Once this much time has gone by, an update is hard to give. Everything that has happened in the last couple of weeks runs together in my head.
I have been so incredibly busy during these two weeks that would normally have been consumed by SCGC Championship preparation and participation as well as a possible trip to WGI. I am honestly glad to have been so preoccupied here or I might have lost my cool. I miss those kids, I miss my colleagues, I miss the work, I miss the laughs, I miss the creative process. I’m still picking out songs and designing shows, like I’ll be writing one again. Ah, bittersweet heartache.
So, back to reality. What have I been doing?!
Interview Wednesday, 25 March
I was so pleased with so many things that I learned in the interview. The hiring manager needed someone with nearly my exact skill set and current career goals. The office is within walking distance of my flat (15 minutes if walking slow in heels, 7 minutes in trainers). The company is global, though the UK office is small, growing, and growth is expected to continue. I would have close contact with all other departments; this means the opportunity to gain a better knowledge of what everyone does – for a greater overall understanding of the industry and clinical research in general. The organization encourages and supports employees’ professional growth. Responsibilities are highly administrative for the project currently underway, which is great for me while I become comfortable with all of the EU regulations and decision making bodies, not to mention the accents and culture!
Verbal job offer received on the afternoon of Wednesday, 25 March
I might have been shaking for a few minutes. I was in disbelief. It was everything for which I had hoped. They obviously needed someone straightaway because they asked me to start Monday, 30 March.
Paper job offer received on the afternoon Thursday, 26 March
I met Emily for an Oxford Street shopping adventure. She introduced me to the world of Selfridges – whoa. All I know is that they have a small section of imported American foods where I found Crisco, Aunt Jemima syrup, and Smucker’s Grape Jelly. Who knew?! Now, if only I could get my hands on some Martha White flour, we could have proper southern biscuits… They do have chocolate covered bacon.
Lunch at Woodlands Friday, 27 March
We had to get in some time with the fabulous K & Em, back from their skiing trip in Flaine, so we had lunch at an amazing Indian restaurant just off Leicester Square. That morning I ruined some fairy cakes intended for Janita to share with her co-workers in celebration of her upcoming birthday… Boo.
Work clothes shopping Saturday, 28 March
I would not recommend shopping with a specific purpose on a Saturday in central London, but when it’s all you have, you do what you can to stay calm and focused. Veggie sloppy joes, and then a visit to The Big Chill near King’s Cross for Janita’s birthday party – which she nearly missed. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find her (because she wasn’t there yet) and we left before she arrived.
YAY! A Visitor! Sunday, 29 March
We met John Gusty at the airport and guided him into central london to the company flat where he was staying this week. After lunch in a pub south of Seven Dials, we gave him a short unofficial tour of the area south of the square (Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, the London Eye, the Thames River) and we took The Original [Double Decker] Bus Tour. We were frozen by the wind, but the view was worth it. We warmed up at Garfunkel’s off Leicester Square to top off the evening.
First Day at my new job Monday, 30 March
What can you say about your first day anywhere? It is so overwhelming to have a million names thrown at you and face an empty desk… However, as this is my first job in the UK, I can tell you some of the things I found to be especially noteworthy. Cubes are short and only go around your desk. Senior Managers sit in the cube farm with the rest of us. Fresh milk is delivered every day for coffee and tea. Water, coffee and biscuits are available fresh in all of the meeting rooms because you can’t have a meeting without refreshments. They take security, health and safety, and fire safety very seriously here. It gets noisy. We have lots of meetings. For those of you familiar with clinical research, yes, I have a million SOPs to read and since I am programme level support so I also have 5 study protocols to read and understand. No biggie.
Work and hanging with John Gusty, Tuesday through Thursday, 31 March-03 April
There wasn’t a night that I came home and cooked an actual dinner meal after work this week. I didn’t even check email most nights. I am tired.
Taking John to the airport, Saturday 04 April
We made the journey back to airport with John so we didn’t miss a minute of hanging out and had brunch at Wetherspoon’s. Then we headed home for a nap. I think I lost consciousness, being so tired and my brain having so much to process from the week. Then I made a trip to the grocery store because we were out of everything! I made a weird dinner that included vegetarian Gruyere patties, Indian spiced potatoes, and a crappy chickpea dip that I will never make again. For dessert, a chocolate cheesecake to celebrate Drew’s upcoming birthday!
So, the good news is that I have a job. The bad news is that I am not eligible to take vacation in my first 90 days. So, our May vacation to the states will most likely now happen in July. Update your calendars.
I know you are bored and yawning. At least, now you know what the heck kept me from blogging. I promise to be better, but I can’t promise to blog every night. Drew will have to take a turn more often : ) He’s been great to help lately, but we’ll both have some adjusting to do as we figure out how this new routine should work.
Much love to you all!