Work: a constant hindrance present in our every day lives and something which I have only just discovered. Before today I was a child, ignorant of the world around me, innocent and naive, shielded from the harsh reality of the workplace. But now after experiencing my first day of hard, heavy labour I find myself changed. Changed by the cruelty of a late lunch break and endless administrative work. Through my exhaustion and deep fatigue I find myself feeling older. I have a new outlook on life, having matured more in the past day than I have in the past year.
For anyone who has not yet guessed what it is I am referring to, then truly you are blessed. For today marked the beginning of a grueling two weeks of work experience. Everyday for the next two weeks, excluding the week-ends, I will be waking up, making my own breakfast and heading off to work like a mature, über sophisticated adult. I will walk the streets of London with the same purpose as any other teacher, politician, doctor or lorry truck driver. The only difference between them and me is that they will be getting paid.
My work experience is taking place at a law firm. It is not exactly my first choice as I am not looking towards a career in law but the magazine that I was hoping to work at did not give me a placement. So, with a positive attitude, plenty of enthusiasm and no other option I decided to give it a chance. Who knows, perhaps in a couple of years time I will be sitting in an office preparing to represent a client in court? And don’t lawyers earn a lot of money?
Not that I did anything remotely lawyer related as during work experience your day usually consists of lots of administrative work such as filing and photocopying. Luckily for me not once was I asked to make a coffee which is a relief seeing as it is not my cup of tea and therefore I wouldn’t know how to go about making one. Instead I spent hours at a rather slow computer entering records of every single primary and secondary school in London, as my supervisor offered me Irish toffee.
It was the most mundane task I have ever done; my aching back, sore fingers and strained eyes proof to the hardship I endured. After repeatedly typing in the details of every single school and only managing to complete the London borough of Hillingdon and get started on Hounslow, I whole heartedly agree that government spending cuts should be directed towards education. Do we really need so many schools when our country is in a deep recession?
Despite all the negatives that spring to mind there were a few positives. One of those being that the law firm is quite near to where I live so I could wake up a whole extra hour later than I usually do and the offices are quite exciting if you have never seen one outside of school or The Devil Wears Prada. I have always passed by the big, glass building of offices but had never given much thought to what it was. But today I found myself going up in its lift, with a personalised visitor’s badge around my neck, all the way to the seventeenth floor.
The view outside was far-stretching and you could see from Wembley stadium to the London Eye; delivery vans, buses, trains and mail trucks; lollypop ladies, traffic wardens,builders and street cleaners; shops, restaurants, factories and petrol stations. The city was busy, full of working men and women and today I was one of them.