The turning point in my life was an argument about snacks. Snacks, of all things, were the straw that broke the camels back and caused me to reevaluate my life and the path I was walking. I no longer wanted to be living in Smallsville, living the small town dream.
I didn’t want to date another one of my boss’s friends, or keep drinking in the same bars, eating at the same restaurants and talking to the same people. Suddenly I felt trapped. I felt claustrophobic and I knew I needed change…but what? That was the big question! I hated big cities and I had tried the cabin crew route – but I didn’t get called back for a second interview (besides I had got lost trying to find the place and I was an hour late – probably not a good start anyway).I needed something else – I needed another escape route.
One night I was talking to one of my staff members about travelling, and she told me that she spent 2 years travelling and it was brilliant because it was with a British company and it was her job. Every word she uttered had me hooked like a fish to a line. What on earth was this mystical, magical job? Was it designed for anyone? Was there a catch? Where could I sign up or find out more? …Then she said the magic words (in a very nonchalant tone), “just look on the internet, they are always hiring”. The sky opened and a ray of sunshine shone down on me and I heard angels singing, and cherubs playing the harp! This was it! My golden willy wonka ticket out of here! As easy as that…except I needed to update my CV (how tedious), and more importantly, I needed an internet café (since I didn’t have that luxury in my flat).
Well, to cut a long story short, I didn’t go to the internet café immediately and I certainly didn’t update my CV straight away. I guess you could say I got cold feet and the thought of taking a leap into the unknown was rather daunting, so I decided maybe I needed to sit on it for a bit – lets just say I sat on the idea for about 2 months. However, after a particularly bad day at the bar when some old man screamed foul language at me, I decided enough was enough. I was fed up, sick and tired of the crap, and this was it I was going to fill in the online application, even if it was just for the hell of it. As I was looking through the internet, I noticed there were quite a few companies offering the same role. What the hell… I applied to all of all. I had nothing to lose, but I guessed I had a whole lot to gain. Once I was finished I didn’t think much of it after that – because my friend called me shortly after and invited me shopping – and there you had it, just like that, my terrible day/life was soon forgotten.
Out of the blue 3 months later I got a phone call from one of the companies I had applied to, and they invited me to their head office for an interview. WOW! I had totally forgotten about the day I sent out my CV in a vexed state of mind. Here I was actually being summonsed for an interview – that I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to attend. Was I a little too overzealous about wanting to escape the humdrum existence? Did I really want to pack my bags and venture into the unknown? I figured I would sleep on it and whatever I decided on the day of the interview would be the right choice.
A week later my alarm went off at 6am. I needed to catch the 8am train to London and be at the head office – which was 3 underground train rides away from the main station in the City of London. Oh boy! I had woken up and it was dark and the prospect of having to take the early morning commute dressed in interview attire was not appealing. I hated wearing stockings and shoes with heels – hence why the 9-5 office thing was and never will be for me! I lay in bed until 7am convinced that I wasn’t going – what was the point of travelling 2 hours away from home to get rejected. No! I was not going! Despite my stubbornness, deep down something stirred. A voice said, “don’t be silly. You had the day off anyway and you didn’t have any plans. Besides, you have nothing to lose. And if you do get the job, then you can tell them to stuff it, because you’ve changed your mind, and you’re not interested.” I guess that voice won me over, because I jumped out that bed so fast and I was dressed and at the train station just as the train I needed pulled into the station. Some would say that the rest of that day flowed exactly like that – totally according to plan – as if it was my destiny.
I got to the interview on time – what would normally have been a group interview of about 20 people – there were only 3 of us. Apparently, when the interview dates were being set, there was some kind of mix up and when the dates were changed, we were the only 3 who were not told. At the time I didn’t think anything of it because I was not getting my hopes up for love nor money. I had a rather ‘don’t -really- care- attitude’ about the whole thing if I’m totally honest. We started the group interview and it involved presenting – but it seems I got the information wrong. I assumed it was just to talk – oh no – these 2 girls came with full on cartridge paper sized presentations with pictures and leaflets. There I was with my little A-4 paper with no pictures, no leaflets and definitely no props. That was it I thought, I didn’t follow instructions and now I had just lost my chance at happiness. We had to sit through a math and english test after that, and then we were called in one by one to have a chat with the interviewer. It was a very lighthearted chat. She asked me questions about where I wanted to be placed and why. She asked why I wanted to do this job, and what qualities did I possess in order to be successful. You know…all the usual intimidating questions they ask. At the end of the interview she said, ‘’normally we would contact you in a week or so to let you know if you are successful, but on this occasion I can definitely tell you that you are what the company is looking for and I am pleased to welcome you to the team’’. Huh? What? I am sure she said a whole lot more, but I was stunned. I was actually stunned into total delirium. Nothing was making sense. I kept asking myself is this real? Will I wake up in my bed shortly?
I was that spaced out, after I left the interviewer – who was probably still rabbiting on about something – I walked out of the building and straight into the road. Yes, you read correctly! I walked straight into the road without looking left or right. But as I had said before, my destiny was clearly planned , because the bus that could have squashed and killed me that morning, narrowly missed me and I was none the wiser – even though I could faintly hear a woman screaming and I man shouting. Maybe they were directed at me, but my euphoric daze was far too glorious.
There you have it folks, I was about to embark on a journey of a lifetime. I was about to escape the mundane. I was about to give up the known for the unknown. I was about to start my dream job! A job, that to this very day, I miss with all my heart and soul.