Friday, 14 May 2010

hello again

After a long hiatus, I've found myself back in blogland, feeling compelled to write an update.

I've been doing my new job for two months, and am only just starting to find the energy to do constructive things (e.g. ironing, cooking, essential grooming...) in the evenings. Usually, I'm so wiped out from the two hour commute from work to home (on the bus, on the train, then on foot) that all I can possibly do in the evenings is collapse in front of EastEnders. But now, I'm learning to switch off and recharge during the journey, and to not get too irritated when the bus fails to turn up on time (which results in me having to catch a later train home). I'm learning to pace myself.

The job itself is fine. My colleagues are all pleasant; cups of tea and biscuits appear from time to time; the workload is generally steady and rarely overwhelming. It was a huge novelty at first not to be constantly looking for jobs, although old habits die hard, and I quickly found myself looking at job ads and considering applying for things that looked appealing. I've decided, though, that it will look far better on my CV if I stick with something for 6 months or more, so I'm going to hold on until late Summer, and then start searching again. I'll enjoy the job security I currently have in the meantime.

Man-wise, things have been very bizarre. The situation took a turn for the downright miraculous when Lovely / Flaky G got in touch a few weeks ago and invited me to come out in London with him and a couple of friends. I duly went, and inevitably ended up in his bed after a few vodka lime and sodas. It sounds soulless and slutty, but in reality it was amazing, and warm and lovely, and something it seemed we had both wanted for quite a while. We went out for lunch the following weekend, during the time it was really sunny and warm, and again, it was lovely. He's incredibly easy company, fun to talk to, and I feel like we're on the same page.

Then his flaky side came out again. His texts became sporadic and he kept saying he'd call, and then wouldn't. Obviously I was wondering what I'd done to put him off, but I couldn't think of anything. We didn't actually sleep together after the night out in London (only literally) so it can't have been that. And, really, I'm still in the dark. He rang the other evening, but I was at a rehearsal, so couldn't speak properly. He knows I'm keen, and he does text unprompted occasionally, but he's making it very difficult for me to establish whether he's just rubbish at keeping in touch, or just wants me to leave him alone!

I'm feeling a bit embarrassed about having pursued him for the last few weeks, but I didn't have him down as the sort of guy who would manipulate a girl to get into bed with him for a cheap thrill. Flaky he may be, but slutty and conniving? I certainly wouldn't have thought so.

The ball is now in my court (i.e. he was the last one to text, yesterday) which is probably the best place for it. I'm going to try and avoid getting in touch with him for a while, which will mean no alcohol over the weekend for me - drunk texting is my very unladylike downfall. Texting should be banned - it only ever results in embarrassment and / or misunderstanding.

So, in the absence of alcohol, my weekend will consist of the following: baking (I want to have another go at the Victoria Sponge which I attempted when hungover last Sunday, and was as flat as a pancake - probably because I failed to elevate the seive when I was sifting the flour. Sorry Delia.); watching Over The Rainbow and cringing; trying to spend as little money as possible. I'm saving up for a summer of weekend festivals and possibly a mini break to Budapest! Exciting.



Thursday, 11 March 2010

goodbye Job Seekers Allowance...

...goodbye overriding sense of worthlessness, goodbye daytime TV schedule (i.e. This Morning, Loose Women, Neighbours, Jeremy Kyle, Gilmore Girls, Neighbours again), goodbye drowning in job applications...

...and HELLO employment! Hello self respect! Hello paypacket! I've been trying to get a job for so long that I still haven't got my head around the fact that I have now succeeded. I almost feel like I've cheated, because I got the job through a temping agency, rather than through the hundreds of applications I've painstakingly filled out over the last five months. But still, I am thrilled!

It's an admin job with a charity, although unfortunately not in London. It's just outside a large town not far from where I live, so I will be commuting from home to start with, but if it's too dire (it involves lots of walking, a train AND a bus) I'm going to try and find a room to rent in the town.

