Apologies for my extended absence, it would seem that the urge to write has once again returned to these shores, just in time for the season warm up.
Todays subject, because it is a subject particularly close to my heart right now, is exploitation. Jolly, I know.
A few days ago, I went for an interview with an events company I found on Gumtree who were looking for a Project Manager to run some bar-based events. Essentially, the proverbial ‘piss up in a brewery’. Part of the way through my interview, which I seemed to be acing, someone stuck his head around the door and asked “How are we going to do toilet breaks?”, about a completely different event. This is how I ended up ensconced in my current clusterfuck of a job.
It turns out, the boss didn’t think that my season of festival work, and 10 years of events management experience amounted to enough nous to run aforementioned piss up. I would like to see him manage a couple of thousand drunken and munted punters attempting to throw themselves into an unsafe muddy pool because it is 35 degrees in the shade. So, they asked me to work on a bike race on Sunday instead. Offended though I was, I can’t afford to turn paid work down at the moment, so I agreed to help out, in return for, what I thought would be reasonable compensation for getting up at 4am.
Later that night, I receive an email instructing me to come to work the next day, and every other day until next Tuesday. Having agreed to one day, I was a little surprised to find that they actually meant six. So far, so professional.
Upon arrival, I informed them that I would be unable to work on Thursday, something I had mentioned on the phone. About 2 hours later, I was told that it was all or nothing, and that I had better just go home at the end of the day in that case. I did have to point out, that there was a lot to do and they were unlikely to find someone to take over from me on a few hours notice and church mouse wages. Watched penny drop.
I was then given a contract to sign that indicated that I would be paid the princely sum of £8.50 an hour for organising and idiot proofing the entire event in four days. Rather less than the 12 pounds an hour that the Steward Managers would be getting, and not much more than the Stewards themselves, who are paid to just stand around doing sweet FA. Once again, I felt like waltzing out loudly proclaiming this company to be a joke, and once again, I remembered my bank balance. So, I swallowed my pride and signed the contract – adding a few spelling and grammar corrections to make myself feel superior, ha.
It is now half past 2 in the morning and I can’t sleep. There is a horrible feeling at the pit of my stomach that keeps on churning round and round, telling me that I should have walked out as soon as they asked me to cancel the job I had booked in on Thursday. A word of advice to employers out there; making your staff feel like they are being exploited is potentially going to result in some fairly embarrassing sabotage situations. Just saying.
Still, it is only six (long) days of mental torture, then six weeks of unemployment and I am off to Verbier once again, to frolic shamelessly in the hills. Take that London