Sunday, 20 May 2012

The city is too small

Dissatisfied as ever with my 'work' situation, I have been rather half-heartedly looking for jobs. Not many part-time situations in my so-called specialism come up. I don't know why it should be harder to find half a job than a whole job but there it is. Lists of vacancies appear my inbox regularly but there's nothing I want to (or realistically could) apply for, until last week. Then two arrive on the same day and my ears prick up.

The first is for a position in a mystery organisation. It is being advertised through a recruitment agency. They seem very professional and a bit corporate. It's very well paid though. The other is a post in a charitable organisation I know and respect - oh, cool!

'Well,' says Virgil, when I tell him, 'If you want to avoid Sarah then that's not the job for you. She works there.' 'What do you mean? She works at ___, doesn't she?' I say, outraged. I had been surreptitiously twitching at every mention of ___ for months. 'No, she definitely works for ___,' he says, 'But she might move. Who knows?'

I try to imagine working in the same office as Sarah. It feels impossible.

I spend hours crafting a covering letter and email my CV to the recruitment agency. They respond positively and send me a full job description which reveals the identity of the employer and corrects an inaccuracy in the advert which had omitted the words 'pro rata' . The job sounds stultifying and is not nearly as well paid as I first thought. We agree that I should apply for it anyway, just for the experience.

'There's nothing like going for an interview for a job you have no interest in,' says Virgil, who has never done this in his life.

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