Saturday, 14 July 2012

Once more unto the breach

Well I was right to be worried about how I would spend my time between jobs. In the immediate aftermath I was drinking a lot, for days on end. That calmed down a little but it was fairly tough overall. In order to keep some form of control, I would set my alarm for midday and try and get out of bed in fairly good time. I'd get something to eat, check emails etc, then in the afternoon I'd study my way through a technical book to learn some new skills.

It made the weekends fairly pointless, though, as technically every day was a weekend :) I was out of work for about four weeks in total. The start was the hardest part but as the days wore on it got better. Unfortunately I wasn't attending the gym though, and my normal routine was firmly out of the window.

As the days turned into weeks I have to admit one of the reasons I didn't start looking for work was that I was anxious I wouldn't get any. That I'd be one of those struggling people, pounding the phones for hours on end, getting nothing but knock-backs and rejections. In a way I was simply guarding my self-esteem.

It was after three weeks that I thought I should really start looking, as it might have taken two weeks to find something. On the Monday I submitted my CV to some job sites, and I had three interviews lined up on Wednesday, so I guess it turned out ok in the end. I accepted one of them on Wednesday too and started the following Monday. It's a few hundred miles away from where I live, so I am renting a room there Monday through Friday and returning "home" at the weekend. I'm managed to join a small gym in the area too.

Through the week it's a fairly miserable existence. I get up around 7am, go to work, get back to my digs at 6.30. Maybe go to the gym, back to digs for something from the microwave, up to my room like a naughty teenager where I have no TV, and the internet isn't always on. I go to bed around midnight, get up and start all over again. A large chunk of the weekends are taken up with travel too, so you don't quite get the full impact of those either.

In a way, I was thinking that the drudgery of this way of life is something that keeps my mind occupied. Something that "excuses" me from not leading a normal life like other people. There is no room in this way of life for friends, relationships, or anything tangible, solid, or lasting. Instead my mind simply keeps itself occupied with thoughts of the following day.

As for the job itself, it's actually quite good. Good firm too, and normal. It's nothing like my last job at all. I found that job to be very isolating, where I have always maintained that work is a good thing as it gives you chances to be social, to be among people. This company is staffed with people my age and younger, there is a lot of chat and banter, people go out for lunch together. There is a large kitchen where you can just mill around and chat to people. People in the company are really friendly, too, and I've had a few people introduce themselves in the kitchen, noting that I'm new etc. It's given me back that "something" that I lost at my other job. Even the way to work itself, and back again...I am using public transport (train) and it gives ample opportunity for being among seas of people too. Lots of people watching as you get to see the same people getting on, and off, at the same stops day in and day out.

The dress code is "casual" and most people adhere to it. Thing is, I don't "do" casual. I have smart, and I have "me" which I wouldn't want to wear to work. Having to iron shirts, trousers etc is a bit of a pain, so in order to "fit in" and also to reduce my laundry effort, I have bought some "casual" shirts to wear with my jeans. Shopping for the shirts was an unusual process, as it isn't something I normally do. I am completely indifferent to this type of do you choose things you neither love nor hate? Is this how it is for everyone? A bunch of people traipsing around the shops buying clothes not because they like them, but because they are not offensive, and they need to dress like everyone less? Or does someone see the exact same shirts I lovelessly took from the rails, and think "Wow, that looks great, I'll be far more attractive to the opposite sex in that shirt"? It's not cheap either, what a total waste of money.

This job is set to run for about 3 moths so I'll see how it goes, and how I feel after. The whole nature of working somewhere Mon-Fri is what has been worrying me, and now that I'm doing it it's certainly no barrel of laughs, but I don't think I'm ready to throw in the towel yet.