Sunday, 19 October 2014

So here's the story

So here's the story
19 October 2014

I’m gainfully employed again.  For a boss.  After many, many years, of working for myself.

Though to be fair, I’m still working for myself too.  And if truth be told, I’m currently juggling bosses quite a bit.  There’s more than one of them.  Or even two of them.  I’m a bit of a boss slut.  Sad, but true.

So this is the deal.  Firstly, I rent out Jumping Castles.  This entails work, mainly over weekends, with a rather large lot of admin thrown into the week for good measure.  Also supervision of cleaning crew, fielding customers’ phone calls, emailing of quotes, etc.  Then, I drive the odd kid around in the afternoon after school.  Not just my three.  I craft rather extensively for a friend, who pays me an hourly rate for certain work, and a per-item rate, for other work.  It all depends on the type of thing being crafted and made.  Then, thanks to the blog, I’ve been approached by two people, to write newsletters for them.  Now this I find kinda funny.  I write about stuff I know nothing about.  No experience of the products.  No knowledge of the industry I’m writing for.  Yet, I’m receiving fan mail and compliments.  This gets forwarded on to me, as no one knows that I’m the writer of these letters.  Very funny. 

And lastly, I’ve just become someone’s PA.  This is currently taking up the bulk of my time.  I didn’t think I was qualified to be a PA.  Well, actually, if I’m 100% honest, I didn’t really know what being a PA meant.  Or what PA’s did.  Nor did I think I had the necessary skills needed.  Still, I interviewed for the job, and I was chosen, over a few other applicants.  Much to my surprise.

Initially I absolutely dreaded it.  Before even starting.  The thought of it, made me break out in a sweat.  I didn’t want to be tied down.  Answerable to anyone else.  Responsible for more than I already am.  Stretched too fine with my time.  Over-extended.

But actually, it’s working out pretty peachy.  And here’s why – firstly, I work from home.  What’s not to love?  I can quite literally work if I’m starkers.  Or haven’t washed my hair (this will NEVER happen – I have dirty hair phobia as well as no-eyeliner phobia).  And though I roughly have to put in six hours a day, this time is flexible.  I can work in the afternoons or at night.  Early morning too.  I can even dip into it over weekends.  Work might fluctuate.  With some days demanding more time.  And others demanding less.  I mean how perfect is that?  The work changes all of the time.  Nothing is repetitive.  I do the odd bit of driving around.  And so I’m not stuck behind a desk, even though it’s my own.

And now, four weeks in, I’m discovering that I’m perfectly qualified to be a PA.  It’s mostly stuff I’ve been doing already.  For myself and my family.  At no bloody charge!

But here’s the big difference.  Lots of the stuff, is the annoying nitty-gritty that one never feels like doing.  That you end up putting off.  Procrastinate in doing.  Move over for the next day.

However, in doing it for someone else, at a fee for my time, I’ve simply got no problem.  I’m not emotionally invested in anything.  I simply do it.  No hardship attached.  Like Nike, I just do it.

I make a call.  I swipe a card.  I stand in a queue.  I see someone in person.  I do shopping.  I pay a bill.  I fetch something.  I drop something.  I collect it again.  I organise.  I liaise.  I find.  I send a mail.  I answer an email.  I source something.  I order something.  I get a number.  I put something on Facebook.  I upload.  I get a quote.  I interview someone.  I register.  I find a repair guy.  I make an appointment.  This is all stuff I do.  Every day.  None of it is difficult.  None of it is hard.

The irony?  I like doing it.  I’m enjoying it.  I have immense satisfaction in ticking something off my list.  Of doing something semi-tricky, and having success.

And it is all made easier by the fact that I like the people I’m a PA for.  Yes, the people.  An entire family.  They appreciate what I do.  They thank me for it.  They verbalise gratitude.  They’re friendly and kind.  Not dismissive of the sometimes menial stuff I do.  They’re friendly.  Basically, they’re just plain nice.

Which makes me want to help them.  And therein lies the difference.  It is all about how people treat you, and how they make you feel.

So what is the downside?  Well the downside is lack of sleep.  A mere four to five hours a night.  Every single night.  Seven nights a week.  Added to my work schedule, I’ve got three kids.  A home.  Meals to be cooked.  Homework to be supervised.  Orals that need to be prepared.  Extra-murals that need kids dropped off or fetched from.  A husband.

Quite obviously, something’s got to give.  And for now, the list is sleep, my daily walks, and blogging. 

And I miss all three.

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I miss this baby A LOT!!!


  1. Well done Helene! They are so lucky to have you as their PA!! And knowing you, you are working SMARTER and not harder! Hopefully we will still see your blogs - otherwise I will feel incomplete......

  2. You never stop - and such lucky people who have you in their lives and in their businesses!!