Thursday, 28 March 2013

If you ever, EVER, need a pick-me-up...

I'm sorry, welcome to my sense of humour. Hi humour.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Oh dear. Bad day at work?

Understatement of the year for me right now. Oh yeah, update, I got a job, of sorts, it's unpaid and classified as an internship. Figured I needed to do something with my time...

"So get on with it then, what's the problem?". Ah yes, sorry, it's in an establishment that calls itself PR and works like a call centre. For those who have had the pleasure of such an environment, need I say more?

First off, for the sake of my 'professional credibility' (god knows if I actually have one), this post is not about the job, the company, or a complaint on the system. I hugely appreciate any opportunity I am given (no one else was going to hire me!) and there is, beyond any doubt, a great amount of positives that are to be said for my situation, some will be clarified here so read on. It is, however, an honest recount of my experiences, from my perspective, aimed at an intended audience of sympathy rather than accountability.
So if you've worked in one, you know what I mean, if not, chances are you've had one of us call you and you know how you've acted down the phone. Come on, don't deny it, to be honest we've all done it. Cold calling is NOT appreciated. And every so often, it's not tolerated, at all. And those poor bastards on the other end have no choice but to be your punch bag. Hell, some genuinely are too persistent and don't get the 'no' you're telling them, but that just makes them even poorer bastards.

Ending my first week of work on an odd positive note, I thought it wasn't so bad, I can deal. Then whack! One heck of a bloody Monday. Started off by being told I don't "communicate myself effectively" to ending with "you lot are just hounding us, I mean, Jesus Christ!" The latter leaving me too paralysed to make any further calls, troubling, when the whole job consists of call making and there's still an hour to go. What makes it harder is that they are completely right. Part of what we are told to do is constant follow-ups until a clarified decision from the person, one way or another, is achieved. Being a classic Brit, this isn't considered polite and is therefore very uncomfortable when I know I'm doing it. Also, no, I'm not a great communicator. I can be, but it falters, along with my confidence. I also have a very slight lisp, so that's great.

A jobs a job though, what do you expect? The good outweighs the bad in terms of the qualifications I can say I'm gaining. Despite the knock backs, I'm possibly growing in confidence, I'm being shoved unceremoniously through the educational door of elocution and diction, and learning to speak to many different sorts of people. I reckon these skills are needed in any sort of job or situation in life, no matter how much you try to avoid public speaking at school.

But there is one thing I can say is a big consideration to something like this, and one that I think is justified, if a little selfish. You should only really tolerate a job that is suited to your personality and the way you work. I'm a part time artist type - believe it or not, and this is the one rule artists tend to abide by. We all have our unique styles and our unique way of working. People buy our work and appreciate us specifically because of these traits. The same goes for your day to day job. If you can hack that sort of environment, and revel in the successes you gain from it, then it suits you.

I've never been very 'corporate', and I have the self esteem of a pebble, so any hit I take throws me into a black hole of despair for a good few hours before I can see the light and feel that things aren't that bad really. I know, I'm pathetic. Long story short, I really don't think I would be too good at sticking with this for the long run, and I do say this with trepidation, because I always try hard to learn quickly and deliver well, what ever the job. The logic is to work to your specific skill set. Be an artist. Do something you know you're good at, and enjoy, don't submit to doing something because, technically, you just can.

It all depends of perspective I suppose. What do you reckon? Am I just acting spoilt? Please tell me, if you can, how you take the situation of a call centre, and turn it into something you can work on and improve at?

Sunday, 10 March 2013

The "Gentle Giant" syndrome

So what you may not know about me, if you don't know me, is that I'm tall. Very tall. Stupidly tall. Well, for a girl anyhow. A whole 5 foot 10 and half inches. Let me put it this way, if I put on a pair of standard three inch heels, I'll be over six foot. I'm not the most pillar-like out there, but us lengthy females are a little fewer and further between.

Aside from the fact that my height makes it very difficult for me to be included effectively in any photos, I wanted to raise awareness about the insecurities that are included with such a feature.

No people, it's not something to be jealous of, to me anyway. Don't say "but it's like being a model?!", because for those of us that don't end up models, how are we then supposed to justify being this way? Being really tall is the polar opposite of being small, same problems, different perspective.

The biggest issue I have grown up with, is struggling to be considered 'feminine'. Standard clothes don't really fit you, size eight shoes in the sale always end up being a selection of the best granny clogs around, and perhaps worst of all is being confused for a man a couple of times. When out with your girlfriends, men will consciously, and quite obviously, ignore you. I have had it openly explained to me that they are just plain intimidated. When you're trying to 'scout for talent', the line-up is sparse verging on non existant.  Already being this height from age fourteen onwards, understandably doubts form, teasing ensues, and everything about being a teenager kicks in, creating insecurities set for life.

As a result, I grew up quite tomboyish and pretty shy. When you're this big, who needs an 'expressive' personality? It's ironic that people are intimidated by size, I would say taller people are more introverted because of it. The 'gentle giant' syndrome is no myth.

