When we got a notice from our tutors saying that some people hadn't got a placement for their work experience. I instantly knew that I was one of the unlucky ones, and images of Safeway's and Woolworth's came flooding into my head. I was later informed that the best Trident could offer me was hard physical labour, or coffee making. So in an act of desperation my father persuaded me that working for his air-conditioning company in an office would be an exciting, and educational way to spend my week.
How wrong could I be! Work began at 9:00 am sharp on Monday morning, but being my first day my dad insisted on being there early to give a good first impression. How kind! In the office I was met by a warm, friendly looking woman, and I thought to myself that this week wouldn't be so bad after all.
Wrong again! She had just popped down to say hello and pass me onto the facilities manager who was a short, ginger man with thick glasses, who only had a few teeth here and there, and as a result projected little balls of saliva in my direction when ever he talked. Lovely! John took me on a tour of the building, including the very cold and wet roof to show me the air-conditioning units. Once we were in from the storm I was given a very brief talk on the health and safety procedures: "If you hear the fire alarms going off, leg it to the nearest door." At this a laughed and hoped he was just joking. John then went on to tell me that the company was part of a large organisation that makes military planes, and warned me that the building might be hit by an Afghan terrorist in an airplane. Once again I laughed and wished he was joking. I was then sat at a computer and told to do a presentation on their chiller range, I didn't have a clue what they were on about but tried my best and they seemed to be pleased with the outcome. The day finally came to an end at 5:30 and the long journey in the car began.
Tuesday brought more fun and excitement in the office with the start of a project that would last, on and off, for the rest of the week. Coping pictures from one program to another. Thrilling! After lunch I was relieved from my boredom by the prospect of writing a sixty-word advert to put into a magazine. I jumped at the chance, but later found out how little sixty words actually is. Within an hour, I had completed the article and faxed it to the magazine company where it was to be published. At last, I felt like I had done something to be proud of. My own advert in a magazine. The day ended with some more copying and pasting.
The next three days flew by and I was getting so fast at copying and pasting, they couldn't get me enough pictures to do. Not that it was surprising from all the practice I was having. Luckily for me, my computer was linked to the scanner, so I could stop copying pictures for a while to scan some pictures for people in the office. On Friday I was invited to go along to a marketing budget meeting, and by this time I was up for anything that didn't include the words 'copy' or 'paste'. I later found out that they were providing lunch as well, could this get any better. Well, the answer to that would actually be yes. A lot worse! It turns out that lunch was a biscuit, and the meeting was going on for three hours, in which time I was constantly trying to keep my eyes open, and stop my stomach rumbling. At one time I was even tempted to eat the napkin I was given, but decided against it.
I thought that this would be my last happy memory of work experience, but no. On my way out, I was cornered and asked if I wanted to come back in my half term and work for money. I couldn't really say no. So five days later, off I went to the office, but this time with a little more enthusiasm as I was getting paid. I spent my last two days uninterrupted coping pictures, and declined any further offers to join in, in other meetings. I left work experience tired, hungry, and with repetitive strain disorder, and was glad that I didn't have to do it again.