Because I'm So Far Away, and You Never Call Anyway.

Location: London, United Kingdom

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Did You Miss Me?

No, not getting that job didn't send me into a great depression, and no, I haven't been curled up in the fetal position calling out for my mommy all this time. In fact, sadly, I've been so busy since my last post that I've been a very neglectful blogger. My apologies for disappearing; I've been meaning to post for ages, but the longer you wait, the harder it gets ("where do I start?" "so much to say!") blah blah blah. Anyway, I've been doing well, and will try to give the Coles Notes version of the last 2.5 months.

So, I didn't get that job I was really wanting. That really stung, and meant that I needed to get my ass in gear and start hitting the pavement again, which in my overconfidence about that job, I'd completely stopped doing. I decided that I'd give the retailers a second chance, and re-posted a more tailored CV with one of the really big stores here. Not five minutes later, I received a text on my mobile inviting me in for an interview. Well, to make a long story short, I went for the interview, got the job, and worked there over the Christmas period. I worked in their signature department, schlepping overpriced tourist dreck to annoying foreign visitors, desperate for anything with their label on it, and of course, a carrier bag for every single item! The experience was fun overall, except for the fact that the many, many managers (save one) were all completely useless micromanagers that stood around doing nothing, talking to people like they were five years old and on a special-needs work program. Needless to say, that doesn't work so well for me, especially considering a) I've been a manager myself for the last five years, b) I have a functioning brain and c) I'm not good with people micromanaging me, especially when they're useless cunts.

Fortunately, I didn't have to bear that too long, because two weeks after beginning there full-time, I received a call from a recruitment agency I registered with at the same time I found out I didn't get the job with the University, inviting me to interview for a senior administrator's position with a housing association (I'm not sure if you recall my post from some months ago where I was quite frustrated with the recruitment agencies I'd attempted to register with, only to be given a less than enthusiastic welcome, and the general runaround. Well, the agency I did end up using, was closer to my home and treated me like gold when I went in. They were great.) Anyway, I ended up getting the job, and I've been working for this organization for nearly two months now. The job is highly administrative and I have far less input into operations and procedures, but it pays the equivalent of what I was making in Vancouver, and is much closer to my home, as well as being outside the city centre, so I avoid the annoyance of overcrowded tube rides. The job has had its (very) frustrating moments, but my manager is amazingly responsive to the issues I've raised about the sheer amount of work and the gross inefficiencies of the systems and is doing much to make the job more manageable. So things are improving there, and the money's good enough that I'm actually able to do "stuff".

I've been a sad git for most of my time here; up until late December I was supremely broke, and hence couldn't do anything. So I stayed home, drinking really cheap beer and surfing on my computer. Not only was I broke, but I was working shifts at the retail job, and being on my feet for 9 hours a day was a very difficult thing to get used to, and hence I was really tired most of the time. Additionally, I'd decided that I'd keep the retail job on weekends over the holidays to make some extra cash, and so for the month of December I worked seven days a week. I was completely and utterly knackered. But fortunately, I have my weekends back, and even better, I have cash to do stuff and actually experience some of London. After Christmas, a good friend of mine from Vancouver came and visited for 10 days, and as she's a fanatical lover of this city, and generally a touristy person, I actually had the opportunity to see some of London. We went on some cool walking tours, went to see Wicked again (her birthday present from me), Frost/Nixon (a play about the David Frost interviews with Richard Nixon) and a musical called Caroline, or Change from Angels in America playwright Tony Kushner. Since then, I've actually been getting out to the clubs a bit, doing things I shouldn't be doing, and experiencing too many hangovers.

Most importantly, I'm doing (or making plans to do) what I came here to do: travel! I have two very exciting trips planned. The first is to go to Dublin at the end of February for four days. I've been really wanting to go there, and the perfect excuse to book the trip is an Indigo Girls concert that's occurring on February 25 in Dublin (for those of you that know me, you'll know that Indigo Girls is my favourite band in the universe) and so I decided I'd see them there, as well as here at Shepherd's Bush on Feb 15 (my birthday present to myself!!) I'm completely stoked that Indigo Girls are touring the UK for the first time in years when I happen to be here. They must have sensed that their Biggest Fan is here! Anyway, I digress. So I'm really looking forward to Dublin. The second trip is to Oslo at Easter, with one of my flatmates. I'm generally not a fan of the blonde, nordic type, but I am quite certain that will all fly out the window, and I'll end up with a tattoo of the name "Thor" on my ass by the end of that trip. Can't wait!

So that's what I've been up to. I have to say that I'm liking London more than I was -- having the money to do things makes a huge difference -- but I've also decided that London isn't the city for me. It's hard to deal with the commute every day on public transit, having had the luxury of walking to work every day for the last nearly seven years. And I've also realized how fortunate I was to have the job I had, and how respected I was and how much of a contribution I made there. Luckily, that job is waiting for me and August 15 this year I will return to my role as Event Planner. But the other thing is how much I miss my family and friends. Oddly, since I've been here, I've become way closer to my family - talking daily to them - and I've decided that I'm going to leave here in April, after my trip to Oslo, and spend a couple of months at home with my mom, drinking a stupid amount of tea, relaxing and enjoying a few months of being a momma's boy before I resume adult life as a contributing member of society. I'm also toying with the idea of buying an investment property in the city I grew up in (real estate is disgustingly cheap there, but property values are improving) as I've been priced out of the Vancouver real estate market. I'd really like to own a home, and I figure a place in a city where my mom can manage the property for me will work well, and give me an investment to get me on the property ladder.

So, I'm really glad to have come to London, this little adventure of mine. It's given me an amazing opportunity to take a break from my life, experience a different way of life, and give me a fresh perspective on my life in Canada. I'm looking foward to being able to walk to work again, live a couple of blocks from the beach, and reconnect with the many friends I miss terribly. I know now how fortunate I am to have such a great life, amazing friends and family, good health. Life is great. The only thing that I will be disappointed with was my goal to visit 10 countries while I'm here. Dublin and Oslo will make it 7, and I'm trying to squeeze in Prague somewhere, somehow. Maybe I'll go there in March. But that will leave me two short. Ah well, 8 countries in 6 months isn't bad, is it? I can't really complain...