Bullshit Job Diary: The Magazine Editorial Assistant Who Dresses to Impress
The first instalment of a weekly diary about stupid fucking work.
(Alliance / Alamy Stock Photo)
We're starting a new column where we ask people working in what they classify as "bullshit jobs" to document a typical day at work. This week, the editorial assistant for a popular magazine.
I am a very serious person and I like to ensure I am at the top of my game at none of the time. Preparation for my day, naturally, like all CEOs and #hustlers, begins early.
12AM: I browse the internet on my phone, meaning I have exciting dreams about weird houses I've lived in, except the walls are in different places.
8:15AM: The next hour or so is the most important part of my day. I like to catch up on the news on social media so I arrive at work informed and prepared. Today it was a video of a man with a cat on his head. Drink a cup of tea without getting out of bed.
8:35AM: My alarm – which has maths puzzles that make you use your brain to wake up – goes off. I am already awake, so I fucking hate it. I stay in bed because they haven’t made an app that makes your legs work yet. I stay in bed and do admin (Twitter).
9AM: Wash and smear creams on my face and put slightly inappropriate clothes on. Today, it's leopard print satin.
9:30: Going to be late for work. Decide to change my clothes.
9:40: Leave for work. Through my years of experience I have calculated that 15 minutes is the appropriate amount of time to be late for work. Half an hour on occasion, but not every day because I am hoping for a promotion. I make up for it by being two to three minutes early once a month and occasionally taking 15 minutes to get my ass off the chair at the end of the day. In my company, the more senior you are, the later you can wander into the office. In turning up late, I am essentially dressing for the job I want.
10:00AM: I do some admin on the bus (check Twitter). Read three pages of a book I nicked from work that I do not enjoy and am mildly irritated by but am reading regardless. Put mascara on, but not too much because I want to look at least slightly sickly so people pity me.
(About 8AM, I guess? I forgot to eat breakfast.)
I am paid very badly. In order to feel slightly better about this, I like to do the bare minimum required to make it look like I’m doing an excellent job. Essentially, this means I do nothing because I have a moron's job. The next eight hours are basically a blur of me checking social media and occasionally responding to emails. The phone rings occasionally and I don’t answer it. This isn’t the 50s, grandad
10:16AM: Arrive at work. Offer to make everybody tea so I can work up to the thinking part of my day. Once I sit down, finally, I delete the majority of my unread emails, then check Twitter.
10:46AM: A new email arrives! I wonder what it says!?
10:47AM: I read my new email.
10:56AM: Still sort of looking at the same email. I eat some cashews I found in my drawer which appear to be completely unpissed-on by mice. I don't mind either way. It’s a delicious treat no matter what.
11.00AM: Twitter, plus again every two minutes after this until 6PM.
11:40AM: I have a Twitter notification :)
11:45AM: Check last article to see if any red nude men have called me an idiot in the comments. No luck :(
1:50PM: No fucking idea what I've been doing for the past two hours. Lunchtime! I reheat some expired soup I bought from the reduced section of a Tesco Metro yesterday. Had intended to go and buy wine in my lunch break, but unfortunately there is no wine for sale in the building so it would mean that I would have to go outside, so I don’t.
2:30PM: Make tea extremely slowly.
2:40PM: Stare blankly at my phone notes as I try to think of the words to explain what I’m doing in an interesting way. I have to proofread a many-paged document by the end of the day. I printed it out two hours ago and it has been sitting to my left since then. I briefly consider signing it off without reading it.
2:46PM: I have a Twitter notification! And an email from Uniqlo! Jackpot.
2:48PM: Wonder how much a house costs.
2:49PM: The average price for a flat in my borough is £605,000. Terraced properties are £850,000 and detached properties are sold for an average of £1.2 million. Figures from last year via Rightmove.
3PM: Doing some work, I guess.
3:46PM: A stranger approaches me to ask a question! Exciting. It is about printing. I am grateful to be in an innovative and thriving environment, surrounded by inspiring people.
3:50PM: Wander around the building to see if something that might be in a certain place is there, but without any expectation of it being there.
4:04PM: Nearly home time. Only two hours to go. I have some free office coffee to celebrate. It is – and I say this with the utmost gravity – disgusting
4:13PM: Saunter over to the bins to put one piece of paper in them. Think about the wine and fags I’m going to have later so hard I can taste them.
4:35PM: Email the agent of a TV comedian.
4:40PM: Check Twitter. And Instagram, just for a laugh.
4:42PM: Somehow end up looking at Twitter on my phone and PC simultaneously. 4D, baby.
5:04PM: I receive an email inviting me to "say hello to Fiona Burrage’s converted water cabin", and you know what? I would love to. Unfortunately the email is from Habitat and it is about interiors.
5:30PM-ish: Do about half the one job I had intended to do today. Then tell an international newspaper to fuck off online.
5:46PM: Reckon I can get away with leaving now.
5:55PM: I walk to meet my boyfriend before we go to a friend’s for the wines and fags we are rightfully owed by them. As I walk alongside the trash barge floating down the Thames and some dude blowing weak, pathetic little bubbles for children in the drizzle, I reflect on my key wins and challenges of the day and feel truly blessed to be a part of this wonderful city. I then sit waiting for a train for 12 minutes.
6:14PM: My boyfriend tells me he has done loads of work today – so much that he hasn’t been on social media. What the fuck.
10:51PM: Ottolenghi. Too wine.
12:30AM: I got paid yesterday and I’m £800 overdrawn. Get Uber home for £6 anyway. What the fuck are you going to do about it. Drunk. Prepare for challenges of next day (hangover).
12:36AM: Big day tomorrow (Friday). Best get some rest after look at phone. Bye.
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