Talk to the Animals.

Today is the start of the fifth week at my current temping role. It’s the second longest I’ve been in a role, and whilst I felt very happy and settled in the role I had for the longest (I was there for a few months) this is without a doubt the job I’ve enjoyed the most.

I’m working in an admin based role in the human resources department of a nearby safari park. My experiences of human resources before this were pretty minimal, it’s been so interesting learning about the wide range of things that come under the HR department’s remit. No two days have been the same, there are core parts of my days – managing and approving annual leave requests, entering new starters onto the payroll system, responding to emails. Then every day something new comes up, resolving an issue with a software system, creating new car park permits, setting up interviews – I’ve started keeping a list of what I’m doing each day because otherwise I’ll never remember all of the different things I’ve gained experience of doing!

The work’s great, but the location is even better. From our house you can hear the lions at night in the summer, it’s been a part of my concept of local identity for as long as I can remember. The office I’m working in is based in a cottage on the edge of the discovery trail – a pedestrian area with a number of animal enclosures and experiences. On my very first day I went during my lunch break to visit my favourite bit of the discovery trail, the penguins:


I’ve always loved penguins so being able to visit them on my lunch break is a real treat.

That first week was half term and the park’s big Halloween spectacular. There were dressed up pumpkin headed scarecrows all around, ones that looked a bit like this:


The art department are fantastic, they had completely transformed the park and have since transformed it back to normal and then into a winter wonderland.

Last Monday I got to have my absolute favourite day in this role, I was given the opportunity to go and visit the brand new section of the discovery trail – the lorikeets. They are a smallish parrot, beautifully coloured and very good natured. We were given tiny pots of nectar and allowed into the enclosure, within seconds of holding the pot in the general direction of a group of perching lorikeets I had a couple come in for a feed:


We were there for about 20 minutes and it was an entirely wonderful experience. At one point I had a few on my hand and arm and one sat on my head – surprisingly this was simply giggle inducing.

This week has started entirely quietly. I’m curious to find out what my next animal encounter will be.


Blogdate 2013.

First off I must thank the wonderful Sarah for giving me the idea for today’s, and probably many future, blog post titles. No more will I fail to blog for the lack of a title!

I’m currently doing some work via the temp agency I’m registered with, after a long gap with no work I’m very lucky that what was a 1 day assignment has become an at least 3 day assignment – I’ll find out tomorrow if it will stretch to 4, but this seems pretty doubtful. After doing a couple of days waitressing and then just reception work it’s been a real change to get a transcription job – I’m watching videos of interviews and transcribing them against time markers ready for some editing process to happen.

Yesterday I found it a little strange to adjust to, I’m working in a very large, open plan office for the first time ever and I can now understand all the complaints I’ve heard about such working environments. I get to wear a great big pair of over-ear headphones which muffle the noise in a slightly odd fashion, but they really make my ears hurt after a while. I think maybe I have a funny shaped head.

Once I settled into it though I really started to enjoy it. I’m a naturally curious, nosy person so getting to listen to interviews is great. Most of all though, the parts I’m liking best are the stories. Listening to people tell stories that are important to them, watching their faces, seeing and hearing the emotions the stories evoke in them, it’s a kind of magic.

This is what I love about stories. Whether you’re reading them, hearing them, watching them or even creating them they have such a power to capture your imagination and just not let it go. I can’t wait to get to work tomorrow and discover what stories are waiting for me.