Playing catch-up

NB: The most cursory of glances will tell you that this is another rambling post following on from the last entry. It’s a catch-up on my current situation so that I can get on and start updating the blog from my new position as a stranger in far and distant land. If you follow my infrequent and frankly rather banal tweets then you might have read some of this. And let’s face it, it wasn’t overly interesting the first time. So if you decide to skip this post, I won’t blame you. I’ll just hunt you down while you sleep is all.

While ideally I wanted to continue to write in some capacity, I knew I didn’t have the luxury of turning my nose up at anything — and besides, Cornwall isn’t exactly a hotbed of media activity, at least compared to where I had moved from. Hardly anything related to my skill set came up during those first weeks, so I applied for any job I thought I had the remotest chance of landing and still got short shrift.

I had a chat with the owner of a smart little bar in the middle of the small town we’ve moved to about the semi-management vacancy he’d advertised. That appealed to me; it would mean a lot of evening work which would have meant I could spend lots of time with my little boy during the day and then have the perfect opportunity to meet new people in this alien town by night. I have bar experience (albeit from back in my student days) and felt like I got on well with the guy during our back-and-forth. He took me through all the different aspects I’d be taking on, commenting on the fact that he thought I’d be perfect for the role. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job.

Thankfully I picked up some freelance writing work thanks to previous connections, meaning I could keep a bit of cash coming in during what felt certain to be a long search for permanent employment. Assignments for features on subjects like videogames and poker — and cheese (!) — helped to keep me productive while I trawled the ads for that elusive permanent employment.

Shortly after, I landed an interview for a Marketing Executive role, which I was surprised by. Sure, I covered everything they asked for in the ad, but having been an out-and-out journalist/writer for the previous eight years, I had no marketing experience. My previous role, however, had seen me writing for a number of magazines that were directly relevant to the subject matter I would be covering if I landed the job. I nailed the interview and drove home with a huge smile on my face. Again, I was to be disappointed. (I later found out that I was second choice behind somebody who had more than ten years’ experience in that exact role in a very similar environment, so I’m not quite so upset as I was at the time.)

Dejected, I followed up a lead and called a bank manager in the next town over. He had a couple of entry level jobs going which I would have a superb chance of landing. Banking isn’t really what I had in mind when I moved to Cornwall, and the pay on offer was a how-on-earth-will-I-live-on-that £12k. But I’ve got a kid to support and that’s £12k more than I was earning at that point, so I went along to the interview. Again, it went well — but I was aghast to be told at the end of it all that the new positions weren’t technically confirmed. He’d need to speak to his boss to confirm that he could employ new staff and that I should call him in a couple of weeks if I hadn’t heard anything. That struck me as particularly unprofessional and I was pretty pissed off at what felt like a colossal waste of time. Consequently, I wasn’t at all surprised to find myself a couple of weeks older without having heard from the guy. Thankfully, I never did have to lower myself to chasing him up.


One Response to Playing catch-up

  1. Pingback: Risk and reward « trendthrift

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