I am back at work. Have done three shifts so far, and am very glad to be back. When I'm stressed, I forget how much I actually like my job. I mean, it's not in any way relevant to my degree (and in fact it requires practically no brainpower), but being paid to talk to people is for me like... being paid to eat. I really enjoy talking to people about things they are interested in. If you get the right people on the end of the phone, even stuff like shampoo can be interesting!
The only time I dislike my job is when I have to do a survey that is tediously long, so the few people who do agree to do it are bored rigid by halfway through. It feels like abusing hospitality - people have agreed to help with the research out of nothing more than the goodness of their hearts or boredom - they know they won't get any financial reward, but maaaybe a product or service they use might be improved in the future, or they'll see an advertising campaign based on the results of the study. So to then take the piss by asking a ridiculously large number of questions, many of which no one apart from the client is interested in, is just rude in my book. And I hate doing it, and I do my best to speed through the boring bits, and use lots of intonation so it doesn't seem like I've just asked the same thing 30 times in different ways, but... ugh. Who on earth wants to talk for 45 minutes about petrol filling stations?? (That survey at least has been reduced - it's now only 25 minutes long, and is about convenience stores as well as petrol stations, which isn't quite so bad. But it took many hundreds of Interviewer Feedback forms before the damned client would agree to change it).
Today, however, I was talking to real ale drinkers about the beer they like: a survey no more than 15 minutes long, and one that was interesting for both parties. I managed to catch up with my friend Paul-from-work, who seems to be much less depressed this week than last. Also, I bought a delicious pretzel in the coffee shop in Kingston station, and we had Chinese after work. It has been a good day.