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Blog: A Paradise Of Lists
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This time last year, almost to the day, I was ALSO starting a new job, and that time I was FRAUGHT with anxiety and found it took me a while to settle into it. This was for various reasons, not least that it was the first time I'd started a whole new job in almost 13 years! ALSO it was miles away over in West London, I was based at two seperate sites, and it was largely left up to me to sort out what I was going to DO.
THIS time around the experience has been very different. Not only had I been through it all just ONE year ago (and actually four months ago TOO when I started at a THIRD location) in my old job, I'd ALSO done much the same a fortnight ago when I'd started the PhD. In addition I'd got an ACTUAL DESK all to myself this time (with DRAWERS!), I was back in a part of town I knew VERY well (Tottenham Court Road, about 5 minutes from Birkbeck where I worked from 2003 to 2014) and there are LISTS that tell you EXACTLY what to do.
I do like a list and this place has TONNES of them for pretty much EVERYTHING. There was a list of things I needed telling on my first day (to be dated and signed), a list of things to talk through with my line manager, a list of courses to go on, and best of all a MASSIVE list of OTHER LISTS (or "Standard Operating Procedures") which tell you how everything - EVERYTHING - has to be done. For someone like me who enjoys getting organised it is pretty much heaven!
And then of course being back in Central London is BLOODY BRILLIANT. Every day when I go out for lunch i find myself GRINNING at the CHOICE of places to go and all the EXCITEMENT that's happening around. Today I even went to the COMIC SHOP, just like I used to, on a WHIM rather than squeezing it in around other jobs like I've had to for the past year.
Having a DESK is also pretty wonderful. I was never able to just LEAVE stuff at the last job, because I was never going to be in the same place two days in a row, and for two of the three locations I didn't have a DRAWER that I could put things in. Now I have SEVERAL drawers, also FILING SHELVES. Oh baby, I am FILING like nobody's business!
Apart from missing the nice people I used to work with, there's only really been TWO downsides to the whole thing. The first was the fact that my desk appears to have been left vacant for about A HUNDRED YEARS and so was FILTHY when I first sat down at it. Luckily, being slap bang in the middle of town means there is a Tesco round the corner so I was able to pop out and get some anti-bacterial wipes to sort it out with. I used most of a pack!
The other downside is, of course, HR, who took nearly three days to put me onto the system (plus the two months since I accepted the post, I guess), and seem to have got my log-in details a bit wrong so I can register for stuff. Still, having a HR Department that managed to get everything right first time would surely be like having a KITTEN that caught balls of string too easily - where's the fun in that?
So, in conclusion: Having lots of changes over the past year or so has both PREPARED me for another new job but also made me delighted in returning to an old area. I hope I can stick around now for AGES!
posted 12/10/2016 by MJ Hibbett
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