As I drove through the Hague with my mother today we passed a stately white building in the city’s diplomatic neighborhood that brought back memories of the time I had spent there as a receptionist.
I can’t even really recall how long I worked there all together, but I think it was just for a couple of months during two consecutive summer holidays and after that every now and then when they needed someone extra. It was a law office specialized in corporate law with, if I recall correctly, about ten lawyers and half a dozen secretaries.
My work consisted of making coffee for clients, ordering flowers for special occasions, sorting the incoming and outgoing mail and transferring phone calls. I think figuring out how the phone worked was the most complicated part of the whole job. It was great. I got a lot of studying done there, and they were fine with that as long as the few tasks I had were done correctly.
And yes, even here there were lessons to be learned.
- Marble entry halls are pretty but they are also cold and echoey
- I kind of like making fancy coffee with good Italian espresso machines
- Flowers are actually very expensive
- So is (good) wine
- Neither flowers nor wine are gifts that make me particularly happy.
- Receptionists are invisible to some people
- Lawyers are (often) full of themselves and cling to ideas of status and hierarchy to extremes that are almost funny. To me. Not to them. Never to them. Nooo.
- All though I had to come to this same conclusion again later on in life, I had already found out during this job that I don’t enjoy having to dress “professionally”.
- I could still pull it off though.
- The Hague is a pretty interesting town
Nothing life changing, as you can see, but it’s still part of my life’s path, so might as well share!