Journey of Life

the place formerly known as control your destiny

A year of changes, decisions and a freezer incident!

It’s been a while!!

Since arriving back from my Christmas break in Denmark I have not really felt any desire to write or share anything on here (until now!).

I started to question why anyone would be even remotely interested in what goes through my mind and what happens in my life. Just for the record; this is not some desperate attempt at getting some validation or approval!

Before my Christmas break I thought that, once I’d get to the cottage in which we traditionally spend Christmas, I would have plenty of time to hunt for jobs online and send off applications but none of that happened. I spent the first week with my Dad (we always get there before everyone else to get stuff ready) which is always very relaxing. We both enjoy each other’s company and neither of us feel the need to keep a conversation going just for the sake of it. There were days when I spent a large amount of time just staring at the snow falling from the sky or staring at the fire.

I had so much time to do nothing and although I had planned this time for job hunting, for once, I did not feel guilty for not doing any job hunting whatsoever.

I also spent a lot of time thinking about whether or not it was time for me to move back to Denmark, something I have been thinking about for the past couple of years.

When I arrived back in the UK my best friend picked me up from the airport and on the way back I mentioned that I was thinking seriously about moving back. The prospect of coming back with no job to go back to (not that I would want to go back to that place again) didn’t exactly fill me with joy. More importantly, during the break I kept asking myself what was keeping me there and apart from my friend G, I couldn’t think of anything else. He told me that should I decide to go back he’d be sad to see me go but on the other hand he wouldn’t want to be the reason for me to stay.

I spent New Years eve with him and some other friends, which is a story for another day (or perhaps not!).

Waking up on the first working day of the New Year was rather odd. Knowing that everyone else would be rushing through traffic to get to work made me feel strangely restless and also me feel as if I too should be doing something constructive aka looking for a job, so I did. I signed up for various recruitment agencies, uploaded my CV and applied for pretty much any job that appealed to me regardless of salary.

This taught me a lesson in rejection! I have never had any problems finding work in my life but it seems that when one has worked in the same industry for a long time people tend to want to pigeon hole you. I got a lot of calls from recruitment agents who wanted to put me forward for jobs exactly like the one I had left and when I told them I no longer wanted to work in that capacity they lost interest.

When I started my previous job I made myself a promise that this would be my last job within the financial services industry and I have kept that promise.

After a few weeks I started to get bored with having nothing much to do so I signed up with a temping agency which was an experience in itself.

When I got there I was presented with an application pack to fill in which involved quite a lot of information including a couple of tests. Across from me was a guy from Poland who, with every minute passing, looked more and more frustrated and confused at the contents of the application pack. The French girl next to me didn’t have a much better time and had to look up pretty much every word in her dictionary. I sometimes wonder what happened to those two!

When I left the office, I felt a sense of relief and had a feeling that perhaps things would work out ok in the end. I don’t mind hard work and I don’t mind working odd hours either and I thought that along with my part time job at the college the hours from the agency would make it work. However, I never did work a single hour for the agency! A couple of weeks after my initial visit, G rang me and asked if I would pop into the college as he and his boss wanted to run an idea by me. I didn’t really know what to expect and went with an open mind to discover that they wanted to know if I would be prepared to work in the Kitchen cooking breakfast to free up the other chefs to concentrate on lunch and dinner. I have never worked in a kitchen before but I jumped at the chance and that is what I occupy most of my time with at the moment. When I got home the doubting part of me tried to convince me of all the things that could go wrong; cutting myself, burning myself etc, but so far I have managed to escape any of that.

That said, there was one unexpected hazard I did get to experience and trust me it wasn’t pleasant. There is a walk-in freezer in the kitchen, the size of a small bedroom, however it wasn’t working properly and while the engineer (who spends more time eating and drinking coffee than fixing things) tried to work out what to do I was trying to save some of the stuff. He realised he was in my way and said that he would let me get on, walked out and shut the door behind me.

LET ME OUT!!!

