I am Shona McQueen and I live in Dumfries. I began my working life at the age of 17 in a bank. School could at times be a lonely place, but I was to discover, around the time I was accepted onto the permanent staff, that the bank could be considerably lonelier. I didn’t have the confidence as a teenager to say anything about what was happening as I was certain it would make things worse. I spent years walking on eggshells, trying to keep out of trouble. Things were inclined to flare up again at times of management changes. On a couple of occasions I felt able to speak to the new managers, only to go down in their estimations for not having dealt with it at the time. It was a no-win situation. It seemed to me the only thing to do was put in a super-human effort and it would eventually be noted. It never was.
On 10th July, 2002, I finally realised that working for the bank was never going to be OK, and after a pep talk from two of my colleagues, who urged me just to leave and not waste any more of my life (Dawn and Jackie, if you are reading this, thank you for the best advice I was ever given), I made the decision to resign.
Over the years I had applied for various other jobs, occasionally resulting in interviews, but I became aware that banking had not prepared me for much else. Until that pep talk, I had always believed that any other job I went to would have to be cast iron secure, but now I saw things differently, and knew that I needed as much variety as possible, both in terms of location and work experience. Some months before, I had registered with a local agency, Southwest Business Services, hoping to find permanent part time work that I could combine with my hobby business as an artist (see website www.shonamcqueen.com and example of my work pictured above). I spoke to another colleague, who told me that she had worked as a temp with the agency, and I knew instantly that temping was the best thing for me to do, to get the experience, variety and acceptance that would keep me happy. I have never looked back. I can honestly say that starting temping work was the start of my life. It is temping that has been my career, where banking was a dead-end job.
I was with Southwest Business Services for seven years, gaining much-needed confidence, valuable experience and making many friends along the way, until the business stopped trading when the owner, Mrs Aitken retired at the end of 2009. I loved working for the Agency and am very grateful to Mrs Aitken for all her help.
Since then I have done freelance work, and wish to build on this for the future.
Please see my entry in local online directory:-
<a href=”http://www.dumfries-and-galloway.co.uk/” target=”_blank”>Dumfries and Galloway Online</a>