If my life in the UK was a musical, it would be entitled ‘Frustration’.
Sure there would be (some) dancing girls, lots of bright lights and a bit of action, but the general plot/narrative would be about opening a box of chocolates, only to find it full of empty wrappers.
Back when I last lived in this part of the world, the credit crunch was far less crunchy: there were lots of jobs, the pay was high and the pound was strong.
Alas, the England of 2010 is a very different beastie to its predecessor and Act I of ‘Frustration: the Musical’ has been defined by surprise/dismay at how deeply scarred the economy is and how few jobs there are. Much of the dialogue has focused on why wages are so low compared to Down Under (maybe someone with a more financially wired brain than mine can explain this in a way that won’t make my eyes glaze over – are you listening, Richard S?)
The definitive quote of this Act belongs to a recruitment agent who told me if I’d been here two years ago, or was willing to wait another five, he would have no trouble finding me a job. Five years?? I’d rather spit up a lung, thanks mate.
Act II - The key characteristic of this Act has been ‘head repeatedly meeting table’. A contract did materialise three weeks after arriving in Blightly but, as regular readers of this blog will know, it was tedious rubbish and the team was run by a woman who would have to study really, really, really hard for six months just to make it to the intelligence – and charisma – level of a brussel sprout.
Act II wasn't all bad though: there were several trips abroad, the purchase of a cute Mini and travel around the UK, catching up with old friends and making new ones. And, my personal favourite, worshipping at the altar of fabulous UK retail gods.
Act III – This showed every indication of being a repeat of Acts I and II, but with a sub-plot of resignation and counting-down-the-days-till-I-can-go-home.
But, last Friday that changed when I was offered a gig as a SENIOR EDITOR WITH AN INTERNATIONAL B2B PUBLISHING COMPANY, meaning I finally get a chance to use my skills and experience, to write until my fingers ache and to boss a junior editor around!
This could be the Act where it finally falls into place….