Something I thought would be a well-meant waste of time today – the “consultation” I was offered by Bexleyheath Job Centre – turned out to be quite the opposite! It’s always nice to have negative opinions turned around and mine certainly were.
Bexleyheath Job Centre were efficient and pleasant when I attended my assessment interview, but I got a sense that they don’t get many unemployed Web Search Editors coming through their doors and might be a tad unsure what to do with me.
“Have you thought about retraining as a plumber, Mr Carter? No? How about HGV driving? See the sights of the UK’s motorways…”
Fortunately being a large government organisation they have a network of consultants who cover all sorts of bizarre (but redundant) vocations – even Web Search Editing – and they sent me off to a company in central London who do get unemployed Web Search Editors (or similar) coming through their doors. I had an interview with them this afternoon and came away with my hopes of imminent re-employment very much raised.
My consultation was just over an hour, but the official stuff, although very useful, took up only about half of that time; the rest was spent just chatting with “Baz” the consultant, a fascinating guy about my age and with my appetite for new music and learning new things if – we’d met in the pub over a pint or two I like to think we’d have become friends. Or that just be because I don’t see many people in the daytime – especially at the moment with the Lovely Melanie back at work and both the girls away in Dymchurch with their grandparents.
I was reading and listening to some music in bed last night, and only after an hour of struggling to hear Sophie Hutchings‘ classical piano stylings did I remember that I could crank the volume up as loud as I liked. So I did. 🙂
It was also passing strange to be back in central London again – and strange that it should be strange after such a relatively short time away. My interview was near Aldgate, which gave me a glimpse of how non-Londoners must view my beloved adopted home town, it seeming very busy and crowded to these bucolic-Bexley-attuned eyes.
The streets also teemed with suits: men and women both, something I’m unused to having worked in the “bohemian” West End for over a decade. Sure there were always plenty of suits around there, but not everybody was wearing one as they were in Aldgate.
Just goes to show, London can always surprise you. 😉