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Writings From My Best Receptionist; Tina

I knew about Annika well before I met her. I worked for a string of girls that to put bluntly ‘couldn’t organise a root in a brothel’. Not that I needed them to, as I would’ve been out of a job if they could. A girl I was temporarily answering phones for continually brought Annika up. ‘Annika is so put together. Annika earns lots of money. Annika works in Subiaco and has a higher level of clientele. Annika is at university’. Her envy was obvious. Annika seemed to live in the land of milk and honey, and rather than be constantly let down by scattered girls who took days off to take their cats to the vet, or had to move to another location because the neighbours ‘had caught on’ I needed something that was more structured and I needed a steady pay packet. University wasn’t going to pay for itself.

So I said goodbye to the constant unknown and hello to the local paper and Annika’s number. It was convenient and a lot of luck that yes, Annika was looking for a receptionist. We teed up a time and I had my interview. I began work a day later.

At first, there were 2 other girls who worked with Annika. I answered the phones for them also. But as time went on, it was just Annika and I and that worked pretty well.

We got to know each other and our habits and coming to work was easy. She knew that I was often 8 minutes late and at times I needed some instructions said more than once. I knew how to make her coffee and her order for Nandos or Sushi. I knew that every summer the tennis would be on 24/7 and I knew I had to bring my own entertainment and books to study. I had never met a woman so obsessed with the tennis, and often she would quote me statistics or relay excitedly info from the previous game. I was lucky the phone kept me busy. Those were long summers! I often heard the TV playing whilst Annika had a client, and perplexed I would ask her if she was watching the tennis. She’d reply by saying ‘Yes!’ I’d ask her about the client. She’d say ‘What? I do it doggy-style facing the TV, they aren’t missing out on anything and neither am I, win-win’. Men love them both! Sport & sex

I became more of a Personal Assistant rather than just a receptionist and when people from uni asked what I did, that’s what I told them, a Personal Assistant for a marriage counsellor. Well in some ways, it was right. So I cleaned, banked, ran errands, shopped, answered calls and made appointments and occasionally was a nanny for Annika’s daughter, who I loved dearly and still do to this day.

I got to know voices and knew the serious punters from the bullshit artists. Guys will try almost anything to get you to speak sexy on the phone…and for me that was a no no! What’s that saying, why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? Well not in this business. Those calls were cut short. My aim was to take as many appointments as possible because the aim was to make money for Annika. I considered myself a good receptionist. I had an inviting voice, I spat out Annika’s speil and website details convincingly.

We had our good days and our bad days and we had our long days.

The best days for me to work were the uni holidays. Holidays for me also meant holidays for families, so our client list dwindled during that time. We put in the hard yards though. On occasion we would work like a 15 hour day and it got very tedious.

Still this job was way better than any part time job I had had, including my stint as a check out chick. It was the only job I could do that worked around my classes. Without it, I wouldn’t be the Teacher I am today.

Annika worked hard. To this day, I hold her in awe. She achieved so many things and by herself, a true inspiration to women. I enjoyed my time with her. It was for 4 years and we developed a great friendship from our time, despite the fact that we were two very different people. I mean I would sit there trying to invent a new game to teach a child how to read and comprehend a simple book, whilst Annika worked on remembering the human anatomy and the amounts of bones, tendons, whatever.

Worlds apart, but brought together by the need to work. I’d worked for many different working girls, none as motivated to make her life better.

There are so many stories of those four years. I’m currently clouded by teaching stories, that I need prompting to remember. Some hilarious, some a little scary and some well can only be described as bloody stupid. See all along Annika’s clients assumed they were getting something from her, be it a certain outfit they wanted her to wear, or a new position never been performed or a fake orgasm. But I believe she got more from them. They serviced her..with money. She got herself a life with the best education for herself and her daughter, the newest and most expensive clothes and furniture, a classy address and homely home. And yes I was on this bandwagon and yes I’m thankful for being part of this.

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