Monday, 19 July 2010


It's going to be weird going home. Once the novelty of seeing family, friends and the doggles wears off, it'll be back to the daily grind.

The thing is, I have no daily grind. The work question is going to pop up in the same breath as 'how was your trip?', and this time I'm not sure what the answer's going to be. Staying away from the comfortable clasp of a secretarial / PA role is the first challenge. Already, a job offer back on reception at the Little School of Horrors has landed in my inbox and been politely declined. It would have sorted out my finances in a few months, and helped with the County Council debt I racked up the last time I worked there. But for one, if an admin job is on the cards, it'll have to be in central London. For two, occasionally I value my sanity more than money. For three, the County Council overpaid me. They can wait for their cash.

Writing for magazines...well, that's always been something I've wanted to do. A little travel section here and there would be ideal now I've seen a bit of the world. But I know that going in that direction probably means more working for free. Having worked as assistant to The Writer for almost six months, I know internships are all good wonderful great experience, but it earnt me presicely 0. Some people can deal with that, some people have the drive to keep doing something when rewards aren't monetary. Perhaps I just don't. The fact is, I'm nearly 26. I want to move out. And I can't move out of home unless I'm earning real, actual, spend-me-money.

Sometimes it feels like I missed the writing career boat; that my CV is now outdated thanks to the wonderful array of secretarial jobs I've collected over the years.


One of the assignments The Writer gave me to research and write on his behalf last year was a "24 hours in..." piece for a trade magazine. While looking into the 'drink' section, I chanced upon my holy grail: a cafe specialising in beer, wine and accompanying cheese. I'd like to say that our choice to visit Philadelphia lay with some other reason; the history, even the famous cheese steaks...but it didn't. Truth is, ever since I'd written that piece, I've wanted to go to the sort of cafe I've been hankering after for most of my sociable life.

So, after a day sweating our way around Washington DC's famous landmarks, we drove to Philly, checked into our hotel (unfortunately the hotels I'd suggested in my piece were a little high end for our budget, the Holiday Inn would have to suffice) and I got googling. We spent the better part of the night upstairs in Tria, a fermentation school-turned-cafe, ogling and devouring an extensive menu of beers, wine and cheese. The menus were arranged according to taste, and by the time we'd bulldozed our way through all 5 pages, we were fed, watered and content. Staff, flavours and service, all was epic. London needs a Tria. I demand it.

Having never got to see the article in print, today I did some more googling. There it was, published March 2009 and now stored electronically online: the piece I'd researched, written, and received constructive feedback for. It was, of course, under The Writer's name. That had been the deal, and it did wonders for my writing and confidence. But today, seeing my work with someone elses name attributed to it no longer felt like an achievement. It just annoyed me. I wanted my name under it.

Perhaps I've still got that drive after all.


Perakath said...

Are you going to keep writing here, for free?

Perakath said...

This is not a comment.

London-Lass said...

Dont despair - doesnt mean to say that if you take the comfy option (i.e. secretary/PA) you have to give up on your dreams. There is always that nifty thing called `spare time' in which you can do something about your goals. In addition, you've got money rolling back in again.

PS : That Tria places looks right up my personal alley. Reminds me a little bit of Vinopolis - cept not quite so snobby/pricey.

Ellie said...

That would definitely rub. People like credit where credit is due, despite agreements.

Enjoy NYC!

Blonde said...

Heh. In which case, PR is DEFINITELY not for you...

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Perakath - Yeah, blogging for free is fine. Working for free, not so much...

London lass - Yeaaah, that's the option I've always considered. There's nothing wrong with a PA career, indeed my sister makes a good living from just that, it's just, ahh, I don't know. I like to challenge myself, and I always wanted to do something using my degree(s).

Ellie - Arrived in NYC this afternoon. Will use my time here to shop and consider future options (maybe not the second thing)

Blonde - I considered and cast aside PR long ago!

Scarlett said...

Awwww - did you love my city of DC!?!? How was NY?? You'll find your nitch and whatever you choose will fabulous!


Blog Template by - RSS icons by ComingUpForAir