"What can I get you Naomi, tea? Coffee?", asks a pretty girl on her first day inside the fire engine red TV studio.
"Oh, um, its O.K, I can make my own in a bit," I reply, whilst having my chin dusted with makeup powder. Having an eighteen year old runner offering to make me drinks all day is very serial for me, especially considering I was offering cups of coffee to the toffee nosed consultants in my reception job last month.
It takes some getting used to, such vast changes in such a short amount of time. Rewind a month, and I'm sat in the manager's office, getting my final written warning for being too "eccentric" behind the reception desk.
I've been fired from 23, yes TWENTY THREE, reception jobs. I've slept with less people! Reasons being too eccentric, too opinionated, too animated, too glamorous, too loud, too crude, even too attractive - some people really need to get a grip - oh and for waxing my "lady garden" under my desk... Hey, I was bored out my brains!
I knew reception work wasn't for me by the time I was fired... the first time four years ago. But having the passion to pursue my comedy career kept me going. 5.30pm would hit and I would run out the office to a gig to make a room full of strangers laugh, not for everyone I know, but I was plodding along, happy as I could be. A day of smiling sweetly through clenched teeth to rude sixty year olds ordering me to get them a non-existent phone charger was very frustrating.
Yet I always came in on time, never called in sick and did the best I could, but always stayed myself, which was where the problem lied. Me and office jobs? Imagine the Queen bungee jumping - the two just don't go.
Then my life changed. After having a spread in a magazine with photos and an interview about my up and coming comedy career, I was seen and asked to do a screen test for a presenting job. I was offered the job on the spot. I cried on the spot. I felt shock, joy, but also disbelief as nothing like this had happened to me before.
Fast forward a month and I'm standing in front of two cameras, introducing a new T.V show. I have a head ache from the bright lights, four layers of thick foundation on my face, sweaty arm pits and a stomach full of butterflies... but I am so happy. So unbelievably happy I'm able to dress my way, be myself and be around like minded creative people.
The director is loose cannon, with his mini bum- bag clipped around his waist. The camera man could be Andy Warhol's twin, when he was alive of course. And the T.V program owner is as eccentric as they come, with his crisp electric blue suit from the 1960s and his pipe smoking away. They are my kind of people.
As for receptionists around the world, if you are happy being a receptionist, I salute you , as it's a pressurising job, having people barking orders at you and answering the phone more times than you imagine smashing it up. However, if you are an artist, only working as a receptionist to pay your bills, then I admire you - for still staying sane enough to get up in the morning. Oh, and if you are a passionate artist reading this while you are sat behind your reception desk, your time will come.
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