Tuesday, 16 August 2011

It's enough to drive you crazy if you let it

You know what I love?

My day job.

I love it. I mean I really love it.

The following conversation between my manager and I from today highlights why:

Manager: Emma, can I get your advice on something?
Emma: Sure. (Gets up and walks around to his desk). What's up?
Manager: I need to speak to you about this piece of literature we're working on. (shuffles papers and finds the one he's looking for) I'm struggling with the wording and as I know you write and you have a degree in English as well as not-to-be-sniffed at career in PR before joining this company, I was wondering whether you might be able to help me out.
Emma: (Nodding) Of course I can.
Manager: I'm sorry to pull you away from your work, it's just that I may as well use the expertise we have in the office.
Emma: I agree.
Manager: Also, I thought I'd let you know that your suggestions for the new website have been briefed into the agency and will be implemented ASAP.
Emma: (Taken aback) Wow, that's great.
Manager: (Shrugs) It makes sense. Didn't you work on the web team in your last job for a while? And doesn't your ex design websites?
Emma: (Nods)
Manager: Well then, that settles it. Here, take the literature and have a read. Oh, and Emma? About the Milan show, do you fancy going?

See what I mean? You can't get much better than that.

It's bullshit but still, it's a nice thought.

No, the conversation went more like this:

Manager: Emma, I want to stick my nose in and make some changes to the literature you're working on.
Emma: (Used to hearing these words) Great, be good to get a different perspective.
Manager: Right, let's start with this sentence - I've changed it so say 'over' rather than 'more than'
Emma: Oh, erm...that's actually grammatically incorrect.
Manager: (Says nothing but just blinks at me)
Emma: (Clears throat) It's just that if you're talking about a value, like in this case, then its usually 'more than'. If you say 'over' its to describe physical actions, like 'the cow jumped over the moon' or...am I making sense?
Manager: No
Emma: Oh, okay (scribbles out 'more than' and grits teeth to replace it with 'over')
Manager: And I was wondering about the whole 'toaster' thing.
Emma: (My turn to blink stupidly)
Manager: I mean, do people really get a feel for what it actually does from this brochure?
Emma: But...it's a toaster
Manager: I know, it's just that...okay, look at this, it says 'extra wide slots'
Emma: (trying not to giggle like a schoolgirl) Mmm-hmm
Manager: I think we need to elaborate.
Emma: (Laughs out loud but abruptly stops) Are you serious?
Manager: Deadly. You know what it means, Emma. You're close to this product but would Average Joe who picks up the leaflet understand what it is?
Emma: It's extra wide slots. It just means the slots are...extra...wide.
Manager: Well, expand on it. I want an explanation. Oh, and the website comments you made...
Emma: (Excitedly) Yes
Manager: Listen, I agree with you but it's been overruled.
Emma: (raises eyebrow) By who?
Manager: Our Managing Director
Emma: Isn't he on holiday?
Manager: What's that there?
Emma: (looks over shoulder) Where?
Manager: Nothing, I thought I saw a spider. Anyway (stands up quickly), if you could make the amends I've scribbled down, that would be great. And about Milan...
Emma: Yes?
Manager: Can you look at flight times for me and the Managing Director? You'll need to stay in the office and keep an eye on our emails.
Emma: (mutters) Sure thing.

Repeating my mantra of "I am a writer" over and over again seems to be helping somewhat with the pain.

When one of my other (nobby) colleagues found out Dos and I had split up, he rubbed his hands together and said, "Great, that means you might focus on your career for a bit and actually do some decent work."

I shit you not.

It's made me more determined to make the most of my life outside of that place and make sure my novel gets published. I might be a long time away from a full time writing career but I live in hope that I'll be able to slap my notice letter on my managers desk one day and tell them I've landed an amazing book deal. Stranger things have happened.

I got home from the day job today and collapsed on the sofa with my blanket, not moving and just drifting in and out of sleep. Some days it drains me but there's always little gems that perk me up. Coming first in an online writing competition on Facebook last week was one such gem.

I just have to remember....

I am a writer.
I am a writer.
I am a writer.
I am a writer.

In the same way my equally frustrated colleague is really a little cupcake genius, or the way Dos is actually a rock star working in retail, or Uno is a traveller of the world who's trapped marketing domestic appliances, or Tres is a school teacher who's currently selling mortgages. We'll all achieve it if we want it badly enough (although, I'm sorry Dos but no amount of hard work will actually turn you into Dave Grohl...)

I think I'll start my day with a nice coffee tomorrow from Costa and hopefully that won't be the only gem in my day. I might even get my copies of the manuscript back which has been held hostage at the printer for more than a week...

Have a great Wednesday/hump day everyone.



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