Thursday, June 24, 2010

Memories, like the corners of my mind (Part 1)

I've been in payroll 23 odd years, and it's bizarre that, as I look about and consider whether to maybe have a career change, or at least, modification, because there are too many ghosts, memories, echoes, some good, some bad, some hysterical, some devastating.

It's easy to forget, even in Front Line payroll, that I am paying real people (it is very common to completely forget in Back End) .  This might sound odd, but payroll has a production line mentality so that you don't realise how crucial that commission, bonus, overtime or sickness payment is to an employee.  And although some payslips may make you shriek in fake horror, because they pay more tax than you get net earnings in a year, or the dreaded 'I don't understand my payslip' and you are looking at a statement that would make Einstein consider his career pathway, you either love or hate payroll.  I've seen colleagues come and go, a lot stay in payroll (though there are a few here that are saying they won't go back into payroll again, but that's because most of them have never had the inspiration to try anything else until they are forced to, as they will be), but a few go, and I've heard a lot of bizarre reasons.

"This was just a stop gap until I found a proper career"  (Like payroll is not a career.  Everyone has to get paid some time.  Try telling that to the IPP.)

"It's too easy, I want to try something else" (Read: I am no bloody good at this job and I should leave before the boss realises)

"It's boring." (You've never tried to find the entertainment in your work, have you?)

Actually - the last?  Well, yes, payroll can be mighty dull, but you find your entertainment, particularly in a payroll of the size I work on, which has all the colours of human society, and some of them can speak proper English.  When someone throws a girly tantrum on the phone, you do have a laugh about it afterwards with your colleagues, because that is what keeps you sane.  Boring?  The majority of the actual work, maybe.  The flavours and the satisfaction of doing the crucial and interesting tasks, making "friends" with people over the phone (due to the frequency of your telephone conversations) but sadly you will probably never meet.  Boring? On the whole, no, I love my job, and I will probably cry buckets when I leave.

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