Sunday, August 08, 2004

July 13 (Tuesday): Today I am nervous and horribly blasé. I’m not actually all that stressed about an interview on Bond Street, I almost think its out of my range/league anywhere so I am almost dragging myself up there as a lark. Realistically I’m treating it as a “see how it goes� experiment, to the trained eye the job just seems much too beyond me and a dream come true.

I drive to work and go into work coughing announcing that I have a doctor’s appointment for the afternoon and my apparent chest infection, which I actually think is real.

Today is Phoebe’s 23rd birthday so early morning I text her to wish her all the best.

I leave the office around 3.45 and it is a nightmare, I hop sheepishly so that I do not get seen and do not get inquisitioned. I get the train station well within time and manage to nicely catch a train minutes after four. As I stand on the platform waiting for the train my phone beeps and it is Phoebe “Hiya! Good luck at your ‘Doctors appointment’ (“,)�.

The train ride isn’t the greatest but it is pretty safe and reliable. I am not used to being on such quiet trains to London and the carriage is almost empty. The office (Chernobyl) phones for me but my phone is on silent and I do not know what the hell it is that they want. When we get to Liverpool Street though we hit a snag as the train sits outside the station for about ten minutes as it waits for signals to change (and probably to allow commuter trains out the other way). This is bad, the delay throws all my tightly timed plans out of the window and it begins to look like I will struggle to make the 5.30 appointment time. Around 5.10 our train is finally let into the station and I finally get out of the train. Just as I run through rush hour Liverpool Street some crappy punk band is setting up equipment and starting to play a publicity stunt set, I LOVE LONDON! The bands however are only using practice equipment and the sound of rush hour not drowns but blows them out. I stumble onto a tube and they’re screwed also, stopping and starting and basically dying on their arse. Around Tottenham Court Road, I am officially late. Eventually I make it to Bond Street station and I have never seen this one before, it is magnificent. I manage to find my way out of the station (easier said than done when a stranger) and I set upon finding the road just off Bond Street where the firm is.

I end up running to get to Slaven Jeffcote, basically with the word damage limitation on my mind with regards to lateness. I find it and go up to the fifth floor. For 5.30 I was expected the office, a city office, to still be in full flow but instead it is dead. So, this is what a city firm of accountants looks like internally. As expected I am interviewed by two bods, the younger of which directs me to the board room where the three of us sit around a huge, inappropriate table. The manager, a Mr Paling, appears a real hard nosed type who is next to impossible to impress, talk about nonplussed. The other guy, a gentleman known only as Steve but a future partner it seems, seems more receptive and much closer to my age, therefore I feel I get a little bit more of a break from him. The interview is really hard, immediately I am hit with “tell us about yourself�. I have been running around like a blue arsed fly for nearly two hours to get to this interview, my heart is going a hundred miles an hour from running around and my throat is parched, I need a break before I can attack a question like that. They seem unaware or impressed about my efforts in getting to interview from Colchester at such short notice. And of course, unfortunately I am the person who finds it next to impossible to sell himself. I stumble through my career highlights/details though and get going eventually but Hays do not appear to have done a very thorough job of transferring my CV into their format CV. I find myself speaking high of W&D and making my current firm sound a bit bodge to say the least (unfortunately). We discuss roles and experience and then we get onto the ins and outs of this big arse Bond Street firm. I feel under interrogation, playing good cop bad cop but I genuinely do find that I hold my own with these NFL types, if not thriving, I certainly am surviving to hold my own at their level. The interview is really heavy and the work sounds very hard, much harder than my current “easy� workload and the prospect of working in such an environment and culture is daunting to say the least. I wonder sometimes if I come over as aggressive when I over compensate what I feel are my verbal shortcomings. I am asked why I want to work in the City and I say all the right things. And mind bogglingly, the subject of audit work does not come up as much as expected, the limit rise effects these firms in the manner that instead of losing all their audit work, they are now in effect gaining a number of additional accounts jobs. We get back onto the subject of my and I am asked to tell them about myself, not the accountant the person. As per usual, despite being an egomaniac I find it next to impossible to describe and sell myself. I almost turn the conversation around and say “enough about me, what about you?�. I fail to mention any real interests I have and as usual I never mention my involvement in music with Gringo Records, something I never boasted about in the first place anyway. Instead I go off in a tangent and tell them why I like my hometown Colchester and why I think it is a nice safe place to live, because of the squaddies. I take some heart from the fact at one point the younger guy Steve says “I think I know where you’re coming from, stuck in a small office/firm doing the same thing all the time wanting to progress�. He the man!

One hour of my life later and the interview is over. I take a hell of a lot of heart from the general sense of feeling that tonight I more than hold my own with a group of individuals far more progressed than I in the industry. Even if I do not get this job, I will have at least taken a big step towards getting somewhere I want. I stagger back onto Bond Street and check my phone to find text messages of words of advice from Phoebe and a text from Sara asking how the interview went. I ride the train home with the late commuters in a general hunch.

Not long after getting in I get changed out of my suit and decide to go out and get the School Of Rock DVD. I go to the Tesco on Highwoods (rough part of Colchester). As I enter the store I notice the black security guard dude eyeing me up. I pick up my DVD and begin scouring/scanning the CDs for the horrible Dire Straits compilation for dad. No dice. I look up and much squinting to see said security guard stood two metres to my left checking out CDs also. Motherfucker, he suspects on the pinch! And I get this surprisingly quite a bit and this royally pisses me off. I decide to hang out with the dude for a while and attempt to annoy him as much as he has annoyed me (is it cos I is white?). Mentally I get really arsey and feel like asking him how many exams the man has taken in order to qualify to being a Tesco security guard. I feel like asking him how many heads he has cracked open in his time and on the subject of time, how much fucking time has he spent inside. I also want to know his hourly pay rate just to know how many times over mine is better (two? Three?). I am a prick to the end. I pretty much pay for my DVD and storm out. As I leave through the exit the guy has returned to his perch, that or his twin brother (as Condon once said…….).

The rest of the evening is a snorer. I didn’t really need to get the DVD because TV is so good tonight. First up after Big Brother is Average Joe and about a dozen geeks are all competing to pull a glamour model. Next up is Rocky 2, the rematch and finally late is Kids In The Hall: Brain Candy is on BBC2 late. YES! I absolutely love this film really because I love Kids In The Hall though. The Cancer Boy character is SO sick but funny all the same, this is some of the least sympathetic comedy in history. And this film could almost have been written with St John’s Wort in mind (ho ho). Pathetically though, I manage to stay awake/alive for the 12.20 start time but almost immediately fall asleep, dead to world. You snooze you lose.

np: Pell Mell – Swoon


Post a Comment

<< Home