Another day, another Britney-ism. She really does just sum up “life” through the medium of song. We should never forget that.
Anyway, what I have gone and done is re-entered the world of the tax-paying, employed masses. Yes, sometime in the near future I will be oiling the wheels of the corporate machine once more. What all this means is that certain things will have to be put on hold, namely:
My career as the nation’s next Nigella. Just as my lemon drizzle muffins were set to take the world by storm.
My “relaxed” daytime attire. Goodbye to going to the shops at lunchtime in an “I heart Guam” T-shirt and Robinson Crusoe-style cut-off trousers. (Sainsbury’s checkout man: “What is Goo-am?”)
My rise to (near) the top of the Celebdaq charts. Does anyone still play this? I must have missed the boat first time round but have become a bit addicted recently. Also provides a very sound reason for buying trashy magazines and reading gossip sites.
The clock’s ticking…I’m off to get some Diamond White.
Have you ever seen a more unlikely headline?
OK, perhaps I am being unfair, but like Britney said, that’s my prerogative. Over the last month or so I have had the dubious pleasure of taking a peek into the wonderful world of the recruitment consultant (“RCs” – actually quite a fitting acronym).
Now, to put things into perspective for a second, what these people are dealing in – day in, day out – is a person’s livelihood, their career and the source of their fulfillment, motivation and moolah. So you would expect a certain level of diplomacy, tact and general care. Not always.
Here are two small examples by way of illustration:
- An RC sends an email including a link to a map of an office where I’m due to go for an interview the next day. Ah, helpful. I click on the link. A map pops up of the place I used to work, six months ago which is on the other side of town to where the interview is, with an entirely unrelated company. Hmm.
An RC asks me to send through contact details for my referees. He notes in brackets that should the company decide to contact my referees, they will “respect the senility this situation demands.” Eh?
Anyway, judge not lest ye be judged and all that. I have dealt with some recruiters who have been very professional and helpful people. And my best friend is one. And I live with one who is very lovely. So they can’t all be bad, right?
Next time you’re in a London Underground station buying a Travelcard or topping up your Oyster using a credit card, take note of the instructions on the machine:
“Insert your card until you feel a positive connection.”
So, don’t just shove it in as far as it will go and hastily type in your PIN – stand there and wait until you feel some kind of Zen-like affinity with the QuickTickets machine. How long will that take? Is that why there are always such long queues at South Ken? It’s someone desperately shoving their card in and out of the slot and looking longingly into the screen muttering, “I just don’t think we connect…it’s not you, it’s me…”
What better place to be on a sunny June afternoon than wedged into the very back row of the Royal Festival Hall?
Pretty much anywhere you might think. But I’m talking about the brand-new, bells and whistles RFH, with revamped acoustics and 2,788 (very comfortable) seats.
I somehow ended up seeing a 300-person “gospel meets baroque” choir there last Sunday and, even from the back, the sound was great. The choir of non-professionals were all wearing different coloured T-shirts, creating a rainbow effect. No Sister Act smocks, shame. They even did the gospel swaying and clapping thing, complete with one comedy lady in the middle swaying the opposite direction to everyone else.
Outside on the South Bank there were kids running in fountains, people having picnics, live music…not very “London” at all. No doubt someone will get happy slapped all over Queen Elizabeth Hall soon and we can all breathe easy again.