I was going to blog about something entirely different today but Victoria has prompted me to share some of the wisdom I gleaned from my mum.
I used to work in the same office as my mum. We worked at Pollards when I was 16, in the general office.
This would have to be the dream job for any 16 year old because do you know what Pollards made? Sweets, and lots of them.
They also distributed Kelly's ice cream and they may have made it, I'm not sure, and they also distributed loads of crappy ready meals like Findus lasagne to hotels in the grockle heaven that is the West Country. I remember they sold faggots, and I had absolutely no idea what they were, but they didn't sound appetising.
Well I don't recall seeing many of the sweets, or the ice cream, and definitely none of the crappy ready meals.
Working in the general office, my days were filled with envelope stuffing and moving bits of paper around. I might have done some adding up as well but it was a very dull job.
As with many of the jobs I've done it hasn't been the job content that's kept me going back, it's been the money and/or the people, and in this case it was the money and the people.
It was an office full of women who called one another by their first names with an office manager who was "Mr Hellier". It never occurred to me at the time that this was a very unequal working environment. I just did my work and didn't ask questions.
Working alongside mum was great because she gave me some sound advice which I've continued to use throughout my working life.
The first piece of advice I remember is "If you walk quickly holding a clipboard and a pen people will assume you're busy." These days you would probably look a bit suspicious with a clipboard but handful of documents or laptop would be a good substitute.
The next advice is "Make sure you wee on company time." This is the most pragmatic piece of business advice I have ever received. It makes sense on every level.