My original plan when we moved to County Durham was that I was going to leave my job and use some of the money that my dad left us to support myself while I established myself as a freelancer. However as the time to move got closer it became apparent that the solicitor dealing with the probate was so incompetent that there was no guarantee when the balance of the money would be forthcoming. So I decided to stay where I was albeit working less hours and part time from home.
The only thing was that the company while agreeing to the arrangement made me feel very insecure about it. Then of course I was having to drive down almost every week on a Sunday night and then return on the Thursday evening and of course staying at my Mother-in Law’s (which I didn’t mind)
So I started to look for a job in Newcastle. Someone had mentioned R&B to me as being the best company in the North East and I had looked at their website a couple of times. One day I decided to send in a speculative application and I went on the site to find out their e-mail only to find they were looking for a graphics person – that jobs just right for me I thought and duly applied.
I think I covered the next bit on the 21st October entry but needless to say I got the interview which I was pleased about but as part of the interview process I had to design a presentation template based on a pdf file they sent me for an event held in Manchester. I also had to take along examples of previous work to show them. I was bricking it over this and really didn’t like the idea of being judged in this way but I could see why they might want to do this. I kept putting it off but eventually I put aside the day before the interview to put something together. the examples bit was ok _ I had grabbed a load of videos that I’d made and some presentations I’d worked on and dropped them into a keynote presentation.
Then my mobile rang – it was one of the PMs from work – he’d just seen the video I;d made and it was 16×9. I know I said it was 16×9 last year. Oh god was it? My screen is 4×3 – any chance you can change it? So I had to drop everything and rearrange the video into a 4×3 format and wetransfer it to him – only once I’d finished did I get the chance to get on with the stuff for the interview. I hit on the idea of making some small animations to go on the background of the slides as part of the brochure had a different design for different streams. Naturally I was still not sure if it was good enough.
On the day of the interview I was very very nervous! I got dressed up and left in plenty of time to get to their offices. I probably hadn’t had a job interview for 20 years so I was worried about what it would be like. I told myself not to allow myself to get negative even when asked about why I wanted to leave Eclipse – at least it was easy to explain away by the move! I arrived half an hour early and really needed the loo! I drove around the area but couldn’t find anywhere to go so in the end I had to drive back to their office and ring the buzzer. I kicked myself when I asked for Anthony rather than Antony and felt even worse when I had to ask to use the loo straight away. In any case they weren’t ready for me so that was ok.
As I sat waiting to be called up someone came in and asked if I was being seen to and I explained that I was waiting for an interview and he asked me if I’d like a coffee but I already had one. I think it was at that moment that I knew I’d be happy yo work here! A short while later one of the directors came down to get me and as we walked upstairs he said “Viewplan eh?” referring to one of my old employers, to which I replied “I knew your name rang a bell!”
The interview wasn’t too bad – it’d probably be stretching it to say I enjoyed it but I felt relaxed and positive. I had a problem getting my keynote to run on their machine so I asked if they minded if I used mine and quickly pulled it out, unplugged theirs and got mine in place – I’m sure that helped me! Which is more than I could say about the spelling test! Oh my god I wasn’t expecting that! I’m sure I got a load wrong but my handwriting is so bad they probably couldn’t tell anyway! I left the interview really hoping I’d get the job!
Almost two weeks passed and I still hadn’t heard anything. At this point I was convinced I’d blown it. It made me sad because I felt that I’d ruined my chances with a good company perhaps by going for a job that I wasn’t right for. I kicked myself and wondered if I should apply to Savilles! Then one afternoon Sarah and I had gone Christmas shopping in Durham and as we were looking round the first shop my phone buzzed. I swear I knew instantly that it was to do with the job but when I opened the email it said I’d been offered the job. I was instantly propelled into a state of shock that was only relieved by going to Starbucks and having a Gingerbread Latte and a sit down for half an hour. My mind instantly whizzed the other way – what had I done – oh my god did I really want a new job after all I had been with my old company for 26 years which offered some protection etc etc
Once I’d calmed down it all made sense so after a few exchanges of emails to clarify things I accepted the job and we agreed I’d start on 10th January!
This only left one thing – to hand in my notice. The next time I was in the office was 1st December which was perfect to give one months notice. The director who I had the good relationship with was on holiday so I left my letter on the desk of my line manager. It sat there for two days! When he did eventually come in he didn’t say anything to me until after lunch when he stopped me in the corridor and said “yeah ok” – 26 years and that’s all I got! I explained that as I had some time working at home due and a fair amount of holiday then I’d finish the following day and he said ok. So I did.
No sooner had I got home than I heard from the other director – the one with whom I had started the company. He seemed to be annoyed about the fact that there had been no handover organised. The line manager tried to get me to go down the following week but I refused (what were they going to do? sack me?) and said I’d come in as agreed on the 23rd December which I did. When I got there neither director had bothered to turn up so I sat at my desk and typed out a document for my successor and left it where it could be found. The head of the graphics department hadn’t even bothered. There was no card or prezzie despite the fact I’d been there since day 1 except that one of my friends had got me a card himself in which he’d put £50 because he was so annoyed that they hadn’t bothered.
As I walked away I was 100% sure I’d made the right decision!