it won’t be straight away, which gives me the chance maybe to do both.

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