Now before anyone gets all judgmental and thinks...whatever people might think about someone that quite a job after one day, I'm going to justify my decision. If I sound like a wuss, well fair enough.
Okay, so I arrive, get given my timecard, stamp it, get told to leave my bag in the staff room but keep my coat and get led through a few increasingly cold rooms until we reach a warehouse type building full of equipment and boxes, with two huge doors, one at either end, both with a large gap underneath. I shiver uncontrollably, zip up my coat and begin to wish I'd brought a hat, like the man next to me. A scarf would have been nice too.
A woman shows me what so do. So, there's these little pots of salt scrub, you know, that exfoliating stuff for when you're in the bath or whatever. My job is to open the pot, put the lid on one box, take out a round piece of plastic, put that in another box, peel off the metal seal, throw it in the bin, pour off any excess liquid into a jug and give it to the bloke in the hat, repeat ad nausium. There was a palate with probably more than fifty boxes on it, and we had to do all of them. Bear in mind that it is still freezing cold, shows no signs of warming up and when I ask, the other people say the temperature is normal. In fact, they are surprised at how warm it is, considering the weather.
So, fair enough. I get to work. Now, I'm fully aware that I'm a wuss it this, but I don't like having to stand up for long periods of time. It makes the bottoms of my feet hurt, it makes my legs hurt all the way up, and it makes my back hurt so badly that I actually had to keep leaning on the table to give it a rest. There was absolutely no reason either why there couldn't be chairs or stools for people so sit in while they did their work. So, standing up and me don't mix. And then the freezing cold meant I was standing quite tensely and shivering, which added to the pain in my back. Again, this would probably have been okay if I had been able to sit down. Okayish, anyway.
Then after two hours, we have a break. There is another agency worker there. She agrees that it is the coldest place she has ever worked, and she is wearing extra clothes because the agency warned her it would be cold. She is still freezing. We get ten minutes, which I spend sitting down, willing my back to keep me upright for the next hour and fifty minutes between the end of the break and dinner time. It does. Just.
At dinner time the other agency worker complains more about the cold. I agree. For some reason, we are the only ones in the staff room, everyone else seems to have gone somewhere else. That means we can complain freely, at least. I try to ring the job centre to tell them I won't be able to go in to sign, but they aren't answering. So I ring my mum and ask her what I should do. She tells me she'll try to ring them. She also asks how it's going. I tell her the truth. This is the point where I start to think that maybe I can quit after one day. "Oh dear. What are you going to do then?" she asks. Not 'Well, work out the week and see what happens', not 'Well, it probably will take some getting used to'</i> nothing like that. She actually implied that it would be okay if I quit. I tell her I don't know what I'm going to do. I don't mention that I now have a better idea than I did two seconds ago.
The afternoon is just as unpleasant as the morning, with the exception of the fact that my back it gradually getting worse and I manage to cut four of my fingers on the evil metal lids. Which hurts and gets blood all over everything. And gets me laughed at, but that was to be expected. I am sent outside to wash my hands in the sink in the loo, because it had soap. It turns out that it doesn't actually have soap. It has two empty soap bottles, both so dusty that touching the pump on the top leaves a black smudge on my hand that takes a ridiculous about of time to scrub off. While I'm outside, I also notice that it is warmer out there than inside. True, the sun is shining, but it's January, it's not warm out! I go back in, endure another few hours of agony, and leave at leaving time. As we walk out, the other agency worker tells me she's not going back. That decides me for definite. it's not just me being a wuss. Or she is a wuss too. Either way, I have confirmation that it is a hellish place to work. I text my mum, who's meeting me in town, and tell her I'm quitting. She tells me to phone the agency. No arguments, nothing like that. I do it.
So, that was my job. Now, 24 hours after it finished, I'm still in pain. Boredom I can deal with. I deal with boredom on a daily basis. Monotony I can deal with, you just let your mind wander and come up with story ideas and stuff, what I can't and won't deal with is 8 hours of agony followed by 16 hours of discomfort followed by 8 hours of agony for four weeks. Or even for one day. Sorry if that makes me a wuss.
Anyway, this morning I got a call from B&Q asking me if I'd be interested in a job there. They're ringing back in the next few days about an interview. Hey, if I'd been at the helljob, I'd have missed the call. Now though, my mum is going on again about how much I desperately need a job. True, I guess. I will try to get one.
123 1/2 hours to Sanctuary...