On being stupid and right

Because you can be both, I’m told.

So, I’ll cut to the chase, no faffing. This week, I got offered a job. Full-time, slightly more money than I was expecting, at a tiny company about a twenty-minute train journey away – tick, tick, tick. I didn’t mean to get the job (“well, fuck you and your accidental job-getting,” said a friend – quite fairly – in the pub the other night). I just saw an ad titled “document writer”, thought “hey, I can probably write documents!” and sent them my CV. The advert didn’t say what the company did, or what kind of documents would need writing, which hopefully explains things a little.

I didn’t expect to be asked to an interview a matter of days later – you just don’t, do you? Not these days, when all the odds are against the jobseekers. I certainly didn’t expect the interview to go well – I’m scared of everyone new people, especially new people who are looking for me to impress them. When they gave me a writing task (“just a 150-word press release, use this one here as a guide”), I freaked out and my brain went Ican’tIcan’tIcan’t, and then I realised how feeble it would look to leave them with a blank Word document, so I threw down some sentences and hoped it was a good enough attempt. The tone of it was excellent, the MD said in his e-mail the next day.

(And then he rang me, to let me know he’d e-mailed me, and I’d only just got out the shower and so wasn’t dressed, and during the phone call I managed to whack my knee on the corner of my desk and only just managed to stifle a yelp of “Jesus Fucking Christ I think I’ve chipped my kneecap!”)

And yes, it may seem like there’s a lot of humblebragging going on here – “look at little me, getting a job by mistake!” – but I assure you, everything about this particular instance of job-getting was pretty much unintentional. I left the interview with a tension headache and a dilemma already taking shape – an odd feeling of “if I don’t get this, I’ll be disappointed, because I blagged that one reasonably successfully, and if I do, fuck, I’ll have a Serious Decision To Make”.

Of course I should have taken it. Of course. Because, well – do I want to get away from what I’m currently doing? Yes. It’s not paying – almost literally – and my brainpower is slowly, slowly diminishing. Would it have been good experience? Probably. Once you can write press releases and bids and things, you can take that anywhere. Did it make financial sense? Without a doubt. Why did I not say yes?

Because it wasn’t right for me. And how much that matters, I’m not actually sure. Given that I’m an arts graduate (an arts Master!), and it’s 2013, I’m not exactly in a position to be picky, am I? I’m on the bottom step, I should be grateful for any opportunity that isn’t sorting post and making tea. But I was worried that by doing this, I’d be taking myself out of the search for something that fits me better. And, as it’s such a small company – and they seemed inexplicably keen on me – I’d feel pretty bad about joining them while the intention to find something better within a few months. They were looking for someone to commit to them for at least a year or two, and I couldn’t bank on being able to do that. “But no-one gets their dream job right away,” said the Boy’s mother wisely, and no, there’s no arguing with that.

And I DO feel like a fool for turning down something I know a lot of graduates would jump on, but something just wasn’t right, and I can’t take a job just because I feel guilty about being offered it. I don’t want to say it was “gut instinct” that swung it for me – because it’s a bit of a vague concept upon which to be basing life decisions – but there was a voice somewhere in the back of my head going, “there is something better out there for you”. Obviously only time will tell if that’s the case, but the “Oh GOD, I’ve made a huge mistake” panic hasn’t kicked in yet*.

*Update: it did kick in, about 5pm today, while I was in Boots (which is normally my happy place as I have a make-up buying problem. Still, it’s safer than crack, I suppose). I think my panic in the L’Oreal aisle was mainly triggered by the fact that I’d tried to do a whole day of errand-running on one croissant, a piece of cheese and a lot of tea – rather than any real post-decision regrets. Fingers crossed.

On a brighter note: I’ve been waiting for this lady to make a comeback for an embarrassingly long time. This track is from an album that was meant to be released in 2011. No news yet.

And I am so obsessed with this girl and her new album it’s pretty much the only thing I can listen to right now.

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