Friday, May 11, 2007

Pounding The Pavement

So. Yesterday. London.

One day, one man, one travelcard, one pair of tight loafers, one blog entry. Reminiscences are GO!

First interview at 11am. Door to door, it takes me about two and a half hours. This is bad. It’s Whitechapel. Or, if I’m feeling less charitable, Tower Hamlets. Commercial Road is a fucking shithole. It’s even worse than where I work now. This is also bad.

I go into the interview feeling pretty cavalier. If I don’t get this one, I won’t really care. The office is a hovel as well. It’s like all the crap from the street has overflowed into the building. I write this one off before the interview even begins.

People forget that interviews aren’t only about the company testing you for suitability. It’s a two-way street. Half an hour of the usual back-and-forth and I’m done.

I crawl back into the underground with a couple of hours to kill and end up spending five minutes chatting with a Big Issue seller outside Embankment. He ends up being the nicest person I meet all day.

I head over to Forbidden Planet to find something for my daughter. (No, really. Not for me at all. Oh no. For her. Yes). Buttercup is besotted with Spider-Man at the moment, and I feel a little bit bad that she can’t watch the movies. She’s far too young. As much as I love the rich mythology of superhero comics, I’m cognisant of the fact that, ultimately, they are ongoing tales of people in gaudy costumes slapping the shit out of each other. Not really something I want her to get into at her age. But I wanted to get her a little something, so she can at least revel in the iconography of it all. Mission accomplished.

At around the time that Tony Blair is waving goodbye to his beloved constituents, I start to head in the general direction of Warren Street. The next interview takes place somewhere that’s not quite Euston and not quite Camden.

This is much better. The guy interviewing me actually seems like he is trying to get to grips with what I can do, what I have done, and who I am (unlike the previous interviewer who just seemed to want a dry recitation of the information readily available on my CV.)

I read him quite quickly, and adjust myself accordingly. I shift from the Queen’s English to somewhere further down the scale, hovering above the level of Barrow Boy colloquialism. I drop the odd “t”, and say “Cheers” instead of “Thank you”. It seems to go well. I’ve learnt by now, though, that that means nothing. We shall see.

Still relatively early, and it’s raining by now, so I decide to go and watch Ryan Gosling as a crack-addict school-teacher and self-confessed “big asshole baby” in Half Nelson.

And then, with my toes screaming and heels chaffing in my too-small shoes, I forge onwards once more deep into the guts of the Underground to make the long journey home.

By the time my head hit the pillow last night, it didn’t take long for me to get to sleep. I could end with a flourish and tell you it was the sleep of the righteous. But I’ll go for the truth instead. It was the sleep of the tired, and it was great.

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