Thursday, March 19, 2009

First day in the job and a run in with the boss

My first day in a full-time job in over six-years and my new boss catches me red-handed ‘dossing’ (his word, not mine.)
So he marched me into his little glass office and in front of everyone in the entire news room, he took me apart. He called me a waster. He asked me if I really wanted to be a leach on the already drained resources of a proudly independent, family owned local newspaper. (I told him I didn’t, but I don’t think he heard.) He asked me if I thought I was up to the job at all, and what sort of an amadán did I think I was, emailing my friends on my first day in a new job. (I didn’t get a chance to explain to him that I am actually an aspiring award-winning writer and I was working on my blog.)
When he stopped shouting he asked me what my background was. I thought it was an odd sort of question, but I haltingly told him that my mother was Catholic and my father was an agnostic, and that I’d spent a large part of my childhood in India.
For a second he just looked at me. Then his face went a strange, dark red colour. Then he laughed. And then he looked very, very worried.
‘Who hired you?’ he said finally.
‘You did,’ I told him. ‘You interviewed me on the phone two weeks ago.’
‘I see,’ he said. Then he bellowed: ‘MIIIIIICHAEL’ and a balding man in a white shirt and jeans scurried into the glass office and hovered in front of his desk.
‘Take this comedian here out of my sight - and keep her busy. And for god’s sakes don’t let me glimpse her anywhere near this office, or me, for the rest of the day.’
Michael told me I was on coffee making duty for the rest of the week. He also told me I would have to ‘sub the notes’. I gathered from the murmurs of relief flurrying around the newsroom that subbing the notes is not a popular job.
And so I spent my first afternoon running between the kettle and the computer, reading about ICA painting competitions and sheep-shearing fund-raisers. It was not quite as exciting as I’d imagined my first day would be. But on the upside, at least I wasn’t fired.
And now, after a walk on the beach and a dinner of fresh fish and salad, it all seems quite distant.
Oh, who am I trying to fool? Even after an enzyme boosting, sun-kissed amble along the dunes (see pic above) I feel beaten, humiliated and ancient. One day into a job that any self-respecting 20-year-old communications student could do with their eyes closed, and I’m already in trouble with my boss.
My marriage is over.
And I am sitting in a dilapidated house that I only inherited on the strict proviso that I resurrect the long overgrown ancient vegetable garden Aunt Dee once took such pride in.
I don’t know a thing about vegetable gardening. Or broad beans. All I know is I’m supposed to plant them soon and that the books (the many, many books) I have borrowed from the library recommended dwarf ones for windy areas.

The red-haired lady was on the beach again. She wasn’t crying today.


  1. Good luck with the writing the Blog and the job.Don't worry about the six year gap, I did a similar stretch in Mountjoy,it's nothing to be embarrassd about ;)

  2. Thank you, totalfeckineejit, I really appreciate your comment.
    I hope your time in Mountjoy was not too tough - as I mentioned in this morning's post, I spent six years in a metaphorical jail and it was hell.
    Your blog is fascinating.
    All the best,
    Pure Fiction

  3. Hi Pure Fiction - your boss sounds like a git. Don't mind him.
    Best of luck with the blog - it's addictive, be warned!!
    Women Rule Writer