Friday, 18 July 2014

Working for the man

I am now a salary man..woman. I am a very proud employee of Imperial College, number 5 university in the world and I am part of the Student Outreach and Marketing team. This university isn't about getting bums on seats, it's about getting the right bums on seats. I find that a very interesting concept. They already have the reputation, now all they need to do is get students who are serious and won't drop out.

I've been workin-for-the-man now for 2 and a half days (because I was a lucky sod who got to start at 11am on my first day). So far, so good! Quite a lot is similar - just a matter of exchanging the old acronyms (so many acronyms!) with the new ones. Kind of like translating from one language to another, but significantly easier and basically nothing like it at all. That was a terrible analogy.

Today (Thursday) was my first day doing some proper work, if you get my drift. For all those who have had a few jobs, you know what it's like. The first few days (week..weeks?) are spent in a kind of aimless trying-to-fill-the-time-while-both-you-and-your-boss-try-to-figure-out-what-exactly-it-is-you're-meant-to-be-doing haze. It was good to sink my teeth into something I knew I'd be able to do, it was simply rewriting a couple of webpages, no biggie at this stage, however what ended up was me wanting to overhaul the entire site because it made absolutely no logical sense and and and...getting a bit carried away. For those who know how I work, there may or may not have been some pages of dot points with lots of "perhaps we could try.." and "..consistency?!"

I wonder how long it will take before they regret getting such a pedant in ;)

On my first day, my boss took me on a campus tour (she was particularly excited when I asked about the gym on campus and spent the most time talking about it, this is a good sign!), and then the team and I went out for lunch. I don't completely understand the structure of the team - immediately, I think there are only 3 in the team, each of whom reports to the one above. But we seem to work closely/instantaneously with other teams, the closest of which is made up of 2 and a temp, and then there are another few series of teams made up of equally small numbers (events team, outreach team etc etc)... I'm a little iffy on the structure, basically (and to be honest, I think everyone is).

The campus is lovely - a complete rabbit warren - and everyone takes the stairs and no one uses the lifts. I can see that I will have a butt like granite before I leave London: The City of Stairs. If any uni folk have any questions about how it all works, feel free to ask away!

Wednesday night saw me excitedly head straight from work to Piccadilly Circus, eyeballs in and rearing to see my wonder..the Phantom of the Opera (you can see a previous gushing about the Phantom here so I won't go into my whole spiel about how much I love it and how I am ashamed that I love it so much on and so forth.). I was squeeing with happiness as we approached and the other BritBounder's were laughing at me. Pretty sure it was at me, and not with me. We made our way in, grabbed our seats and the show got under way.

The sets, as usual, were gorgeous. The singing was amazing - Christine could really reach those incredibly high notes. Apparently The Phantom was the understudy but I would have never guessed, he was wonderful. As usual, I didn't feel the chemistry between Raoul and Christine but we all know why that is...

[insert further gushing here]

2 small gripes which had nothing to do with the performance but I feel I must vent:
1) You're in a theatre. Why can't you just be silent for an hour? I mean really, why do you feel the need to talk? You can talk at any other point of the day. Seriously. Just an hour. Then there's even an intermission. You can spew forth all the verbal bullshit you need for those 15 minutes and then shut the hell up again.
2) Sit. Goddamn. Still. Stop moving back and forth, which in turn makes me move back and forth, and the person behind... 

One cool thing about Her Majesty's Theatre (which I didn't take liberty of, it cost money) was little opera binoculars attached to the back of each seat! This was what was causing the patrons infront of us to keep moving, and which caused Sophie and myself to keep tapping them on the shoulder requesting stillness (yes, yes that was a thing that happened). And yes, I may have deathglared the people behind me too. I get a little precious about my Phantom, but seriously any theatre performance this happens - and why? Just show a bit of respect for a) the performers and b) the patrons around you.

After the show, met two crazy phans (-see what I did there?) who were going to wait by the stage door to get autographs. I thought - why not? I'm not tired yet. Got autographs from Christine and Carlotta but after waiting an hour, I gave up on Raoul and the Phantom and Sophie and I left them to wait..all night, it seemed..

And thus almost concludes my first week at work! Reasonably mundane, I suppose. Just a fraction less exciting than running from bulls in Spain. But still rewarding, none-the less.

Much love,

My very first morning :) I got some funny looks taking this selfie

Squeeing at the Phantom

Dunno why I put this in, but thought they looked cool

The Queen's Tower, Imperial College.
I walk past this every morning on my way into
the building. Will have to climb it one day to see!