I was a secretary for a month. I pretended I was playing a very particular part, doing a anthropological study and wearing glasses and trying to channel Joan from Mad Men except my tits aren’t big enough. “So you at Uni or something?” “No, i’m 28. I have just cultivated a slightly naive look so you don’t expect too much from me.”
I worked alongside the sweetest woman who made me tea loafs and was an expert on horoscopes. I know that kind of thing is bullshit, but in the same way fate and romantic love is bullshit, you hope upon hope it means something because you aren’t in control of other people’s decisions.
“Not that I care… but if his star sign is this and mine is this then will we, like have the funnest time?”
I told my temporary colleagues I was trying to be a writer, I use to be a musician but it is not my dream to be a secretary, nothing against secretaries but It would be a bad dream for me because I was not good at it. I put calls to people on hold for the same person through to each other. I sent an email to the sales team telling them I had a fax for them, as well as a semi naked man covered in chocolate. There was no man.
I sent invoices to the wrong companies.
But I did have a good phone voice and I liked chatting to who ever stopped by the desk about their weekend, their home by the sea, their favourite kind of sherry, their long standing relationship with the air cadets. I wanted to be a air cadet by the end of it.
But I answered the phone 250 times a day. No one should ever answer the phone 250 times in a year.
But I saw a 3D printer in action. That was an episode of newsround in itself.
If your a temporary fixture in a static place then people tend to tell you things and if you so choose you can re invent yourself every few weeks. Not that I did. I am a terrible liar, bluffer and the only characters I can adopt are badly accented Australians. I don’t think it would pass for anything in real life other then mental illness. Plus, it’s offensive.
I am at an architecture firm for a week, and today I left the tea bag in a architects tea, got a cheque jammed in the xerox machine and had deodorant marks on my black top all day which would NOT come out. I answered the phone to boss and got the company name wrong. But it’s mistakes like these which further cement the fact I should be a writer, because it is the only thing I can do without announcing to the world that I don’t yet know how to be a grown up.