Pride in Professionalism: The Work Week

With my completion of the first week of my already memorable stint with the TaxPayers’ Alliance, I continue to progress through my protracted initiation into professional life. I began this venture in earnest on Tuesday, arriving at the complex somewhat prematurely. Upon arrival, I discovered my future workplace associates engaged in a preliminary planning meeting. Believing I had unwittingly intruded on their administrative planning, I remained quiet, in an admittedly awkward fashion and waited patiently to be addressed. Despite this mild falter, I was well-received by the head of the organization, one Jonathan Isaby, who rescued me from that potential social quagmire. I was immediately set at ease by his demeanor, though he wore a full business suit and carried himself in a relatively formal manner, every ounce the right and proper British politician, he seemed enthused by my presence. I strongly suspect that the place of my nativity played a critical role in fostering this apparent amiability as all of the workers seemed curious as to my interest in British politics.

I was quick to note marked prevalence of youth within what the Guardian had called “the most influential pressure group in the United Kingdom”. By my estimate, nearly all of the staff could not have claimed over twenty-six years on this earth. Even Mr. Isaby himself could not be more than forty years of age. I quickly found myself in the favor of my supervisor upon learning of my associates’ names. Working closely with me were three men, all of them named Harry. I was informed that they were to be addressed as “Harry I, Harry II, and Harry III” to which I responded that the office was a veritable House of Plantagenet. Mr. Isaby, an apparent lover of history found that remark humorous and it was clear that I had earned his good graces. I felt confident within the first ten minutes that this office fostered a workplace environment conducive to positive reinforcement and competent administration.

With essentially no orientation, my supervisor, Harry I, set me about my first task. Every year, the TaxPayers’ Alliance produces a report on the combined impacts of the Air Passenger Duty, the Insurance Premium Tax, and the Value-added Tax on the British taxpayers which attempts to illustrate the hindering effects of these excises on the average British holiday maker. With minimal guidance and only a single suggested source, I was instructed to produce this report. Initially overwhelmed by the level of autonomy entrusted to me, I resolved to complete the report by the end of the week. To my delight, I would accomplish this ambitious goal albeit barely within my personally-allotted timeframe. I spent the majority of my first week rifling through datasets from the Office for National Statistics, reading over Parliament’s various finance acts and excise notices, and researching travel insurance quotes for different locales and group sizes. Upon final review, it is my understanding that this report will be officially published on the TPA website and circulated to the organization’s mailing list which includes several prominent Members of Parliament and United Kingdom politicians. I eagerly await feedback from the general public.

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