Subsequent to my self-deprecating ‘About’ section, it has then proceeded to take me a month to get this thing off the ground. Less due to nervous procrastination and more to sheer lack of time, I would say, but I consider that fairly representative of the way I’m feeling these days; like my time is less my own than everybody else’s and that it doesn’t matter how loud I shout, nobody quite understands me. My God, what an awful cliché. There again, clichés are surely borne out of a consistently reoccurring reality so I usually hesitate to condemn those who use them on occasion.
I suppose it would be best to give a brief (and I promise it will be!) account of what got me back to London and working for a pub company based in Marylebone. Or do I? This isn’t a personal statement, it’s just for me, right? I doubt anyone at all is reading this and I know where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to. So that’s settled. It’s not important who I used to be or where I came from but that I’m me and I’m here.
At the end of last week, I had a performance development review (PDR) with my new boss, during which she made it clear that in the last sixteen months I have made myself fairly indispensable to the day-to-day workings of the company. I should explain: I was taken on by something of a fluke last year when, having just returned to London from a year and a half in New Zealand where I worked solely in hospitality, my cv fell into the hands of my old boss, the Head of HR of a London-based pub company. She was in the market for an office/sales/marketing girl, which at the time appealed to me hugely. I’d been working front of house for some very prestigious establishments in Auckland and Queenstown and in my last job I had performed a function coordinator-style role and absolutely loved it! Though my time on the floor was well and truly over by that point, owing to the fact that I could no longer stand the (luckily not always) appalling way I and my colleagues were spoken to, I found a huge amount of satisfaction in seeing a project come together and be executed to the approval of client and staff alike. Needless to say I was in no hurry to jump back on the floor, but Siobhan’s offer of an office-based administration role with the ‘promise’ of progression into a sales and events position was pretty much a dream come true; especially after Avi and I had spent two weeks living with family friends of my parents, laboriously flat-hunting and trawling indeed.com. Suffice it to say we were just a little bit frantic until this opportunity and his job fell in our laps, by way of a very kind distant relative of Avi’s.
Now, you might wonder what kind of thing an ‘office/sales/marketing girl’ gets up to. The answer is everything. Fucking everything. And, while it was fun and fulfilling for a while, I am now beginning to wonder if I will ever get to do the job I want to with this company. I was given the role of ‘Office & Sales Manager’ – I know, it’s odd to me too – and ever since then I have done an amalgamation of office management, personal assistance to our Operations Director, HR administration, fetching, carrying, writing, politics, proof-reading, liaising, bull-shitting and every other use you can imagine I might be put to as a resource without a clear or respected job role. I do not wish to detract from the vast amount I have learned at Downtown Pub Co., nor the joy I get from getting up every day without dreading work, as I once did when I made coffee and poured wine for a living. However, I was hoping for a swing towards some semblance of a career path within six months of starting and eighteen months later I am sitting in a PDR with my new boss, Gracie, and she’s telling me it could be as distant a pipedream as ever it was. That said, she is definitely in my corner, but I am realising what I ought to have know long ago. That no one is going to do my life for me. If the world we live in today is any kind of testament, you cannot rely on the norm or convention, or that there is anyone who cannot and will not surprise you. If I want to be successful, I have no one to task with it but myself. I am still working out exactly what it is I want to be successful at, but I have a feeling that this is the defiant, rebellious little start of something. I will shout loud, I will be understood and I will get where I want to go.