Society constantly talks about the negatives of being short, and builds a picture of the 'average' person being of a shorter height. Quite often, in sitcoms or dramas, any women who are characterised as being tall are at the receiving end of the jealousy stick and are therefore portrayed as being arrogant, vacant, or shallow. The best examples are the many occasions during "Sex and the City" where Carrie is pitting herself against that 'tall, skinny, twenty something'. The only example where I'm proved wrong is in British comedy series "Miranda", but even then isn't Miranda considered quite masculine, which she deals with by being 'kooky' instead? A substitution which can seem quite frustrating at times, though admittedly hilar', bear with. It basically seems that, because people associate tall women with being like that of perfect models, they are immediately assumed to be at an advantage, when the reality is is that this height could come with a lot of emotional baggage.

The first thing people usually say when they see me is "you're tall aren't you?" I was Goal Keeper in my netball team at school (surprise), and whenever I blocked the ball the people around me would say, "She's so tall," as if that was explanation for my success, skill or talent having nothing to do with it. I've had men walk past in the street, literally point their finger at me, and say "GOD you're tall!" Please people, one request, don't state that absolute obvious. I get it is surprising, but, to me, my height is my biggest problem. It's taking your insecurity, and being reminded of it every time you meet someone new. This is probably quite childish of me to bring up, and I realise that some readers will be thinking I'm an absolute nuggin', but since when are insecurities not stupid from someone else's perspective? Each to their own.

But don't worry! This post isn't all me whining and complaining! I kind of grew out of it, pun (I guess) not intended. When you reach your twenties, you're more comfortable with your person, and all that stupid school day awkwardness leaves you, to an extent. I say f**k 'em. People are short (sorry), and guys are stupid. People warm to someone who seems confident in their own skin, so there is no use wearing baggy clothes that hides yourself and proves them right. I still take my flats with me on a night out, just in case I feel too tall in my heels at some point, but hey ho, small steps (again, pun not intended).

This post is rather negative and egotistic but I guess I just wanted to open a few people's eyes as to how I, as a tall person, see things. If you are tall, or short, let me know if you feel differently? Do you love your height? What do you do to tackle your insecurities?

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

60's Chic! Statement make-up look

So I tried on some bright pink lipstick today (17, Lasting Fix, "Pink Power"), and you know me, I'm never one for a drastic choice, however, paired with the right eye get-up, this look is great fun!

The bold cat-eye flick and bright pink lippy has been sported by a couple of celebrities recently, including Leigh-Anne from Little Mix here (last picture), and our favourite, Zoella, in this video. I love it. It's so 60's and poppy bubble gum, it makes a change from your average nudes whilst still not feeling "over dressed." I would wear this on a night out - obvs, but also might strut into the office on a 'statement' day, one might say when I'm feeling like an "In-De-Pendant WO-MAN" *proceeds to click fingers.*

Having never been good at getting a bold flick going, let alone making each eye the same, I spotted a tutorial on YouTube for it. According to them, the trick is to start by drawing in the flick bit, aiming it up towards the end of your eyebrow to the outer corner of your eye, then just colour it in to create a thick, even line to your inner eye. Pop on a popping lippy and shaboosh - go get 'em!

Monday, 4 March 2013

To the Library!

One of man's many welcome refuges - the library. Now considered a thing of the past and an establishment fighting an ever losing battle against modernism and the abundant source of free information the Internet provides. But is it really? I'm not so sure.

I remember the worried news articles, ranting about the need to 'save our libraries', hitting a high around three or more years ago. And hurrah, libraries are still around. They have evolved. Councils have funded them, and you can now expect, on the most part, a modern, clean, comfortable world once you step through the doors of your local. Now libraries aren't just for books, they are about providing an in-house service. Provision of computers, Internet time, and classes aimed at teaching people, who just don't get computers, to 'get' them. Not to mention story and play time for children, and acting as a local hotspot and notice board for all community groups and activities. All this for minimal costs, if any, and without the risk of someone spilling their tea all over your keyboard like you would in a cafe.

One of my favourite things is the ability to rent pretty new DVDs for about £1 for a whole week! Sorry, but why someone would choose Blockbuster over that is beyond me!

The negative side, if you're lucky enough to consider it negative, is probably the 'eclectic' mix of people that do spend their time in a library. I say you'd be lucky because it is people who have no where else to go that go to the library. The homeless, the drug dependant, the lonely and probably slightly weird, and those who don't want to go home for whatever reason. This selection, who aren't as used to convening to society rules, often provide a few horror stories to people like my friend, who works in a library. This scales from rude to scary treatment, to finding a human poo amongst the isles....aahhh the 9 to 5, who'd have it!

All this considering, I'm happier knowing that there is a secondary support system in our society than just human kindness from change given in the street. This is a support system for everyone at the end of the day (sorry, that Jeremy Kyle phrase is just too useful). What inspired me to write this article is my recent need of a working space and environment. Fed up of my continued laziness and lack of discipline at home, I hibernated in my library and used the opportunity to concentrate on a mass application session. I am happy to say this has successfully led to me getting an internship in London, but more on that another time!

In conclusion, support your local! As it were. The library is a good place go. It's an extra study place, it gives you tech, classes, multimedia items and what d'ya know, some books as well.