Being without internet in my apartment means I’m having to write this blogpost from the office, however I’ve got the pick of the meeting rooms so am able to sit in a comfortable chair with the window open and views of the Empire State Building it could be worse. Especially after having just watched Man Utd win their second match on tour. However I don’t want to jump ahead of time, so more on the situation at present in a later post.
Having expressed my interest to my manager of going for the New York job, I then had to formally tell HR I would like to apply for the position. From that point until I received my offer the situation was in New York and global recruitment departments hands.
So the next step was to speak to the global team about the role and steps required. While this was all happening in work the benefit of finally living where I wanted in the city was paying off.
Firstly, the long long awaited and planned,re-planned, re-re-planned re-re-re-planned (etc.) with Chris and Mark finally came to fruition. We’d all been living inn London for a while and had tried to continue our curry nights from Wantage to London. Unfortunately as oft happens in the city, everyone got busy and we struggled to pen down a date that all of us could make. When we did it ended with someone having to pull out. So about 10 months later we managed to make the curry work. It was an excellent curry at the Strand Tandoori, made all the more amusing by the waiter seemingly hitting on Mark.
Around the same time I also started playing badminton. In terms of playing this is one of my favourite sports but I hadn’t played it with any regularity or commitment for a while. Ironically the last time I had played it was when I was living in Ealing and went to a few meetups which were about 5 minutes from my later to be North London flat, once I moved however I never went to them. The competition provided to me with badminton came through two people. Sophie, someone I knew through my Man Utd website (although not updated for a long time, there is a story about how we still use it for recruitment at Possible), although prior to badminton had never met. Unfortunately for Sophie she was no match for my badminton skills, so I had to start playing left handed after our first match*. My other competition came through Simon, a good mate from work, where we started playing at 8am before work twice a week. I’m not an early riser but there was something energizing about playing before work.
With an awareness that I might be moving to New York (and no clear timeline in my head as to when) and the proximity to everything I was filling my calendar up as much as possible. My cousin, Jasmine, over from Japan to study in London, was living in North London too so we managed to meet up and see Nerina Pallot, an artist I’ve followed for a long time, perform in a church near Kings Cross. The support act was someone called Minute Taker, so called because he had spent many hours in an office job taking minutes. He’s an alternative act and used many different instruments and effects to perform his music. In one track he introduced it with a caution about whether he felt it was appropriate to perform it in a church. The song in question sampled sound effects from porn (I know I’ve referenced porn twice in one blog now) tracks to act as the rhythm section. At the end of the gig Nerina Pallot credited “Minute Taker”, claiming she might plagiarize some of his ideas. At this point someone in the audience shouted the word “porn” at her. Being in a church it’s obviously not always easy to hear what someone is saying with the acoustics. Nerina clearly couldn’t hear it and I suspect it also comes down to not expecting to hear something that is being said. But it ended up getting increasingly louder with Nerina genuinely unable to hear what was being said, more and more of the audience started shouting ‘porn’ back at her. One of the most surreal moments in a gig I’ve ever been to – large sections of the audience shouting ‘porn’ at the singer, in a church.
This should give an idea of how long it took from acknowledging the New York opportunity to even connecting on the phone about formalizing the opportunity, although given this is a public blog I should stress it was generally a busy time all round and there’s no blame being attached anywhere! But to avoid a particularly lengthy account of everything I did in between I will do a brief recap with highlights.
Naz had been badgering me for a while to go and see a wrestling show in Manchester. Two highlights from this, being introduced to the Piccadilly Rats. The other “highlight” being the normal drama on a night out with Naz that led to us having to leave the show early.
I also went to a gig with Jess from work, to see the Cardigans singer – Nina Persson perform at Scala. Excellent singer. Highlight of the gig was this song..
For the third time I saw The Jersey Boys in the Prince Edward Theatre in London. With Beth and Dawn. Dawn and I had seen it twice before, but this was Beth’s first time seeing it. It was one of the last performances in the theatre before it moved to a different theatre. I love the show and the music is great. I do recommend seeing it, although the first time I saw it was still the best for me. First inspired to see it (both Dawn and I), by their performance way back in 2008 on the Royal Variety Show.. I will see it in Broadway at somepoint.
A week after the Jersey Boys, my parents came up and we met up with Jasmine to see some of the art she was exhibiting at the Bargehouse Oxo Tower. It was a cool modern exhibition and great to see some of her work.
I also fitted in another gig with Chris and Charlie to see Ellen and the Escapades. I’d seen them once before with Chris and Charlie and they were promoting some new material. The support act was a band called Feldspar, who I have since found on Spotify and were a strong support act.
Finally in late March I managed to connect with the necessary people to start the process and receive my offer. There were some details of the offer I received which were a surprise to me. The following day I was in the clients office and it was towards the end of the day when I received another e-mail requesting a quick call as the original details of the offer weren’t correct. It was slightly awkward being at the clients but I managed to find a quiet space to take the call and was happy to hear of a significant change in one of the terms.
I now had the offer and move terms in writing and had taken the following Monday off to give me time to go home over the weekend and discuss it with my parents.
*Not 100% true.