When you start to plan your gap year, all you fantasize about is sunsets on the beach, 'finding yourself' in a Tibetan nunnery, and most importantly, that once in a life-time fling you're going to have with a foreign waiter. You will find that this dream is slightly warped. Two days into your reward for the A levels you sweated to achieve and you can guarantee you will have your parents on your back about finding full-time employment. Why you might ask? That would be because, in case you hadn't worked out already, to 'find yourself' you will need MONEY.
It seems that in this situation you have two options: either you continue to work cruddy hours for that pub you've been at for two years as the weekend kid, or you quit and search elsewhere. I went for the option of having two jobs, keeping my weekend job and finding a monday to friday filler. I sent off two lazy applications from the comfort of my bed and had a brief phone interview. (N.B. do not make jokes during this about having a criminal record). The next thing I knew I was sitting in a boardroom wearing a blazer, discussing which fictional person would be the best to leave to drown in a cave.
People often say it's who you work with and not what you do that makes it entertaining and that could not be more accurate. At my weekend job, there were only five of us mid year, and an extra two for Christmas. The Christmas temps we get in are normally absolutely crazy; we've had products go missing... money from the till... we've had one ex-employee come back to return her old contract saying it was giving her "bad vibes" and asking us to destroy it. And suddenly I actually started to feel old when they hired in two 17 year olds who chewed gum and flirted with each other. Ah those were the days.
The call centre is something else. I felt like I was working in the deleted scenes of 'The Office'. You wouldn't believe the things we get up to. It probably wouldn't occur to you, when you or your parents are on the phone to a call centre that the person they are speaking to may have someone drawing all over them or passsing you post-it notes which say things like: 'No one likes you.' And in our case, having a heavily pregnant, very angry Scottish girl shouting at us all day. It's a talent, doing the work we did. Not only that, as well as trying to take a call seriously and mess around I also had to factor in that my manager was sat directly behind me, and could not be aware of our behaviour.
If the day job isn't difficult enough, there will also be liftestyle changes in every hour back at home. Depending on how much your parents love you and how much their bills are increasing by, you may be one of the lucky ones who get to live rent free. The rest normally pay a pitiable amount. For me, it's been a whole other ball game. My initial plans at the beginning of sixth form were to go straight to university. As I am the last child, my parents decided it was the right time to put the house on the market and move some place to grow old together, you know, like couples do. So when I changed my mind and wanted to take a year out, my new home was quickly looking like an alpaca farm five miles from the nearest bus stop in Wales - no thank you.
I loked in to the possibility of moving into a house with three other friends but it quickly became clear it would be horrendously imprsctical and never happened. Saisurry, where we lived, is extremely expensive property-wise. As it turned out, I then moved in two doors down with a family we had known for a couple of years. Although my parents were friends with the parents I lodged with, the main link was their two twin sons from my year, who I went to Sixth Form with. As if my life were not enough of a sitcom, it needed to have two 18 year old boys added into the mix. One of the boys I was convinced hated me. He always thrust his cuts and scars in my face and demanded I made him sandwiches. When I told him I wouldn't he told me plainly: "I'm just trying to teach you how to be a good girlfriend." Then he laughed at me for being single.
The other boy worked cruddy hours in that pub we mentioned and was out a lot in the evenings. I got on better with him because we never saw each other. He had a fgirlfriend who was apparently around a lot, but I had seen her a grand total of once in the entire first month I had been living there. Although having dsaid that, I did once encounter a thong of hers golded up outside my door, obviously mistaken as mine, which I then had to dliver back to Chris' room.
Six months ago my life had been completely different, when I was a child taking exams. And fast forward another six months it was completely unrecognisable again, being abroad, moving every two days. Coming back to start university. But until then, day by day I learnt that having a year out is not all sun and games, but more likely to mean living in a spare room above a garage with a toothbrush and a phone charger. The best experience you could ever imagine, honestly. #Youth #Students