Living abroad has enabled me to explore the wonderful world of shitty jobs. I just finished up my masters degree so until I leave Sydney I’m trying to pack in as many occupations as humanly possible…well two jobs and I only work 3 days a week the others days I live a life of leisure and as a stay at home mom with no kids but cleans a shit load (mainly on Adderall). Anywhos, yesterday I had my first day filling in for a receptionist at a non-for profit that saves animals I FEEL SO SORRY for any receptionist and I am so lucky I only have to succumb to the berating nature of the general public once a week. Which is 8 hours too long.
I would like to start off by saying I was introduced to this job by the OHS officer, Sonya (Sonya- lady with purple hair off centered and cut in this angled bob with the spikey back, goth, she had the hefty black boots too, and shes also in her mid-50’s) telling me that I should never take the elevator with out my mobile phone. NEVER. Because 1 in 17 (yes, they had stats) would be stuck in the elevator for up to an hour. Also, when you need to call the emergency elevator people you need to address your elevator by the number below the level buttons not up high. Otherwise you would be telling them the wrong elevator and thus stuck for longer as they scowl the elevator bank. However, on a lighter note, she told me if I were to become stuck in between floors (which seems to be the preference among the staff) I would simply need to turn myself sideways and “shimmy” out. WHAT!? shouldn’t people not be working in this death trap? She also continued by pointing at an empty chair, “See that chair?” “That’s were Virginia sat… she went in the elevator one night, after hours (ooo risky move, Virginia) and was stuck in there for two hours.” ummmm where is Virginia now? and why are we talking about her like we lost her in battle?
After 30 minutes of elevator de-briefing I thought well if I get stuck..at least I will get over one of my worst fears of all time. And if I need to shimmy out, who doesn’t enjoy a good shimmy?
After the “intro” or elevator rules and exit plans I was left to my own vices. NO ONE TOLD ME ANYTHING. Except to answer the phones. After taking a few calls a guy named Mark came up to my desk and said I could transfer calls to him if I did not know the answers. For the next two hours every call was transferred to Mark. “Hello?” “Yes, whats that?” “One moment, I’ll just have to transfer you to Mark.” “Hello, you like orangutans?” “Great, me too.” “I’ll transfer you to Mark.”
After Mark was literally assaulted by calls, emotionally, psychically and sometimes even sexually, in steps Samantha (names are changed**because I think that’s what you have to do) Samantha said if Mark is busy I can transfer calls to her. Great, grand, wonderful two people on board to handle the inquiries of a national non-profit with 87 year olds calling to chat or complain about how we sent them stickers and return address labels that they hate. For the next two hours a tango of transfers to Mark ext. 224 or transfers to Samantha ext. 220 went on until it was time to leave. I can say I accomplished nothing except receiving a streamline of hilarious requests and bizarre statements that left me in hysterics. As follows:
Direct quotes from people calling in….
“We don’t want those ching-chongs cutting up animals for fur coats.”
“You cant just will nilly send out these pamphlets to make pensioners like me feel guilty about the tigers…”
“I am an animal lover, I have 3 cats, one is in the bed with me right now…..”
“CUSTOMER NUMBER 33808….CUSTOMER NUMBER 33808…..”
“Listen I heard in America they gas all the animals….can you look into that?”
Number of people stuck in the elevator today…. TOTAL: 2
I will continue to update…..as I’m sure shit will continue to be weird as hell… 🙂