Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Office mundanity

If I'd said it once, I've thought it a million more times. I am so fed up of this. My job is a shadow of its former self. I used to proudly say that I was an Housing Officer. It gave me a sense that I was helping in a real way and though some might argue the job hasn't changed all that much, it really has.

Now I am an 'Income Co-Ordinator'. How rubbish does that sound? In the merger, a dozen or so of my colleagues lost their jobs and by some miracle I managed to hold onto mine and ended up with this specialised role. They split the job down the middle. The Income side deals with the rent. Everything else, read here, the interesting, peoply, touchy feely side went to the 'Neighbourhood Co-Ordinator'. You may well ask why I didn't go for that job instead but hours are longer and you cover such a wide geographic that at the end of a working day, I might be 70 miles from home and thats no good when I have children to pick up on time.

So here I am. Collecting rent. It gets even better than that, since becoming an 'IC', they have further specialised me into shared ownership owing to my experience earlier in the company. So I basically deal with the people who part own the property and would quite like to forget that they are attached to a Housing Association at all. The scheme is great, really it is. If you have an aching need to get onto the housing market/ladder then go for it but if i can give one small bit of advice? Please remember that although you rent part of your property, you will have none of the benefits of a renter. The association will not repair your leaky taps or pipes, fix your fences, redecorate the external areas. You will pay 100% of the service charge even if you only own 20% of your property. Just think carefully about it. Don't get into any form of home ownership without the capacity to save money. As in a savings account. I wish someone told me that last bit before I bought my first flat but hey-ho. The mortgage company certainly won't.

So I spend my days talking to people who wished I didn't exist, about money they can't afford to repay as they inevitably have missed rent as that is the only reason I would talk to them. Or they bog off to different countries and don't tell me so I get confused phonecalls from the subletters.

How many times have I heard about redundancy, job losses, marital crisis, cut backs etc, and still had to ask for the rent money. I am not heartless! People, I am just doing my job. You may say I am lucky to have a job but it feels so soul-less now. I am driven (forcefully and not by myself either) by targets set by goodness knows who. If there is no money, then I can't get it! Why don't they understand this?

And then at the moment the company is going through huge changes. Changes which will ultimately see the company coming out at the top of its field, providing better services and saving oodles of money as they're going to make loads of us redundant and my job role is squarely in the middle of that bunch of redundancies. As my job is largely at a desk and over the phone, they are going to centralise it. And I am just not centra enough it would seem.

So this is me. Pregnant. Frustrated beyond belief with my soul-less job. About to be made redundant. I should be pleased surely but I have to tell you, the prospect of no income and a new baby is less than appealing.

And its snowing.

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