Sitting in front of a blank screen is quite daunting when you have things you want to say and are not quite sure where to start. It is relatively easy to follow prompts for weekly challenges on travel themes or photography but quite another matter when you are attempting a writing prompt and waiting for inspiration. I envy the seemingly free-flowing blog posts of others, they seem confident and assured whereas I seem to flounder about for ages, shall I post this, and will anyone read it? And so it goes, more or less.
I should really be working, I have a lot to get through today but my heart isn’t in it. I can only get excited about so much paperwork and having checked on the latest accounts – fine, the amount of stock we are holding – also fine, the remainder of my “To Do” list can wait a while.
I was reading recently about a writer who knew she wanted to be a writer from the age of seven. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do right up to leaving college; I envied friends who went into banking, accounting, nursing with a natural transition. I wrote letters, sent CV’s and though I got a few interviews none of the jobs was ever going to set my pulses racing. I waited for the thunderbolt that never came and in the end I went to work for my father who had his own business developing new plastic products for the automotive and leisure industries. We made oil seals and spoons in seemingly equal numbers; the production was interrupted occasionally by something different, but this didn’t happen very often.
I learned a lot of new words like, extrusion, purging, polytetrafluoroethylene, polymers, petrochemicals, which made my new found typing job quite difficult – you must understand that this was in the days of the typewriter and if you wanted more than one copy, you used pieces of carbon paper, one mistake and you had to do the whole thing again! I quickly moved on to marketing.
As my father’s daughter, I had to work harder to gain any promotion; I had started on the bottom rung when I first joined him, making the tea for everyone, even cleaning the toilets and rest areas, running errands, filing and general office work. He wasn’t going to let anyone say I got where I was because he was my father. Although I wasn’t too happy, I understood his thinking and just got on with it. The upside was that the other employees accepted me more readily when they saw there was no favouritism.
I worked for him for about five years, until he employed “The Office Manager from Hell”. I shall call him Nerd because that’s what he looked like, a Nerd. He made my life a misery because he could, and because he knew in his own twisted way that I wouldn’t complain as that would mean raising the “favouritism” flag.
I tried to like him, tried to overlook that plain fact that I could do his job with not much effort, as I had incorporated much of the role into my job before he arrived. He was thin and weedy and I liked my men tall and strong looking, but I tried to overlook his physical failings and concentrate on being a good colleague. The final straw was when the money in the petty cash tin in the safe didn’t balance; he sighed and asked me why there was money missing. There wasn’t, he had just added it up incorrectly. He held out his hand like Moses receiving the Ten Commandments and asked me for the keys to the safe.
I left amid much family argument.
The only downside to working for my father was our ability to carry on work related issues over dinner, much to my mother’s annoyance. This stopped quite abruptly when I left as my father didn’t speak to me for a while. He said later that had I told him about my treatment by the Nerd, he would have stepped in and done something about it, but the Nerd was the son of the bank manger…
My next job was working as head cashier in a supermarket, but more of that another time.