It’s been one of those long, drawn out weeks. The busiest and most exhausting part of my week has been work. Which means I totally have my work:play ratio out of whack.
The good news (for me, that is) is that it’s now technically Friday afternoon (I’m counting down the hours – three!), the sun is again shining down on London and bestie is on her way down to visit for the weekend. We have no major plans, but Mr & Mrs Q are popping over for afternoon tea tomorrow, and on Sunday we plan to cheer on the London marathon runners as they blaze past my house. And then probably follow it up with a drink at the pub and toasting to all those amazing runners and their achievements.
Some exercise will be thrown in for good measure, as I have a date next week (more on that later) and any bit of toning up I can squeeze in before then is a win in my opinion.
But right now all I’m really looking forward to is that first sip of Sauvignon Blanc, which is chilling in the fridge and calling my name as I type this…
P.s. the photo and caption above made me giggle so many times over the space of a couple of hours. It’s either brilliant, or I’m overtired. You pick.
I’ve arrived at work this freezing London Monday morning to find only three emails in my work inbox. THREE. Unheard of. Besides, two were from the same lady asking firstly when we’d refund her overpayment of £0.08, and then secondly correcting herself and asking when we’d refund the £0.03 we owe her. We don’t owe her anything, plus I don’t trust her accounting skills, so I’m thinking; never. Delete. The final email was a client saying they’d paid our invoices. I typed back a quick thank you email and allocated the amounts to the invoices and I’m done. Delete.
Can I go home now?
Now that I’ve been in the London workforce just over a month I understand what people mean when they say London is a hard city. The jobs themselves haven’t been that difficult for me to find, luckily. But the daily grind is what is so much tougher than New Zealand. The commute and the hussle of getting a good spot on the train where I can breathe and not have anyone sniffing (use TISSUES, PEOPLE!) in my ear is like a daily marathon. Walking to the nearest supermarket because I’m missing one ingredient is a pain in the arse and means I often just settle for soup for dinner. By time I get home to my, thankfully, beautiful and cozy flat I am beyond exhausted and find myself ready to curl up with my book or an episode of something trashy.
Learning a new job is never easy, no matter where it is. This job has been my toughest so far as the lady training me has left on maternity leave earlier than expected due to health complications. She’s an amazing woman, and become a great friend, I have no negativity towards her leaving – she still helps me by phone most days, being that it is, today, only my fifth day in the office. The problem is the bosses are not willing to help nor train me. Yesterday was a real low point in the job for me. I’d even decided I was going to walk out – I’d called a couple of my recruiters to tell them to start hunting for roles for me again. The frustration from not knowing what to do or what’s expected of you when no one asks if you need help or how you’re getting on.
But today, after a lovely dinner and wine out last night with a friend talking it all through I am feeling much more positive about the whole situation, much to the annoyance of my recruiters - I’m going to stick at this role. The pay is great, it’s for 12 months which gives me security, the location is beautiful, my colleagues are amazing – we have lunch out often and have booked in a boot shopping expedition for next week, and now I have my lovely flat I need to be a grown up and continue to pay for – there’s no running to the parents! Of course there’s also the goal of travel – Turkey is looking very likely in November.
Bringing my positive attitude towards this role with me to work today has severly helped too. The bosses have been more attentive, I am understanding what I meant to be doing, the work is not difficult and I feel like I’ve caught on to it already. That, or I have it completely wrong and am going to end up down a well with a paper cyclone and system issues surrounding me. But I refuse to believe that.
Add to that the fact that when I arrived there was a payslip on my desk for my days worked in September and I am a happy girl. I’m not one for living in a dirty, grungy flat so I just need to toughen up and remember that this is just a job and I get to go home to my beautiful flat in Greenwich with my lovely and hilarious flatmates – and I even have surplus cash for shopping trips and bottles of wine should the day have been really that terrible.
So it turns out, that better fitting shoe? Not actually a good fit. After two weeks in my new role I was fired. FIRED. I have never ever ever ever been fired in my life! London brings up many firsts. Like this morning, when I nearly fainted on the tube – but that’s a whole other story. FIRED. I couldn’t believe it. My manager’s excuse? I’m “too senior” (read: too expensive). He actually told me that keeping me on payroll would mean he couldn’t give all the other employees their payrises they deserved. Seriously? Trying to guilt me into feeling good about being fired?
So when he gave me my five days notice on the Monday I felt like shutting down and not talking to him. Yes, I felt like my inner five year old wanted to come out and sulk. I was straight on to my recruiters and thankfully had an interview by Thursday. I was feeling tense as even though I had contacted all eight of my recruitment companies I had only managed to nab one interview.
I put on my best smile, laced with a touch of charm and fronted for my interview on Thursday with an intellectual property patent firm – of which I knew zero about (except for what I’d quickly browsed on their website) and somehow won them over. They asked me to come in again the following Monday, where they promptly offered me a 12 month contract as their Finance Manager. I was over the moon. Gliding over the moon. Not only was this role right up my alley, in the beautiful Regent Street and for 12 months, but they just leave me to it! They trust me. After coming from micro-management-hell, to being trusted to just get on with it and not checked upon every five minutes – it’s heaven! What’s more, the people I work with are lovely. The girls all took me out to lunch on my first day as a welcome. I’m extremely happy.
New office space on Regent Street
…On the other end of that phone call was an extremely sexy Scottish accent. It was one of the recruiting agents I’d met in my second week in London. Him and his equally sexy accented English colleague had found a role for me that they were convinced was far superior to my current one. They insisted I must go to an interview that night as the company had been interviewing all day and I would be their last appointment at 6:00pm. I already had plans that night to meet Emily and Leah for a drink and catch up. Thankfully they were very understanding and didn’t mind us postponing so I could head across London for my interview. Luckily that morning I had put a bit of effort into my outfit and so I was looking professional.
I turned up to the Reebok Sports Club and was blown away by the excitement and look of the place. I knew I wanted the role. I met with the Finance Director and Management Accountant in the club’s restaurant/bar – the interview was easy and went smoothly. They told me of the benefits such as a free gym membership, discounts on spa treatments and discounts on Reebok gear. While I’ve never worked in the sports industry, nor have I ever been a huge gym fan – as anyone who knows me knows – the group of people, role, facilities, location and pay rate were just too good to turn down.
I got a call the next day from the lovely recruitment guys saying I nailed the interview, they loved me and wanted to know when I could start. While I was overjoyed and thrilled beyond belief the guilt suddenly hit when I realised it was only day three of my four week temp role at UCL and I already had to hand in my notice. My contract stated I had to give five days notice but I managed to trick the system as there was a long weekend coming up and I saw absolutely no point in them training me up for a further four days when both them and I knew I was leaving. So on the Wednesday I handed in my notice and enjoyed an extra long weekend before starting my new role as a Project Accountant for the Reebok Sports Club London. This new role is a temp to perm, which gives me hope and just means I need to prove myself.
So after four days working there I’m already in the swing of things. I’ve bought myself some new Reebok Realflex trainers, some new gym gear and I’m ready for my first training session tomorrow, Monday. The beauty of it is that we get to workout during our work day, it just means we eat our lunch at our desk – but I have absolutely no problem with that as it means I wont have to do the God awful extra early starts, just to fit in a workout. It couldn’t have worked out better! A job and a healthy lifestyle.
Next job: find a flat.