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When I received confirmation of my placement at Horndean Parish
council I only had a week left to make my preparations like
interviews, uniforms and insurance. My placement was late in coming
because I had to keep on reselecting, eventually I found a half decent
job which fitted my criteria very well, it was outside. It involved
working with animals, computer work and was near to my home. I was
quite chuffed with this because if I hadn't been given it I would be
doing something very boring like working with the caretaker at school
and not only would I have been bored but my street cred would have
gone down the drain as well.
As Angela from the careers office set me up with my placement I only
had a few brief details, nothing to inform me of the essential
requirements like clothing, hours or more importantly lunch breaks. As
my information was poor, I was apprehensive about getting kitted out
in time. I phoned the office straight away to speak to my employer but
he wasn't in till Friday, which was the last day I had left to
prepare. After half an hour of talking to the clerk about my
expectations and my feelings, I eventually got hold of Kevin my
employee's mobile phone number. After all I had been through worrying
and panicking, it turned out that he had all I needed there and that
we would arrange hours at an informal interview on Monday morning.
Right, now I was all sorted and had time to think about my
expectations and hopes for the two weeks.
Whilst on my work experience I wanted to know if I was an office or
outside person because this would cancel out various career paths I
was considering and narrow down my choice. This was the perfect
opportunity to find out as it contains both aspects of work. On my
work experience I also wanted to find out if I liked working as a team
or by myself. This was a great opportunity to find out as I will be
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and individual work e.g. producing spreadsheets on Microsoft Excel or
producing posters for events such as the woodland fair which would be
taking place during my visit.
On the evening before my work experience began I sorted my travel
arrangements out with my parents. My mum worked near Horndean village
so she kindly offered to pick me up. I started early in the morning
and decided not to ask for a lift because my mum is grumpy enough
without dragging her from her bed at seven o'clock. To overcome my
travel problem I contacted First Provincial to find out bus times and
to my luck it turned out that I could catch the number 41 to Horndean
at 7:05am all for near to nothing. Every thing was hunkey dory for
once. In the morning I woke up at 6:30am and I was feeling very tired,
miserable and nervous. This made me lose my appetite but I knew in the
long run that I would benefit from a lovely bowl of lumpy porridge.
Half an hour later at the bus stop I wasn't benefiting. I felt
horrible, the feeling of nerves, a full stomach and tiredness is not
very pleasant especially on your first day at work.
When I was on the bus I wanted never to get there but I persuaded my
self that it would be brilliant despite the rain.
When I arrived I was introduced to my colleagues for the two weeks.
They all had a friendly tone to their voice so this calmed me down a
little. Also they paid quite a lot of attention to me, which was good
as it made me feel included. Kev talked me through fire procedure and
showed me around the building. It was a very small building but cosy.
It has two floors and a basement. The rooms were decorated in cream
and blue with wooden flooring. After all the boring stuff was over he
took me downstairs and into his office. It was a very cold and dingy
room and this set the butterflies in my stomach off again. During the
interview in Kev's office he showed me my weekly plan and procedures.
It all looked very exciting and new, especially the litter picking.
My first job was to man the front information desk with Pamela Blake
the information manager. My first impressions of her were good. She
had a very calm and relaxed tone to her voice also she spoke with a
slight lisp. She was very funny because she often spoke with a
childish tone whilst saying serious things. This was quite amusing
especially when she mimicked other employees. I got on well with Pam
because she wasn't rushed or in a panic to get the job done. On the
second week we had a very little old lady in with a very strange
complaint. She wanted to know why the wood on the memorial bench
replacement strip was a different tone to the rest of the bench. Pam
and I found it hard to keep ourselves from laughing as she was quite
emotional and worked up about the minor defect. After half an hour of
compromises we found the one which suited her best and eventually we
got rid of her. We thought that we had seen the last of the poor old
dear but no she came back not once, not twice, not three times but
five, she came back five times to complain about the most pointless
things like tiny dents in the road and loose cobbles. Pam and I came
to the conclusion that she liked the sound of her own voice and the
look of our faces.
To my surprise the whole two weeks went perfectly. There was not one
mistake or regret. During the two weeks, although no mistakes there
were some difficulties for example driving the lawn mower because when
you turn the steering wheel to the right the mower goes to the left.
This was quite a pain and resulted in a few scratches. Also I found
working at a fast pace hard because if the job you were set isn't done
within the time limit you end up with loads of unfinished work. There
were some embarrassing moments in my two weeks like when I had to
start up the blowers and strimmers I couldn't pull the cords hard
enough to kick off the motors.
Looking back on my work experience I feel sad that it will never
happen again because I had such fun also I miss the working
atmosphere. During my work experience I learnt a lot of practical
skills and useful information but I have learnt how to dress and how
to talk formally to members of the public. From my two weeks I have
found out that I want a job working with the public and a lot of
communication within my future work. I think that if I went back to my
placement I would just do the same as it worked fine and I had a lot
of fun. The information I would give to someone going there is work
fast but have fun.