Sunday, January 24, 2010

What my work is like. (with a RANT!!)

I'm currently sitting at my desk for the first time in weeks. It's clean and tidy.

I realised today that I haven't really explained what I do since I started work. So here we go.

What I do at the office where I go to do work.

At the office where I go to do work the work could be described as a wee bit simples. I work for a construction recruitment firm as a 'database co-cordinator' in their offices in London Bridge.

"Finally," I hear you shout, "He's found a job where he can combine his love of construction with his love of data!", because as you all know, I know LOADS about construction. Yep...loooooooads.

I have NO IDEA what the company does or how they make money.

My particular role?

Well, people who are looking for jobs upload their CVs onto online job-boards (like Monster, Total Jobs, HookerListings etc) and type in key words that describe their skills (e.g. sales negotiating, business management, anilingus etc) and wait.

Then, I go through the boards looking for a certain job (eg, ass-licking sales negotiator) review the potential candidates CVs and then enter their details into the system. In other words I'm a professional copy-and-paste-er. Schweet.

There're some pretty cool characters in the place too. I mean 'cool' is a loose term as only a few of the people fit that CV description. 'People' might be a better word to use for the rest.

The People I Work With in the Office Where I Go to do Work (AKA) The Database Team (AKA) The Losers.

So there's my boss:

BigMan - he's, well a BIG man. A gargantuan man, a four-wheel man. He spends all his time talking about films, and we spent most of Wednesday quoting huge tracts of StarWars at each other. He's very Catholic, and has spent years dissecting spaghetti westerns to unravel the catholic thematic strands. He is a big guy with a big heart, and genuinely seems to care about his little loser minions.

CheekyGuy - He's a Cockney with a heart of gold, a real goldbrick with a disarmingly cheekiy demeanour. CG is one of my immediate colleagues, so he spends most of his time showing me the ropes. Think Michael Caine as Alfie. He's been with the office for about a year and will soon become a Consultant. This will Wraith him unfortunately.

Aspergers Guy - AG is the office junior and when he's not doing his odd wee involuntary things (thanks to his severe Aspergers) he likes to quote huge tracts of the films Heat, The Shawshank Redemption and Goodfellas. He also does the best impression of Peter Griffin I've ever seen. He spent five minutes on my first day doing a Morgan Freeman voice over Shawshank-style, making a joke about how the rest of the team would have me gang-raped "I wish I could tell you Conor put up a fight....". I'm sure you can imagine, I'm incredibly fond of him, he's a really great bloke.

Polish Tank Commander - PTC is one of the few girls in the office and we're all afraid of her. She has the same job title as me, but we all do what she says. I think I've managed to Blarney my way through her cold suspicion so that now only a vague distrust lingers. She's really nice though, just terrifying.

Prohibitively Mean Secretary - PMS is someone who I cannot like. She is a very pretty girl, and she spends all the time she can flirting, but she is very very mean. For example, she'll say things to lower your confidence when she can (ie, "so wow, you took a long time finding a job, didn't you?") and smile sweetly. However, when there's no-one to talk to she'll chat to anyone she can. She's VERY aware of how (meh) pretty she is, and backstabs everyone. She flirts with a guy til someone cooler comes along then completely ignores them. I don't like her much because she has no soul, she doesn't like me because I'm smarter than her (don't mean to sound arrogant, but she says some fucking stupid things) and I'm not attracted to her.

Lovely Secretary - LS is a wee tike of a thing with a wee mouse voice. She's a 21 ex-drama-student who is in charge of front-of-office stuff so we never see her apart from when we're going in and out, but she's nice, and gave me an orange on my first day. She's like Elmo.


Most of the other people in the office are nice. Most of them are young guys, like me, but who work as recrutiment consultants. I can't fault them for the job they do because I know how hard it is for a 20-something young guy to find work and carve a place in the world. I like them individually because they are mostly very nice guys, and they made me feel really welcome. They are however, en masse, the biggest bunch of yuppies I've ever met.

They are...

The Consultants.

The phrase 'money motivated' is bandied around a lot, so are the words 'target' and 'success'. Some of them are unmitigated arseholes. They call each other 'son' and try to out-Alpha each other, like frat-boys drink Nattie Lite and thinking they're seasoned party monstes. When we go for drinks, they are mysoginistic and and leer at women. They attempt to chat-up girls by talking about 'earning potential' and the need to 'proactively kick-start your own success'.

They strut around the office, spouting off maxims like Gordon Gecko's aborted love-child about how business is a metaphor for life struggle, and how only a cut-throat high-power win-all strategy will conquer.

Most think They are Esquire man-of-the-year business players, an ubermensch evolution of some Nietzschean wet-dream about tall Aryan farmhands with bayonets for penises, fucking and stabbing the lesser ranks before crushing their skulls under a relentless Panzer-track of progress and capitalism.

PMS likes this, of course she does. The phoney power-trip that permeates their side of the office turns her on as these young guys walk around stoned from the fumes of Their own bullshit. I wince as They strut past on their Blackberrys, shouting abuse down the phone, and I wipe the frost-layer of cold sweat off my thank-fucking-Zeus that I am a shit-munching pleb.

They are the maggots that spawned in the bloated corpse of Thatcher's 1980's red-braced, brandy-drinking, Porsche-driving apocalypse of regeneration. They represent the very worst that humanity has to offer, not individually, but as a group.

They are what is wrong.

My team, the ones mentioned above (except PMS) are not like that. We are the Betas...thank fuck. We will never be cool, never be sexy and never get a promotion. We are the bottom of the barrel.


So, if you're reading this blog and I ever start talking about how money is simply the be-all and end-all, please send me anthrax in the post and tell me it's cocaine. If I become a consultant I'll probably become a coke-addled wanker. So send me powder and let it kill me.

Now it's Sunday night, and I'm just about to go to bed. I'm going to get back into training tomorrow morning I think, so I'm going to go for a run when I get up, it should be fun. Tomorrow I'm gonna work hard, come home and write.

I can't wait.

(have a nice week)


  1. You lost me at the suggestion that you might even just possibly be working with Elmo :D Definitely the best from the 'Street. I think those kind of people are found in half the offices around England, the kind of people good Gervais-penned comedies are made of!

    The betas/underdogs/grunts are the ones that'll never make an impact on the world, but while you're there you can observe/point at/mock them secretly. Think of it as anthropology ;)

  2. Don't let them get ya down Con . . .

    In the words of the great fictional Tyler Durden: "You are not your job. You are not your paycheck . . ."


    Later gator,

  3. I worked in recruitment for a bit. It made me cry so I quit!

  4. I had no idea consultants were such...twats. I'd been encouraged gently towards it in the past, but now I see why a good friend recoiled in horror at the idea. But it sounds like you've got a pretty tight team -- PMS aside -- good job there, Con. Chin up my old mucker!

  5. Thank-fuckin-Zeus alright! Your description of the consultants is so on par, it is discusting and their kind make me want to vomit. Bleh! I totally get this. I hope it all works out for you. :)
    And on another note, I must disagree with Stephen, as the Count rulz the "street" and that's all there is to it.