So, despite nobody writing to me and saying “Please, please write something we have missed you SO much!” I write for myself and so here it is: I share some thoughts after my first week and a half working full time in retail.
I am not ashamed to say I am working for Specsavers, on the contrary: I had ruled out most retail jobs, and as I waited to have the time (and cash) to get appointments for us all there after trying them in Yorkshire and being happy, then trying any number of other opticians and realising they were by far the best, I saw that they were hiring, so I applied.
I am fairly certain they called me by mistake: my interviewer thought my name was (well, not my name) and I then later received a “Sorry you have been unsuccessful email”: my CV is not very appealing for any number of reasons.
But, to be honest, I am aware that once I do get that interview, the likely thought is: “She’s a catch”. I am a good person to hire: I believe in a job well done, I always try my hardest, I love to learn and can be extremely nice to all and any kind of person.
So hopefully they’ll keep me on, after my three-month probation, and hopefully I too will still enjoy it enough to stay.
But this is me. My thoughts were:
- I work on my day off: I have translations to finish. But I thought I’d clean some, and managed my son’s room and half the bathroom and then it was midday. How on EARTH do people who work/study full time manage to keep their house neat and tidy and clean, without cleaners and without spending all weekend cleaning (something I despise)?
- I had forgotten what a huge, huge gap there is in interests and points of view between some of my colleagues (all very nice) and most of my friends. I also had a chance to realise that for a moment I had forgotten about it. I had always been very good at relating to all sorts of different people with incredibly diverse interests, political ideas and backgrounds. Lately, not so much. I admit, having little time, money and patience left, I became intolerant towards anything that I considered stupid, or narrow minded, or limited in any way. Yes I took on the mortal sin of arrogance fully upon me. Now, however, I realise the difference lies between bearing those who have access and means to access a wide array of interests, and those who do not. I am back in my state of loving the “other”, the person who has limited interests and views because they have (amazingly, you’d think, considering the internet etc.) little access to anything else.
That’s it for now, I guess. I entrusted my novel to a couple of willing friends (anybody wants to help too, please do tell me) to go through it and make notes and revise as they saw fit. I gave it raw: I haven’t even re-read it all once. There will mistakes by the dozen, verbs all messed up and timelines in chaos, but I simply do not have the time and hated the idea of it just sitting there. This way I get some precious feedback (it doesn’t matter how long it takes) and so much work done for me, but I am SO curious to see what it sounds like to another person.
I am happy to work for a few years, as we do have to stay in Cambridge for a bit and we just cannot afford to be here without two full time jobs. It means sacrificing time with my daughter and with my friends (I keep thinking: “oooohhh I’d love a pint right after work on Friday and then thinking but no, must spend some time with little Maggie”). It means seeing, once again, how easy it is to slip into this world and really, really believe your gadgets and your TVs and your stuff is actually important. It’s nice to appreciate the TRUE value of takeaways and ready meals.
Because my colleagues are all, without exception, really nice people, my soul is not as miserable as it might otherwise had been. I have after all written out that book, and a lot of good stuff is there that should have happened in real life, and perhaps still might, who knows. Just not now.
I know it won’t be enough to make me forget what really matters though, and, hopefully, I’ll still have time to prepare for when the world as we know it, our society or rather your society as you know it, falls to chaos and self-destruction at last. As long as I’m prepared, I hope it happens in my lifetime.