#49 Dreaming of Soho, sandwiches and a really good cup of coffee

In Homeworking, Jobseeking on June 18, 2010 at 10:40 am

So it’s now finally official, I didn’t get that job. But before I cave in to disappointment, I thought I’d pause one last time to indulge the fantasy I’d created about what it would be like to be back working in an office…

The fantasy basically involves me meandering up through Soho in the morning, perhaps pausing to indulge in a really good shop-bought takeaway coffee, full strength, ground on the premises, and with that pleasing crema it’s impossible to replicate at home.

At the same time I’ll soak up the creative buzz of actually being in London (rather than in the back bedroom) and arrive at the office charged with 10 great new ideas. There would be new people to get to know, and some idle banter over the top of the computer screen, perhaps a discourse on  last night’s telly, 80s bands, or swapping some juicy industry gossip.

Lunch would be snatched from one of the many fantastic food shops I’d already identified nearby, or occasionally taken at a restaurant with cloth napkins rather than paper, thrashing out ideas, negotiating with PRs, or wooing new writers. Cheap fruit and veg could be bought for supper from Berwick Street Market, and birthday presents/children’s clothes from Oxford/Regent/Carnaby Street.

After a particularly long day/successful issue there might be a pint in a pub or cocktail in a bar, a shared feeling of achievement and team spirit, not a medicinal glass of wine drunk on your own in the kitchen to recover from having had the kids since 3.30pm. Or the opportunity to attend one of the evening dos where business is often done and contacts made.

Evenings at home would not be spent in front of the computer till midnight, because work would be done in the day and I would feel I’d earned the evening off. Holidays would be relaxing, a break from the office treadmill (rather than more of the same  treadmill of childcare and domestic chores without the respite of school), and bolstered by the fact that I was still being paid.

Through all this I would be looking well-groomed, having now acquired a reason to wear something other than jeans, and been to an actual hairdresser to hide the grey hairs (rather than attempting self-applied highlights) for a chop into a smart bob.

The house would be spotless, as I would have invested in a cleaner. The children would be happy as they would have someone  with time to take them to the park after school, and proud of me as they could see I had a tangible profession and could earn as much as their friends’ parents. And when at social gatherings someone asks: ‘So what do you do?’ I’d have an answer.

Then of course would be the  joy at the end of the month of money magically appearing in my bank account, and all the fabulous things I could do with it like go out, travel, or  buy clothes, fancy face creams, and posh cheese.

Perhaps having a job isn’t really like this. Perhaps I have been unemployed so long that my memory has clouded.  Perhaps the grass is always greener.

Shame, I could already smell that coffee.

  1. I had to go up west for a job interview last week and came back eyes and nose streaming from the pollution, so, although the coffee was good it wasn’t really worth it. Also, the people were all so rude. Not like here at home where the sun shines and people smile all day and the grass is really very green indeed.

  2. The grass always always looks greener, lusher, more verdant and intoxicating on the other side, all the better to hide the unpleasant stuff that goes on…. Stuff I didn’t enjoy about my, ahem, career, included office politics, people who made my job difficult, that Sunday night feeling, getting caught up in tube strikes because I had to at least try and get to work, trying to get in first to book Christmas off, how routine makes the time fly…hey, did I really just spend 6 years in one job?!

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