From memory and the fact that Timehop told me the other day, I started my bar job a year ago, which made me kind of chuckle because of how far I believe I have come since last March. So I thought this would be a good topic to talk about today. (Pic below is one of those awful compulsory first day on the new job selfies!)
You see, despite the fact that people seeming complain constantly about their office jobs, like they seem to be wildly hated, I knew that an office job was where I craved to be. Sure, working in an office may not seem to be the most glamorous of settings, and maybe it’s not always what people often aim for career wise, but an office based job in my eyes was a huge step. Whilst I was pouring what felt like the millionth pint that night, I would be imaging just having a normal job and coming home in the evenings to chill out or spend time with family and friends.
Ok, so whether you work in a retail/bar/waitressing etc or some form of office job, of course it’s not a competition, but I’m still going to compare the two just because I can because I really do love my desk job and since I got the bar job last March, compared to now, I’m loving life.
(First day, new suit and new chins(?) photo).
I used to see people complain about their office jobs all the time, they seemed to be widely hated, but I, from my little retail bubble, was always envious of people in office jobs. Sure, it’s not the most glamorous of settings and it’s not what people tend to aim for, but this was a huge step up for me. It ain’t even a competition, but we’re gonna compare them anyway. And by that I mean I’m going to complain about retail and explain why I love my desk job.
I can pee whenever I want
Let’s throw in toilet breaks and I am going to be honest, in my bar job, I still kind of went to the toilet whenever I fancied, but I remember working in retail, when I was supposed to ask to use the toilet. I mean, come on people, peeing is a part of every day life. It’s a natural function. I can’t just try hold it in or cross my legs in hope for long periods of time whilst I’m scanning things through on the check out. The fear of needing to pee means you’re too scared to drink too much for fear of causing problems for yourself further down the line, so in all honestly, for the two months that I worked for a certain company as a Christmas temp, my skin was probably shit.
Luckily though, I went to Australia for a year afterwards so I had plenty of vitamin D, but all the same. I don’t miss having to wait for a quiet moment, just so I can relieve myself whilst dodging persistent customers on the shop floor. Oh and yes I’ve even been nagged to come out of the toilet because it’s busy out on the shop floor, baring in mind that was the first time I had sat down in a couple of hours. Was I impressed? No.
However, now I can be a well hydrated person without the fear of having to ask to use the toilet, or being nagged to come out again etc. I can drink when I want and I can pee when I want. Life is great.
I can eat whenever I want
Yes, I absolutely take advantage of this every single day. My desk draw is full of all kinds of food, like boxes of cuppa soups, pot noodles, breakfast biscuits, couscous and lots of different kinds of fruit teas. I can go out for more food if I want as my office is super central into town. As someone who loves food, I love being able to eat whenever I want. Also, I work with all the directors and top dogs, so there is always spare sandwiches and cakes etc lying around, not that I try to pig out too much, especially whilst I’m trying to get back into an exercise routine. But am I going to lap up being with the big dogs with all the sandwich and snack opportunities? You bloody bet I am. Similarly, I can have coffee, tea, fruit teas ALL THE TIME. There’s a kettle and coffee station IN MY OFFICE. I know, it’s a normal thing, but just let me have this excitement.
I can wear whatever I want
In my last job I had to wear the most hideous blue tie, that was far too long and that constantly kept getting stuck in the glasses tray, getting covered in all kinds of gross shit from collected glasses. Honestly not only was it ugly, but it was seriously impractical as hell. Apparently though it didn’t put off weird customers from hitting on me or saying really gross, suggestive things.
Do you know how refreshing it is to be able to pick my own work clothes? Like I get excited about office attire in clothes shops now. I’ve also started planning summer outfits too. Like bring me all the dresses and colourful outfits. I love looking all corporate in my colourful turtle necks with skirts and tights or a blazer and trouser combo with a nice shirt. Of course, my taste in work clothes can get a little bit expensive and I did spend quite a bit of money on my December pay check.
I have more free time
This might sound a bit weird because my days are so much longer now then when I was working in the bar. I get up at 6am every day, I get home 6:30 every day. I commute 50 minutes there and back. I do about 8 hours. I’m lucky if I can fit in a couple of TV episodes and what not in an evening etc. But, hear me out here. I have a fulfilling job. Sure I like to chill out in bit in the evening, but it’s not because I’m having to recover from a shitty day working in retail or because I spent the night with crappy customers. It’s nice not having to recover on a random day off that I get because I worked all night and it’s messed up my sleeping pattern so I’m knackered for weeks afterwards. I also like knowing that I have two guaranteed days off every week, and they seem to be amongst the masses, so I can look forward to weekend every week and I always get that Friday feeling with everyone else. It’s a good feeling. Plus, trying to make future plans is handy when I know I get a Saturday and a Sunday off every week, rather than a random, sporadic day which could change any day or week. I love it.
My co-workers are friendly
I’m not suggesting that I worked with some horrible people in my other jobs, but I do find that in retail/customer service kinds of jobs can be a bit of a toxic environment. In particular those in higher up positions. In my experience there were a few people up in higher positions who liked to remind everyone of the fact that we (the peasants) were not on the same level as them. In my last job the supervisor was incredibly rude to my friend, who was actually a paying customer, and who actually had just lost her dad. It really wasn’t cool and everyone who worked that night were not impressed. To be honest, it just motivated me to get out of there even quicker. As if I didn’t need any more motivation.
The people who I work with now are all incredibly lovely, supportive and helpful and that’s throughout all of the departments. (There are over 600 people just in a few of the buildings alone). I especially enjoy working in the team that I am in. You can have a laugh with them, they help me, they give me great advice and they let me talk crap to them for hours. They also give me plenty of opportunities, inviting me along to things that they are working on. It’s all very inspiring. Despite they’re all established journalists with lots of experience behind them, they never make me feel like the newbie. I just feel like one of them. It’s great. I love my job.
It’s incredible the difference having a fulfilling career can make. I’m no longer forcing myself to feel enthusiastic about pulling pints or endless gin and tonics for people, whilst wishing that I could be getting on with my life and my career. I’m no longer coming back in from a fun day out in the sun with my friends, forcing on my uniform and going to work, whilst everyone’s coming home and relaxing. The one thing I noticed working in a bar is how judgemental people are. I had people with no teeth and probably not many brain cells talking to me, or ignoring me when I went to collect their glasses, like I was below them. This was despite the fact I do have a degree. I had to really bite my tongue. I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere in my life. I come home feeling like I’ve done something with my day, made a difference in some description, even if in reality, I hadn’t exactly made a difference, but I had contributed in some way.
I’m now working in a city that I have always loved and used to live, in a career that I love and want to work in for the foreseeable future. I make over double what I made pouring pints, I’m getting another qualification, and I’m happy. I feel more hopeful for the future now and I actually enjoy my life.
Either way, I don’t miss my old bar job.
How do you feel about your job?