Tuesday, May 1, 2012

New Job

6 Feb 2012

We worked from the boss' house. It's an amazing house! The old PA (not in age) lives with her husband in the cottage at the boss' house, boss' son lives there and they always have guests from overseas (the US). It's a really big house! We had lunch at work. They told me not to pack lunch for work. They made amazing food. The son and PA's husband are good cooks. Boss baked 2 - 3 different types of muffins every sing morning when she was in town.

I started the very next Monday after the Friday of the interview. During the interview, they couldn't emphasise enough that the boss will fire me at the drop of a hat at any mistake I might make. If I'm lucky, she might let it pass the first time around, but I was not allowed to make the same mistake twice. I was also told not to apologise should I make a mistake, I was to fix it and move on. 'Boss doesn't like it when people act weak, you make a mistake, FIX IT!'. I had one week probation, then I'd either be fired or would stay on. All I heard was Fired! fIred! fiRed! firEd! fireD! FIRED!
I was dying of the stress that put me under! I'd just moved all the way across the country for this job and all I'm hearing is how disloyal these people are. One week! Was that going to be enough for me to grasp everything? They also told me the Boss was forgetful and I needed to know everything she knew so I could help out whenever she forgot something. External hard drive anybody? On hearing all this, I couldn't help but wonder if I wasn't better of with the lower level job I'd applied for initially. By the looks of things, I got a better position as a PA (personal assistant) to this businesswoman/celebrity/everything that I stood a very high chance of losing. Sigh!

I had a headache every single day at work for the first month. There was so much to learn about the business, partners, and and and. I needed to learn the partner's names from the different businesses and their cell numbers, email addresses, fax numbers, office numbers, how they became partners, who their connections were, how long they've been involved for, who their personal assistants were etc etc! Whew! I wasn't allowed to forget anything, or mess up. I tried! It was not without pain though. Not without headaches.

We worked from the Boss' home. I needed to learn her friend's names, where they're from, their spouses' names, kids, the boss' siblings, and and and all this in 5days! I was taking notes, taking them home, studying, studying, studying! My head was bursting! I was dying! I have a great deal of respects for PA's. Being an executive is not a joke! When the partners or potential partners come over for meetings, you have to offer them muffins and something to drink (joys of a home office), take ALL their cellphones and be their PA's as well. Some will go as far as giving you their email login and password for you to check their emails. Here you are with 2 office phones, your own and the other PA's cell (I was still in training so really I was PA to the PA), boss' cellphone, 5 random men's cellphones (most of which had 2 cellphones each) and their emails. All this and you're trying not to get fired because you just signed a 12-month lease for your new place which you adore. Cringe!

The first week went by, I didn't die and I did not get fired! Hallelujah! On to the next week! Boss went out of town for the entire week. Not before they pressured me into really grasping everything as I was going with her and I wasn't allowed to mess up at all because this was a new venture that she needed to make a huge impression in. I tell you, I got a wig (refer previous blog post for my hairstyle), I only wore it when the boss was around or when we were expecting people. Other than that I rocked my dreads the entire time in the office.

I crammed most of what I needed to know the first week. The next week was 'revision' and taking calls, senting out emails and stuff. Practical, so to speak. I created a work email address and linked it to my blackberry as I didn't have my own PC yet. I did most of my 'PC' work on the blackberry.

I lived 5 houses from work, which helped. I didn't need to drive and it was a really short walk. After work, I'd walk up, 3minutes later, I was at my place. All I did was throw my handbag wherever it landed, watched a tv series off the laptop and sleep. That's it. Too tired to do anything else. For the first few weeks, I had no social life at all. Even weekends were work work, either studying or research for the boss.

Pictures of all the lunches I had at work and the view from our office.