Day in the Life returns again today with Claire Brown of The Bellwether (check out Claire's fab series of trade show posts here). Over to Claire...
My day begins far too early when my alarm goes off at 4.15 am. Yes, a.m. Working full time has its benefits, but getting up whilst it's still dark in summer time is not one of them.
I'm working the early shift at my day job this morning, which means I start at 6am. I work for the UK's largest provider of access services for television - we subtitle, audio describe and provide sign language translation for all the major TV channels, both terrestrial and satellite, as well as play them out - we basically put the programmes on to your tellies. I'm a Duty Manager, which means I have to oversee hundreds of hours of live and pre-recorded programming each day, crisis manage, allocate work, troubleshoot, etc. It's a pretty demanding job, stressful at times and distinctly non-glamorous!
I get ready quietly, trying not to wake my husband or the dog, and spend a quick 10 minutes in my home office, printing out a couple of orders that have come in overnight and packaging them up, so I can post them on my way home. I get to work around 545, open up the building (as our Australian colleagues cover the night shift for us, I'm first in), fire up the air con and switch on my big bank of TVs. I am pretty much straight into action this morning, dealing with technical issues and trying to cover some unexpected programming later in the day. I'm on my own until 1000 today, which is when my colleague arrives to chase up scripts and the like from production companies - SO much goes into providing what is a basic service for so many hard of hearing and deaf customers that the public doesn't realise!
Around 1130, I have my "lunch" break, so I stumble outside into daylight and grab a sandwich. My office has no windows, so on busy days, when there's no time for frivolities like breaks, I have no idea what the weather is like until I go home. In winter, that can be pretty tough going - perpetual darkness! Once I've had some food, I catch up on emails from customers, write blog posts or do some website admin on my phone - I like to maximise my day.
The afternoon passes in much the same way as the morning, until the sweet release of 4pm when I can log off and go home. I swing by the post office on the way to dispatch a wholesale order I pre-loaded into my car last night, along with the overnight orders. I get home and have a quick chat with my mum who has been hanging out with the dog today, and then head upstairs to print out orders and make some badges until Lee, my husband arrives home from work.
About 6ish, we all sit down and have dinner together. We chat about our respective days and discuss the welfare of the dog who recently, so the vet suspects, licked a toad and had some sort of poisoning reaction. He's much better now, thankfully. I run some ideas past them for some new designs I've thought of, and get a favorable reaction, so after dinner, I sit down on the sofa with my trusty squared notepad and sharpie Fineliner and sketch them up. I Instagram a snap of some new designs - Instagram is definitely my favourite social media place to hang out!
After a bit of design time, it's back upstairs to finish off some kits I started making assembling for one of my favourite stockists, Penny Black, in Glasgow. They've been going great guns in there, which I'm pretty thrilled about. I finish the order off and pack it into my bag for delivery tomorrow, along with the day's orders. There's just enough time to order some supplies and make another batch of badges before I really must go to bed - it's about 10pm by this stage and I am back up at 4.15 tomorrow!
This is where I should really be snoozing, but what happens is my best friend Jo texts me with some info on an event we are planning to put on soon, so we exchange back and forth for a while until I really must go to sleep. I find that I struggle to keep awake some evenings, but as soon as my head hits the pillow, my mind is overflowing with ideas! Eventually, I get to sleep - zzzzzz!
Quite a jam-packed day, eh? The flipside is though that whilst I might have a fairly intense 4 or 5 days, I'll then have 2 or 3 days off in which I can tend to business at a slightly less frantic pace. Because I work shifts, including weekends, it can mean I have a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off, meaning I can focus on my business almost like a normal person in that time! I recently wrote a blog post all about why quitting the day job is not for me - I like to be busy and to have the pretty comfortable standard of living that affords me. It does, of course, lead to hectic days like this though - swings and roundabouts.