So, that’s it then: my ‘first day at school’ is out of the way. I think I was more nervous about my induction day at the Albany on Thursday than I was going to the job interview, oddly. It might be because this is actually the very first job I have ever got purely on the strength of my CV and an interview. My previous 10-year career started as a temping job, after all – there was a nominal interview before I started but that hardly counts (I remember the question ‘Where would you like to be in five years’ time?’ and thinking ‘Fuck knows!’ – although I didn’t say that, of course). And as I’m freelance, I really need to deliver what they’ve hired me to do in a short space of time. So I definitely feel the weight of expectation upon me, and the importance of living up to it.
The day started with apocalyptically bad weather: streaming rain from torrid grey skies. Despite this the gods of public transport initially seemed to be smiling on me, until, that is, my train ground to a halt just yards from London Bridge and remained there for about 15 minutes. The gent standing next to me by the train doors (as if standing by the door was going to change anything) was getting increasingly worked up in a can’t-they-see-how-important-I-am kind of way, which manifested itself in lots of sighing, watch-checking and hissing ‘fucking hell’ and ‘come on’ under his breath. I felt his pain, but kept reminding myself that there was nothing I could do about the situation and that I may as well focus on what I did have influence over, i.e. my own blood pressure. So far, so Zen.
Anyway, I somehow managed to get myself and my dripping umbrella from London Bridge to the Albany’s reception in 11 minutes flat, so I was only a couple of minutes late. And no one seemed bothered.
When I was on the train, I suddenly realised that it was exactly a year to the day that I was making another nervous journey to London, to tell my boss that I wanted to leave my job. That was Thursday 9th January 2014 – I read back to the relevant blog post to check the date. I could never have imagined then that I would be starting an exciting new job in a year’s time. I quite appreciate these little accidental symmetries in life.
Well, thank goodness I did make that journey last year and handed in my notice that day. I dread to think how I would be feeling right now if I hadn’t.
Back to my first day at school: it was all fine, of course. Everyone at the Albany is incredibly nice. They’re very clear about what they’d like me to deliver, and I know I can do it. The programme I will be working on, a pioneering all-day arts club for the over-60s, sounds excellent. Two of its members wandered into the cafe while I was meeting with someone, so I had a chat with them and they were brilliant. One of them, a beautiful frail lady in her 80s, complimented me on my hair and joked that she wanted to have hers done the same. I can’t wait to see her again on Tuesday when the programme takes place.
Two other good things happened last week: on Tuesday I went for a coffee with the artistic director of the company I had applied to previously, you know, for that dream job I didn’t get an interview for. They had said at the time that they’d like to stay in touch, so I took them up on their offer of a cuppa. It was really worthwhile – he gave me lots of positive and useful feedback. And, on Friday, the lovely Blast Theory sent me a proposal for more freelance work over January and February! I can’t wait to cycle to Portslade and work in their wonderful studios again. Basically, 2015 is shaping up pretty well so far.