There is a fail safe button inside that you push and you can get back out again but I could not get it to work despite pushing and kicking it. This is when panic set in and I started kicking the door as hard as I could in the hope that someone would hear it. I have never considered myself to be claustrophobic but I since this incident I may have to reconsider my position on this one!! I should point out that while I was in there it was defrosting and the temperature was just about -1 as opposed to the usual -18. After a few minutes of door kicking and blind panic I realised I had my phone on me which brought a sense of relief until I took it out of my pocket and realised that I couldn’t get a signal which was then followed by more panic. So now I am frantically moving around this freezer in a desperate attempt to get a signal while at the same time wondering where in the flying f*@k the engineer had got to! When I finally got a signal and got let out my question about the engineer’s whereabouts were answered; He was merrily enjoying a cooked breakfast!!!

Apart from that and also having to get up at 5am every morning I am fully enjoying it. Despite this, I knew in my heart that going back to Denmark would be the right thing to do. It felt right and it made me smile but the enjoyment I felt from work started to make me question if going back really was the right decision. This was reinforced when G’s boss came into the kitchen one afternoon and asked if he could talk to me in private for a moment. At this point I had been making pizza dough for the evening meal and I suspect I looked fairly similar to the Swedish chef from the Muppet Show. As we left the kitchen he told me that we were going to meet with his boss and as we arrived at her office I explained the reason for my appearance to which she replied “is there anything you don’t do?’ and the only answer I could think of was “yes, banking!”

The reason for the meeting was that they wanted to understand if they could create a full time position for me earning the same as my previous job, would I be prepared to stay in the UK. This took me completely by surprise and it made me doubt even more if going back to Denmark really was the right decision. They talked me through what the job would entail and it really really was tempting to accept but after a week of weighing up everything I chose to decline their kind and generous offer and in less than 4 weeks I will be living and working in Copenhagen.

I am looking forward to the change and I am looking forward to being closer to my family but I am not looking forward to saying goodbye to everyone here. I have never been very good at saying goodbye which, I suspect, is why I have not arranged a leaving party. Then again it is not goodbye forever. I will come back for visits and I’d like to think that people would come to visit me too.

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10 responses to “A year of changes, decisions and a freezer incident!

  1. saffy March 22, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    The chef was a riot…wishing you all the best on the next stage of your journey ~smiles~ xxx

  2. Mysoul March 22, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Goodbyes are just logical stops before a Hello! No matter where you go, know you are where you are supposed to be, doing what you need to be doing(even when you are sitting and staring at the fire or watching the snow). Wishing you Joy along your Journey.

  3. Robert G. Longpré March 24, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Hi J, I for one am glad that you have decided to keep the blog running. Perhaps people like myself benefit from hearing the voices of others giving us a larger perspective of the world. At my age I don’t have to look for work anymore especially since I have a pension cheque to rely on. That said, as you know, I find myself again working in China. I am glad that you held on long enough for some clarity to emerge. Good luck in your new job in Copenhagen. – Robert

    • J April 3, 2011 at 11:28 am

      Thank you Robert,
      I really appreciate your words and I too benefit from hearing the voices of others to give me a larger perspective of the world.
      The past few weeks have taught me a lot about letting go of things and it has been liberating.
      All the best to you and yours – J

  4. Teresa Silverthorn March 24, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Your initial post inspired my husband to look for a different job.

    He is much happier now – and healthier.

    Thank you for sharing your story. Your bravery inspired a much needed change in our lives.

    • J April 3, 2011 at 11:31 am

      Thank you Teresa – I haver never really seen any of my actions or decisions as bravery but more as decisions that mostly landed me in some kind of trouble!! That said, to know that your husband is happier and healthier puts a smile on my face.
      My best wishes to both of you.

  5. Shafali April 7, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    I had been wondering:)
    Though I don’t know if I am the right person to be saying it but I feel you’ve made the right decision and that you’d be happier in Denmark.
    Warm Regards and Best Wishes,
    Shafali

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