Also, it's a maternity cover post, so will go on until September, which is quite good really because it gives me a deadline to get the next job by. Brilliant! Hello life!



Wednesday, 3 March 2010

proper grown up dating

I'm going on a date tonight. I think this will be the first date I've been on where I haven't either drunkenly snogged or slept with the person in question beforehand. Generally, those encounters have ended fairly disastrously, so I promised myself I'd start doing things the right way round. So here we go - after twenty two years, finally, proper grown up dating.

The man is Mr A. It's too early to assign him an appendage (in manner of Lovely G or Fit N) because, actually, I don't know that much about him. All I know is that he has a BMW, works as an IT consultant, and is a little on the short side (but not shorter than me - phew).

This is how we met. It was New Year's Eve - the most recent one. He's a friend of a friend's boyfriend (not as tenuous as it sounds). It was after midnight and we were both tipsy. He handed me his phone. I looked at it, not sure what I was supposed to do with it. He said, "give me your number". So I did. Then I wandered away, swaying slightly in my heels.

We've been texting quite a lot since then. There have been two nights out when he has been out too, but on both occasions he failed to approach me. Apparently he's terribly shy. Well, as far as I'm concerned there is a fine line between shyness and rudeness, so if he turns out to be the latter, this will be our first and last date.

He got a grip and "manned up" after one night when I got bored of waiting for him to talk to me, and instead decided to devote my evening to Sexy M (who, unfortunately, turned out to be Philandering M. The less said about that the better, although in my defence I didn't realise he was 19). When I got home that night, Mr A sent me a message, asking if I wanted to go for a drink.

And I did. So we are. Wish me luck!



Friday, 26 February 2010

babaganoush, Jeremy Kyle, and swishing

It's been a bit quiet on the dsl front recently. This is not to say that nothing has been going on, because it has. But irritatingly, none of the things that have been going on have yielded any exciting news, despite my best efforts.

I found out this morning that even my old employer at the music shop doesn't want me back, because apparently my "aspirations lie far beyond the shop" and they want people who are in it for the long term. To be fair to them, I probably would have upped sticks as soon as something more appealing came up (err, like I did last time), but still - not the boost I was hoping for. I am still jobless, still single and feel further away from London than ever.

On the bright side, I have been doing some temping over the last couple of weeks, which has been good for both the CV and the bank balance. But what I really really want is something full-time, stable, and arts-related, which the temping is not. Without wanting to sound dramatic, I'm beginning to absolutely despair of my (in)ability to get a job. I wish I had fun and adventurous things to talk about on here! Sorry :(

It took a disproportionate amount of effort to get out of my pyjamas and into the shower today (at 2pm). But the only thing I can do is to keep my chin up and stop feeling sorry for myself, when it could obviously be so much worse in every way. So today, I have cheered myself up by making babaganoush from my absolute FAVOURITE cookbook, Spooning With Rosie by Rosie Lovell. Her book is my new bible. I dip into it like a poetry book, getting little bits of kitchen inspiration each time. I love the way she mixes up her amazing recipes with little tales of her exciting Brixton life! Super.

So anyway, now I'm off to watch Jeremy Kyle and sort out some clothes to take to the swishing party I'm going to on Sunday. Update on man stuff soon.



Sunday, 7 February 2010


After I graduated in Summer 2008, I moved back home, unable to find a job in my university town as I'd planned. This move was soon followed by a hideous break up from my boyfriend of nearly two years - an inevitable, but still enormously painful, development. All in all, it wasn't a very fun time - I felt as if I had moved away from everyone and everything I loved, as well as losing my treasured independance.

Luckily, soon after, I was offered a job by a family friend, at a local music shop. I was more than happy to accept the offer, not only to take my mind off the break up - which continued to affect me for months afterwards - but because it was connected to the arts, which was where I wanted to head career-wise.

After eight months there (and a dalliance with a co-worker, the aforementioned Fit N, which single-handedly got me over my ex), I was offered a three-month internship at a major arts venue in London. I was over the moon, and of course took up the post without giving it a second thought. It was unpaid, but a necessary move.

