Monday, February 28, 2011

No Job for a Lady

Roman Gladiators: Preferable to a job in PR
Another day, another 6 am start to man a client event. I won't bore you with the details for fear of a) boring you to death b) being unprofessional and revealing said dull event, just take it from me: you wouldn't take a day off work to attend. 

After managing client dramas (unnecessary) and a million ridiculous requests (exhausting) I  had a minute to switch on my Blackberry and check emails.  One of the four local ladies manning the help desk next to us sidled over shyly.  "What EXACTLY do you do" she asked.  "My daughter wants to work in PR or the Media, tell me what your job is like."  Having at this point been on my feet for three hours, I didn't hold back in explaining the gruelling hard work, long hours and mediocre pay. To say she looked aghast was an understatement.

"Just to be clear," she asked. "You sometimes work 12 hours a day?" Yes, I responded. "But I only work 9-1.30," she exclaimed. (I resisted the urge to strangle her, as she was so lovely.)  "My husband will never let my daughter work hours that long." (Are you listening, Dad???!!)

Not to be deterred, she tried to find the positive in the situation.  "But you enjoy what you do?"  At this point I had to break off to answer one of the myriad of questions that you face when the Media Desk is placed next to the Help Desk. My favourites so far have been: where can I get business cards printed/where are the toilets/how do I claim back my travel expenses/where is Hall 4, 6, 10/what is my 4 digit speaker code......

I didn't get to answer her question but I think she got a good idea of the answer....

Fast-forward another two hours and me and the gang of local ladies were all firm friends, this, despite the fact that they spoke little English and my Arabic is non existent. It got to the point where I was included in a variety of group photos, simply because: "You work so hard and this way we will always remember you."  Bless.  Joy in the simple things.....

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