A change in job brings with it a whole host of quirks.
First off, there’s the change in travel routine: not ideal for someone who, like me, tends to commute on autopilot. There have been several instances of my attempting to get off the tube at one station, only to sit back down again, realising I’m further from my destination than would be practical to walk.
I’ve also quickly come to realise that a change in workplace has meant I’ve moved from the West End to a rather less meeja, rather more swanky part of town. Everything here is far more grown up, far more moneyed, and much better presented, be it the shops (designer cupcake boutiques) or the cars (today in the immediate vicinity are parked several Porsches; one Aston Martin; two brand new Bentleys (one complete with child seat) and a Ferrari).
In the past couple of weeks, I’ve had cause to work out how long it takes me to walk to the office from the station once I’ve factored in a hungover stop for coffee at the nearest Starbuck’s. This has led to the realisation that whereas if you’re hungover on Charlotte Street folks won’t bat an eyelid, here one is subject to vastly disapproving looks from the exceptionally yummy nannies dropping off their charges at the eyewateringly pricey school down the road, none of whom would dream of looking anything other than fresh and beautiful.
And there’s the new workplace itself.
Small but Perfectly Formed Agency was, as its chosen moniker would suggest, small. I have since managed to do the improbable, and move to an agency that, in the UK, is currently even smaller. Thankfully, the new London Office is based in a building that’s home to another company, so there are more people around than just my boss and me, which – given recent events – is probably for the best.
Of course, with rather more people around than I have previously been used to, there’s more to gauge, and more niceties to be observed.
I’ve so far worked out that the guy who sits directly behind me is angry – about everything, for no discernable reason. Whether it’s the crisps his girlfriend buys him in the pub, or the admin fee charged by his car insurance company for changing his address on their records, ire rages out of his every pore.
The cute office manager is exceptionally cute, and has put up with my daft new-girl requests with the patience of a particularly saintly saint, whilst the new Canadian chap looks like something you’d see on an Abercrombie poster (he’s also clearly something of a womaniser, who’s going to make my dating tales look woefully inadequate by comparison).
I’ve already spent so much time on phone to the IT department that I’ve worked out no one there speaks Mac. Neither does anyone else in the building, which is proving to be a problem (if there’s such a thing as a forward delete key that anyone could let me know of, I’d be much obliged).
And I’ve apparently already made a name for myself as someone who has a “downright filthy laugh”; enough boy trouble to exhaust everyone else in the basement (although I doubt I’ll be able to compete with Beefcake Canadian who declared on his first day that he’d woken up that morning “in Acton with a girl who smelled of damp”); and will never, ever turn down a cup of tea, currently averaging six cups a day.
Once I’ve got everyone else to start drinking Earl Grey; minding less when I inadvertently use their Crème Egg mugs; and sharing their stories of vile dates and viler hangovers, I imagine I’ll feel right at home.
Fenchurch Seafood Bar & Grill, the City
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