Now, eight more months, hundreds of job applications, and six interviews later, I'm back at home, jobless and penniless. I had always rejected the idea of going back to the music shop job - not least because I am still embarrassed about having "dipped my nib in the office ink", but because it seems like a massive step back. However, they are always looking for staff, and I'm 99% sure that if I asked for a job there, I could get one.

So I'm torn. Do I go back for a while, keep my head down, and earn several times as much as I'm currently getting on Jobseekers Allowance (which, due to their staggering fecklessness, I am increasingly desperate to come off), or do I hold out for the elusive Perfect Job? Being unemployed is a miserable state of affairs. Should I take any way out that I can - even if it involves backtracking?



Friday, 29 January 2010

getting heartily fed up with

companies who don't give a toss about people they interview.

I'm generally a bright-side sort of person, and can't stand the sort of people who use technology as a means to tell everyone how sorry they feel for themselves (e.g. annoying Facebook statuses: "Edna is extremely pissed off with a certain person" - I honestly couldn't care less, get your negativity off my news feed) (incidentally, I don't know anyone called Edna). So I hope you'll forgive me for this brief foray into self pity, and acknowledge that this is a one-off.

So here we go - if rants are not your thing, stop reading now.

Surely you'd think that all adults, at one stage or another, have known that horrid feeling of limbo between having an interview, and waiting to hear whether or not they have got the job. Speaking as someone who is "between jobs", I am currently experiencing this feeling most of the time. You'd think, then, that interviewers would be keen to help their poor nervous interviewees to avoid this purgatorial state, and make it as swift and painless as possible. Like ripping off a plaster. Whether it's a yes or a no, please just let me know quickly.

However, most of the companies I've interviewed for recently seem hell-bent on prolonging this process for as long as possible, just to ensure maximum discomfort. Come on people - this isn't a reality TV show: "And the successful candidate ..... is ................. [wait two weeks] ............ Oh. Not you. Sorry."

Last Friday, I went to an interview at a theatre in London. It's now been seven days and I haven't heard a word from them. They specifically said, "We'll be in touch". So I naively assumed that they would. Isn't that what HR departments are for? But no, apparently they absolutely have no regard for the people, like me, who spend hours writing an application, preparing the perfect interview outfit, forking out for a train fare, and, worst of all, enduring the most unnatural process known to man, The Interview. If there's anything that's guaranteed to bring out a side of you utterly unlike your true self, it's an interview. Companies put all this effort into projecting a good corporate profile, but when it comes down to it, they can't even be bothered to make a quick phonecall, or send a quick email, to let me know that I can breathe out again.

And it's not just those who can't be bothered to get in touch. Earlier this week, I trekked all the way to Slough for in interview - I left the house at 10 am. The interview was at 1:30. It lasted 15 minutes. I got home at 4 pm. That's six uncomfortable, tense hours, only to receive an email the following day (can't fault them on their punctuality) saying that I didn't get the job. So make that six uncomfortable, tense, obsolete hours. To add insult to injury, the rejection email they sent didn't even have a name at the bottom, and was sent from a generic address, so I couldn't even reply and ask for some pointers for next time I masochistically decide to put myself through this joyless experience.

In light of all this, applying for jobs is starting to seem like an utter waste of time and energy. I am qualified, I am keen, I am nice (honestly!) - why won't anyone give me a job, or better still, show me a little bit of respect for bothering to tell them that I like their company so much that I want to join their workforce?!

Well. There you go - self-indulgence at its zenith. More uplifting fare next time, I promise. And - here is the happy bit - today I'm going for lunch at a cafe where they sell glittery rocky road. Amazing!



Monday, 25 January 2010

two interviews

in the last 4 days. emotionally exhausted. Nothing else to report. Except that I am going to a jive class this evening. Oh, and I ate a whole pack of Tangfastics today to ease the interview stress. Hopefully the jiving will counter the superfluous calories.